Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Marine Record (Cleveland, OH), July 25, 1895, p. 6

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HARBOR IMPROVEMENT. CONCRETE ON THE WELLAND CANAL. Some interesting pioneer work in concrete pier build- ing is now being carried out at Port Dalhousie, Ont. This work is being done by. Battle & Newman, of St. Catherines and Thorold, and consists in the substitution of blocks of concrete for the present timber piers. An attempt was made to do the work by another contrac- tor last year, but it was thrown up, and the present con- tractors have undertaken the continuance of it in a systematic way which augurs success. The work is being done on the east pier, on which the lighthouse is situated, for a distance of 700 feet shoreward from the end; the work for the balance is to be carried out in future seasons. The narrow part of the pier is 20 feet, and the wide part 30 feet. The concrete is made in blocks 4 feet by 4 feet and 6 feet deep. These are prepared on the shore near the pier, and molded on a large circular table, so that 100 blocks can be made at once within the swing of a derrick-boom of 50 feet. The blocks, after being made, are swung on a tram car and carried there- on to the channel, where they are swung on toa scow by means of a stiff-legged derrick, and thence carried to their places in the pier. A layer of these large blocks is made in white Port- land cement on each side of the pier, and all the inter- vening space is filled up with a bed of solid concrete from hydraulic cement. In the present contract 1,500 barrels of Portland cement and 3,000 barrels of hydraulic cement will be used. The top of the pier is finished with a floor 1% feet thick of concrete, nicely rounded at the edges of the pier, and having mooring rings cement- ed in at distances of 60 feet. The present season’s con- tract applies to about 900 feet of the pier and has a fine appearance. ‘The work is under the superintendence of James Battle, assisted by two able foremen, G. W. Read of Port Dalhousie and George Boyd, of St. Catherines. The government supervising engineer isW.G.Thompson. MAJOR SEARS’ REPORT. Major C. B. Sears, in his annual report to the chief of engineers, recommends that the 200-foot channel at Rice’s Point, at the head of Lake Superior, as embodied in the present project for improvement of Duluth and Superior harbors, should be widened to 400 feet. It is thought advisable to discontinue further repairs on the Superior entrance piers, and to widen all existing chan- nels leaning to the old town harbor. About $130,000 has been spent on the harbor work there during the year ended June 30. The works at Two Harbors do not yet grant perfect security from southwest storms, but have proved so suc- cessful that the speedy completion of the projected piers is recommended. The belief of the existence of valu- able mineral deposits back of Grand Marais, Minn., leads Major Sears to state that should these be opened and provided with railroad facilities the harbor may be- come important as an ore shipper. ‘The present anchor acreage of 23.5 should be increased to the full harbor area of 61 acres, which would cost $139,669. At Ashland, Wis., satisfactory progress has been made on the breakwater protection of the harbor, and dredging work has been continued to secure a 17-foot channel. The Major says the survey for the Lake Su- perior-Mississippi Canal will be finished about Nov. 1. Major Sears, in reporting on the state of Portage Lake Canal, says since the U. S. has taken charge the navigability off this waterway has been greatly bet- tered. During the past season the commerce through this canal amounted to 754,973 tons in weight and to $28,099,583 in value, besides 37,636 passengers trans- ported. This is an increase of 227,345, $5,577,460 and 5,552 passengers respectively, over the year before. During the past year $35,024 was expended on the waterway. The reports on Marquette harbor and the harbor of refuge at Grand Marais, Mich., show progress in the establishtinent of the breakwater at the former and the improvement of the entrance of the latter, where a depth across the bar of 15% feet has been obtained. The last river and harbor bill appropriated for a survey of the location of a canal to connect Lake Superior and the Mississippi River and designated three routes to be examined, The examinations have been made and the THE MARINE RECORD. results obtained will be submitted in time for the meet- ing of Congress. perhaps by November Ist. COLONEL LYDECKER’S REPORT. Lieut. Col. C. G. J. Lydecker has made his annual re- port. One of the most important works under his direc- tion is the harbor at Michigan City, Ind., where the inner harbor is being improved for local commerce and the outer harbor for refuge of general lake traffic. At St. Joseph harbor, Mich., work has been con- tinued on the project to secure a channel 16 feet deep by building piers and revetments. Wing dams are being built in the St. Joseph River for the purpose of deepening the channel to allow the river steamers to ply to several heavy shipping points that have been cut off by the long continued dry weather. Boats have been able to go only to Yellow Creek for ten days past. ; At Grand Haven, Mich., a depth of 14 feet over the bar has been obtained, while great depths in the harbor show that the dredging and piers have proven success- ful by an increase of from one to two feet. over last year. Col. Lyydecker in his report upon thh harbor of refuge at Portage Lake, says that it is a much-needed improv- ment. The first proposition was to secure a channel 18 feet deep and 300 feet wide from Lake Michigan to Portage Lake. The estimate of the project was $189,- 860 and the work was begun in 1879. He then points out how the small appropriation from year to year has caused the work to drag. There has been expended $100,000 and at present a channel of only five to seven ‘feet can be made. The pier and revetment work is ina condition of wreck and ruin. But the last river and harbor bill appropriated $25,000. and it is expected the new policy will complete the work. Good progress has been made on ihe Saginaw River, where $658,523 has been expended securing a channel 14 feet deep and 200 feet wide from Saginaw Bay to South Bay City and 12 feet deep and 50 feet wide from there to the head of navigation. Work on the harbor of refuge at Sand Beach, Mich., is nearing completion after an expenditure of $1,184,374. : Se ee ee DRILLING THE DEFENDER’S CREW. The English crews always lead usin the matter