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T/V Kings Pointer




T/V Kings Pointer ex M/V Liberty Star, seen here during Indoc 2019


A Brief History of T/V Kings Pointer

The ship which was formally named Liberty Star is 176' in length, 37' in width, draws about 12" of water and displaces 1,052 tons.  The vessel was build in 1980 for the US Space Alliance (NASA) at Atlantic Marine Shipyard on Fort George Island near Jacksonville, FL.

The ship is propelled by two 12 cylinder EMD engines (combined 2,900 horsepower) that turn two seven foot controllable pitch propellers.  In addition, Kings Pointer is equ9ipped with two thrusters, a stern water jet thruster and a bow tunnel thruster.

She was one of two vessels that recovered the SRB's (Solid Rocket Boosters) from the space shuttle after it launched from Cape Canaveral.  The solid rocket boosters would touch down into the Atlantic Ocean using three parachutes approximately seven minutes after liftoff.  Each vessel would retrieve one booster and tow is back to Cape Canaveral for reconditioning.

The United States Maritime Administration acquired both vessels in and around 2012 and re-assigned them as training vessels.  Kings Pointer (formally Liberty Star) finished her conversions and arrived at the Academy in 2013 time frame.  Freedom Star still maintains her original name and is the training vessel at the Seafarers International Union training school in Piney Point MD.

Please see the attached photos of Kings Pointer in the shipyard here in Jacksonville.  The photos show the ship being moved via tug assist into the dry-dock.  In addition you see the ship up on the dry-dock, the anchor chains laid down for inspection as well as a worker cutting the rope guards off of the stern tubes to inspect the tail shafts.

Scott McCormick
Captain, T.V. Kings Pointer
US Merchant Marine Academy

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Photos of T/V Kings Pointer, Little Neck Bay, Fall 2019
















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Last updated: Wednesday, February 26, 2020

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