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New Jersey Scuba Diving


New Jersey Scuba Diving

Lewis F. Boyer

Sea Girt Reef

Lewis F. Boyer reef
At launching, with namesake (inset)

shipwreck, tugboat
1921, Tampa FL, as Lorraine D
named ( now ) for Travis Nagiewicz, Capt. Steve's son.
( 95 x 20 ft )
Captains Steve Nagiewicz & Dan Crowell
Travis Nagiewicz
Wednesday October 31, 2001
40°08.179' -73°55.824'
75 ft

Lewis F. Boyer reef
Notice how the smokestack has gotten shorter and moved forward - converted from steam to diesel.

Built in 1921 by Oscar Daniels Shipbuilding of Tampa, Florida ( hull #13 ) as the Lorraine D for Oscar Daniels Shipbuilding of Tampa, Florida. The tug featured a "boot-heel" pilot house. Powered by a single Fairbanks Morse eight cylinder diesel engine, turning at 400 RPMs, turning an 86 inch diameter propeller for a rated 400 horsepower. She was later sold and renamed Lizzie Shaw.

The tug spent most of her working life in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. Reportedly, the tug ran alcohol during Prohibition from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to New York, New York in unusual tanks which were located mid-ships. She was eventually acquired by Interstate Oil Transport of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and renamed Lewis F. Boyer.

In 1964, the tug was laid-up and went through several different owners. In 1969, she was decommissioned and her engine removed. In the years that followed, the tug was sold to several owners. Eventually it was acquired by owned by a young dentist named Stan Frankel, who had the tug towed to Washington DC with the intention of using her for his dental office, which he did briefly.

In 1977 she was acquired by another individual named David Williams, who renovated the tug, cleaning, painting, adding a new pilothouse and redoing the interior spaced for "modern" living, complete with a bathtub and full galley with tile counters and modern conveniences. Williams had the tug moved to New York Harbor and then to Liberty State Park. In 1984, she was moved to Verplanck, New York, where she served as a "live aboard" and then a summer "live aboard."

from the Asbury Park Press:

Spirited Drama Stirred Coast 60 Years Ago

One December night in 1932, Ensign James P. Gilhooley on the Coast Guard cutter Reliance watched the tugboat Lizzie Shaw and its tow, the coal barge Maurice R. Shaw, rendezvous with two Canadian schooners off Barnegat. When the tug and barge were loaded, they got under way but made the mistake of coming inside the 13-mile limit. Gilhooley and his crew arrested 31 heavily-armed men and seized nearly 5,000 cases reportedly worth about $500,000.

-- January 14, 1980

This is one of the oldest vessels sunk in New Jersey as a reef. The hull is of riveted construction with concrete decks, unique among all the reef tugs that I know of, which are all welded in the more modern fashion. The engine is removed. The main deck is littered with the remains of the deck house, which is almost completely obliterated. The rudder is missing, and the remains of the pilot house and smokestack lie upside-down in the sand on the port side. This is a great dive for student checkouts. It lets divers see an intact wreck in reasonably shallow water, on a nice-size and easy to navigate wreck.

Lewis F. Boyer reef
Lewis F. Boyer reef

Lewis F. Boyer reef side-scan
Side-scan sonar image showing the proximity of the brand new "Travis Tug" and the broken-down Horseshoe Wrecks, sunk more than ten years earlier. The sonar shadow reveals that the pilot house has already been knocked off by a passing barge.

Side-scan sonar images courtesy of Enviroscan Inc, Lancaster PA. / Vince Capone.

The Maritime Life of the Lewis F. Boyer

Lewis F. Boyer reef

The Lewis F. Boyer was built in 1920 in Tampa Florida and was originally named the Lorraine D. It was subsequently named the Lizzie Shaw and finally the Lewis F. Boyer She was riveted steel, 95 ft in length and 20 ft wide. She was designed to be a coastal tug - not a harbor tug - as is evidenced by her large size, and very high plumb bow. She was intended to tow coal and various other cargo barges. Her main engine was a Fairbanks-Morse 8 cylinder diesel - 400 HP at 400 RPM turning an 86" diameter prop. I am not sure if you have ever seen a low speed diesel work but they are quite impressive. The engine was about 20 feet long and eight feet high. Each cylinder had a 15" bore and an 18" stroke. There is no clutch and no transmission. To start the engine compressed air was forced into the cylinders. This started the engine turning and when it caught the engineer had to throttle her back. To stop the engine, fuel was cut off and compression released. To reverse the engine, air was forced into the cylinders in a different order thereby causing the engine to reverse the firing order and run in reverse. All this was done from a single large hand-wheel on the side of the engine with the engineer listening to the bells from the pilot house.

