The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Advertiser and Tribune (Detroit, MI), 21 Jun, 1877

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EXPENSES OF A VOYAGE TO ENGLAND. - Some time since at the request of one of the largest vessel owners of this city, Capt. T. A. Burke, who commanded the Alice, we believe, in her late trip to Liverpool, furnished a statement of the expense of a vessel in a trip to Liverpool and return. As considerable inquiry is being made for vessel to take cargoes to that port, we publish a few facts summarized from the statement for the interest of all interested.

This estimate takes no account of the expense of fitting out a vessel which may range from $500 to $2,000. It is assumed that the vessel is in perfect order for the trip, having extra main and foresails, two jibs, rigging well set up, and that all gear to lower sails is in good condition. Neither is account taken of the cost of loading and unloading cargo, as some engagements are made free of that expense. The Alice, says Capt. Burke, was loaded free, and the expense of unloading at Liverpool was $14.

The statement of Capt. Burke, without giving items in detail, is as follows:

Time, Detroit to Liverpool and return 134 days.
Pay of crew, 4 1/2 months$1,530
Provisions, oil, and fuel $550
Miscellaneous expenses Detroit to Liverpool; towing piloting, harbor dues, etc.$876
Return expenses $656
Total expense of trip $3,612

The following additional information is gathered from Capt. Burke's letter:

In 1858-60, when so many vessels went to sea, sailors' wages were $16 to $18 per month, and the expense of the R. H. Harmon in 1859, out and return, was $3,500.

No vessel can leave the lakes after July 1st and return to them the same season. A vessel leaving Detroit later than October 15 might reach Quebec in season to get out that fall.

There is always a market for vessels in Great Britain, but never more than their real cash value.

The "Plimsoll Law" does not prevent vessels without class or character from going to sea with cargoes, but it forbids English subjects from owning or employing them, and has proved a sort of "big bonanza" to the poor shipowners on the continent, many of whom have mercantile houses and agencies in the chief houses of Great Britain.

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21 Jun, 1877
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Dave Swayze
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Detroit Advertiser and Tribune (Detroit, MI), 21 Jun, 1877