About the John. J. Harvey
What is John J. Harvey?
Built in 1931, MV John J. Harvey, at 130 ft and 268 net tons, is among the most powerful fireboats ever in service. She has five 600 HP diesel engines, and has capacity to pump 18,000 gallons of water a minute. Her pumps are powerful -- enough so that when she and the George Washington Bridge were both brand new, she shot water over the bridge's roadway. She was retired by the New York City Fire Department in 1994 and bought at auction by her current owners in 1999. She was placed on The National Register of Historic Places in June 2000.
What are our goals?
We have been working since 1999 to raise awareness of the importance of historic vessels to the history of our City and our nation - and we are succeeding! With our trips up the Hudson and on Long Island Sound, we are promoting interest in the waterfront for towns in New York State. We offer public access to our harbor, training in new skills, and a chance to preserve an important part of our history.
Her ongoing restoration has become the focus of a growing community-based volunteer effort.
Where is she located?
Pier 66 Maritime, North River (as the lower Hudson is properly called), between West 26th and West 27th Streets. This historic ship pier is home to Frying Pan (a National-Register listed light ship). In fact, the pier itself is really a historic Lackawanna railway barge. There is also a wonderful grill with a bar in season.
Who are we?
John J. Harvey is owned by a small group who bought her at auction in 1999. (Contact us if you are interested in becoming an owner). But that is only a small part of the story. A wildly diverse community of interest has formed around this great vessel, including retired professionals, volunteers and members of the local and national community. You are welcome to join us!
In addition, we have a not-for-profit affiliate that will hold a permanent historic easement on the vessel to insure she is properly preserved regardless of ownership. The affiliate accepts tax-deductible donations and funds restoration through secured loans to the boat.
Things to do!
We take irregular but frequent free public trips, sponsored by the owners, in New York harbor. In addition, our magnificent harbor displays are frequent in warm weather - please see our events calendar for upcoming dates & times. If you'd like to be notified of these events please join our Mailing List.
John J. Harvey is a privately owned boat. As an historic vessel, she does not meet the strict standards set by the US Coast Guard for carriage of passengers for hire, and all trips on John J. Harvey are free. If you come aboard, it is as our guest, and we may ask that you acknowledge this in writing.
We are always in need of volunteers to help with our mission! Not just for stuffing envelopes, but for doing serious work. We need both experienced people and absolute novices. We offer free training for deck hands, and periodic CPR and First Aid certification. If you're interested in maritime history, we'll train you as a tour guide. If you want to learn about our five diesel engines, our two auxiliary diesels and our massive electrical systems, volunteer in the engine room. We also train people to properly chip, prepare and paint steel, which is never as simple as it sounds. (And BOY do we need a lot of help with that work!) We also need help with our on-board store.
Please see our other sections to learn more!