The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Robert W. Wilmot (Propeller), U111200, 12 Jan 1899

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Most Powerful American Tug.
      The Towing Steamer ROBERT W. WILMONT Built by the Globe Iron Works Co,, Cleveland
      For W. G. Wilmont & Co., New Orleans, La, Her Voyage from Lakes to Gulf
The Globe Iron Works Co. of Cleveland has just delivered to W. G. Wilmot & Co., towing and wrecking contractors of New Orleans, La. the sea-going steel tug ROBERT W. WILMOT. In her voyage of 4,418 miles from the great lakes through the Welland canal, down the St. Lawrence river, Atlantic and Gulf coasts and up the Mississippi river to her destination this tug was subjected to a very severe test structurally and also as regards her general seaworthiness. The WILMOT, while not the largest enjoys the distinction of being, according to her builders and owners, the most powerful sea-going tug in America She left Cleveland Oct. 15, 1898, and alter weathering a heavy storm on Lake Ontario, reached Ogdensburg Oct. 20. She remained at Ogdensburg until Nov. 8, and then started through the St. Lawrence canals to Montreal, where she arrived Nov. 15 and took on coal. The tug was delayed at Pictou, N. S., three days by fog, and soon after leaving Port Mulgrove, N. S., encountered the heavy storm that did so much damage to shipping along the New England coast. From that time her entire journey down the coast was interspersed with constant buffeting of storms. She put into Norfolk, Va., for coal and stores As soon as she cleared from that port she encountered l rough weather again and steamed through heavy seas the entire distance to, Charleston, S. C. Another storm was raging when she put to sea, and finally a bit of very bad weather was experienced after the vessel passed around the Florida Keys and into the Gulf of Mexico. The statements of the officers and crew of the WILMONT constitute a splendid tribute to her builders. They say that she stood the heavy seas admirably no flaw- in her construction or weak point being discovered at any time. Indeed, the only evidence of rough experience was found in the discoloration of the paint and exposed steel work about the deck, pilot house and cabin. caused by the floods of water that passed over the vessel. Naturally the owners are pleased with the sea going qualities.
The ROBERT W. WILMOT is designed to replace the former ROBERT W. WILMOT, built for Wilmot & Co. in 1897 by Wheeler & Co. of West Bay City, Mich.. but which was purchased by the government at the outbreak the recent war and renamed the POTOMAC. and which will probably be retained permanently by the navy department. by reason 07 the fact that she is the only tug now in the fleet sufficiently powerful to tow a battleship with ease. The new ROBERT W. WILMONT is 156 feet 8 inches over all; 143 feet 4 inches between perpendiculars: 30 feet beam. molded: ]7 feet 6 inches depth. molded: spring of beam. amidships. 7 inches. The mean draught when loaded for sea is 14 feet. The tug has a coal capacity of 250 tons, 2,100 indicated horse power of engine or 2,200 collective horse power, including pump engines, and, according to the contract, developed a speed of 20 knots. A feature of the tug is the elaborateness of the interior furnishing. a provision made in view of the fact that the WILMONT will frequently be required to carry underwriter representatives to and from wrecks, and it may be necessary at times for them to live aboard for several days. The interior of the pilot house, owner's room, engine room, dining room and officers' rooms are neatly paneled with mahogany. and all the ceilings are paneled with white pine, the moldings being gilded.
      In the hull construction there have been used plates of open hearth mild steel of a tensile strength of 55,000 pounds per square inch. The deck plating is of a 12 ½ pound quality, except under the windlass and capstan, where 15-pound plating has been used. There are five water-tight bulkheads. The deck house is constructed entirely of steel. Aft of the store room is a room for three firemen and a lamp room with suitable shelves and fittings. The engine room is neatly paneled in black walnut and has a grating for cross passage through the deck house. The owner's room is located in the after end of the deck house on the starboard side. It is also finished in black walnut and has a double berth, lounge, office desk, water closet and other necessary outfit. The deck house has a continuous inside passage. Forward is the mess room, ceiled with white pine, and abaft of the mess room is the galley. Following in order are a bath room, store room and two water closets. The steel pilot house is located on top of the main deck house. The tug has considerable shear, and, as may be seen from the accompanying illustration, presents a very graceful appearance. The vessel has two steel masts. A fresh water tank of 1,000 gallons capacity is located forward in the lower hold. A refrigerated is also provided and a steam heating plant embraces every room in the vessel. Forward of the coal bunker below deck. space is provided for a crew of twenty men.
The power for the propulsion of the vessel is provided by one of the Globe company's triple expansion engines of the direct-acting vertical type. The cylinders arranged fore and aft, are 21. 33 ½ and 55 ½ inches in diameter by 42 inches stroke. The main valves are of the piston type for high pressure, intermediate pressure and low pressure cylinders. All v elves are worked by the Stephenson link motion, having adjustable cut-off. There are two boilers of the return tubular type, 12 feet 6 incites in diameter by 12 feet long. with three Adamson furnaces, 40 inches in diameter. A steam pressure of 185 pounds per square inch is allowed. The boilers are equipped with the Ellis & Eaves' induced draft. The tug is equipped with an independent duplex air pump of the admiralty pattern. a circulating pump, holler, feed. cooler and deck or fire pumps. The wrecking pump has a capacity of 60,000 gallons per hour. The vessel also hats a double-barrel capstan with quick gear engines. manufactured by the American Ship Windlass Co. of Providence. R.I. and a Shaw & Spiegle towing machine, supplied by the same firm. A Williamson worm geared steam steerer is also provided. The electric light plant. which was installed by the General Electric Co., consists of 250 incandescent lamps. a 20-inch search light and six portable cargo lamps for use in wrecking operations. The completed vessel costs considerably over $100,000,
      Marine Review
      January 12, 1899

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gone to coast
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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Robert W. Wilmot (Propeller), U111200, 12 Jan 1899