The other day I was looking through the Standar Oil of New Jersey photo collection, specifically pictures of the SPRAGUE. In the collection were pictures of the boat in the shipyard in 1947 at Baton Rouge I believe. Apparently the boat had cracked its paddlewheel shaft and they were repairing it by thermite welding. Exactly what is "Thermite Welding"? Is it still used today? And did the cracked shaft, eventhough it was repaired, lead Standard Oil to retire the boat earlier than planned anticipating perhaps that the shaft was weakened and therefore subject to failure? I would imagine that the cost of having a new shaft forged and machined would go a long way toward paying for a new diesel boat.