Capt. McDougall's great aim in the passenger boat which he proposes to run between Chicago and Mackinaw during progress of the World's Columbian exposition will be to secure a high rate of speed. He claims that the whaleback steamers now in commission would make 15 or 16 miles all hour if their power was as great as some of the big steel boats in the ore trade.
The Marine Review
September 17, 1891
The accompanying rough illustrations, furnished to the New York Sun by the eastern office of the American Steel Barge Company, will give an idea of the plans partially prepared by Capt. Alexander McDougall for a whaleback passenger boat, after the model of the CHARLES W. WETMORE, which crossed the Atlantic, and other cargo .carriers of the same type now in use on the lakes and on the Atlantic coast. The illustrations, although not intended to present detail, show in general the style of boat, of which Capt. McDougall has had a painting made for exhibition at the offices of the company, and which is intended, if built, to be given a trial during the World's Columbian Exposition in the passenger trade between Chicago and Mackinaw island, the greatest pleasure resort on the lakes.
The main feature of the passenger boat is simply an extension from stern to bow of the system of turrets upon which the officers' quarters are now built in the whaleback cargo vessels. By laying a steel platform over all of these turrets, that shall be supported on its outboard edges by a row of steel pillars on either side and then building a two-story house, fore and aft, on this platform the thing is done. The New York owners of the whaleback patents say that they actually propose to build a passenger boat after this style to compete with the Atlantic liners in the essential elements required of a passenger ship-safety, speed and comfort. Naturally some changes would be.. made in the whaleback cargo ship. For a passenger ship very much larger and heavier engines would be needed, and the stokehold and engine room would be placed amidships. Twin screws would be needed-possibly three would be used. But on the whole the difference between a cargo whaleback and a passenger whaleback would not be so very great. The hull would lie low in the water. The turrets and pillars would rise tip at intervals leaving such wide spaces that even the heaviest sea sweeping along would, according to the claims of the builders, pass over the hull unimpeded.
In connection with the plans for a passenger boat the owners of the whaleback patents lay great stress on the principle in co construction that instead of being pushed over by a wave rising on one side and exerting its force in one direction entirely, the wave is divided and rolls over the hull. The yacht LIVADIA, built for the Emperor Alexander of Russia, is referred to as proof of the soundness of this principle, although she lies sunk in the harbor of Sebastopol, on account of structural weakness. In a storm in the Bay of Biscay she is said to have heeled to an angle of less than five degrees. The LIVADIA was 80 feet broad and 240 feet long and a solid trunk rising from the curved sides instead of the turrets used on the whalebacks.
The Marine Record
October 1, 1891