One of the many good things about working in downtown New York City is having the South Street Seaport Museum a short walk away. Now and then, a ship will visit the museum and provides an opportunity to view it very closely and sometimes a chance to actually board it. On one of my lunch hours, I took a walk down to the Museum and I noticed a ship was moored at the end of Pier 17, which holds a retail and dining mall. I walked to the end of the pier and was thrilled to see the USCGC Juniper (WLB-201). I immediately ran over to the nearest CVS and purchased a one-time use camera and shot the entire roll of film.

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According to the information pamphlet I was able to get from one of the crew members, the USCGC Juniper is the lead ship of a new class 225’ seagoing buoy tenders. It is fitted with some of the most advanced technology available. The Integrated Ship Control System has Electronic Charting Display and Information System (ECDIS), which allows the ship to fix her position within five meters every second. That system feeds information to the Dynamic Positioning System (DPS), which in turn controls the Juniper’s adjustable pitch propeller and bow and stern thrusters to keep the ship on station without human input. The ship’s Machinery Plant Control and Monitoring System (MPCMS) has over 1,000 sensors throughout the ship and makes it possible for one crew member to monitor the ship’s plant from the engine room while underway.

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The Juniper’s 20-ton hydraulic crane gives her the strength to lift just about any buoy on to her deck for repairs and maintenance. The Juniper, which is based in Newport, Rhode Island, was used in the recovery operations after the TWA Flight 800 and Egypt Air 990 disasters and played a role in the anti-terrorist protection operations in New York Harbor after the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center.


Length Overall: 225’
Beam: 46’

Buoy Deck Area: 2.875 square feet
Crew: 6 officers and 34 enlisted
Crane: 20-ton hydraulic – 63’ extension

Maximum Speed: 17 knots
Range: 6,000 nautical miles @ 12 knots
Operational Area: New England Coast

Propulsion: 2 Caterpillar 3, 100 hp diesels, single shaft
Propeller: Single, controllable pitch, 10 feet diameter, four-bladed
Thrusters: Bow – 460 hp, Stern – 550 hp