Tugs in New York harbor

The revitalized chapter of the Propeller Club of New York/New Jersey has provided a steady stream of maritime events under President Capt. Justin Zises. This week, Thornton Towing & Transportation hosted an event aboard its newly acquired single-screw tug Eric R Thornton, the former Roger Williams (built in 1960 at Blount Boats in Rhode Island), that the company recently purchased from McAllister Towing.

 
Eric R Thornton 

Though the event had no formal program, informal chats with attendees, including club member Gerard Thornton, revealed that the working waterfront in New York is thriving. Demand is high for Thornton’s tugs and the services the vessels provide, including movements of scrap metal and crushed rocks. In the metals trades, Thornton-owned barges are provided to companies that move material from yards located around the New York area (for example, Newtown Creek, which separates Brooklyn and Queens) across the harbor to the big terminals in Port Newark, where the scrap metal is exported.

The location of the event at New York’s Pier 40, dubbed “Hudson River Park”, is indicative of the cooperation and dialogue in the port between commercial folks (including the owners of working vessels such as the Eric R Thornton) and the public.

 

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 The event took place at the same dock where the 210′ dinner boat Hornblower Infinity ties up, in the shadow of expensive condominiums with views of the North River. The Hornblower vessel is now the venue for numerous maritime events in New York, including meetings of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance and the Working Harbor Committee, which conducts waterborne tours of commercial and industrial areas in the Port of New York and New Jersey.

 

About the author

Barry Parker

Barry Parker is a maritime consultant and writer. He covers shipping, energy and commodities, drawing on three decades of transactional and brokerage experience. His writing covers financing aspects of shipping and offshore, plus occasional technical or regulatory articles. His client work for ship owners, cargo interests and others includes project and market analysis, as well as commercial and operational guidance. He divides his time between midtown Manhattan and his home on Long Island Sound. He can be reached at bdp1@conconnect.com.

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