The first twenty contracts built by New York Ship were secured during the lifetime of its founder. Concluded over only a three year span, these contracts included ships of six major categories: the tanker, the cargo vessel, the passenger ship, the warship, the river boat, and the harbor craft. In the first half century of its existence, New York Ship continued to build ships of these major categories. The first ship built by the new yard was the oil tanker J.M. Guffey. Two other oil tankers were among the first twenty contracts. For the next fifty years, tankers proved to be an outstanding product of the Yard.