The following are the steamers and sailing vessels undergoing repairs and fitting out for the season's business at Picton: Strs. Empress of India and Alexandria; steambarge Belle Wilson; schrs. Fabiola, Hanlan, Ocean Wave, Olivia, Nellie Theresa, F.F. Cole and Sea Bird. The str. Empress of India will run from Toronto to Port Dalhousie, making connections with the Grand Trunk R.R. to Buffalo. Very expensive and radical changes have been made in the engines of this steamer, with a view of increasing her speed so as to equal that of any steamer running out of Toronto. This, with the expensive outfit she is receiving, will make her one of the finest steamers on the lakes. The str. Alexandria will run on the old route from Trenton to Montreal, leaving the former place every Monday morning. Steambarge Belle Wilson is being fitted out for the Georgian Bay and Lake Superior trade. The steambarge Carlyle is on the stocks in Redmond's yard being rebuilt. There will be six steamers leaving Picton daily this season for the various bay ports. The ice in the bay at Picton is still firm, and the prospects are that navigation will not open before the 20th or 25th.
The ice in the Bay of Quinte is considerably broken up from the prevailing winds. It is of short duration now. The schooner Gearing has been thoroughly repaired this winter and is now in good condition. Capt. Clark has just completed measuring his schooner Kate for a new outfit of sails. He is going to trade on the upper lakes this coming season. We wish him good success. Capt. M. Ackerman, owner of the schr. Flora, of this place, and Capt. T.B. Bookenshire, owner of the Nellie Hunter, of Cobourg, have just completed an exchange of vessels. A large quantity of wood will be shipped to Kingston from here on the opening of navigation, also a quantity of barley and rye.
The ice bridge at Deseronto is not broken yet, but residents are crossing the bay two miles above it in small boats. Vessel men are getting their boats ready, and expect to do a good freight business from this port. The following steamers are in readiness: Steamer Quinte, for the Picton and Trenton route; steamer Armenia, Ogdensburg and Deseronto route; steamer Deseronto, Picton and Deseronto route; steamer Pilgrim, Napanee and Deseronto route; steambarges Resolute, Reliance, and the tug Sherwood for the lakes. The Reliance has had extensive repairs to her boiler, and also larger wheels. Mr. Munson's dredge fleet is undergoing large repairs. The dredge is almost new and will be a good job when finished. A new barge for the Rideau Canal trade is in course of erection, and a new steamer for Mr. Wilson Garrett, Smith's Falls, to trade between that and Kingston, is being drafted.
The boats at Gananoque are being put in order for work as soon as the ice will permit. Capt. Bass expects, from the present prospects, to run the Puritan to Clayton within two weeks. Capt. W. Rothwell is fitting up the Princess, and will start her just as soon as he can get into Kingston harbor. Owing to the protracted sickness of his father, who is still under medical treatment, William will command the Princess this season. The Crusoe will be put to work on the Rideau until a new boat, now building, shall be ready to replace her.
p.2 Courtesy Extended - The Collinsby Rafting Co. wrote a few days ago to the American Custom House officials, asking if there was any timber along the shores of Lake Erie belonging to the Company. Mr. Leslie received very polite replies in the affirmative. The Company will send men to look after it immediately.
Here & There - Dan Bates has been appointed captain of the schr. Prince Alfred.
Capt. Pierce, the designer of Messrs. Folgers' new boat, now building at Alexandria Bay, is in the city.
The schr. St. Louis lying at Swift's wharf has been sold to Millard & Co., of Sarnia, for $7,500. She will be dismasted and used for carrying deals.
SAILORS' UNION TROUBLES.
The members of the Braddon-Paddon wing of the Seamens' Union claim that they are recognized by Mr. Murphy, of Toronto, the General Secretary of the Canada Branch of the Seamens' Union, and that he will state their case to the Chicago Seamens' Union. They also allege that all the officers of the McComb branch have been elected illegally, being in arrears.
The case of the Seamen's Union against Paddon, charging him with stealing the books, has been dropped. The Braddon party, it is said, will recover them.
The members of the McComb branch have been allowed to enter the police station and look over the records. They have got all the information they need. All they want now is a seal of the Union, and they can buy it for $5.
It is said that if McComb wanted to push the case against Paddon, for unlawfully taking the books, he could get all the money necessary for the purpose from Chicago, but the matter is regarded as trivial.