WHAT IS BEING DONE AT THE SHIPYARDS
SEVERAL NEW VESSELS ON THE BLOCKS
Half a Million Dollars Spent in Building and Repairing
The Detroit dry dock and ship-yard is one of the busiest spots in the whole city just now, and may be summed up as four or five acres of ships, builders, teams, saw-mills, and timber. The company is pushed to the extreme limit with jobs, and the full force that can be worked is employed ten hours per day. Three vessels are on the stocks - a propeller, a schooner and a tug. The propeller is the twin sister of the Inter-Ocean, and belongs to the same line and trade. She will be launched some time in April, ready for the spring trade, and during the season will be towed by the Inter-Ocean in the grain trade. The two will carry 100,000 bushels of wheat, and when the cargo is oats, the second deck can be heaped full. Her cost, when fitted out, will not be far from $70,000. Every plank and timber is of the very best quality, and a stauncher vessel than she will be has never been launched from the yard.
The Inter-Ocean, which was towed last year, has been receiving her mammoth machinery this winter, and will be ready to go out as soon as the lakes are clear. She is destined for the grain trade, and is one of the largest and staunchest propellers afloat. The cost of fitting her out will be about $50,000.
The new schooner is to be built for passing through the Welland Canal, and will be fully up to anything launched from the yard. She is 200 feet keel, 34 feet beam, 14 foot depth of hold, and will have a carrying capacity of 55,000 bushels of corn. Her cost will be about $62,000. She will be ready to launch in June.
The tug will be a large one like the Sweepstakes, and will be hurried up so as to be ready for the spring business. She will cost $30,000, and her machinery will be as powerful as a tug can carry.
The schooner Sweepstakes, which for several years carried the broom over any sail craft owned at Cleveland, has been almost entirely rebuilt this winter at a cost of $15,000. She will come out A1.
The tug Sweepstakes has been undergoing extensive repairs in the way of joiner work, and her machinery has received such an overhauling that it is as good as new.
The tug Champion has received a new and larger shaft, a new wheel, and has been generally overhauled. Her owners now look upon her as being in No. 1 condition.
The tug Niagara has been overhauled, and is ready to pass out the bow-line. Captain Williams, of the tug Sampson, has exchanged his interest in that vessel for one in the Niagara, and will command the latter this season.
The steamer Northwest has had her machinery overhauled, some new additions made, and will be in the hands of the painters next week.
The tug W. B. Castle has been in the hands of the machinists and carpenters, and comes out in good condition.
The tug Masters has had a number of improvements made in her machinery, and is ready to come out, as is the case with the Torrent.
The tug Satellite, always one of the most powerful on the river, has had some of her machinery replaced and the remainder put in good order. She will take her old rank among her class of craft.
The steamer W. H. Clinton is above, and her machinery is just now being overhauled, , and her deck was yesterday covered with carpenters.
The tug Vulcan, purchased by E. W. Hudson last fall, will come out in good order.
At Oades' ship-yard, a canaler is on the stocks, and will be launched in May. She is to be a fine, fast vessel, and a half-interest has already been sold.
At Jenkins' yard, on the Canada side, the new railroad ferry boat for the Canada Southern Railroad is well along, and as soon as she is launched the Jenkinses will commence a canaler for George Campbell, of Windsor. They will have her in trim for the fall trade, if not sooner.
The tugs Quayle and Wilcox, side by side in quarters, are having a general overhauling, and the Wilcox had steam up yesterday.
The wood scows Wild Flower and Pike's Peak, frozen fast in a slip, are being sawed and chopped out.. There are quite a number of the coasters along up the river, and most of them are being taken out of quarters and put under repair. As soon as the ice stops running these small craft will bend their sails and commence running in the wood trade.
The tugs Bartlett and Clara, side by side, will be out Monday ready for business. Both have been put in good order.
The schooner Wolverine is undergoing repairs to deck and bulwarks, and everything forward above the hull proper will be new and staunch.
The steam barge Mary Mills, which had wintered with a big cargo of lath on board, is being overhauled and will leave as soon as a voyage can be safely entered upon.
The steam barge B. W. Jenness is having her machinery overhauled, and is also having slight necessary repairs made.
One of Whitney's new steam barges, turned out at Trenton during the winter, is at the dock in the rear of the lime kilns, and her machinery is being put in place and the carpenters are putting on her upper works. She will tow a barge, as well as the other four, and will run on the Ogdensburg line in the lumber trade. She has no name yet.
The three-masted schooner Fred. Kelley, which was towed in the ore trade last year, is having another deck put on her, and double engines put in, at a cost of $30,000. She is almost, if not quite, as large as the Inter-Ocean, and has about the same carrying capacity. She will run in the grain trade and will tow a new barge. With steam and such a spread of canvas as she was fitted out with, the Kelley will be one of the fastest propellers afloat.
The propellers Annie L. Craig and B. F. Wade are undergoing repairs to machinery and upper works, and will be among the first out.
The Horns purchased the steamer General Grant of her Sandusky owners last fall, and she is now being painted and made ready for the voyage to this port as soon as the ice clears away. She may do a little service on the ferry route, but will be used principally as an excursion boat.
The old ferry boat Argo, after receiving considerable attention, has commenced the work of bringing down the freight cars made by the company in Hamtramck.
At Clark's dry dock there is one new propeller on the ways, and it is intended to have her ready for business by the 1st of May. She is being built for John P. Clark, is one hundred and thirty-two feet keel, thirty feet beam and nine and a half feet depth of hold; her engine is all ready to be placed. Her model is very fine, and bears out the intimation that she is to be one of the fastest of her class. It is rumored that she is to go on the Put-in-Bay route.
At the same yards the propeller Wenona - she that received such rough treatment last fall - has had new arches and a general overhauling. Her boilers have been made as good as new, and she is now about ready for business.
The steam barge St. Clair has nearly received her usual spring overhauling, which, in her case, was found to be light.
The Harvey H. Brown, and iron-ore barge, is about ready to receive her discharge from the carpenters' hands. Her repairs were found to be less important than had been anticipated.
The schooner Annie Sherwood also lies here, and is all ready. She comes out this spring as bright as ever. Her repairs were not necessarily heavy.
Close alongside the Sherwood lies the Mary Hattie. She is now all right again. Her repairs were only general.
At Jones' ship-yard are the hulls of two new steam barges of the largest class. They are designed for the iron ore trade. Both are the same dimensions, viz., 225 feet keel, 30 feet breadth of beam and 16½ feet in the hold. One is for Messrs. A. C. Burt and Herman Ralph, of Detroit, the other is for the three Captains Wright, White and Jones. These two vessels will be ready for sea about May 1st. They will class A1 in every respect.
The next vessels receiving general attention lie near the foot of Second street. The propeller Burlington is being converted to a steam barge. She was sunk last fall at Bar Point, but was successfully raised, and wintered in her present quarters. They are giving her a thorough rebuild, new decks, part new topsides and new boilers. She is now owned by the Western Transportation and Boat Company, and is to go into the lumber trade between Saginaw and Cleveland. Capt. Eugene Rathbun is to be master this season.
The propellers Forest City, R. J. Hackett and Colin Campbell are lying near by, and are each receiving general repairs, painting, etc. The engines are receiving careful attention, and the vessels will soon be in perfect trim.