The past few years has seen a wonderful advance in the size and general pretentiousness of side-wheel steamers on the great lakes. Four of the finest side or paddle-wheel steamers in America are those in service between Detroit and Cleveland and between Cleveland and Buffalo; and now the connecting rivers (Detroit and St. Clair) between Lake Erie and Lake Huron, are to have a magnificent light-draught steamer that will be in every respect equal to the handsome vessels of her kind on the Hudson river. The new steamer is the TASHMOO, which is being constructed by the Detroit Ship Building Co. of Detroit, Mich.
The TASHMOO is 312 feet in length over all, 300 feet on water line, 37 1/2 feet breadth, 69 feet breadth over all, 13 1/2 feet depth and 8 feet draught of water. The hull, which is constructed throughout of mild steel! is divided into six holds by five watertight bulkheads. On the main deck, which is of selected Oregon pine, is arranged a large saloon, forward of the shafts, with double entrance gangways on each side and broad stairs of mahogany leading to the lower and upper saloons. Immediately aft of the shaft is a large lobby, with entrance gangways on each side. The deck is covered with rubber tile, as are the stairs to the upper saloon. At the forward end of the lobby is a refreshment room. Aft is the main cafe, with an entrance on either side of the stairs. The private dining room is at the extreme after end and the galley, mess and store rooms are in the hold immediately under the cafe. On the promenade deck is the main saloon, extending about one-half of the entire length and on either side are arranged five large private parlors with bay windows. On the upper deck, which is arranged for the accommodation of passengers, is located the smoking room and quarters for the ship's officers. The pilot house is located on top of the smoking room. As the vessel is to be devoted exclusively to day service, only a few state rooms will be provided for use in case of sickness of passengers or emergencies of any kind. In cabin arrangements and the general furnishing of the vessel, no expense will be spared. An effort will be made to have the dining room especially elaborate and another part of the vessel in which every adjunct of luxury is to be provided is the smoking room, previously mentioned. This apartment will be 42 by 23 feet, and will be provided with a glass roof and sides, the latter permitting of an excellent view in all directions.
The steamer will be propelled by an inclined triple expansion engine, driving paddle-wheel propellers. The cylinders are 33, 51 and 82 inches in diameter and the stroke of piston 6 feet. The high pressure cylinder is fitted with a piston valve and the intermediate and low pressure cylinders have double-ported slide valves, all driven by the usual link motion. A direct steam reversing engine is provided. The crank shafts are 15 1/2 inches in diameter, the wheel shafts 18 inches in diameter; and the cranks of steel set 120 degrees from each other. The pillon blocks are of cast steel and connected to cylinders with wrought iron struts, which also form the guides for the crossheads. The paddle wheels are of the feathering type, 22 feet 4 inches in diameter over buckets, 12 feet face, with nine steel buckets 3 feet 9 inches wide. The wheel centers are of semi-steel and the arms of steel channels The air pump is vertical and worked by the high pressure engine with a pair of levers. The discharge is led through pipes and valves to tanks arranged on the guards to trim the steamer when required.
Steam will be supplied from two double-ended and three single-ended cylindrical boilers 11 feet 1 inch in diameter and 22 end 11 feet 1 inch in length, respectively. The total heating surface on the tubes is 2,057 square feet and the total heating surface in furnaces is 443 square feet, thus affording an aggregate heating surface of 2,500-square feet. The grate area with 6-foot bars is 84 square feet. There are 312 tubes in one boiler. The working pressure is 170 pounds, and the boilers are equipped with fourteen suspension furnaces, 42 inches in diameter. The boilers are located in the hold, entirely under the main deck. Two stacks are provided, each 6 feet 9 inches in diameter and 60 feet in height. They are surrounded by steel casings, extending from the main deck to 2 feet above the hurricane deck.
Duplicate electric generators are provided, having a total capacity of 800 lamps, and electric signal and search lights are also included in the equipment. Steam steering gear, capstans, etc., are provided. The steamer is expected to carry upwards of 4,000 passengers and will make 20 miles an hour, thus covering the round trip distance between Detroit and Port Huron and making the numerous stops at the pleasure resorts on the Detroit and St. Clair rivers, in four or five hours less time than any vessel that has yet been engaged on this route. The vessel is building for the recently organized White Star line of Detroit, of which B. W. Parker of that city is general manager. Should no unforseen difficulty intervene she will be completed and ready to go into commission June 1, 1900.
The Marine Review
February 8, 1900