of taking in and setting canvas. An English crew will hoist a spinnaker loose and haul out the tack more quickly than an average American crew will get the same Sail up in stops and break it out. If two boats are closely matched, then, indeed, the handling of sails may save the seconds necessary to a victory, though it must be admitted that this is less likely to be the case on our long open courses thanjin waters like those of the Clyde. Mr. Iselin, however, decided early in the course of preparation for this year’s races that the department of sail handling should be brought to the highest perfec- tion. Tothat endhis syndicate secured the 90-footer Colonia, one of the yachts built to compete for the honor of defending the cup in 1893, and fitted her out asa drill boat for Defender’s crew. The crew itself consists wholly of American sailors, engaged at Deer Island, Me., where the smartest and hardiest of our fore-and-aft sea- men are to be found. The Defender’s crew is as smart a body of seamen as ever hauled aft a main-sheet, and for weeks past they have been undergoing a thorough course of drilling in the art of handling the canvas of a 90-foot sloop. It is quite safe to say that the crew of Valkyrie III will not be able to show these lively sons of Maine any wrinkles in setting kites, and when the Defender has covered her first twenty miles to windward and rounds the outer mark—ahead, as all good Americans hope—it will not be seven minutes, as it was on a certain other yacht, before her spinnaker and balloon-jib topsail are driving her homeward to victory.—Harper’s Weekly, EEE a — EE CHICAGO’S BIG DITCH. Gordon H. Watt, C. E., of Chicago, continues his ac- tive opposition to the Chicago drainage canal. ‘In my opinion,’’ Mr. Watt is quoted as saying in St. Louis last week, ‘“‘the canal is a stupendous blunder—a fiasco, not only as a ship canal, but as a sewer, and Chicago will have spent millions, and in the end will not have gotten rid of one-fourth its sewage. ‘The best lawyers in Chicago have agreed that the U. S. Government will not spend money on this work, as other cities would then be likely to demand federal aid with their sewage systems.”’’ THE NEW GUNBOATS. A comparison between the details of the two typeso construction in the six gunboats for which proposals have now been invited, furnishes several points of muchinterest. They have in common a normal dis placement of about 1,000 tons, and an indicated hor power of about 800, giving to each the extremely mod erate speed of twelve knots. The normal draught of each to the bottom of the keel is twelve feet. This wil allow them to be used in river service on foreign stations While the four vessels of the single screw type have a length of 168 feet on load water line, and an extreme beam of 36, the twin screw vessels have a length of 17 and a beam of 34. Again, the former carry full sai power, while the twin screw vessels have steadying sail only, and depend on engine power. The boilers in the two types of vessels are of the same character, each boat having two single-ended Scotch boilers ; but, of course, there is a difference in the engines, that of the single screw boats running at 150 revolutions to develop the — required 800 horse-power, and the two engines of the 4 twin screw boats running at 200 revolutions in develop ing the same power. An uncoupling arrangement used when the single screw boats are going under sail alone allows the screw to revolve by the action of the water, and it is believed that little retardation will result. Still another difference in the two types is that the normal coal supply of the single screw boats will be 100° tons, with a total bunker capacity of 238, while that of the other type will be 120 tons, with a total capacity of 250. This difference is due to the fact that the auxiliary sail power will allow a reduction of coal in the single screw type. If we compare the new composite vessels with existing 2 steel gunboats, the Castine and Machias come nearest — to them in displacement, being 1,177 tons, and they have a mean draught of 12 feet. The Bath-built boats, how- ~ ever, are’30 feet longer with nearly two feet less beam. ae In addition, they have 1,873 and 2,199 horse-power re- 5 spectively, or between two and three times what is tobe 2 supplied to the new vessels. It is therefore not surpris- ing to find that their speeds are in the one case 3% and — in the other 4 knots above what is expected of the six — new vessels. The normal coal supply of the Machias — pacity is less. The three gunboats building at Newport News are ~ more distinctively light draught than the six now to be a built, since one of them has but 11 feet andthe other two 9 feet of mean draught. They differ considerably — from the new vessels in all respects. One vessel is 46 — feet longer and two feet broader, with 371 tons more displacement, while the two others are over 76 feet longer, 4 feet broader and of 392 tons more displacement. They also have a larger bunker capacity, and about double the indicated horse-power, and two of them have 1 knot and the third 2 knots more speed than the newest gunboats. : a The advantages of composite gunboats in requiring less docking, and hence in being able to keep the seas longer, were fully set forth when these vessels were planned. It may, however, be pointed out that chief constructor Hichborn has for years been a strong advo- cate of sheathed and composite vessels. When the New- port News gunboats were planned it was hoped to make one or more of them composite, but it was found that the language of the law would not allow this to be done. However, precautions were taken in the last naval act to alter the customary wording so as to allow these new vessels to be composite. It may be observed that in the nine latest gunboats the great aim has been that of special adaptability to river and other service in foreign waters, such as those of the Asiatic and South American stations, combined with economy of cruising, and to this result high speed has been sacrificed. rr + > + a THE three books of “Sailing Directions,’’ published 4 by the Hydrographic Office, covering Lake Superior ~ and St. Mary’s River, Lake Michigan and the Straits of — Mackinac and Lake Huron and Lake St. Clair with _ Detroit and St. Clair Rivers, can be had at the office of _ THE MARINE RECORD, 144 Superior street, Cleveland, Op Price, $1.00 each. rr oro A STEEL ship has been constructed in Cardiff with the © 2 standing rigging as well as hull all of steel. at ae

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