p.2 Ship Carpenters Scarce - The work of repairing the K. & M. company's barges at Portsmouth, preparatory to beginning the season's business in the spring, has begun. Every available ship-carpenter in the city has been placed at work. The local manager, however, canot secure enough craftsmen in the city. All kinds of carpenters are engaged, and have found almost steady employment during all the past year. The city is progressive to what it was a few years ago. The scarcity of men is a good thing.
p.3 District Dashes - Capt. D.B. Clapp and E. Cook, Picton, have bought the schooner Annie Minnes
p.6 Competing Lake Line - New York central railroad is planning to put its own boats on Lake Ontario to compete against R. & O.
LAUNCH OF THE MONTREAL
The New R. & O.N. Company's Steamer.
On February 3rd, shortly after three o'clock, the hull of what is to be the finest inland steamer as yet produced in America, now being built by the Bertram engine works for the Richelieu & Ontario navigation company, dropped into its native element in the presence of a large and enthusiastic crowd of spectators. "Dropped" is a literally correct expression of what took place. The vessel was built on the flat eastern pier of the Bertram ship yard and instead of sliding into the water stern foremost as was formerly the practice, she was launched sideways, the ends of the launching ways stopping short four feet above the water, leaving that distance for the hull to drop before it touched the water, or rather ice, for our readers are no doubt aware that at this time of the year, the inland harbors of Canada are frozen over, but the ice had been broken up sufficiently to prevent any injurious results and had the beneficial effect of neutralizing the big splash which usually accompanies a side-launch.
Amongst the large number of spectators we noticed: .....
The report of a cannon was the signal for launching and as soon as the noble vessel commenced to move on the ways, Mrs. H.M. Pellatt, the wife of Lieut. Col. Pellatt, one of the Toronto directors of the company, which owns the steamer, let go the red and white ribbons which held the bottle of champagne away from the hull, and as its full force struck the hard steel and the sparkling contents ran down the bow, the lady's blessing "Success to the Montreal," rang out clear and in a few seconds the great steel plated body had slid over the side of the wharf and dropped into Toronto harbor. An enthusiastic cheer greeted the performance, and everybody heaved a sigh of relief that all had gone so well.
The new steamer is being built for the line between Montreal and Quebec and will replace the present steamer Montreal, which will be employed elsewhere. The dimensions are: length 310 feet; width of hull 43 feet; width over guards, 75 feet 6 inches; moulded depth 15 feet. The hull, including the main deck, is entirely of open hearth steel, and has eight water-tight bulkheads. The bottom has considerable dead rise, and forward the hull is cut away under water from the water line at the stem for a distance of forty feet to the point where the sweep of the forebody reaches the keel. The stern is also slightly raised so that the rudder hangs over a foot above the line of the bottom; both of these departures from old practice being designed to give greater facility in turning the vessel.
The machinery consists of a three-cylinder, three-crank, inclined, triple-expansion engine, the diameter of the cylinders being 32, 53 and 88 inches respectively, with a stroke of 6 feet 6 inches. The engine is estimated at 3,000 horsepower. The wheels are twenty five feet in diameter and have eleven feathering curved steel buckets each. This form of side-wheel engine was introduced three years ago by the Bertram company in the steamer Toronto, and gave so much satisfaction that it has since been adopted on the steamer Tashmoo on the Detroit river, on the R. & O. steamer Kingston, which came out last season, and on the two large new steamers now building for the Detroit and Buffalo service. On the Toronto's service trial trip, it gave a consumption of 1.68 pounds of coal per horse power per hour, the lowest consumption obtained by a paddle-wheel engine.
There are six "Scotch type" cylinders, each of 11 feet diameter and twelve feet long with two Morrison corrugated furnaces forty-two inches in diameter fitted with the Howden hot draft system. The working pressure of steam will be 185 pounds. The electric light plant will furnish current for 14,200 sixteen-candle power lamps, and the pumps will supply running water to every stateroom. There will also be steam steering gear, steam windlass, steam winches forward and aft, and steam heat in the cabins.
In the body of the hull the forward part is laid out for sleeping quarters for the crew and second class passengers, the center for the boilers and engine, and the stern for kitchen, store rooms and mess-rooms for the crew.
On the main deck aft is the dining room for 120 first class passengers, with pantry attached. In front of this and opposite the passenger gangways, is the entrance hall, with the purser's office and baggage room on one side, and smoking room on the other. The bar saloon is immediately forward of the entrance hall. All of the main deck space forward of this is for freight, except that occupied by the engine and smokestacks, some rooms on the sides for offices, and a second class passenger compartment forward. The freight capacity is estimated at 500 ? tons.
The arrangement of the upper saloons and staterooms on the first and second ( ?) decks is much the same as the new steamer Kingston. The main stairway to the upper saloon is in the entrance hall, and in front of the ? space, at the top of this stairway is the stairway to the gallery deck. In consequence of the great width of the steamer there will be three rows of staterooms on each side of the upper saloon, in the central portion of the vessel, this being a new feature. The total number of staterooms will be 200, including twenty parlor rooms with bath rooms attached. The work is also designed so that a third tier of staterooms, giving 100 more rooms, can be built over the other two, if the traffic should justify.
While in all material requirements the new steamer will be in the very front rank of modern construction, it is believed that in decoration she will outclass all predecessors.
The entrance hall will have rubber tile floor, and large paintings of French-Canadian subjects, with dark mahogany woodwork on the sides. In the dining room the stained glass windows will be the leading feature. Both the dining room and entrance hall will be in modern French style.
In the upper saloon the rich Wilton carpet will be of three shades of crimson. The stair and gallery railings will be of bronze leaf work, surmounted with mahogany hand rails. The furniture will be of dark mahogany and crimson plush, and it, as well as the general ornamentation of the upper saloon, will be in Louis XV style. The body of the large richly moulded panels, which form a large portion of the sides of the saloon, will be covered with green watered silk, and the domed ceiling which gives the most extensive area for decoration in steamers of this class, has had an additional arch worked into it which will give an entirely new and unsurpassed effect. It will be more richly ornamented than usual, with heavy scroll work and its leading feature will be two large allegoried paintings, representing the periods of the day. The builders hope to have the steamer on her route in time for next season's summer travel.
p.8 John Donnelly and staff returned today from Prescott, where they made additional repairs to the steamer Belleville.