Jump to content
Cathead

Steamboats and other rivercraft - general discussion

Recommended Posts

Earlier in the forum, I noted comments on the steamboat graveyard across from Dawson City.  I have attached several photos that I took in 1995.  The steamboats had long since collapsed, were unsafe to walk upon and completely enclosed by the underbrush.  Hope you like 'em. LJP

 

 

MSW  Engine Room.jpg

MSW 2 Pilothouses.jpg

MSW Boiler.jpg

MSW Engine.jpg

MSW Sternwheeler Profile.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

reklein, thanks for the info. I found the historical society but you are correct that it will take some googling to find the catalog. I will find it...

 

Eric, I am jealous that you were there for the '98 Centennial. When I was there in '95 the steamboat Keno in Dawson was closed for renovations for the Centennial. And the Klondike and Nenana were closed for the day by the time the tour got there and we had to leave before they opened the next morning.  Walking around them is not like wandering around in them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ironically, I didn't fully appreciate the experience because I was 18 and knew almost nothing about steamboats despite being a history buff. I though the wrecks were cool, took a few pictures, poked around, and moved on. Of course, 38 year old me wishes I'd spent a day documenting every aspect of their construction. Teenagers are dumb, what can you do?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I may have mentioned this before but in Penticton BC there is a fully intact sternwheeler,the Sicamous. It has a steel hull and is a lake boat but the classic lines engines,rigging and cabin are all there and intact. She is hauled 

out and is quite the attraction being fully preserved.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Eric, older people can also be dumb. I speak from experience.  I should have also spent more time there and taken more pictures. And I never knew about the Evelyn on Shipyard Island until years after.  But I appreciate what I have done and learn from it.  So next time...

 

Hi Bill, Thanks about the Sicamous info.  Very impressive. There are YouTube videos about Sicamous that are great.  And I would like to visit Moyie in Kaslo at the same time.  In the next few years I want to head back to Vancouver and these two stops are definitely an add-on.

 

Thanks LJP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LJP, while you're up in B.C. try to get to Osoyoos toe see the Osoyoos desert model railway. Its a really nice commercial model rr mostly MArklin but quite large. Cost is about 5$ canadian. Also while in Penticton go ride the Kettle valley RR nearby in Summerland, which still has an operating steam locomotive. Lots of attractions and uncrowded. Also don't forget to try the wine from the Okanogan area. Wonderful stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Bill!

Thanks for the info, sounds like someone who has insights from prior trips there.  And looking forward to the wine.

Thanks, LJP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Taken on our recent trip to South Australia, these are the sad remains of the paddle steamer 'Wagga Wagga' near the bank of the Murrumbidgee River at Narrandera in New South Wales.

 

Not much is known about the early history of this steamer.  She was a typical Murray/Darling cargo steamer, built about 1884 and used for towing barges of timber, wool and produce, mainly on the Murrumbidgee River.  She was finally abandoned when she sprung a leak and sank at Narrandera in November 1918.

 

1035158354_103467-PSWaggaWagga.thumb.JPG.f39b2af6485732861b2ee2dd2f4374d2.JPG

 

This is one of the few photos of the 'Wagga Wagga' when she was in service.

wagga04.jpg.610a34763e79596423f6e66c34ce575f.jpg

 

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing that I find interesting is that a lot of the river steamer crews of North Carolina were black.

 

Here, we have the crew of the Hertford, formerly the Olive.  She was rebuilt and renamed after seventeen people died when Olive got hit by a tornado and sank.

Hertford_Crew.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, she's entering her 97th year.  She's the last of the Puget Sound steamers, and still has her original engine.  She was built by Matt Anderson in his backyard for West Pass Transportation Company.  She did the Seattle-Vashon Island-Tacoma run for eighteen years, before being taken down to run on the Columbia for a year.  From then until around 1980 she worked as a charter vessel, then becoming a museum ship.

 

The engine is older than the ship.  The engine is triple expansion and was built in 1904 by Heffernan Engine Works of Seattle.  It was originally installed in a vessel known as the Tyrus, which, when bought by WPTCo., was renamed Virginia IV.

 

We still go out; made over 70 trips last year.

 

I guess, from here, what do you want to know?  I can tell you in detail how to bring the plant up, but just be warned that I am not a very exciting writer.

 

The photos are the 1922 maiden voyage, 1935, a week ago (with my cell phone as I didn't have any other camera), and me fighting with the vacuum pump.

 

 

Maiden_Voyage_11_June_1922.jpg

1935.jpg

WP_20181202_16_23_14_Pro.jpg

me_n_vacuum_pump.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good stuff, that's really fascinating. Cool how these boats were simultaneously unique and yet developed some of the same approaches as other regions (like relying on stern wheels in tight or debris-prone areas). I love that last centerwheel one, reminds me of a similar design that operated as a ferry on the Missouri River at St. Joseph, MO in the 1850s.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Mark,

Really neat local sternwheelers! Hard to choose which is the "best". The 50 foot waterline model looks exactly like a Marine Iron Works of Chicago sternwheeler.  If you have not acquired a copy of a 1986 reprint of their catalog you may wish to do so. I am certain you will find it both interesting and helpful.  I wish you the best of luck making plans and then scratch building. It may not be a fast process but it will be incredibly gratifying.

