The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), Dec. 4, 1852

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p.2 Ship-building, etc. In Kingston - We yesterday quoted from the Constitutional a statement of the amount of shipbuilding going on at St. Catherines, a statement which must have been exceedingly gratifying to all to watch with interest every step in the progression and prosperity of the Province. It affords us peculiar pleasure that we are enabled to add that quite as much in the way of ship-building is exhibited here as at St. Catherines. The Kingston Marine Railway ship-yard presents just now quite an animating scene. Three very large vessels are in progress, and preparations are making for laying the keel of a fourth. The first of these which strike the eye is a very finely modelled and strongly timbered schooner, building for Capt. Gaskin, intended for ocean navigation, and to be fastened accordingly. This vessel has 126 feet keel, 26 feet six inches beam and 11 feet hold; will measure about 370 tons. Another of like dimensions, but fitted with a double slip keel, is in frame hard by. This vessel, intended for the lakes, and like the last, of about 370 tons, is for J. Boyd, Esq., of this city.

Further on, the frame of a smaller but yet a very large schooner, of about 300 tons, is nearly up. This vessel, building for W. Meyers, Esq., of the Trent, will have 120 feet keel, 25 feet 6 in. beam and 10 feet hold. Besides these, a large steamer is to be built for the Wolfe Island Canal Company, intended as a Railroad ferry-boat. This steamer will be 200 feet in length, and have 84 feet of beam. It is intended that she shall draw but three feet of water, and be propelled by a powerful engine, having a 46 inch cylinder and a stroke of eleven feet. She is guaranteed by the builders to run 16 miles an hour, but will, in all probability, make 18. The engine will be built at the Kingston Foundry.

This exhibits a pretty fair amount of work for one establishment. What is doing, or is to be done at Portsmouth, at Ault's Railway, we have not been definitely informed, but we understand that the keel for a new propeller is to be laid, and that it is in contemplation to build a schooner yacht of 40 or 50 tons.

Besides, a pretty large number of vessels, steam and sail, have taken up their winter quarters, some of them requiring a good deal to be done to them preparatory to the opening of the navigation in the spring of next year. One steamer, which came here to obtain a new engine, has been unable to do so, in consequence of pre-existing engagements on the part of our foundries, and goes to Niagara for that purpose.

It is pretty evident, looking at these facts, that while St. Catherines has legitimate causes for boasting of the prosperity of its ship-yards, we have no occasion to complain that the increase in business at which the Constitutional rejoices, has been obtained at the expense of Kingston.

A case of some interest, arising out of the partial destruction of the steamer Comet, a couple of years since at Oswego, was recently tried before the Superior Court at Montreal, and is thus reported by the Herald:-

McPherson vs. The Montreal Insurance Company - The Comet - This action was tried last week, the verdict being given on Saturday night, in favor of the defendants. The plaintiff claimed £2,600 for the loss of the steamer Comet, which, it will be remembered, was lost some time ago by the explosion of her boiler at Oswego, and some £600 in addition, for expenses in raising her, etc. The defendants pleaded, substantially, that the boilers were insufficient; and that if they were proved to be sufficient, there was a clause in the policy of insurance, which excepted from the risks covered, explosions of the boiler not caused by "perils of navigation." On the first of these points the evidence was very contradictory; Engineers being called for the plaintiff, who declared that the boilers were perfectly good, and others for the defendants, who alleged them to be unsound; and one Engineer (Mr. Barnes of the Bay State), called for the latter, saying, that however good the boilers were, they, probably, could not have resisted such an explosion as seemed to have taken place. As to the contract for insurance, the plaintiffs attempted to show that there had been no policy delivered; but that their ordinary course of business with the Insurance Company had included the risks of boiler explosions, the policies which they had usually received not containing the clause excepting explosions, and contending that if the clause were there, the "risks of navigation" must be understood to include all perils incident to the navigation; while the defendants put in their printed policies containing that clause, and, though failing to prove that such a policy had been delivered, tendering evidence that it must have been in due course of the routine of the office. Mr. Justice Smith presided, and the jury gave a verdict, as we have said, in favor of the Insurance Company.

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Dec. 4, 1852
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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.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Daily News (Kingston, ON), Dec. 4, 1852