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Oops!  I meant this for tomorrow.
Today Robin Denny offers his second relief post.  Here are all the previous ones.
Clyde paddle-steamer Lucy Ashton operated from 1888 until 1949, at which time she was taken out of service and was about to be broken up.  But scrapping or reefing isn’t the only thing to do with an obsolete passenger vessel.

Step in the British Shipbuilding Research Association and Sir Maurice Denny.  They bought Lucy Ashton, had her paddles, paddle boxes and all upperworks stripped off and replaced by a large gantry on which were mounted four Rolls-Royce Derwent pure jet engines. Thrust gauges were fitted to measure exactly how much power was produced by the jets.   She ran various trials on the River Clyde and the Gairloch, an area familiar to some US veterans, at speeds up to 14 knots (in excess of??)    Indeed this is the world’s first jet powered vessel?

Inside this building is.

Here is the interior of the tank showing to the left stored test models, and in the center, the measuring instruments’ chariot with a test model beneath and the rails which rise by 15mm (5/8ths inch) at the half way point of 100 yards to follow the earth’s (and water) curvature!

​In 1949, Sir Maurice Denny, Chairman of the Dumbarton shipbuilders William Denny & Bros., was seeking to establish the accurate relationship between test figures for drag and resistance obtained in our Ship Model Test Tank and actual figures of ships in service.

Model testing was in still fresh-water with no turbulence from propellers or paddles. Dr. William Froude had produced accurate formulae to calculate the necessary adjustments but practical, full-size testing was very appealing.   In 1883 William Denny, with the help of Dr. Froude, built the first commercial test tank at 300′ x 30′ x 10′ depth.   It proved it’s worth immediately, especially in 1887 when we tendered to build two fast cross-Channel ships for the Belgian Government. The stringent contract stipulated a speed of 20 1/2 knots on trials with rejection of the ships if the speed was below 19 1/2knots. The test tank was vital. The tank tests could only confirm 19 1/2 knots, so the tank staff, contrary to received wisdom of the time, suggested INCREASING the beam, so achieving 21 1/2knots, making her the fastest ship in the world apart from skinny Naval torpedo boats.  The Belgian ships reduced the Dover-Ostend crossing from 4hrs.45mins. to 2hrs.55mins.

Many thanks to the cooperation of the Scottish Maritime Museum for assistance with these photos.

With that, I am grateful to Robin for telling me the story of the jet-powered former paddle steamer.   And I’m thinking it’s high time I get back to the UK.

Here was the first in this series.  Guess the date these photos were taken?

Consider all that coal smoke.

As it turns out Dockyard III doesn’t always blow so much smoke. Click on this link if you wish, but what I find remarkable there is that Dockyard III and its sisters were built in WW2 for Murmansk and hence have the chimney-encasing wheelhouse (for heat) and an ice-strengthened bpw.

Adelaar dates from 1925.

Paddle steamer De Majesteit dates from 1926.  I saw her on the river in Rotterdam in 2014, and included her in a comparison of old passenger vessels here.

Dockyard IX, part of that same order that never made it to Murmansk, was completed in 1942.  Dockyard IX has been on this blog once before here.

Many steam tugs crowd the river below, but nearest the camera,  that’s Heibok 4, a floating steam crane dating from 1916.

SS Furie, dates from 1916.  I wrote about her extensively here in 2016.

George Stephenson had me fooled;  it was built starting in 2007, ie., she might be called steampunk.  I saw her in May 2014.

Hercules is the real deal steam, launched in 1915.  I was aboard her in 2016, as seen here.

And the answer is late May 2018 at the Dordrecht Steam Festival.  The photos come via Jan van der Doe from the photographer Leo Schuitemaker.

Looking at these photos, I’m again struck by the number of historic vessels preserved and in operating condition in the Netherlands.  Some are scrapped there of course.  Has anyone ever heard of the Dutch reefing boats to create North Sea fish habitat?  These, and I have many others from Jan and Leo I’d love to post,  have benefitted from loving restoration. Let me know if you want more steam tugs.

Amicitia, which I wrote about in 2011, is back to life after 60 years (!!!) underwater as a result of being bombed, not reefed, back then.

Do the Dutch have different financial tools that produces this fruit?  Is it because of their different attitude toward maintaining machines and buildings?  Are there just different priorities throughout Dutch culture?

A google search leads to this article referring to “artificial reefs around the world,” but the headline is quite misleading.

