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American Sailing Barges


grsjax
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I am interested in finding information on American sailing barges.  I already have a lot of info on the San Francisco barges as they are well documented and there are some still afloat.  However barges from other parts of the country are harder to find data on. 

 

"American Small Sailing Craft" by Howard Chapelle has a little on gulf coast barges and I have found mention of barges in Maine and on the Chesapeake but little else.  Sailing barges were a major contributor to water transportation in the U.S. before the wide spread introduction of steam and I would like to know more about them.  History, plans, pictures or anything else anyone can direct me to would be appreciated.

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  • 3 months later...

I thought someone else would have responded by now.  So, I'll give you my two cents.

 

On my list to build is the topsail scow sloop ELSIE of Havre de Grace, MD.  She was among a dozen or so scow sloops and schooners that carried loads on the Chesapeake Bay.  ELSIE specifically would haul stone from Havre de Grace down Bay to Baltimore and Norfolk.  I have ELSIE's plans as her lines were drawn during the HAMMS project.

 

FYI, sailing scows are the perfect boat for modern marinas on shallow draft waters...they are most boat per linear slip space rental.

 

 

​"The Historic American Merchant Marine Survey (HAMMS) was one of six projects created by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to provide work for unemployed skilled or "white-collar" workers.  These projects were intended to provide work which was both useful and appropriate to the skills and experience of workers who were not suited for more traditional work programs involving manual or outdoor labor.  The specific goal of HAMMS was to undertake a national survey of watercraft, in order to document the design and technical evolution of vessel types significant in America's commercial maritime history.  This was to be accomplished by making measured drawings of existing vessels, ship models, and builders' half models; by making a photographic record of significant vessels; and by compiling written data about vessels.
 
The HAMMS program was in existence from January 1, 1936 to October 15, 1937.  The Smithsonian Institution served as the official sponsor of the Survey and received all the documentation produced, thus augmenting its already significant National Watercraft Collection.  Unlike other WPA projects, HAMMS was administered directly from Washington by its Director, Eric J. Steinlein, who coordinated the survey work of six regional directors.  Despite its national mandate, the Survey actually was limited to the eastern seaboard, the Great Lakes, and California.  Furthermore, the types of craft surveyed and the level of documentation varied considerably within the six regions.  During the course of its existence, the HAMMS program conducted over 166 surveys and produced over 400 sheets of line drawings of ship's hulls, rigging, and details."

  http://amhistory.si.edu/archives/AC0240.pdf

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Edited by Deperdussin1910
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I was away on holiday when you posted your original request.  It may be of interest to you that sailing barges, or scow schooners, were a big part of the New Zealand coastal trade in the days of sail.  There are a couple of preserved craft over there and quite a bit of documentation.

 

John

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There is a great deal of info. photos, etc. on granite sloops.  Very active from Maine down to NY and DC.  Many are center boarders which you rarely find on this forum.  I spent some time looking at the Albert Baldwin before choosing the Anchor Hoy.  It was just too big a boat for me to do in 1:48 scale.

Maury

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  • 2 years later...

Scow Schooners were also common on the Great Lakes.  Both rectangular sailing barges and a more sophisticated hard chine pointed bow type.  A number of these have been investigated by nautical archeologists.  Look on the Internet.  Specifically, historian Pat Labadie wrote a paper describing one sunk off Kelly’s Island in Lake Erie.  I bought a. Copy on Amazon.  A number of years ago, someone wrote an article about building a model of one the pointed bow scows in the Nautical Research Journal.  Plans were from the National Watercraft Collection.  The best discussion of scow Schooners and their regional differences that I am aware of is in Howard Chapelle’s “American Small Sailing Craft.

 

Roger

 

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  • 1 year later...

Deperdussin1910,
I am researching the "Elsie of Havre de Grace" currently and saw in your entry above that you have her plans.   I was wondering if you might be able to give me some info on her exact size such as Length on Deck , Overall length with Bowsprit, Beam, and Depth. I plan on building a large scale RC Model of her and need to figure out the scale I need to build it in. I am from Havre de Grace, Md but live in Germany so it is difficult for me to to get this information directly.  I have been collecting information on her for years but everytime I try and get the plans, I come to a dead end. How large are the plans that you have. I have heard that they have a very large format.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Susquehanna,  Did you PM Deperddussin?   It is over four years since his/her post on these craft so he/she may not be  checking this thread.  If you look at his profile you will see that he has not been on this site since early February.   

 

If he does not respond to a PM you might try contacting the Smithsonian Institute Archives where he indicated they have the plans.   With the pandemic continuing, it may be difficult to get a response to an email from the SI  but you could call them to find out if the archives are operating in any semblance of normalcy.   Their phone number in Washington is 202 633-5870.   

Allan

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6 hours ago, allanyed said:

Susquehanna,  Did you PM Deperddussin?   It is over four years since his/her post on these craft so he/she may not be  checking this thread.  If you look at his profile you will see that he has not been on this site since early February.   

 

If he does not respond to a PM you might try contacting the Smithsonian Institute Archives where he indicated they have the plans.   With the pandemic continuing, it may be difficult to get a response to an email from the SI  but you could call them to find out if the archives are operating in any semblance of normalcy.   Their phone number in Washington is 202 633-5870.   

Allan

I am from Havre de Grace but I currently live in Germany which makes it difficult for me to make phone calls or direct research. I am working together online with someone in Havre de Grace that also wants the plans. He has contacted the Smithsonian and asked about the "Elsie" plans but they couldn't find much under "Elsie of Havre de Grace" which makes me think that they might have them listed under another title. But what?
 I also found the person that made the large model of the Elsie that is in the Maritime Museum in HdG. We tried for a long time to get the plans from him but all we got were the sail plans. The question I have is, are there more sheets to the plans? Hull lines, deck ect. How many sheets and what is on them?
I personally, have been trying to get these plans for about 4 years now and it has been all dead ends. It is frustrating.
 I will PM Deperddussin and hopefully he will answer. Need to know what to order and what is available in sheets.

Thanks for your reply. Much appreciated !!

Bill
 

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