It may not be known to many among those of our readers who are interested in lake navigation, either as proprietors or masters of steamers, schooners or other vessels employed on our inland seas, that during the last session of Parliament, an act was passed in which they and all others similarly concerned are commanded to do certain things, and that by the same act certain penalties are attached to the sin of omitting to meet these requirements to the fullest extent. We therefore beg leave to call their attention to the Act, 14 and 15 Vic., cap. 126, entitled "An act to amend an Act intitled 'an Act to compel vessels to carry a light during the night, and to make sundry provisions to regulate the navigation of this Province.' This act will come into force on the first day of April next, and it will be necessary for our marine friends to keep a "good look out," lest they run "foul" of the statute. It will be impossible to convey to the reader the precise direction of the law which will after the day just named regulate the navigation of Upper Canadian waters, as it would be extremely inconvenient to transfer to the Daily News the diagrams which appear in the schedule accompanying the Act, but of the general provisions of the statute we shall at once proceed to give a synopsis.
The first section requires that all steamboats whether propelled wholly or in part by steam, while navigating the waters of Upper Canada, shall be provided during the night with lights to be exhibited and affixed as follows: - when under weigh, a white light on flag-staff aft, a bright white light on the foremast head, a green light on the starboard bow, a red light on the port bow, to be fitted with inboard screens; and when at anchor, a common bright light at the foremast head. Schooners and other sailing vessels shall exhibit during the night, on the pawl bit or nighthead, under the conditions indicated, lights as follows: - when sailing before the wind a pale light; when on the starboard tack, a red light; and on the larboard tack, a green light. When at anchor a pale light in the foremast rigging. Sailing vessels running before the wind, or with the wind free, and making a steamer's light dead ahead shall pass on the starboard side, but if to avoid jibing mainsail, or for any other good reason, they shall wish to pass on the larboard side, then they shall show a green light, indicating that they are on the larboard tack, when the steamer will pass under the vessel's stern. In case of two vessels approaching one another on opposite tacks, the vessel on the starboard tack shall keep the wind, and the one on the larboard tack keep away, always, when tacking ship at night, shifting the light. Vessels in distress shall show both green and red lights.
The second section requires that all vessels shall be provided with a Fog Horn, or a Bell not less than 20 lbs. weight, which shall be sounded at regular intervals of not less than five minutes at a time, with an intermission of two minutes during a fog.
The third confirms the operation of these sections to Upper Canada.
The fourth empowers the Government to appoint Inspectors of steam-vessels at Quebec, Montreal, Bytown, Kingston, Toronto, Hamilton and Niagara, who shall inspect such boats when called on, and give certificates. There are to be inspectors of the machinery, and inspectors of the hull. Fee to each on inspection, 2 pounds 10s. The fourth, fifth and sixth sections prescribe the duties of these officers.
By the seventh section the master or owner of a vessel is required to have an inspection of the hull of a vessel at least once a year, of the machinery at least once in six months, and to deliver to the Collector of the port certificates of such inspection.
The eighth section requires that in a conspicuous and easily accessible place in every steam vessel there should be a steam gauge, properly constructed, and open to the view of all passengers and others on board of such vessel, and shewing at all times the true pressure of the steam in the boiler thereof. The safety valve shall be raised when the vessel is stopped. The pressure of steam shall never exceed that limited by the certificate of the Inspector. Penalty of 50 pounds in each case of offence.
The ninth section requires steamboats of 200 tons and under to carry two long-boats or yawls capable of carrying twenty persons each; over 200 tons, three such or larger boats. Penalty for omission 50 pounds.
The tenth renders it necessary that each steam vessel shall carry a suction hose and fire engine, and hose, suitable to be worked on such vessel in case of fire. Penalty, 50 pounds.
The eleventh and twelfth sections refer to civil actions for injuries arising from neglect of the requirements above mentioned, the recovery and application of costs, etc., and the last fixes the day on which the act shall come into force, viz., the first day of April, 1852.
Of all which it is highly important that the parties interested should take immediate notice, and "govern themselves accordingly."
Port Hope Harbor - We are happy to be able to announce, says the Port Hope Watchman, that the Town Council have purchased the Harbor and Wharf, with all the rights and privileges appertaining thereto, from the Company, for the sum of £11,500. We understand that extensive improvements are contemplated to be made on the Harbor and Wharves during the ensuing spring, which will render our harbor one of the best and safest on this side of the Lake, between Kingston and Toronto.
Jan. 15, 16, 17, 1852