The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), July 7, 1864

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p.2 The Double-Screw On the Lakes - The Merritt

The use of two screw propellers in sea-going steam vessels has lately come into vogue in the English Merchantile service, and is particularly recommended as adapted for ships of war. What brought the principle into prominent notice among English builders was the surprising advantages and facility of manoeuvring which, were shown to be possessed by a small vessel built on the Thames. Next, a large sea-going vessel contested in an encounter of speed one of the swiftest paddlewheel steamships in the British Postal Service. This encounter - the race in the English Channel, on a trip between the French and English coasts, of the Mail Steamer Vivid and the double screw steamer Atlanta - acquired great note on account of the Atalanta's (sic) superior speed and the ease of management in a heavy seaway. The result of this challenge established the advantage of the new plan, and double screw steamships are now counted among the real improvements of modern naval architecture. On the Canadian lakes, the plan of having a separate screw shaft under each counter was tried long ago, but although the advantages which this plan is now shown to possess were then realized, an attendant disadvantage incidental to the nature of our navigation was felt in sufficient force to dissuade builders from continuing the plan of construction. These vessels were of a capacity adapted to pass through the canals of our system of inland navigation; and, being of narrow beam, the "stern wheels," as they were called, projected somewhat and were frequently broken by coming in contact with the sides of a narrow canal. But in the Merritt, a lake steamer launched early this season, the plan of a double screw has again been resorted to, and a style of build has been attempted in her which more securely protects the double screws from the dangers consequent upon the sheering of a vessel's quarter on the bank of a canal. The Merritt is of greater tonnage and wider breadth of beam, and the screws without being much reduced in size are not allowed to project dangerously. Thus the old defects have been got rid of, and the double screw is once more able to speak for itself in this part of the world. The vessel has now made two round trips between Kingston and Port Dalhousie, and has shown herself to be a very manageable boat on account of the independent operation of the two propellers. The Merritt, as has been previously described, is a vessel built for a freight trade, and therefore a carrying capacity more than speed has been aimed at in her construction. She is of 864 tons, capable of carrying 35,000 bushels, barque rigged, and fitted with auxiliary steam power in the shape of the double screw propellers to which we have referred. The engines are in two sets, one for each shaft, and each made up of a pair of cylinders and other appendages, with the cranks placed at right angles to each other, as in the best marine engines of British model. The diameter of a single cylinder is twenty inches; length of stroke of piston, eighteen inches; number of cylinders four, working at 45 pounds pressure, on the condensing plan. The horsepower of the engines is computed at two hundred so that for tonnage and displacement she is under powered. The last trip from Port Dalhousie to this port, a distance of one hundred and eighty miles, was performed in twenty-one hours and a half, equal to a rate of eight miles and a third per hour. The Merritt had on board 21,000 bushels of grain, and had a loaded barge inn tow carrying 12,000 bushels. The speed of the vessel is about that of the smaller sized propellers on the lakes. Bye and bye there will be an opportunity to try the qualities of the craft and her engines at sea, as we understand it is still the intention of the Messrs. Chaffey to send the vessel on an Atlantic voyage for the winter.

p.3 Imports - 6th - Str Huron, Hamilton, 48 kegs sundries, Anderson & Ford; 5 bxs soap, H. Somerville.

Str Kingston, Hamilton - gen cargo.

Barges Elk & Crosby, Montreal - 10,000 firebrick, 12 bbls fire clay, 3 bars iron, for Provincial Penitentiary.

Barge Matilda, Toronto - 12,365 bus wheat, J. McL. & Co., Montreal.

Str Kingston, Ottawa - gen cargo.

Str Grecian, Montreal - do.

Str Bay of Quinte, Belleville - do.

Barge Les Montreal - 1 case cigars; 1 hhd mustard, Hugh Fraser; 3 cases washing crystal, J.C. & Co., 14 tons scrap iron, Glassford Jones & Co.

Str St. Lawrence, Montreal - 7 kegs, Fraser & George.

Schr Niagara, Chatham - 12,000 feet lumber, Calvin & Breck.

Schr Shickluna, Port Dalhousie - 12,000 bush wheat.

7th - Str Passport, Hamilton - gen cargo.

Str Ontario, Lewiston - (mixed cargo)

Str Pierrepont, Cape Vincent - (mixed cargo)

Clearances - 6th - Schr Paragon, Toronto - 25 toise stone.

Barge Harvest, Montreal - 15,150 bus wheat.

Barge Matilda, Montreal - 780 bbls flour, 18,197 bus wheat.

Barge Juno, Montreal - 10,800 bus wheat.

Schr Seagull, Cleveland - 300 tons iron ore and 50 bus oats.

Sloop S.P. Beady, Clayton.

Schr A.J. Rich, Chicago - 20 cds wood.

Schr Canada, Oswego - 110,000 ft lumber.

7th - Barque Arabia, Chicago.

Barge Champlain, Montreal - 20,363 bus wheat.

Barge Beaver, Montreal - 7,400 bus wheat.

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July 7, 1864
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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), July 7, 1864