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Phillip Johnson 03-13-2017 08:37 AM

3 Attachment(s)
[QUOTE=R. Dale Flick;36375] The quoted U.S. Navy figure of 450 psi 'could' be possible but, like you, seems high. This could be verified with further research. [/QUOTE]

See attached here, the two boilers still on the DQ today were built in 1919 to the same navy specification by two difference builders. The forward boiler (Boiler #1) was built by the McNaull Boiler Mfg. Co of Toledo Ohio in August 1919, the after boiler (Boiler #2), was built by Murray Iron Works of Burlington, IA also in 1919, however the month no longer legible on the name plate. Both were in fact rated at 450 lbs originally, but having never been operated above half of that may be a key factor in their longevity and ability to have withstood countless retubingings.

Story is the Delta King retained her boilers for use in generating the steam for heat and the turbine dynamos for electricity up until the mid 60's, but I have yet to find anything confirming that. Having climbed all over the DK a couple years ago, and every remaining inch of mechanical space (to which there is very little), she's been wiped almost totally clean of any trace she once was a fully equipped self sustaining steam plant. The only remaining piece of equipment I found on the whole boat was the bull gear on the bottom of the capstan. However, even the little steam engines that once drove it are long gone. Down in the aft galley below the former engine room, the shape of the pitman wells in the overheads are still prominent, but up above no signs it was ever an engine room.

R. Dale Flick 03-13-2017 10:06 AM

*DQ boiler pics/Photos*
Steamboating, colleagues:
WOW! Thanks Phil for chiming in here with the great photos above and your textual data. Pretty much falls into place with what I found, heard from John Burns. Running at less than 450 lbs psi probably, as you state, extended their life. Sorry the boat now "wiped almost totally clean...once sustaining steam plant" but what could we expect? Thanks for being direct and telling it like it is. I did get down in there once eons ago but honestly can't recall now all I saw in detail. Years back I did get access to the huge boiler rooms, tubine spaces on the old liners QUEEN MARY, QUEEN ELIZABETH and later then then new QE2 while underway at sea New York to The UK. What an experience! I'm certain Kenny Howe, Don Sanders and others would know more from their experience what these photos above represent. Again, what do I know?

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

Frank X. Prudent 03-14-2017 12:59 AM

[QUOTE=Phillip Johnson;36380]

Story is the Delta King retained her boilers for use in generating the steam for heat and the turbine dynamos for electricity up until the mid 60's, but I have yet to find anything confirming that. Having climbed all over the DK a couple years ago, and every remaining inch of mechanical space (to which there is very little), she's been wiped almost totally clean of any trace she once was a fully equipped self sustaining steam plant. The only remaining piece of equipment I found on the whole boat was the bull gear on the bottom of the capstan. However, even the little steam engines that once drove it are long gone. Down in the aft galley below the former engine room, the shape of the pitman wells in the overheads are still prominent, but up above no signs it was ever an engine room.[/QUOTE]

I'm assuming that the DK still had her boilers when she left British Columbia. but not necessarily. Perhaps they were sold and removed before she left. What year was she towed back to sunny California? I've never heard if while she was in Kitimat if she had a dynamo or not and generated the electricity used aboard.

R. Dale Flick 03-14-2017 07:47 AM

*DK/Kitimat/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC*
Steamboating colleagues:
Hi, Frank! The DK did hard duty serving as workers' barracks and mess hall, generating steam for other purposes at the Kitimat aluminum site as you write. In some ways it was a blessing as it saved her from other possible fates endangering the continued life of the DQ, her sister. The DK's shaft and vital components the life line keeping the DQ in operation without immense expenses in casting, milling new components. In many ways both boats have had nine lives like cats.

I vividly recall back in possibly the 1950s/very early 1960s [?] an indepth article with color, B/W photos appearing in NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE on the Kitimat mines and operations. Interior photos showed workers in their cabin bunks during those long, dark, bitter winters talking, reading, playhing cards. Those vintage destoyer boilers were cranked up pumping out steam for the boat's need with insulated steam lines running ashore. Other interior photos showed the DK's fine stained glass windows still in place. I doubt if I have that vintage copy now in my dusty boxes but will look. For years I kept rows of NG in shelves going way back until running out of space, moving to my present home. Something had to give. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC also now indexed in DVD's etc. for easier archival retrieval. How many of you here remember that article at the time appearing in NATGEO? But what do I know?

