The Coyote Shipwreck  Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, & Maine Shipwrecks
Historical and current New England Shipwreck Information and images for scuba divers, fisherman and marine historians.




   Capt. Dan Berg's Wreck Valley Collection   


The wood freighter Coyote was built in 1918. She was 267 feet long and had a 40 foot beam.

On January 11, 1932the Coyote was towed off shore and scuttled at the Boston Dumping Grounds. Today the Coyote sits in 160 feet of water. Most of the wreck is broken down and collapsed.

The following is an article by Captain Eric Takakjian

On the morning of January 11, 1932, the freighter Coyote was towed out of Boston harbor and sunk in a special position twelve miles east of the Boston Lightship. This general area became known as the lightship dumping grounds. Sixty-four ships were sunkhere to rid Boston harbor of derelicts between January 1932 and August 1942. An appropriation of $64,000 was provided by the commonwealth of Massachusetts to pay for the removal of the derelict ships, starting what was to become one of the first artificial reef systems in this country.

As World War I raged on in Europe, the demand for merchant ships grew. When the United States entered the war on April 6, 1917, we did not have enough ships to carry the badly needed war materials to the troops fighting abroad. To help fill this void the US Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation was formed. The Shipping Board provided funds for the construction of merchant ships. These ships were to be owned by the U.S. government and operated by private shipping companies. When the armistice was signed on November 11, 1918, the production of ships had just reached its peak.

The Coyote was a Ferris Class, wooden hulled freighter, and was the first of her class to be built. She was launched at the Foundation Shipyard in Kearny, New Jersey in the spring of1918. The Coyote was 267 ' long, had a 46' beam and displaced 2,551 gross tons. Her 1,400 horsepower triple expansion steam engine drove her along at a modest speed of ten knots. Commissioned in July of 1918, she served the U.S. Shipping Board less than a year, being sold to the American Steamship Corp, in June of1919.

The American Steamship Corporation operated the Coyote in transatlantic cargo service for just over two years, selling her to a British company in December of 1921. Six months later the United Fruit Company of New York purchased the ship, while she was lying in marseilles, France, United Fruit returned the ship to the United States, and placed her on a run from Boston to New York to South America. She would carry dry cargo to South American ports and return with fruit, primarily bananas. Unfortunately for United Fruit, they were only able to get a little over a year's use out of the Coyote. She was "abandoned as unfit for use" in Boston harbor in August of 1923. Five years seems like a very short time for the service life of a ship.

The Coyote is an outstanding dive. The hull of the ship is completely intact and rests upright on a packed gravel bottom. the wreck has the distinction of being one of the very few large wooden shipwrecks that are intact in saltwater. Resting in 175fsw. Visibility is always good due to the hard sand bottom, and frequently exceeds forty feet! It is not uncommon to be able to see from one side of the wreck to the other, a distance of 46 feet. Standing on the sand at the bow the ship looks just as she did on her launching day. the two large hawser pipes through which the anchor chains passed are plainly visible on either side of the bow. Swimming up to the top of the bow and looking aft the wreck takes on the appearance of a giant row boat.

The deck from amidships forward is missing. The ships ribs and structural members are easily seen inside the hull. Swimming aft along the centerline both sides of the ship are easily viewed. Proceeding further aft two huge flat sided boilers come into view, lying side by side under a portion of intact decking. Just aft of the boilers in the vicinity of the engine room large pieces of machinery including a large pump and the engine beds are plainly visible. Extending from the engine room aft to the stern is an enclosed casing for the shaft alley. The casing stands six feet high and about six feet wide. Swimming over the stern divers are treated to the sight of the Coyote's 18 foot diameter four blade propeller.

The best time of the year to dive the Coyote is June through September. Water temp vary from the low30's in the spring and early summer to the low 40's in the late summer and early fall. Visibility ranges from twenty to fifty feet and there is usually no current. The Coyote is a really fun dive, one which we always enjoy returning to.

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Check out Capt. Dan's other shipwreck and Diving eBooks



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Baldwin NY 11510


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