 

Thanks to Steve Wunder for the photo below taken yesterday in Fonda NY.  To the right, it’s a new 2018 Marine Inland Fabricators 25′-3″x14′x5′ Clydesdale pushtug, either hull 323 or hull 324.

BUT, to the left and much more significant, it’s Urger, a few miles east of where the 1901 (!!) tug is said to be intended as a land display, sans integral hull, i.e., it’ll never float or tour the waterways again.

I intend this post as a followup to last week’s here, where I wanted to illustrate what we New Yorkers stand to lose, if this lock 13 park plan gets carried out.   In following up, my intention is to underscore our potential loss.

The photo below shows Urger in 1940 in Waterford, operating as a steam tug. At that point, the tug was already 39 years old.

Urger was launched in 1901 as fish tug  Henry J. Dornbos, by Johnston Brothers, a fact still visible on the bitt below.  The company was founded in 1864 by J. W. Johnston, a direct descendant of the none other than James Watt.

The rest of the photos here come from the archives of Bob Stopper, canal ambassador extraordinaire based in Lyons, NY.

Urger has likely been seen and touched by many more people than any other Canal tug or other New York State symbol, particularly because from 1991 until 2016, it crisscrossed the state’s waterways from May until October, doing programs for 4th graders and festivals for the general public.  Schools bused kids to the canal parks to learn about NYS history, technology, and the environment.  Before any program, crew cleaned, painted, and polished.

 

Think about 1901.  Life expectancy for US men was 47.6 years, and for women, 50.6!  Companies like Harley Davidson and Ford wouldn’t form until 1903, also the year the Wright Brothers made their first flight.  There were 15 automobiles registered in the 45 states of the US, where the population was all of 75 million; Utah had been the last state to enter the union in 1896.  The world’s tallest building was Philadelphia City Hall at 548.’  US Steel had not yet been created, and Standard Oil would go another decade before being broken up.  RMS Cedric was the world’s largest ship, and Titanic was not even on the drawing board. The US was involved in a shooting conflict in China. 

Literally thousands of New Yorkers of all parts of the state and ages have benefitted from Urger at a canal port near them, like this future mariner.

Time is critical here.  Unless minds get changed, we could be days or even hours away from Urger‘s life as a boat permanently sunk, which IMHO, would be a significant loss.  Please share this post with friends, local schools, and other networks.  Also, contact your federal, state, and local political leaders.

Click here for most of my previous Urger posts.

Walter Scott‘s 1810 publication of The Lady of the Lake, an epic poem which sold 25,000 copies in eight months, triggered Scottish tourism, by rail and boat.
Tourism demand boomed:   the early six or eight oared galleys were replaced by the small 70′ steamboat Rob Roy (1845), then a 90′ steamyacht Rob Roy and lastly the 110′ steamship, Sir Walter Scott, launched in 1899 and still in daily service in 2018! All three steamers were built by Denny Bros. in Dumbarton.
Below, SS Sir Walter Scott is berthed at Trossachs Pier on Loch Katrine about 1906. Beyond her bow can be seen the retired Rob Roy.  Click on the photo for the source . . . and scroll.
Loch Katrine being land-locked, SS Sir Walter Scott was twice built:   first assembled at the Dumbarton Shipyard, then dismantled and sent north by barge and train to be re-assembled lochside. As you can see in the photo above, in 1906 she had an almost flat deck with no wheelhouse or bridge; the skipper had to peer through the crowd of passengers on the foredeck. She carried up to 515 closely packed visitors and 5 crew.
A 2017 view below shows her at the same pier, but the Rob Roy has gone and the Loch level had been raised by some 7ft. to provide more fresh water for Glasgow, about two million gallons (UK) per day. Her coal fired boilers were replaced with bio-fuel versions to avoid any risk of pollution, but the engine is still the original. She has a proper bridge making helming and berthing much easier. She cannot be turned  within the pier arm of the loch,  so a steel cable is taken to the aft quarter cleat, the engine reversed, so drawing her stern first into the pier.
In the The Lady of the Lake, Sir Walter refers to ” a far projecting precipice”. This is the view from there, clearly showing the bridge and the large saloon which was added reluctantly in 2009 for passenger comfort.
Occasionally in Scotland we suffer mist and gentle rain (smurring) which adds to the mystery of not knowing where you are going.
The foredeck is silent but for the gentle sound of the bow wave. In the distance are mountains (UK size) known as the Arrochar Alps. Below the mountains the white patches are Stronachlachar and the slipway where she was built and where we haul her out for a month each Winter. To the left are Ben Lomond at 3196′ and, over the hills and below, Loch Lomond.
Odds and ends:  Katrine is the anglicised version of the Gaelic Cateran, meaning an outlaw or robber. Both applied to Rob Roy MacGregor who lived at the head of the Loch.   Roderick Dhu, the MacAlpine chief in Scott’s poem, was the outlaw the Highlanders’ saluted with the boating song we in the USA now know as “Hail to the Chief”, set to music by James Sanderson.  Burning a cross was used in Scott’s epic poem to incite the Alpine Clan to violence  against King James.
At the same time as Sir Walter Scott,  Denny Dumbarton was also building the steam yacht 285′ Lysistrata (see #4) for the eccentric robber baron, “king of the dudes” J. Gordon Bennett. The yacht carried an owl as figurehead, the symbol of the New York Herald.
For a partial list of Denny Brothers vessels, click here.  For a much more extensive timeline, click here.

