¥ THE MARINE. RECORD, SNE GE CPAP SS SS SSS SS Se SS SIs zauicemeremcnmmmrartnnmereneeneeeer eee INN SN NE Ry SUGGESTIONS TO CONGRESS. It is to be hoped that the next Congressional Com- mittee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries will be made up of men in a large degree acquainted with the real wants of shipping and who will devote time and atten- tion to becoming acquainted with the condition and outlook for this trade, regardless of political connec- tions, says the New York Maritime Register. This is a large request, continues this journal, but it -is the only one that should obtain in seeking a solution of what is now the shipping problem. To treat it in any other way is to make it again the shuttlecock for polit- ical battledores. ‘The shipping industry is one that vitally concerns the whole country, and its prospects and wants must be managed upon the most liberal and most broad minded plans. Itis inno way, whatever, sectional; and in no sense, whatever, political. It has to doentirely with the future commercial welfare of the nation, and is the chief means by which the commer- cial supremacy of the world will be won by this: coun- try. It has been hampered, neglected, and abused for many years, and yet shows such signs of great vitality that it would not be so immensely difficult to put it on the high road of prosperity again. The time is now at hand when it should be encouraged and helped forward. And a startin this direc- tion must come from Washington. It is unfortunate at. this time that shipping has no real represen- tative in the Nation- al Legislature, but it is to be hoped that in so far as may be possible, care will be taken to select only the best men to make up the committees that have to do with shipping in Congress The opportunity to show good stateman- ship in dealing with shipping legislation will soon be here. There are many laws yet on the stat- ute book that if en- forced would se- riously hamper our shipplng. They were passed years ago for special purposes which do not now exist. ‘They had ref- erence to conditions no longer possible and to a navigation system and type of vessels entirely su- perceded. But they remain and seem to rise up.for enforcement, like Ban. quo’s ghost, at most unseemly times, to the confusion of both shipowner and government officer. It would be wise to rake up all these fossils to the end that Con- gress should destroy them. While they exist they are nuisances. ‘The navigation laws should be thoroughly codified and the useless ones, of which there are many, weeded out. This simplification would leave the field clear for much legislation that is really needed to help and protect our shipping. rr 0 a COL. ABBOTT’S SUCCESSORS. oO The retirement of ‘Col. Henry L. Abbott on Monday caused a reassignment of duties of a number of officers of the Engineer Corps, but involved no changes of sta- tions. Col. Henry M. Roberts succeeds the retiring officer as president of the board of Army Engineers, and will also be president of the Board of Harbor Lines at New York. The important billet of member of the Board of Ordnance and Fortification left vacant by Col. Abbott’s retirement was filled by the assignment of Col. C. P. Haines, the successor to Gen. Craighill, in charge of the Maryland District. . Col. John M. Wilson will, in addition to his present duties in charge of public buildings and grounds in Washington, take Col, Abbott’s place as Division Engineer of the Northeast Division. He will make his headquarters in Washington. The jurisdiction extended as far west as Detroit River during the term of Major Overman’s service, but.on the succession of Lieut.-Col. Jarad A. Smith, Col. Abbott’s supervision ceased, by virtue of the army regulations affecting junior and senior officers. = nD —__—______ THE STEEL CANAL FLEET. (ILLUSTRATED: ) The accompanying view of Black River, above Lorain, taken when the six boats of the Steel Canal-boat Co. were loading steel rails for delivery at New York, gives a very good idea of the construction and possibilities of these boats. The large fore-and-aft hatchways, open and closed, are especially prominent, as well as their sectional covers. The steamer Alpha is the farthest distant in the picture, and the escorting tug Joe Harris isin attendance. At the forward end of the deck over the engine room on the steamer will be noticed a short stack, which is substituted for the high one when the THE STEEL CANAL BARGES. boats are bound through the canal. The dimensions of the boats are 98 feet over all, by 17 feet 11 inches beam, and 10 feet depth. They have hardly arrived at New York with their first cargo, which consists of 2,740 steel . street railway rails. j MORE SAILING DIRECTIONS. Part III of the sailing directions for the Great North- ern Lakes and Rivers, which are being issued by the Hydrographic. Office, is a book of considerably greater thickness than the six previous volumes, although it covers only the North Channel of Lake Huron and Georgian Kay. The book contains 290 pages of care- fully compiled matter, in addition to which is a com- plete index to all the matter contained therein, so that any locality and the peculiarities and quirks of its navi- gation may be referred to ata moment’s notice. The information was compiled principally from the Georgian Bay and North Channel Pilot, issued by the Dominion Department of Marine and Fisheries, but much addi- tional information has been secured through the courtesy of local authorities. This book, together with all previous publications of the Hydrographic office, are always on sale at the office of THE MARINE RECORD, at the fixed government prices. 'The Third Volume of the sailing directions sells for $1. A NAVAL EXPERIMENTAL TANK. The navy is to have an experimental tank in which many important questions of naval construction can be practically tested before vessels are laid down. This is a subject that has engaged the attention of experts for a number of years. In Europe nearly every country has an experimental tank in which models of new ships, whether built for war or commerce are subjected to pre- liminary trials before the work of construction is begun. England, France, Germany, Italy and Russia tests mod- els of their vessels in such tanks before beginning ac- tual construction. Experiments of this kind have been found valuable anda source of great economy. The Bureau of construction has long desired an experiment- al tank, and Chief Constructor Hichborn, following the recommendations of Mr. Wilson, his predecessor, has repeatedly urged that Congress be requested to provide the necessary funds. It has been estimated that $60,000 would cover the expense of construction. Congress has failed to make the appropriation. As a result this country, singularly alone, has had to depend upon the- oretical calculations in the important matter of deter- mining upon designs of ships to be constructed. Now, however, a partial step in the right direction is to be taken. Chief Con- structor Hichborn has decided to the fullest extent possi- ble, considering the requirements and the funds available, an experimental tank is to be built. To this end Assist- ant Naval Con- structor Ferguson has been assigned to the duty of pre- paring a tank at the Washington Navy Yard. It will be the slip between an old ship house and the Potomac. The di- mensions will be about 70 feet long, 30 feet wide and 12 feet deep. In the tank will first be tested a model of battle ships Nos. 5 and 6, the designs of which are now being prepared. The model has been built and is a miniature of the actual vessels. Rel- atively it has the approved length, breadth and draft, and in a general way it represents the new .ships as they will be when ready for service. It will be supplied with electrical motive power and when the tank is ready experiinents with it, todetermine certain important data, will take place. The principal point to be settled in the tests re- lates to the resistance of ships to waves as the result of friction on the bottom. From the tests it is expected that absolutely definite conclusions can be reached as to the performance of real ships. Questions of speed, stability, turning, and other performances of value to naval architects, will be determined.—_Army and Navy Register. DuRING July Scotch shipbuilders launched 21 vessels, of 19,137 tons, as compared with 29 vessels, of 45,525 tons in June, and 22 vessels, of 12,022 tons in July, 1894. Up to August 1, they have launched a total tonnage this year of 210,967 as compared with 195,510 for the corre- sponding period in 1894; 164,863 in 1893, and 247,638 tons in 1892, ENGLISH builders launched 14 steamers during July, against 16in June. There were five vessels, of 12,020 tons, launched from the Wear, the total for the year so far being 33 vessels, of 76,698 tons, against 44 vessels, of 96,520 tons, for the corresponding period last year.