Larry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For both our Australian and American members - P.S. 'Captain Sturt'.

 

The 'Captain Sturt' was one of the very few stern wheelers to ever ply the Murray River.  She was designed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and built in 1915 by Charles Barnes Company of Cincinnati and then disassembled and shipped out to Australia in pieces where she was rebuilt at on the banks of the Murray at Mannum, South Australia.   Stern wheelers were generally considered unsuitable for Australia's narrow, winding rivers, however the 'Captain Sturt' was intended for construction work on the new river lock system and not for general trading.  She was owned and operated by the River Murray Commission and proved ideal for her work on lock construction along the river.  She was abandoned at Goolwa near the mouth of the river after the lock system was completed in 1935 and was used as a houseboat for a while before being allowed to quietly rot away on the river bank.

 

A photo held by the State Library of South Australia showing the 'Captain Sturt' in her prime.

396967707_B-74578(1).jpg.f5bb548df487ecac4a5528bbc90b5ece.jpg

 

The sad remains of the 'Captain Sturt' incorporated into a marina at Goolwa.  photo taken in November of this year.

947914005_105518-CaptainSturtWreck.thumb.JPG.e99f7f4d1bbf3bd75a2a0bb8eb3c57c1.JPG

 

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's an identification question. In looking up images to illustrate a design question for my Arabia, I ran across this image of the Ben Campbell. There are two unusual tubular structures that I can't figure out.

 

First, the edge of the boiler (2nd) deck seems to consist of a fat, possibly tubular feature that runs all the way around. Is that just an odd decorative edging to the deck, or something else? There are also some extra-large deck supports that seem unusual, too, especially the foremost one.

 

Second, and even odder, is the dark tubular structure projecting forward from the boiler deck to roughly parallel the curve of the bow, appearing to extend around the front of the jackstaff. I cannot figure out what it is.

1024px-SteamboatBenCampbellb.jpg

Actually, you know what, I think I just figured out point 2. Curious if it's more obvious to others or if there are other ideas before I spring my answer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My guess is that the bow mystery structure is a rub strip or bumper.

 

Also, I note that the decks aft align vertically and are not stepped back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Druxey nailed the first.  Asto the second, if it is the same thing you are talking about, they may simply be large scuppers  similar in design to a house downpipe?

 

cheers

 

Pat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think either is any kind of bumper, specifically because they don't extend around the wheel housing. The only things steamboats interacted with at that height were other steamboats, when tied up together, and they usually had vertical bumpers meant to separate the two where that was a concern. In addition, superstructures almost always inclined inward slightly, making it even less likely they'd need a bumper to fend anything off. The dark tube doesn't appear to have any supports except at the front of the boiler deck and at the jackstaff, which isn't enough to protect against any kind of impact. As for scuppers, I can't think of any reason they'd run scuppers parallel to the boiler deck and out over the bow rather than just draining laterally as most decks did.

 

One hint as to my explanation for #2 (the dark object); I think the photo's perspective is playing a serious optical illusion on the viewer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am thinking that that long tubular object is a grasshopper pole stowed. On the right hand side you can make out some links/shackles. The lifting poles have rigging connected to the grasshopper pole. And on the bow jackstaff you can see what looks like a cross tree for the ends of the grasshopper poles to rest on. Not sure if grasshopper pole is the right name but they were used to push off of sand bars and such.  As for the bigger supports they could have helped in transfering the lifting load when pushing up off a river bar.

I would vote stepped back decks as it was a working boat not a big river showboat.(other thread )

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's the idea I came up with, too. It took me a while to un-see what initially seemed like a tubular ring around the bow, but I'm now convinced it's just a grasshopper spar stowed sideways as you say. The perspective is perfect for the initial optical illusion. Also, great eye for the cross-trees on the jackstaff that appear to be for supporting the spars. I hadn't noticed that, and such a thing isn't present on some other boats I've seen. It's a great detail and I may add it to the Arabia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

About us

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research

SSL Secured

Your security is important for us so this Website is SSL-Secured

NRG Mailing Address

Nautical Research Guild
237 South Lincoln Street
Westmont IL, 60559-1917

About the NRG

If you enjoy building ship models that are historically accurate as well as beautiful, then The Nautical Research Guild (NRG) is just right for you.

The Guild is a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to provide support to our members in their efforts to raise the quality of their model shipcraft.

The Nautical Research Guild puts on ship modeling seminars, yearly conferences, and juried competitions. We publish books on ship modeling techniques as well as our world-renowned quarterly magazine, The Nautical Research Journal, whose pages are full of articles by master ship modelers who show you how they build those exquisite details on their models, and by maritime historians who show you what details to build.

Our Emblem

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research
×