Many thanks for a very patient Robin Denny for assistance in this post.  Robins adds some notes here:

“Archibald Denny was chief designer at the Yard in 1899,  so would have overseen the SWS but he would have been my great-great uncle while my great-grandfather, John, was more on the commercial side but also an engineer. John died young at 27 years in 1869, the year his twin sons were born, one James being my grandfather. He became a mining engineer, eventually in charge of the Mexican silver (?) mines but died there of scarlet fever.
Going further back with two or three greats was Alexander who in 1855 built the Rob Roy II for the Loch after he had left Denny Brothers. That steamer carried Queen Victoria up the Loch to open the 26-mile tunnel supplying fresh water to Glasgow. Our family tree goes back to 1365 in Dumbarton. On the Leslie side it’s about 1040 and involved with MacBeth.”
For all the previous “relief posts,” click here.

Not far from E. M. Cotter, the SS Columbia crew prepares for the next stage in the journey.  2015 and before had the project here, (with a clip of the actual arrival in Buffalo here) and last year I saw her from the Buffalo River here.

Last month, I had the good fortune of a tour through all the decks,

from starboard just inside the ramp looking forward,

from near the stern looking forward,

a gaze up the starboard passageway from the emergency steering,

a glance back,

a peek up the port passageway,

a coup d’oeil  back at the companionway into the engine room, where

the engine rods wait to dance again and

push the indicators as the

steam pressures.

A different companionway leads up to the main deck and then

another brings us to the ball room,

with a closer-up of the bar.

Ultimately all the way up where the once and future pilot will

guide her on delightful voyages as

her stack funnels exhausted power heavenward.

If you do FB, here’s their page.  If not, here’s the .org page.  Here’s some info on the crew.

Many thanks to the crew for the tour.

Somewhat related:  If you don’t see the clip of fireboat E. M. Cotter breaking ice on the Buffalo River yesterday in the comments, here’s a great clip, and it can lead you to many others.

Also, if you’re in Buffalo, be sure to check out the Buffalo Harbor Museum. 

 

This is the third of three digressions before getting on with the account of my trip west.

The saga of SS Binghamton started in 1904,

and I last saw it from land on January 6, 2017, when demolition was said to have started.  Demolition had started but defined as “asbestos abatement” by the alien looking figures clustered near the tender and the stack.

As a relative newcomer in the sixth boro, I first set foot on the ferry in 2011, when some thought a chance still existed to save her or parts of her.  I’ve also been holding off doing this post in hopes that more photos of the demolition process would surface.  I hope I can still do another post if such photos emerge.  I would have been there, but I was on my trip west.

The next two photos I took on July 16 from the water, the last it turns out.

 

Paul Strubeck took the photo below as he passed by about 10 days later when the stack had just been removed . . . as in a decapitation.

Only a few days later, Glenn Raymo took the next two shots from the Walkway over the Hudson, rubble going up the river.

 

Here’s a TV commercial once intended to attract patrons to the now gone restaurant.

Thanks to Paul and Glenn, more of whose work is available here.

 

 

Of course, there are little known gunkholes in the backwaters of the sixth boro where fossils–living and inert–float.  This one is off an inlet behind one island and concealed by another, a place easily missed, and if seen, it gives the impression of being off limits by land and too shallow by water, near the deadly bayou of Bloomfield.  But with the right conveyance and attitude, it’s feasible if you’re willing to probe.  And the fossils have names like . . .

