Tag: sail

The Long Blue Line: America’s first ice ships and icebreakers

Color photograph of Northland, with cut-down masts, sitting in the ice in World War II’s Greenland Patrol. (U.S. Coast Guard)

During the Age of Sail, the seasonal pattern of icebound winters froze-in merchant vessels and reduced the wintertime demand for revenue cutters on the Great Lakes, in the Northeast and in the Mid-Atlantic States. In some cases, cutters were decommissioned in December, winterized and their crews dismissed until the spring thaw.