The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Constitution (Schooner), U127175, 15 Apr 1897

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Ship Building at West Superior.
      West Superior, Wis., April 14—It is well known here that members of the firm of Pickands, Mather & Co., who will own the new steel tow barge CONSTITUTION, now nearing completion at the yard of the American Steel Barge Co., are very much pleased with the vessel and everything pertaining to her construction. They have had more experience than most vessel owners on the lakes in the construction of steel vessels, and their requirements in this ship, together with the desire of the builders to turn out a first-class freight carrier, have combined to make the CONSTITUTION the equal of any craft of her kind afloat. She is a single decked tow barge for bulk freight only, with main deck beams but no laid deck, except at forward and after ends. The spar deck forward is raised to the height of main rail to form a forecastle deck The deck house aft, with pilot house on top and towing machine house forward, is of steel. Accommodations for the crew are on the main deck forward and in the deck house aft. There are three collision bulkheads, one forward and two aft, the space between the two after bulkheads to be used as a wrecking well and containing header and valves with stems leading up for access from the engine room floor. The vessel is built on the channel system, with three girders on each side of center, running fore and aft on top of floors and supporting the tank top; the second girder from the center running down and connecting to the bottom plating. All of the plating is of open hearth mild steel having a tensile strength of 52,000 to 62,000 pounds per square inch, the limit of phosphorus not exceeding .08 elongation not less than 24 per cent. in eight inches and a reduction in area of not less than 45 per cent. Rigid specifications in this regard have also been applied to rivets and all other parts. Dimensions and other leading particulars of the vessel are: Length over all, 379 feet 6 inches: length between perpendiculars, 366 feet; beam, molded, 44 feet; depth, molded, 26 feet; gross tonnage, 3,231.30; net tonnage, 2,997.76; tank top of steel, ½ inch thick, covered at bilges with steel ceiling; hatches eleven in number and all 24 feet between centers; three steel spars and three steel wrecking wells. Among new features of this vessel are wire mooring lines, an extra collision bulkhead aft and steel bilge ceiling. In the strong-backs of the hatch coverings there is also a new feature. Instead of the hook at the -end of the strong-back, a casting will be riveted onto the coaming and the strong-back fitted into it. Ventilation will be afforded in the hold, and windows in the houses will be 14 inches in size and round.
      Marine Review
      April 15, 1897
      Repair jobs to steel vessels, which form an important part of the business of the ship yards during the navigation season, seem to be all coming to Cleveland this spring. The new steel barge CONSTITUTION which struck at the Encampment in the Sault river on her first trip down, will be in one of the docks of the Ship Owners' company until probably Saturday of this week. It is unfortunate that the Constitution met with an accident on her first trip, as the excellent workmanship in all parts of the vessel has been favorably commented upon by everybody who has seen her. The survey, which was conducted by Robert Logan for the underwriters and Robert Curr for the owners, provided for the removal of forty futtocks, which were bent considerably and had to be taken out, furnaced and replaced. Forty futtock angles, which were too badly damaged to be put back, were made new, in addition to forty new angles and eleven new plates. The plates are 17 feet long and 5 feet wide.
      Marine Review
      June 3, 1897

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building, West Superior
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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Constitution (Schooner), U127175, 15 Apr 1897