The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Sept. 6, 1884

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The largest wooden craft ever built will be launched in Bay City, Mich., in a few days. The name of the monster ship is the Australasia. This craft is being constructed in A. Davidson's ship yard. She is a double decker and has seven hatchways. When completed her cost will be about $150,000. Her first cargo will be a load of salt to Chicago. No officers have yet been appointed, but it is understood that Capt. Davidson will command her on her first trip. The Bay City Evening Press gives a description of the huge steamship. The following are her dimensions: extreme length, 305 ft.; length of keel, 285 ft.; breadth of beam, 40 ft.; depth of hold 22 ft.; depth of lower hold, 12 ft.; distance between decks, 10 ft. Her keel was laid about November 1, 1883, and since then from 75 to 150 men have been employed upon her. The "skeleton" of the boat, so to speak, is enclosed in a complete network of iron bands, which the planking hides from view. A belt or girt of iron ten inches wide extends from stem to stern on the outside near the top of frames, and on the inside is another band of the same dimensions. To this the outside cord is thoroughly riveted. The latter are riveted straps five inches wide and half an inch thick, which take a diagonal course to the turn of the bilge, where they take hold of the long floor timbers. These diagonal straps commence at every opening of the frame cross twice, and are firmly riveted at each crossing.

The Australasia has probably the largest engine on the lakes. It is a fore-and-aft compound, the high-pressure cylinder being 30 inch bore and 45 inch stroke, the low-pressure 54 inch bore with the same stroke. The boilers are made of Otis steel. They are two in number, 8 feet shell and 27 feet long. They rest on the lower deck. The shaft is 11 inches in diameter; the wheel 12 1/2 inches (sic) in diameter, with fourteen feet lead. The pilot-house, captain's and officers' quarters are forward, the crew's between decks aft, and the engineers' and steward's aft. They are all large and commodious, conveniently arranged and handsomely furnished. The net tonnage is now being figured upon by the Government officer. Her carrying capacity is estimated at 3,000 net tons, 600,000 bushels of corn, or 2,000,000 feet of lumber.



The Corinthian, Toronto, and Corsican, Montreal, touched at Swift's yesterday.

The steamer St. Lawrence will remain on the Cape-Alexandria Bay route as long as the travel remains good.

The captain of the schr. Sylvester Neelon is looking for a crew. His vessel has been chartered to load ore at Weller's Bay.

The schr. Belle has been towed into port. The wrecking firm of Donnelly & Son raised her, but in a leaking condition. Her coal will be discharged.

The Maggie Muir arrived at the M.T. Company's wharf this morning from Chicago, with 23,736 bushels of corn. She was sent to the K. & M.T. Co., at Portsmouth, to be discharged.

Had the captain of the Pierrepont on Thursday night been as reckless as some mariners appear to be there would have been a collision with the Hero. The Pierrepont was slowed up, and the Hero allowed to pass, and the shave after all was close enough.

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Sept. 6, 1884
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
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Daily British Whig, 6 September 1884 Daily British Whig, 6 September 1884
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), Sept. 6, 1884