TS State of Maine
The Training Ship State of Maine is the training ship of the Maine Maritime Academy.
Several ships have borne the name State of Maine since the inception of Maine Maritime Academy. Previous vessels included the former USS Comfort and the USS Upshur.
Current TS State of Maine
The USNS Tanner (T-AGS-40), was built for the United States Navy as a fast Oceanographic Research Vessel by Bethlehem Steel Corporation at its Sparrows Point Yard in Maryland in 1990. The vessel was the second oceanographic research ship to bear the name of Zero Luther Tanner, a noted oceanographer and inventor of a patented sounding machine. The vessel experienced catastrophic engine failure in 1993 and was laid up by the Navy and eventually transferred ownership to the Maritime Administration (MARAD).
The ship lay idle in the James River Reserve Fleet until 1996 when she began a conversion process, which removed her underwater sonar domes and equipment. The two original engines were removed and a new power plant was installed. The newer engine is significantly less powerful than the old engines. The sister ship, Maury (T-AGS-39), now the third vessel of the name TS Golden Bear, retained the original and more powerful enterprise engines.
The vessel was modified to increase the accommodations from 108 to 302 persons. New lifesaving equipment and upgrades to existing equipment were accomplished as well as enhancements to the habitability requirements of the vessel. She was delivered to Maine Maritime Academy on 6 June 1997 and sailed her maiden training cruise the following week.
Today Maine Maritime students in majors leading to a USCG Third Assistant Engineer (Marine Engineering Operations, Marine Engineering Technology, and Marine Systems Engineering majors) or USCG Third Mate (Marine Transportation Operations major) licenses participate in training cruises aboard the TS State of Maine. These cruises last about 60 days on average, and during that time midshipmen will rotate through both class and laboratory training at sea, ship's operations including deck and engine watches, as well as emergency drills. Port visits offer a time to relax, and visit other maritime nations, but also include watch responsibilities and routine ship's maintenance.
TS State of Maine was called into active duty by the Maritime Administration (MARAD) following Hurricane Katrina and provided living quarters for oil rig workers who were working to repair damaged rigs.
The ship is normally docked at her pier in Castine (Coordinates: ) when not on training cruise or in drydock. TS State of Maine is classed with the American Bureau of Shipping, and all inspections of her hull and equipment are undertaken by this classification society. The ship entered drydock for scheduled maintenance and inspections following the summer cruise of 2007.