The engines were very heavy, very rugged, very powerful ( torque not horsepower is what counts ) and very quiet. I have cruised on similar boats with the engine running at 80 to 120 rpm and you could carry on a conversation at a normal voice standing next to the engine. Steering on the Lewis was manual. Large cables extended from the steering quadrant in the stern across the deck in pipes and along each side of the deckhouse. At the front the cables entered the deckhouse, went across the floor and then down onto a drum on the ceiling of the forecastle. This drum was connected by roller-chain to the wheelhouse. Electricity was provided by a large bank of batteries and was 110 volts DC. The batteries were charged by a generator which ran off the propeller shaft. Everything on the Lewis was heavy and built for work - not comfort. The floors were concrete and slanted at a steep angle to shed water. Most rooms were accessible from the outside only. Usually a boat that size would have a crew of 7.

Lewis F. Boyer reef

Most of her life, the Lewis worked in the Delaware Bay area. At one point she was actually used as a "rum runner" running hooch from Philadelphia to New York in some unusual tanks which were located mid-ships. In 1969 she was decommissioned and her engine removed. ( It was in Jersey City until a few years ago. ) She went through several owners and finally ended up owned by Stan Frankel - a young dentist who towed her to Washington, DC with the intention of using her for his dental office which he did briefly. In 1977, I bought her from Stan. At that point she was a hulk. I ( and eventually my wife Sandy ) lived on her year round for about 8 years. We gradually fixed her up cleaning and painting, adding a new pilothouse and redoing the interior for "modern" living complete with a bathtub and full galley with tile counters and modern conveniences. We never did get her running but all the work was done with that goal in mind. At first the boat was docked in DC. In 1979 Stan and I towed it to New York harbor ( West New York, NJ. ) We then moved to Liberty State Park and then in 1984 to Verplanck NY. She served as our home and then a summer home but our having children made it impractical to live on so she became a weekend hobby.

This past year we came to the conclusion that the hull in the stern either had to be repaired or something else done. Repairing the vessel was simply too high-priced and we felt that the reef program was an honorable and fair end to her. After all the work, I could not bear to see her rot away in some cove. She was still a very good boat - she didn't leak a drop on the tow down and, as you can attest, she didn't sink easily. She was certainly one of the oldest tugs still afloat in the New York harbor, and while I was sorry to sink her, I think that this was the best solution.

David Williams
Former Owner

Lewis F. Boyer 'Travis Tug' - Artificial Reefs - New Jersey Scuba Diving Explore an intact tugboat sunk as an artificial reef by the state of New Jersey.
My first-ever attempt at video

This wreck was sponsored by several groups, clubs and shops from the New Jersey diving community who held a Film Show: "A Night To Remember" in Manasquan, NJ on Feb 16th, 2001. The evenings speakers were: Ralph White ( TITANIC ), Pat Clyne ( speaking on ATOCHA, ) Herb Segars ( NJ Marine Life ) and Captain Dan Crowell ( NJ Shipwrecks. ) The event helped to raise funds as proceeds to be donated to the Artificial Reef Program of New Jersey to help create more marine life habitats for divers and fisherman. This was a not-for-profit event.

Reef Tug Sponsors

There where dozens of other groups who also supported the fund-raiser by selling and buying large blocks of tickets. We wish to thank them for their contributions and we hope they enjoy this new wreck on the Sea Girt Reef.

Lewis F. Boyer reef
The Travis Tug was named after Travis S. Nagiewicz, pictured above,
holding the last brass porthole recovered from the wreck by Joe Gallini.

Lewis F. Boyer reef
This was were the porthole came from!

Lewis F. Boyer reef
Lewis F. Boyer reef
Lewis F. Boyer reef
Lewis F. Boyer reef
The bow and front wall of the deck house

Lewis F. Boyer reef
Lewis F. Boyer reef
Lewis F. Boyer reef
Lewis F. Boyer reef
The remains of the deck house and the towing bit

Lewis F. Boyer reef
A sink and plumbing

Horseshoe Wrecks

Sea Girt Reef

Horseshoe Wrecks reef
The barge-load of wreckage that will become the "Horseshoe Wrecks." the wreckage was pushed off three sides of the barge, hence the horseshoe pattern.

tugboat Marie ( 95 ft )
3 barges ( 70, 80, 140 ft )
all vessels cut-up prior to sinking
Spectra Services & Fish America Foundation

Horseshoe Wrecks reef side-scan
Side-scan sonar image showing the proximity of the brand new "Travis Tug" and the broken-down Horseshoe Wrecks, sunk more than ten years earlier.

These jumbled piles of steel wreckage greatly resemble the Mohawk. However, unlike that vast and confusing field of debris, this site is relatively easy to navigate, since it is all relatively linear. Some of the pieces are quite tall and can be gotten inside-of.



I make no claim as to the accuracy, validity, or appropriateness of any information found in this website. I will not be responsible for the consequences of any action that is based upon information found here. Scuba diving is an adventure sport, and as always, you alone are responsible for your own safety and well being.

Copyright © 1996-2016 Rich Galiano
unless otherwise noted



since 2016-09-11