1catrelent

Caitlin Rose.  I don’t know much, but built in Savannah GA in 1956?  Relentless.  She’s before my time here, but I suppose she’s the one built in Port Arthur TX in 1950.

2cr

I can’t make out all of the words here.

3

 

3b

Ticonderoga is obviously playing possum. Only a month ago she doe-see-doed into the Kills with the ex-Pleon, the blue tug behind her,

4

a Jakobson from 1953.

5

Dauntless .. . built in Jakobson & Peterson of Brooklyn in 1936, was once Martha Moran.

5b

From right to left here, Mike Azzolino was built for the USCG at Ira S. Bushey & Sons and commissioned as WYTM-72 Yankton in 1944.  Moving to the left, it’s Charles Oxman . . .

6

was built by Pusey & Jones in 1940 and originally called H. S. Falk., and looked like this below, which explains the unusual wheelhouse today.  She seems to have come out of that same search for new direction as David, from a post here a year ago.

falk

The photo above I took from this tribute page. 

6b

The small tug off Oxman‘s starboard, i don’t know.

7

 

8

 

The low slung tug that dominates the photo here is Erica, and beyond here is a Crow.

9

Someone help me out here?

9b

And as far into this gunkhole as I dared to venture . . .  this one is nameless.

11

Oh the stories that could be told here!  I hope someone can and will.  Balladeers like Gordon Lightfoot could memorialize these wrecks in a song like “Ghosts of Cape Horn,” which inspired a tugster post here years ago.  And looking at the last photo in that old post, I see Wavertree, which leads me to this art- and detail-rich site I don’t recall having seen before.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

And finally, a few more from Rich Taylor.  Stadt Zurich was built in 1909

IMG_3009 061616 Stadt Zurich

and Stadt Rapperswil built 1914 in short term layup when he was there on June 16, 2016.   I believe these are the last two steamers on Lake Zurich.

IMG_3003

 

IMG_3000 061616

 

Many thanks to Rich Taylor, who has planted the idea of visiting these lakes steamers some sunny day.

Let’s return to Lake Lucerne, with this photo.  Rich Taylor took it in late June 2016.  PS Uri was built in 1901.   Uri is a canton in Switzerland.

IMG_4893 062716 URI

And PS Unterwalden, 1902.  Unterwalden is the name of a former canton.  I profess as much ignorance of Swiss geography, as of their history, but I’m learning.

IMG_5048 Unterwalden 1902

If you travel to the SW from Lucerne, you get to Interlaken, where Rich took the following photos of PS Lötschberg, built 1914.

IMG_3975_ShiftN

Looking at these photos, and thinking of other vessels from this era–in both good and deteriorated condition–it’s clear that part of the secret is maintenance.

IMG_3979

 

IMG_3980

The next three photos of Blümlisalp–1906–were taken at Thun on Lake Thun, which I also had to look up.

IMG_3723

 

IMG_3724 062116 Blumlisalp 1906

 

IMG_3725 062116 Blumlisalp

 

Again, all these photos of Swiss steamers come thanks to Rich Taylor.  Earlier this year and last, Rich send along these photos.

I’ve never been to the Swiss Lakes, but I’m grateful to Rich Taylor, who spent some time there this summer, for these photos of paddle steamers.  PS Gallia dates from 1913 and

IMG_4672 Gallia 1913 adj

PS Schiller, below, from 1906.  Rich writes, “We sailed aboard at every opportunity, on occasion having a prepared meal from the on board galley. They are a integral part of the Swiss transit system and as such covered by the Swiss Travel Pass making connections with other boats, trains, hotels, lakeside villages; all very pleasant.”

Note the puff of steam?  Rich writes, “When one steamboat passes another,  advance announcement is made by the captain; then there is a whistle salute from each.”  I wonder if part of that advance announcement is to cover your ears if you are close to the whistle.

IMG_4690 Schiller 1906 adj

PS William Tell built 1908, a near sister to Schiller, has been moored as a floating restaurant since 1970.”  Click here for some interior photos, which give me an appetite to travel there some summer.

IMG_4333 062516 DS William Tell Luzerne

Rich took these two photos of PS Stadt Luzern,  built 1928,  near Vitznau.  I had to look up that location.

IMG_4414 062516 Stadt Luzerne 1928

 

IMG_4416

Click here and here for more info on Lake Lucerne.

Two things come to mind as I look at these.  First, of course there were bowsprite’s  too-short-liaison with steamships here, and then there were a few surviving US  steam yachts I saw at Mystic Seaport here.

Many thanks to Rich for these photos.

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