Shipyard Update #2

With the majority of the ultrasonic hull sounding wrapped up and areas of weakened hull plating and worn down rivets identified, welding work has commenced on Fire Fighter‘s hull. 

Indoors, we’ve been busily working to strip out Fighter’s old septic system and conduct an inspection of her fresh water tank and piping, all located beneath the floor in her bunkroom.

Meanwhile in the engine room, almost all of the deck plates are up as we conduct internal hull, piping and valve inspections and work to finish the installation of our new forced air heating system. 

Tons of work has been done already during our time at the yard, but there is still much to do before we wrap up our stay in Rhode Island. Interested in helping out with your time or a financial donation? Please visit our Donation page or our Contact Us page and find how how you can make an impact on restoring the Fire Fighter!

Shipyard Update #1

It’s been a very busy few weeks for Fire Fighter and the workers at the J. Goodison Shipyard, and as the pictures below show there has been quite a change in the appearance of America’s Fireboat.

Hull work began as soon as Fire Fighter was set upon her keel blocks. Scraping and hydroblasting removed years of marine growth and several coats of paint from Fighter’s hull below the waterline. Once cleaned and dried, a coat of gray primer was applied to protect the steel from rusting and work began on the upper hull. With her topsides blasted clean of paint and rust, the Fighter now wears a uniform gray coat of primer on her hull. Also free from years of paint are her beautiful brass nameboards, now finally able to shine once again and offering a glimpse of how sharp she’ll look with all her topside brass returned to its original luster.

Last week we wrapped up our ultrasonic sounding of Fire Fighter’s hull plating and are extremely pleased to report that despite her hull being nearly 80 years old, the steel is still in excellent condition. At present we are working with the staff at the shipyard to plan the next phase of Fighter’s stay: repairs and reconditioning. Loose or worn rivets will be replaced or repaired and doubler plating will be installed in a few areas where she has seen some increased wear and tear over her years of hard-knock service. We’ll also be conducting detailed inspections of her sea chests and fire mains to make sure they are in a satisfactory condition.

There is still much to do on the Fighter while she’s high and dry, and if you would like to help out by volunteering aboard or by making a donation to our shipyard fund, please visit our DONATE or CONTACT US page on this website. 

Fighter is high and dry!

January 10th, 2017: 

We are extremely pleased to report that as of 1030AM EST the Fire Fighter has been successfully lifted clear of the water at the J. Goodison Shipyard and is now safely on land and ready to begin her first shipyard period since 2003.  

Having arrived safely yesterday evening from Greenport following an 8 1/2 hour tow from Greenport under the care of the Mohawk Northeast tug Judy M, the Fighter will now be given some much needed TLC by shipyard personnel and museum volunteers over the next two months to get her ready for the next phase of her life as a fully operational museum ship. At present the forecast scope of work to be done on the Fighter includes: 

  • Sandblasting her hull to bare metal from the gunnels to the keel, removing nearly 30 years of paint in the process. 
  • Inspection and full ultrasonic sounding of her hull plating to verify the thickness and condition of her steel plating.
  • Inspection of her hull riveting, propeller shafts, propellers and rudders.
  • Replacement or repair of any hull plating and rivets found to be in a deteriorated condition.
  • Installation of new sacrifical zinc anodes on the hull to provide cathodic protection. 
  • Inspection of the Fighter’s three sea suction ports and ultrasonic sounding of her fire mains. 
  • Repainting to her original black-hulled 1938 colors, which will complement the topside work already underway to return her topsides, stack and decks to the original 1938 color scheme for FDNY Fireboats. 

As you can see, there is much to be done while the Fighter is high and dry – however, the list does not have to stop there. Your tax-deductible donations to our organization will allow us to add more items to our shipyard work list that we currently have sidelined due to lack funds, so please head over to our Donation page and help us make the most of this shipyard trip!

This shipyard trip is the culmination of several years of hard work and diligent effort by our organizations President Charlie Ritchie, and our small crew of dedicated volunteers who give so much of their time, expertise and efforts to help preserve and protect the Fire Fighter. Thanks to you all and to our supporters and benefactors who have donated to our museum and allowed us to take advantage of both our Federal and State matching grants to make this trip and the work being performed possible. 

Please check this news page or on our Facebook page for updates on Figther’s shipyard progress! 


FFM Launches GoFundMe Campaign 

January 7th, 2017

The Fireboat Fire Fighter Museum has initiated a GoFundMe Campaign to fundraise for operational costs associated with the Fire Fighter during the coming year. With Fighter finally heading to the shipyard shortly, the upcoming season will be much different than any previous year for our organization as cruises and port calls will now be possible. Of course, increased operations means increased costs from routine items like fuel and maintenance to incidental fees like permits, licenses and crewing expenses. 

Thanks to the generosity of a local benefactor, we have an opportunity to match any and all donations received in this campaign up to $50,000. With the potential for $100,000 in preservation and operation funds on the table, we need your donations no matter the value now more than ever! 

If you would like to make a donation or know a person or organization who may be able to assist, please use the below link to access our campaign page where you can make a secure donation. Thank you in advance for your generosity!

New Year, New News Page

Hello and Happy New Year to all of our visitors! We’ve been busy with site work this winter and one of changes has been our News page, which was long-neglected since our switchover to the new site. Going forward, you’ll be able to get the most up-to-date news and updates about the Fire Fighter here, either from these individual posts or via a soon-to-be-installed direct feed from our Facebook page

The Fireboat Fire Fighter Museum wishes you a happy and healthy 2017, and we’ll see you onboard!