Prospects of the Season
Judging from present appearances the yachting season of '76 promises to be a lively one. Already some interesting engagements are talked of, and from the preparations which yachtsmen all over the Province are making, it is fair to infer that many races not yet thought of will take place before the season is far advanced.
The fine schooner-yacht Oriole is now being thoroughly refitted and repainted in this city, and will shortly be ready to sail.
The Lady Stanley, the Ina, and the Brunette are all coming out this season in first-rate form, while the famous old Coral will, it is expected, be as good as new again and put in her claim to a place in the first rank of the racing squadron of the lakes.
The Annie Cuthbert is now undergoing some improvements at Cobourg, under the supervision of her builder, Captain Cuthbert.
At Belleville, the Dauntless (formerly the property of Lord Dufferin) is being rebuilt from the water line.
At Kingston Mr. Cunningham has built two very fine second-class yachts, which make a total of three good second-class yachts built in that city within a year.
A full description of the splendid new schooner-yacht Countess of Dufferin, now being built at Cobourg, has already appeared in the Mail. She will doubtless be a very fine vessel, but some yachtsmen express regret that her builder, when deciding to build a yacht for the Centennial races as a representative of the views and tastes of Canadian yachtsmen, had not availed himself of the suggestions which the men supposed to be represented might have made had their counsel been sought. All agree, however, in expecting that the Countess of Dufferin will be a credit to the country she hails from.
The old veteran Gorilla is now at Cobourg and will probably be in racing fit this season, while her old-time rival, the Rivet, lies sunk near one of the lips in Toronto harbour, with only the top of her spar showing above water.
One of the most exciting topics in yachting circles just now is a proposed match between the Cora of Detroit, and the Annie Cuthbert, of Hamilton. It is stated on good authority that very shortly the owners of the last mentioned yacht will receive a challenge from the representatives of the Detroit sloop, who are said to be anxious for a chance to win back the laurels they lost in the last match between these two yachts. The proposal will be for a series of races extending over three days, the contests to take place over the Toronto course. A match of this kind would in all probability give ample opportunity for a thorough test of all the sailing qualities of these fine sloops, and permanently set at rest the question of superiority. Yachtsmen here are very confident that the Cuthbert could repeat for her former victory over the Cora, under any circumstances (bar accidents), and express themselves as very anxious that the match should take place.
As yet no definite arrangements have been made for this season, but it is probable that Charlotte will start off with a meeting commencing between the 20th and 25th of June. Kingston will probably follow on July 1st, and Cape Vincent on the 4th. It is also expected that before the Countess of Dufferin goes to New York her sailing qualities will be tested in a friendly match with the Oriole.
p.2 The Ina Sold - The Napanee Standard says: "It is stated that the Ina has been purchased by some parties in Chicago. If this be so then Kingston and Belleville will be jubilant and some other places hardly less joyful." We do not see why Kingston should be jubilant at the sale of the Ina. There have recently been built here several yachts which might show even the Ina a clear pair of heels.
Grain Shipments - A new feature in grain shipments from Toronto was inaugurated today by Messrs. Crane & Baird. This firm has chartered the schooners Marquis and Bentley and the steam tug W.R. Robb, loaded the former with 45,000 bushels wheat and despatched them direct for Montreal. The terms of the charter require that the tug shall tow the schooners through to Montreal, and the rate of freight is 6 cents per bushel. It is possible that Messrs. Crane & Baird may prove pioneers in a new system of shipment, as this plan affords the benefit of steam transit at a reduced rate of freight. [Mail, May 2nd]
The yachting season in Kingston is to be a brilliant one to all appearance. There was launched yesterday a ten ton cutter-rigged yacht for Mr. George Offord, of a very handsome model. She is named the Emma, her length all over 31 feet, beam 10 feet, and she draws about 2 1/2 feet of water. She was built by Messrs. Robinson & Son. The canvass was furnished by Oldrieve & Horn, and she cost nearly $1,000.
Mr. Henry Cunningham has also ready for launching a second-class yacht of ten tons, built to the order of Mr. M.W. Strange. She is named the Zitella, sloop-rigged, 31 feet over all, 10 1/2 feet beam, draws 18 inches aft and 15 inches forward. She is built of pine, with double oak frames, with bent frames between one foot centres, and has a portable cabin. The canvass is also furnished by Oldrieve & Horn, and was modelled and built by Mr. Cunningham. Mr. Cunningham has two other yachts on hand, one built for Mr. G.E. Roy, of Montreal, of five tons, cat rigged, and of very elegant model. He also launched a few days ago for Mr. T.B. Graham, of Belleville, a beautiful little yacht of 2 1/2 tons, 18 feet over all, 6 1/2 feet beam, named the Gipsy Belle. Her two bottom planks and sheer streak are of oak, and the rest clear pine; her stern is round, and the deck is butternut and cedar, with an air tight tank in her bow.
Mr. Cunningham has a large number of orders for skiffs, etc., and is now building a cutter for Captain Cuthbert's Countess of Dufferin.
Mr. Andrew McCorkell has a large number of orders for boats, extending from St. Catharines to the Lower St. Lawrence. He is engaged on a very handsome boat for Manitoba, and also one for the Centennial yacht, which will be 19 feet long, and beautifully finished, copper fastened, and with all the latest improvements. Mr. McCorkell says the demand for boats is greater this season than ever.
There are no grain arrivals to report today.
The propeller Calabria is reported to have sunk at the foot of the Matilda Canal. She was loaded with wheat from Toronto to Montreal. The tug Bay of Quinte and barge Iroquois have gone to her rescue.
The schr. Mary Grover is reported ashore near Brockville. Messrs. Folger Bros. have sent assistance to her.
At Swift's dock the Corsican arrived from Hamilton, and the Bay of Quinte coaled prior to going down the river.
Calvin & Breck's first raft for Quebec left on Tuesday evening in tow of the steamer Chieftain.
The schr. Dundee left Cleveland last night with coal for Hamilton.
The schr. Annie Falconer is loading grain at Toronto for Kingston.
The schrs. Marquis and Bentley, in tow of the tug Robb passed down the river on Tuesday evening, with about 45,000 bushels grain.
The ice bridge at Quebec is still firm, and the Montreal Transportation Company have not yet received their barge crews in consequence.
The barge Saxon is getting a new wheel at the Dockyard, and the steamer Queen is to be bailed out for repairs.
Port Colborne, May 3rd, 7 p.m. - Up - steambarge Wm. Cowie, Ogdensburg, Saginaw, light.
Down - prop. City of Concord, Chicago, Ogdensburg, gen. cargo; Alma Munro, Port Stanley, gen. cargo.
In harbour - schr. Union, H. Dudley, Snowbird, Russian, Farewell, Baltic, Garibaldi, Perry White, tug Martin, prop. Germania and tow, prop. Pittsburg and tow.