Calvin vs. Collinsby Rafting Co. - This case was continued today. The case arises out of a business transaction between Messrs. Calvin & Breck and the Collinsby Rafting Co., the plaintiffs agreeing to convey rafts from Kingston to Quebec. During the passage of one of the rafts, and while on Lake St. Francis, a gale arose from the southwest, in the course of which the raft was broken up and the timber lost. The plaintiffs sue defendants for the towage, which the latter resist on the ground that it was owing to the negligence of the captain of the tug Bay of Quinte that the raft was broken up. A very large number of witnesses were examined in the case, which has excited unusual interest in marine circles. All day yesterday was occupied with the examination of witnesses for the plaintiff, but the evidence in a great measure is of a technical character. A considerable number of witnesses are Frenchmen, and this adds to the difficulty of the case. The defence opened this afternoon, Mr. W. Lesslie, Manager of the Rafting Co., being the first witness.
Marine matters are becoming a little more lively, and much speculation is indulged in as to the prospects of the present season. It is generally expected that it will be much better than has existed for the last two years.
The schr. S. & J. Collier arrived this morning at the St. Lawrence and Chicago Forwarding Company dock with 10,000 bush. wheat from Toronto. This is her second trip for the season.
The schr. Arabia has been thoroughly overhauled and repaired during the past winter, and has now been painted white. She looks remarkably well. The Lady Franklin towed her out to the Penitentiary wharf this morning to load stone for Goderich, where she will take a cargo of salt for Chicago.
The schr. Olive Branch has arrived with a cargo of coal from Oswego for the Gas Company.
The steamer Spartan was making a trial this morning of her wheels. She is quite ready for a start.
Shipbuilding at Portsmouth is very lively, lots of work being done at the yards there. Messrs. Chaffey and Pierce are doing a large share of it. The Oliver Mowat is on the ways getting her bottom overhauled. The steamer J.H. Camp, of Cape Vincent, is about being hauled out for repairs. The steambarge Saxon was recently launched after being repaired. The new steam yacht is being rapidly got ready, and the new tug for the Collinsby Rafting Company is in a fair state of completion, and will be launched soon.
A Conundrum - A popular and well-known Marine Inspector was asked the other day what would be required to make a condemned vessel eligible to be classed A 1. He said the only thing he knew of would be to draw her ends apart and build a new schooner between them. We believe the owners did not take the hint.
The tug Glide, belonging to the Montreal Transportation Company, leaves tomorrow for Oswego, to load coal for Montreal. This is resuming the trade of last season, and it is probable that four barges will be on this summer.
A Toronto despatch says: No activity in navigation is noticeable yet, vessel owners not being willing to accept shipper's prices.
A correspondent of the Detroit Post believes the coming season of navigation will be the beginning of better times for the vessel men, not that the average freights on corn, 8 cents per bushel, for the past 15 years, will be the prevailing rate, nor does he wish to see as high an average. He gives his reasons for the hope that is in him as follows: The railway magnates have buried the hatchet having found that combination is better than quarrelling and cutting each others' throats. The number of vessels will be smaller. The season will be shorter, because owners will not go into expense at the beginning at a risk of loss. Insurance rates will be 20 per cent lower, and other reasons are advanced.
The schooner Olive Branch, Capt. Hull, arrived at Oswego on Sunday night from Kingston with a cargo of rye for Irwin & Sloan. This is the first arrival of grain by lake this season.
A few days since the steam barge Winona which was sold in Detroit for $7,200 (sic). In 1859 she was built at a cost of $64,000. She was rebuilt four years ago, and, being in excellent condition, it was supposed that she would bring about $10,000. "But," says the Detroit News, "buyers nowadays come down to the hardpan principle that the returns which a vessel can bring is the only basis on which to calculate her value."
Port Colborne, April 24th - Up - schooners Flora Carveth, Port Hope, Cleveland, light; Sky Lark, Ogdensburg, Cleveland, iron ore; Magelan, St. Catharines, Bay City, light; Montery, Clayton, Detroit, do.; J. Graham, St. Catharines, Bay City, do.; Wacousta, Toronto, Cleveland, do.; B. Barwick, Toronto, Bay City, do.; James Scott, Port Colborne, Buffalo, wood and eggs; Clayton Belle.
Down - schooners Geo. Warren, Detroit, Brighton, light; Elvina, Detroit, Oswego, wheat; John Wesley, Toledo, Oswego, corn; J.M. Scott, Toledo, Oswego, corn; James Scott, Port Burwell, Port Colborne, wood and eggs; Samana, Toledo, Oswego, wheat and corn; A.L. Andrews.
In Harbour - schooners H. Dudley, Magelan, Clayton Belle, Wacousta, B. Barwick, Montery, J. Graham.