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inactive user 01 04-06-2012 04:08 PM

Walking beam steam sidewheeler HIAWATHA
Hey All,

Noticed while reading the old yellow rag a couple of nights ago that the walking beam sidewheeler HIAWATHA is for sale again in Michigan. I believe the asking price was $65,000. Not sure if there are any interested parties but the listing can be found in Boats and Harbors magazine. Contact information is as follows. [email][/email] or 989-686-6033


R. Dale Flick 04-06-2012 05:09 PM

*RE: Walking-beam HIAWATHA*
Hi, AJ,
Your posting RE: the Michigan based walking-beam [Spellings vary] HIAWATHA interesting. It took some sleuthing around to find the listing as the .org posting is the E=Mail to Mr. Morris the owner. MLive, Grand Rapids, MI, played hard ball getting a copy of their June 27, 2010 article to print. Original asking price then was $89,500 with owner Mr. Morris saying he'd turned down one for $55,000. Your article possibly more up-to-date. HIAWATHA, a personal steamboat, is 38 ft. long, 15 ft. high--I assume from the article above the waterline. Her original California builder used plans of an 1857 walking-beam engine found in the museum out there. The reporter termed the beam "A metal diamond shaped device."

Morris, owner of 'Morris Machine and Mold, Inc.,' indicates the cost of operation and hard times for his business spelled the ultimate doom. What the logistics, cost, man hours, headaches, required to operate such a vessel not mentioned. I saw no word of what fuel is used. Reminds me of the days when Charles and Lorena Brown of Cincinnati built, operated their own steam sternwheel pleasure boat the LORENA. With boats like these you better have the money, time, knowldege to keep up and operate. Hittin' the Lottery might help. What's a boat? Something that makes a big hole in the water you throw money in. Any takers on the HIAWATHA?

R. Dale Flick
Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati.

inactive user 01 04-06-2012 08:17 PM

Hey Dale,

Your mention of the Brown's and LORENA bring about found memories of time spent with them in Warsaw and aboard LORENA.

The listing for HIAWATHA shows she's a wood burner. From photos I've seen of her she's a looker. Interesting regarding the price drop since last listed in 2010.

Anyone who owns a boat would agree with your definition. I've got another one I've heard along my travels, B.O.A.T. bring on another thousand or in some cases thousands!

Here's hoping the boat finds a good home.


Frank X. Prudent 04-07-2012 02:24 AM

I believe her name was TULE PRINCESS when she first came out, and ran around the Sacramento River Delta originally. And, yes, she sure is a looker! If only Dad was still around; she'd make a right sweet playtoy for a steam engineer.

Tom Schiffer 04-08-2012 12:02 AM

Frank: Playtoy indeed...keep you outta the bars! One that size would likely require three to run it...pilot, engineer, deckhand. I can run my 20 and 22 footers by myself but keeping an eye on everything mechanical and watching where you are going can be, uh, er, interesting. Cap'n Walnut

David Dewey 04-08-2012 01:29 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Yes, that's the "old" Tule Princess, built by Dave Sarlin, VERY nicely built, and we believe to be the newest walking beam boat afloat.
Tom's right, you do need a crew to run her, as the guy watching the engine is too busy to pilot! I don't remember if she was wood or oil or both. I hope she finds a good home.
David D.
PS Pic of her on the Sacramento Delta, many years ago, the boat she's passing looks like my old boat, Mikahala, after I sold it (dumb, dumb, dumb!!!--but we were broke & I thought I was doing the right thing for the boat. Ooops)

Lexie Palmore 04-08-2012 01:52 PM

Play, glorious play
Just 2 would do. Heck. Bill Kelley, Ed Smith, and I figured out how we (or any) three alone could run the Delta Queen.

It's so cute, if it was cheaper, I'd buy it. Never got to see one of those big old walking beam engines in action. Went on one that was a ferry at San Francisco, no longer operating at the time, and was astounded at the size of the cylinder. About as big around as a silo. I could not find the Boats and Harbors listing on line. If it burns wood, great. Could even make money with it, but only in the summer.

Bob King 04-08-2012 03:55 PM

The ad for the Hiawatha can be found in the first April issue of Boats and Harbors, digital edition, P. 28, middle of the page.

The copy reads:

You can own a
The last operational walking beam side wheeler
Commercial 6 pack license under DNR
Moored in Bay City, Michigan

* Steel hull and deck * 26,000 lb displacement * Length 38' x Beam 15'6"
* Draft 32" * 20hp at 60 rpm * Bryan boiler * Burn wood, coal, or oil *
* 170 gal fuel tank * 110 gal. Boiler water tank * 15 gal drinking water *
* Hydraulic steering

Contact Captain Edward Morris at 989-686-6033
or [email][/email]


After "You can own a" is an illustration of the Hiawatha, side view, and one of the walking beam engine.

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