In 2018 I launched NY in 10 Boats, a series of articles published in Waterwire, the Waterfront Alliance’s online magazine. These articles aimed to curate New York’s heritage fleet of historic and replica vessels.
The first step in this project used crowdsourcing to create a broad sample of boats that shaped New York’s history while bringing attention to our waterfront nonprofit and commercial institutions in industry, ecology, athletics, education, and the arts. I worked with interested individuals and representatives of those institutions to develop lists of 10 boats that told the story of New York from their perspectives. This resulted in more than 160 unique boat mentions from more than 17 participants over the course of a year.
The second (current) phase in this project focuses on 10 vessel types that stood out from the 10 boat list submissions as the most significant. Research for these articles included interviews with people familiar with the vessel types. Each article aimed to describe the vessel, its place in New York history, its current status in the harbor, and (in line with Waterfront Alliance’s new mission) its role in the city’s resilience.
The online format favors word counts far too small to cover these topics appropriately, so I’ve gathered them here with addenda to flesh out the narrative with useful context and questions that remain unanswered.
The complete list of boats in the initial series is indexed here.
The complete series will be reprinted here.