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10 Facts about The R. Ian Fletcher

patrol boat

The patrol boat goes back in the water. Photo: SBell
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The Riverkeeper patrol boat was built in 1983 in Bivalve, NJ to work commercial shellfish beds in Delaware Bay.

It’s built of cedar planking on oak frames.

Riverkeeper bought the boat in 1990 and it was refurbished and relaunched as The R. Ian Fletcher in 1998.

The engine is a Volvo Penta 6 cylinder diesel installed in ’98 by Captain John Lipscomb and his crew when he was the manager of Petersen’s Boatyard in Upper Nyack.

The patrol boat was named after Dr. R. Ian Fletcher, a noted expert in fluid dynamics, oceanography, physical ecology and biomathematics who used his dedication to science to benefit the Hudson River. He helped Riverkeeper win many historical cases, such as the Westway Highway battle.

Since 2000, Captain Lipscomb and the R. Ian Fletcher have traveled enough miles to “circumnavigate” the globe more than two times.

When Captain Lipscomb started in Fall of 2000 The R. Ian Fletcher had 60 engine hours, now it has over 9,000.

The R. Ian Fletcher and Captain Lipscomb log nearly 1,000 hours and 6,000 river miles a year.

The R. Ian Fletcher is also the floating lab for Riverkeeper’s Water Quality Testing Program.

Working with Chris Brennan of Brennan Boatbuilding makes it possible to improve the boat every year.

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