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

R. Dale Flick 03-14-2017 09:48 AM

*DK at Kitimat/Photo link/Alcan*
Steamboating colleagues:
Quick as a bunny, I ran searching in vain for that long ago NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE featuring the DK doing duty at Kitimat. Now, kids, your assignment is to hop on your computer search engine for your class project. Kitimat in the native tongue of British Columbia [Not Alaska] means "People of Snow." Alcan abbreviated from Aluminum Company of Canada.

In the internet web sites you'll also see a very short photo array of the DK and the Kitimat operation beginning in the 1950s: views of the boat laid up minus paddlewheel, smoke belching from her stack generating steam, some crew members, interior shot. And that's about it. Type in and have a go.

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

Jim Reising 03-17-2017 10:00 AM

The big question is not "any other western river boilers last 50 years?"....but rather were there any other BOATS with western boilers that lasted 50 years????????

R. Dale Flick 03-17-2017 12:45 PM

Western boilers "lasting" 50 years?*
Hi, Jim! Glad you posted here as I'd not read much from you on the webs or at home. I agree with your question "any...Western boilers that lasted 50 years?" What about the boilers from the GORDON C. GREENE put on the AVALON/BELLE? I heard 'something' about that but, frankly, can't remember. The DQ's boilers now approaching 100 years old came as a surprise to a few reading here that sent a 'private E=Mail' to me.

With steamboats in the past there was no real concern or worry about aging boilers. Boats not built to last that long with the average life in the old days being four (4) to seven (7) years at most. If boilers wore out they replaced them. Usually the boat and boilers wore out together. The thinking back then of milking the life out of an aging steamboat beyond their life span never considered. Facts/figures showed that any boat then over four (4) years of age was faced with increasing insurance coverage along with mounting repairs. Others met their end by fire, snagging, wind storms, flexible hulls wearing out. Engines then fared better at times being handed down from boat to boat. Steam, contrary to thinking, just as dangerous back then as it is now being under strict monitoring and control with instruments, gagues etc. even in this age. Letha Greene told me from her experience, "I always had a respect for steam and the boilers on any of our boats." "Respect" to the point of being nervous during steamboat races whether contrived for PR, media cxoverage and old time steamboat romance. It was all a kind of financial equation from profit to loss with boats and their boilers. Even Jim Burns never considered that his DK and DQ would survive as long as they have. They were exceptions to the rule in design, construction far more solid than our Western Rivers boats here. Let's get Dan and Kenny Howe to chime in here. Well, what do I know?

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

David Tschiggfrie 03-26-2017 01:36 PM

Okay, Dale, you've finally sucked me into making a post! (Yes, the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.) IDLEWILD's second set of boilers which replaced her original trio from Rees came from CITY OF HELENA after that towboat burned at Cairo in 1937. They served up until the fall/winter of 1953 when they were replaced by three from GORDON C. GREENE at Owensboro. The GCG's four boilers were built in 1941 by Acme Boiler Works of Gallipolis. So of the four sets of Western Rivers boilers (and the one short-lived set of Brown Fintube boilers which were a big bust) that saw service on the boat, their longevity was respectively: 23 years; 22 years -- assuming CITY OF HELENA's were new when that boat was built; 12 years; and 50 years. That should give a hint, anyway, about the relative longevity of the current set of Nooter boilers and what a fantastic job they have done over five decades.

Jim Reising 03-27-2017 08:38 AM

Dave what you wrote is most interesting. The life expectancy of a wood hull boat was about 20-25 years. By that time the hull was waterlogged and rotten, no way around it. Now from what you wrote the life expectancy of western river boilers is about the same..interesting, a perfect balance, by the time the hull was no good the boilers were also worn out. Those old boat builders knew what they were doing.


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