Largest Tow Barge on Fresh Water.
In selecting the steel tow barge JAMES NASMYTH as a pattern for the new boat to be added to the Rockefeller fleet, the management of the Bessemer Steamship Co. has extended a compliment to F.W. Wheeler & Co. of West Bay City, Mich., builders of the NASMYTH. The boat built at West Bay City was selected first on account of her size (she is the largest schooner or tow barge on fresh water), but Mr. L.M. Bowers, manager of the Bessemer company, says that he had another point in view, and that was the completeness of her outfit.
The West Bay City company has been complimented on several occasions for a very liberal disposition in fitting out new boats, and in the NASMYTH, as well as in the other Rockefeller steamer and barge which they have just completed, the matter of outfit and general equipment has been carried almost to extremes. The captains' quarters includes even a small safe for books, papers, etc.
Principal dimensions of the NASMYTH are: Length over all, 380 feet; length on keel, 366 feet; beam moulded, 44 feet 6 inches; moulded depth, 26 feet. She is constructed on the channel system, and has a double bottom divided into six compartments, having a total capacity of about 1,500 tons of water ballast. There are two watertight bulkheads, one forward and one aft, extending up to the main deck. The hold is divided into three compartments by two screen bulkheads. She is single-decked, being designed for bulk freight only. Her hold beams are placed every 8 feet apart, and forward and aft there is a steel deck. She is rigged with three pole spars and carries four sails. Her deck house aft with pilot house on top of same is of steel, as is also the towing machine house forward.
The after cabin gives accommodation to captain, mate, engineer and steward. The finish of these rooms is in hard wood, the captain's room being paneled in birch. The furnishings throughout are of the usual style supplied by Wheeler & Co. The dining room, galley and refrigerator are located on the main deck, directly aft of boiler and divided from the same by a steel bulkhead. The boiler room is 20 feet long and extends the full width of the ship. Here are located a Williamson steam steering engine, an electric light plant having a capacity of 150 lights, a boiler feed pump and ballast pump of the Dean Bros. type, with cylinders 12 and 16 inches by 18 inches stroke, connected to each compartment of the double bottom with separate suction and filling pipes. The pipes have all the necessary valves for filling and emptying the compartments of double bottom separately or all together.
The boiler is of the cylindrical return-tubular type, 8 feet diameter ter by 10 feet long, and carries a pressure of 120 pounds per square inch. The vessel is equipped with the steam towing machine, ,team
windlass and three capstans of the American Ship Windlass Co.'s make. She is also supplied with two 3,500-pound stockless anchors of the Vulcan type and has a 1,200-pound Kedge anchor placed aft on the spar deck amidships is fitted a double-cylinder steam hoisting engine, and forward on top of towing machine house there is ail auxiliary steam steering wheel for use in the rivers. The NASMYTH is, in fact, fitted with everything to insure safe navigation, comfort arid the rapid handling of cargoes, and is IN all respects a modern freighter. She is commanded by Capt. W.J. Hunt.
October 29, 1896