That is the Loss by the Wrecking of the Merida's Engines
It is figured by local experts that the sum the underwriters will have to pay because of the wrecking of the Merida's engines will be between $30,000 and $40,000. It is said that not a vestige of the engine remains undamaged; all of it must be torn out of her, and a new engine will have to be built to take its place. It is the opinion here that the Frontier Iron Works cannot make a new engine in less than ten weeks or three months, and in the meantime the big steamer will have to lie idle at this port, as the underwriters refuse to allow her to be towed around as a consort, as was done with the Iron Age a few weeks ago.
The Merida is the largest steamer in David Whitney's big fleet, and the loss to him in earnings will be very large. Some thonk he could afford to pay any machinery-building company a bonus of $5,000 over the ordinary price for the privilege of buying an engine that could be placed in her in a month or less. The Detroit Dry-Dock Co. have one or two engines already finished - intended for thenew Rockefeller steamers - that could be made to fit nicely, but it is hardly likely that the company would let one of them go even at a bonus, at the risk of delaying theboat for which it was intended. And then it's not at all probable that the dry-dock company would go far out of its way to favor Mr. Whitney, in view of the fact that all his boats have been built elsewhere.
Of course Manager Cuson, of the fleet, and her owners are very much cast down over the accident, but it is something unlooked for, something that could not be guarded against and for which not a man could be blamed. The screw which gave way and dropped off, causing the engines to run away with themselves, was of the sectional style and made fast to the shaft with two keys. One of these keys loosened and worked itself out, the other followed suit, and away went the screw. It is an accident that has happened before and is likely to happen at any time in any screw steamer.