Former Oil Spill Response Vessel becomes Sandy Hook Pilot's Newest Pilot Boat

Sandy Hook Pilot Boat New York has been replaced with a former oil spill response vessel, Maine Responder, converted by Feeney Shipyard with design and engineering by JMS Naval Architects.

Pilot Boat New York after conversion. Photo credit: JMS Naval Architects 

Captain John DeCruz, president of the New York Sandy Hook Pilots Association and Working Harbor Committee's 2021 Distinguished Service Awards recipient, pursued acquiring the deactivated vessel for conversion into a pilot boat. The conversion involved extensive modifications to remove oil recovery systems as well as incorporating operational capabilities specific to the pilots’ mission.

“The main engines had less than 10,000 running hours on them,” said DeCruz in Professional Mariner. “Despite the age of the vessel, it had very low hours and was extremely well maintained by MSRC. It was the most cost-efficient route to take, compared to if we’d built a station boat from scratch.”

Two hundred and eight feet long, the newly converted vessel has been re-registered as Pilot Boat New York and replaces her 182-foot predecessor, making her the largest boat in the Sandy Hook Pilots fleet.

The Sandy Hook Pilots Associations provide pilotage services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to regulated vessels entering or departing the Port of New York/New Jersey, the Hudson River, the East River, Atlantic City, Jamaica Bay, and Long Island Sound.

  • The W. O. Decker © 2009 Mitch Waxman - all rights reserved

  • Container Ship Docked and Loading seen on Hidden Harbor Tour © 2013 Mitch Waxman - all rights reserved

  • View After Sunset Behind Container Port © 2011 Mitch Waxman - all rights reserved

  • Empty Tanker Waits in Harbor at Anchor. © 2012 Mitch Waxman - all rights reserved

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We introduce youth to the past, present and future of our waterfronts with our dedicated boat tours of the harbor, as well as in-class programs with maritime experts who tell them about the types of jobs offered in the industry.

With your financial help, we can get students out on the water on a dedicated two-hour Hidden Harbor® boat tour of NY Harbor with guest speakers from the maritime industry. We also want to update a 52-page booklet, Maritime Occupations: A Guide, and distribute it to educators and students at New York and New Jersey high schools.


If you work in a maritime business, we invite you to educate students on the types of jobs offered in your companies and the educational requirements needed to qualify for these jobs. You can speak to the students at high schools, at after-school job-placement programs, or at your place of business.

We also encourage industry leaders to share your personal backgrounds and career paths with students. This type of information encourages youth to explore all of the options open to them.

A new workforce

Your help will come back to you as a cohort of enthusiastic young people interested in exploring jobs such as:

  • Ordinary Seaman
  • Able-bodied Seaman
  • Deck Cadet
  • Engineer Cadet
  • Engineering Officer
  • Chief Engineer
  • Ship Master
  • Marine Pilot
  • Tug Master
  • Stevedore (cargo operative)
  • Port Operations Manager
  • Vessel Traffic Control Officer
  • Custom Officer
  • Marine Surveyor
  • Harbor Master/Port Captain
  • Agent
  • Hydrographic Surveyor
  • Marine Engineer
  • Naval Architect
  • Freight Forwarder
  • Maritime Lawyer
  • Ship Manager
  • Maritime Journalist
  • Ship Broker
  • Cartographer
  • Ship Banker
  • Marine Insurer
  • Ship Charterer
  • Ship Cargo Planner
  • Maritime Economist
  • Marine Carpenter/Shipwright
  • Marine Electrician
  • Longshoreman
  • U.S. Coast Guard
  • U.S. Merchant Marine