All About Privateer
Privateer, an ex coast guard buoy tender, is the Harbor Schools most useful vessel. The Privateer is 46 feet long and is equipped with an A-Frame crane that is rated for 5000 lbs, a deck winch, a pilot house and a z-drive - allowing the prop to turn 360 degrees. With the pilot house, Harbor School can continue its waterfront operations all year long - even in the winter. With the A-Frame crane & deck winch students can do more substantial work than with the Indy 7 or other schools vessels that are not operational during the cold winter season. The crane and winch can be used to lift moorings or easily move oyster condos for projects like the Billion Oyster Project (BOP). The z-drive allows us to go sideways, backwards, crab and stem, or even do circles without the need for a reverse throttle. Crabbing is making the boat walk from side to side.
These boats are unusual to handle because the prop keeps spinning and doesn't stop when underway. Privateer gives more than just deck operations like steering and look out. Privateer has an actual engine room! With an engine room students can have a dedicated engineering watch. In the engine room we have the main engine, the generator and the z-drive which is located aft in the room. Because of the engine room students are allowed to work on the engine year round in some kind of warmth. Privateer can be used for science, it has enough deck space and down below space to hold scuba gear and house divers. With the flat deck space, divers have a good platform to dive off of. Marine biology has come aboard the vessel for transport and on water testing like water quality. Privateer is used all the time, whether its pouring rain or blazing hot.
Work is getting done but where's the time for maintenance? There isn't a lot of time dedicated for maintenance which is the downside. Because we're running all the time we do maintenance when it's needed not regularly. There isn't scheduled maintenance so we do it when we have the chance. It's nice we can run all year long and do all these cool projects but it'd be better if we can maintain the boat well, all the rust busting, engineering, painting and housekeeping done regularly. If we take care of the boat, the boat will take care of us.