August 30, 1890 The U.S. Congress appropriated $75,000 for the construction of a vessel for the U.S. Lighthouse Board. This vessel was Amaranth, and she would serve for more than a half-century throughout much of the Great Lakes region as a lighthouse tender. Lighthouse tenders provide various kinds of support to the individuals serving at... Continue Reading →

August 17, 1807 The world’s first commercially successful steamboat service was launched when the North River Steamboat left New York City for Albany, New York, via the Hudson River (widely known at that time as the North River). The North River Steamboat -- often erroneously called the Clermont instead -- had been built at New York... Continue Reading →

July 18, 1945 About a month-and-a-half before World War II ended altogether with the surrender of Japan to the Allies, the U.S. Navy patrol yacht USS Tourmaline (PY-20) was decommissioned. This vessel had been used for various patrol assignments throughout the war. Tourmaline had actually started out as a private yacht named Sylvia. She was... Continue Reading →

June 30, 1887 A yacht named Volunteer, which had been built by the Pusey and Jones Company for that year’s edition of the international sailing competition known as the America’s Cup, was officially launched. Volunteer was specifically a sloop (a sailboat with a single mast) equipped with a centerboard, which is a retractable keel that... Continue Reading →

June 27, 1898 Joshua Slocum completed the first solo circumnavigation of the world at 1:00 a.m. when he sailed into the harbor at Newport, Rhode Island, on board his oyster sloop (a type of one-masted sailboat) named the Spray. The Canadian-born Slocum had first set sail in that vessel from Boston on April 25, 1895,... Continue Reading →

May 26, 1932 In Denmark, a royal yacht was officially commissioned as an auxiliary ship of the Royal Danish Navy. His Danish Majesty’s Yacht (HDMY) Dannebrog (A540), which was named after the national flag of Denmark, had been built at the Naval Shipyard in Copenhagen. She was launched by Queen Alexandrine (1879-1952), who reigned as... Continue Reading →

May 11, 2018 The research vessel Eugen Seibold was launched at the German city of Kiel, which is located on the southwestern shore of the Baltic Sea. Construction on this sailing yacht had begun the previous year. Measuring 72.2 feet (22 meters) in length, the Eugen Seibold is used for the study and contamination-free sampling... Continue Reading →

April 22, 1969 Robert “Robin” Knox-Johnston was greeted by the cheers of a dockside crowd and the sounds of boat whistles as he arrived at Falmouth, England, to both win the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race and complete the first solo non-stop circumnavigation of the world. “I’m a little overwhelmed by this reception,” said the... Continue Reading →

February 28, 1900 The U.S. Navy vessel USS Dart (YFB-308) was launched at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard (MINSY) at the waterfront city of Vallejo, California. MINSY, which is located 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco, had been built during the 1850s and was the first U.S. Navy base established on the Pacific... Continue Reading →

February 16, 1882 The iron-hulled Great Lakes freighter SS Onoko was launched from the shipyard of Globe Iron Works in Cleveland. The steam-powered Onoko, which measured 302.6 feet (92.2 meters) in length and 24.8 feet (7.6 meters) in height, was the first large commercial ship on the Great Lakes to be made of iron. Globe... Continue Reading →

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