The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Launching a Schooner
Rochester Union & Advertiser (Rochester, NY), 25 Apr 1894

Full Text


The Singapore Ready to Forest off Forest Lawn

In a few day the Big Boat which went ashore in the Memorable Storm of Last August Will bend her canvas at Charlotte

The good ship Singapore which was driven on the shoals off Forest Lawn by the violent storm of August 20, 1893 will bend her canvas at Charlotte in a day or two and will start with first trip of the season.

She will probably be put in during this day (Apr. 25,1894) It has been arranged so that when this is done a signal will notify the life-saving station at Charlotte (Summerville) that a tug is needed. The tug Yates will be dispatched to Forest Lawn and will steam back with the schooner in tow.

When the boat went ashore she was in charge of her owner Cap’t Andrew Thompson of Toronto. In February of this year he sold her to Cap’t S. C. Malcomson of Hamilton, Ontario. The latter will be remembered in connection with the ill fated Laura which went down twenty four miles off Charlotte in 650 feet of water on Aug. 13, last. Cap’t Malcomson was sailing the boat. Through his bravery and coolness the entire crew was saved, reaching Charlotte after five and one half hours exposure in a small boat. The cargo including 735 tons of coal the men saving only the clothes they wore. Cap’t Malcomson is a very sturdy Scotsman of 51 years and has been on the water since he was a lad of 14.

Nothing was done to the schooner last fall except to draw her on the shore and jack her up on blocks so as to be out of reach of the waves during the winter. Since the sale the new Cap’t has caulked the boat. The rough treatment of the boat had not damaged the timbers to any considerable extent. In fact it was only necessary to replace a single plank in the bottom which had been weakened.

The preparations for launching the boat were made with patience and care. Four ways were arranged for the boat to slide sideways into the water. Each way is made with three pieces of timber which are morticed and fastened together to make a piece 115 ft. long extending from the boat into the water.

The ways are fastened to the shore by a chain attached to a dead anchor. This anchor is made of fastening the chain to a section of a tree trunk placed in an oblong excavation in the earth transverse to the direction of the ways. The excavations are three feet deep. The three timbers of each way were placed parallel to one another. The process of fastening them together is simple but as they have to be blocked up in the water this was one of the last things to be done.

The fastening of the timbers together was done easily. A derrick was fastened to the ships anchor which was dropped a couple of hundred feet out in the lake. A rope attached to the end of the timber which is to form the second section of the way. The cable was then wound around the capstan, drawing the timber out to the desired position where it was morticed to the first section. The third timber was drawn out in the same manner and morticed to the second timber, making a continuous way 115 feet long. Four ways of equal length were made.

Media Type:
Item Type:
Date of Publication:
25 Apr 1894
Richard Palmer
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 43.2557262688848 Longitude: -77.605507846456
Creative Commons licence:
pd [more details]
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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Launching a Schooner