The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Thomas Cranage (Propeller), U145648, aground, 25 Sep 1911

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Built at Bay City, Michigan in 1893, the wooden package steamer THOMAS CRANAGE, of 2219 Gross tons, 1855 Net tons, owned by S.P. CRANAGE also of Bay City, stranded on the treacherous South Watcher Reef, N. W., from Giants Tomb Island in Georgian Bay, October 1911, her cargo was lightered from her but to no avail, a storm arose and she became a total wreck.
      Blue Book of American Shipping 1902 - 1911

      . . . . .
The wrecked vessel lies in a location N 44 deg. 56' 39
      Chart No.2283 W 80 deg. 05' 27"

at a depth of from 10 to 25 feet and straddles the reef, her engines, rudder and the ships bottom, together with some hardware is all that is now left (1971)

      . . . . .

Official Number and Tonnage:-
steam--THOMAS CRANAGE, Port Huron, Michigan. 2,219.52 Tons Gross 1,855.59 Tons Net
Official Number-145,648
      Marine Record
      Aug. 17, 1893


      A remarkable blending of what is newist in modern machine engineering practice, with what most shipbuilders and owners in this country would consider thoroughly obsolete is exemplified in the American steamer THOMAS CRANAGE, recently built on Lake Michigan, and now doing freight service on the Great Lakes. This consists briefly in triple expansion engines using steam at 160 lbs., pressure, being fitted into a splendid ship 330 feet long by 43 feet broad, built almost entirely of wood!
This vessel is probably the largest wooden steamer in the world, her hull being of Michigan white oak throughout, except the white pine deck planking. Steel is used to a limited extent for the purpose of tying the framework. A belt of steel 14 inches by 7/8 inch is carried round the heads of the frames, and two similar belts are fitted from about midship to run diagonally to the heel and the forefoot of the vessel respectively. The tonnage of the vessel; is 2,200 tons gross, and 1,856 tons net, and the displacement is 4,000 tons. She carries 3,050 tons of iron ore on a draught of 16 feet 8 inches, or a cargo of 110,000 bushels of wheat on a draught of 16 feet 6 inches. Her triple expansion engines, with cylinders of 20 inches, 33 inches and 54 inches by 42 inch stroke, drives a single screw; a feature of some novelty -- though of doubtful efficiency -- being a universal coupling which connects the crank and thrust shafting to the propeller shaft. The engines and boiler are placed well aft, as in most lake cargo steamers, the boilers, two in number -- being of the scotch pattern, 14 feet diameter and 12 foot long, carrying as has been stated, a pressure of 160 lbs. per square inch. The vessel it is said, has a regular sea speed of 13 and a half knots, and a maximum of 14 knots per hour.-Marine Engineer, London.
      Marine Record
      August 11, 1898


Steam screw THOMAS CRANAGE. U. S. No. 145648. Of 2219 gross tons. Built 1893. On September 25, 1911, vessel stranded on Watcher Island, Georgian Bay, Ont., with 17 persons on board, no lives were lost.
      Loss Reported of American Vessels
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1912

Steam screw THOMAS CRANAGE. U. S. No. 145648. Of 2219 gross tons; 1855 tons net. Built West Bay City, Mich., 1893. Home port, Port Huron. 305.0 x 43.0 x 20.7 Crew of 16 Of 1,050 indicated horsepower.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1902

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
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Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.945 Longitude: -80.085277
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Thomas Cranage (Propeller), U145648, aground, 25 Sep 1911