The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Favorite (Propeller), 1 Feb 1907

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The wrecking steamer, FAVORITE, building for the Great Lakes Towing Co., was launched at the Buffalo yard of the American Ship Building Co., on Saturday last, and was christened by Mrs. Edward Smith, wife of the president of the Great Lakes Towing Co., and mother of Edward N. Smith, superintendent of the Buffalo Dry Dock Co.
The FAVORITE was designed by Mr. W.I. Babcock of New York and is the most complete and most powerful wrecking steamer in the world. A large member of vessel owners witnessed the launching, the towing company being represented by Thomas Johnson, assistant to the president, and Secretary H. Wardwell. The steamer is 195 ft. over all, 180 ft. between perpendiculars, 43 ft. molded beam, and 19 1/2, ft. molded depth. Her water ballast capacity is 600 tons and her fuel bunkers, which are in the spar deck aft of the pilot house hold 240 tons of coal. She-is built of 20-lb. steel, which is increased forward to 5/8-in. thick backed by angle frames spaced 12 in. apart to receive the impact of ice. She is expected to break almost any ice formation by throwing herself upon the surface by her tremendous power and cutaway of her bow section. The hull is pierced by only two gangways on the side 3 ft. wide and 5 ft. high on hinges. She has no windows whatever except in the pilot-house, the hull and cabin being lighted by deadlights. She is intended to live in any kind of weather and is practically non-sinkable.
Her engine is triple-expansion, 22, 36 and 60 in. diameters by 30-in. stroke, supplied with steam from two Scotch boilers, 15 ft. in diameter and 11 1/2 ft: long, allowed 180 lbs. pressure. Her wrecking equipment is most complete and elaborate. She has a steel A frame derrick forward with 60-ft. steel boom capable of handling a grab bucket with 3 tons of iron ore. She has a 5-ton boom derrick aft for handling plates and material in and out of after hatch and also for raising and lowering her power launch. This power launch, which is an entirely new departure on wreckers, is 30 ft. long and 5 ft. beam, equipped with a 20 H. P. engine, and is intended to be used for running lines to wrecks, etc., in heavy weather. The towing bitts are located 33 per cent of the boat's length forward of her rudder stock. They are built from structural steel and plates up to the towing post table. The table and posts are of cast steel, the table forming a sheave shell for two sheaves of 30 in. diameter for the towing cable. The towing machine is located 30 ft. forward of the towing bitts, while the towing bitts are forward of the main engine. The towing machine is forward of all openings on the deck. It is the largest towing machine that the American Ship Windlass Co. makes, handling 1,800 ft. of 2-in. wire cable.
The FAVORITE will really be a floating repair shop. Her machine shop will be equipped with lathe, shaper, pipe cutter, emery wheel, angle shears and punch. Her equipment will enable her to handle plates up to 1 in. thick and to make practically any repairs that strandings and collisions may entail on steamers. As practically the entire hull from main engine aft, including the space forward of collision bulkheads, can be used for water ballast, it is possible to get her deep enough to withstand the heaviest weather. Her air compressor is capable of delivering 500 ft. free air at 1OO lbs. pressure per minute and her equipment of pneumatic drills and hammers is very complete. Her electric plant is in duplicate of sufficient size to furnish illumination for the vessel, for her search light, and for her electrical tools. Her wrecking pumps and ballast pumps are of great capacity and she carries a complete equipment of portable wrecking tools, portable air compressors and hydraulic jacks. She has 8 3/4 stud link anchor chains with two 6,000 lb. anchors, and an American Ship Windlass co. steam windlass for handling them. She has cabin accommodations for 90 men and is without question the most self-contained and resourceful wrecker ever put on the great lakes.
The FAVORITE will be commanded by Capt. Alex Cumning. who achieved the enviable record last year of salving every ship that the Great Lakes Towing Co. sent him after—and many of them were difficult jobs. He certainly made a record for his company and for himself.
      The Marine Review
      February 7, 1907 42 & 43

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launch, Buffalo
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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Favorite (Propeller), 1 Feb 1907