The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Tribune (Detroit, MI), Mar. 20, 1874

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THE SAN DIEGO. - One of the finest vessels ever built at Detroit is now ready for her spars and is to receive the Campbell & Owen's as soon as she can be towed up from Clark's shipyard, where she was built. It is the San Diego, and is a three-masted, double-topsail schooner of the following dimensions: Length overall, 209 feet; beam, 55 feet 8 inches; hold, 14 feet; capacity 14,000 gross tons*or 50,000 bushels of corn. The following details in reference to her construction were kindly furnished by William Morris, foreman of the yard:

There are two stringers, inside and out, notched on the stanchions one inch. There are six streaks of five inch plank below the covering board, notched one inch on the frame. The clamps are notched on the frame and there is a knee under every beam and carling in the hold. The keelsons and sister keelsons are 14x16; the rider keelson is 12x14, and the bilge keelsons of six, seven and eight inch stuff. The top six streaks of outside planking are edge-bolted, and the whole vessel is thoroughly fastened. The cabin is commodious and the fittings will be of the very best material, in passenger style. She is to have wire rigging, and her outfit will be furnished by John Bloom.

When completed this vessel will have cost $70,000. She is to be sailed by Captain Waters, and will be ready for sea with all possible dispatch.

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* This is a typographical error. She was 809.28 g.t. (tonnage) when built, giving her a capacity of around 1400 t.
To give a hint of what a vessel of this size might cost today (Sep, 2001), grade 2 white oak purchased in volume now sells for about $2 per board foot. One of SAN DIEGO's keelsons or sister keelsons (14x16 inches, about 200 feet in length) contains roughly 3730 board feet of oak (1 board foot = 12"x12"x1"). This translates to about $7,500 for a single timber, if it could be obtained at all. The keel assembly alone - consisting of a keel, two keelsons, two sister keelsons and a rider keelson - probably contained upwards of 19,000 board feet of oak.
SAN DIEGO was one of a number of large lake schooner-barges that were chartered for the East Coast trade in 1898. She was lost in a gale lost Gloucester, Mass., in December, 1898.
Date of Original:
Mar. 20, 1874
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Dave Swayze
Copyright Statement:
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 Tribune (Detroit, MI), Mar. 20, 1874