A letter from the Washington correspondent of the Marine Review states that he is informed by Naval Secretary Seth M. Ackley of the lighthouse board that the work of preparing plans for new light- house tenders for service on the great lakes will be begun in the near future. He stated that the inspectors in charge of the various districts had been written to with a request that they submit recommendations and suggestions for the vessels and that as soon as they are heard from the preparation of plans will go forward. The need of more light-house tenders and supply boats on the great lakes has lately been impressed upon the vessel interests in many ways, probably the most emphatic of which was the denial of the request of the committee on aids to navigation of the Lake Carriers' Association for several much needed buoys, on the ground that there was no tender available that could be utilized in caring for them. That the work imposed on the vessels now in service has been unduly arduous has been conclusively demonstrated. In the ninth district, for instance, the tender DAHLIA, an iron side-wheeler steamer, built in 1874 and of about 333 tons burden, steamed 12,437 miles on a consumption of 644 gross tons of coal. The DAHLIA has been extensively improved during the past year or so, the rigging having been shortened and repaired. new steering gear provided, etc., as well as a new deck house and new pilot house. The tender is, however, entirely too small and too slow for the work of the district. When making a trip with supplies it is necessary to crowd the holds, gangways and living spaces, and consequently the provision of additional facilities are impatiently awaited. To add to the inconvenience there is now no tender for the engineer service of this district, which was formerly performed by two tenders under the direction of the engineer station at Detroit. One the vessels, the WARRINGTON, has been transferred to the engineer of the tenth district and is stationed at Buffalo, while the increasing work of the ninth and eleventh districts has made it necessary to detail a separate officer as engineer of the ninth district, and this official who is stationed at Milwaukee, feels the imperative need of a steamer to attend to aids to navigation on Lake Michigan and Green bay.
A vessel which should certainly be replaced by a more modern craft is the HAZE, now in the service of the tenth district. She is a wooden side-wheel steamer, built in 1876, and is of about 274 tons burden. Extensive repairs were made in 1895-96 and again in 1898, and considering that the vessel is 22 years old she is in fair condition, but is totally inadequate for the extensive work of the district. The WARRINGTON, referred to above, is a wooden steam barge of 300 tons burden, and was built in 1868. She has been practically rebuilt within the past few years.
Perhaps the best of the lake tenders is the MARIGOLD which is in the service of the eleventh district. She was built in 1890 and is of about 450 tons burden. Some idea of her capacity may be gained from the statement that during the season of navigation in 1898 she steamed 16,275 miles and consumed about 860 tons of coal. The work of the AMARANTH embraced service in both the ninth and eleventh districts, and in the aggregate she steamed about 12,055 miles on a consumption of 990 net tons, of coal. The AMARANTH is a steel vessel, built in 1892, and is of about 744 tons burden.
The Marine Review
May 25, 1899