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    Boatyards

    I've noticed the absence of many posters lately, and I'd like to start an oldtime thread in which hopefully many of you will want to share your wealth of knowledge, memories, and hopefully photos: BOATYARDS ALONG THE RIVERS. I offer here 3 pictures from our Rock Island yard, Kahlke Brothers. Fred Kahlke was the last brother remaining in the business, which ended with putting a new hull on the LONE STAR in 1957. Kahlkes refused to switch to steel hulls which was their ultimate demise. But in their heyday they were one of the biggest yards on the UMR. The most famous boat was the ferry WJ QUINLAN, which was converted from the DAVENPORT to the WJQ in 1924. Since Mr. Quinlan still owed Kahlke money when the boat was condemned in 1945, Fred Kahlke had her drydocked in the yard in hopes of putting her back in the water and recouping his money. We know that failed. Much more later, if you wish, and hopefully we can get Jerry Canavit to comment, he's the ultimate Kahlke expert. But please, let's hear about other yards and your remembrances, experiences, etc. Its still snowing here and we need a Hot Stove League to warm things up!
    Pix 1) 1957 The last Kahlke project, putting a new hull on the steam towboat LONE STAR. The ferry WJ QUINLAN is rotting away above her on the ways(to the east)
    Pix 2) taken in 1950. The QUINLAN is in better shape, out of the water less than 5 years. In the foreground is the little excursion boat PIPE DREAM, which eventually sank in Lake Potter in Sunset Park, RI. I'm thinking that the unpainted small boat by the WJQ's stern is the PEARL. The green and white houseboat is the BERTETTA sp? There are at least 3 other boats partially visible too.
    Pix 3) Here's the bow of the WJQ, the stern of the BERTETTA, and the FREDDIE BOY
    Attached Files

    #2
    Neville Island

    Here are my 3 favorite boatyard pix, I think. This is the Streckfus steamer WASHINGTON on the Neville Island ways. More info on Neville Island, please!
    In pix 1 in the foreground are Mate Kent Booth and Mrs. Fred Way. Jr.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Judy Patsch; 02-28-2008, 07:23 PM.

    Comment


      #3
      Can you imagine that boy wandering around loose in one of today's boatyards? OSHA, the USCG, Homeland Security, company police, the insurance company and a flock of other busybodies would all have a bad case of the pip! The poor kid would be imprisoned and fined, no doubt, for being curious.

      Comment


        #4
        I agree with Judy that we seem to have lost some of our best posters. For a while this board was a fountain of information. I'll take a crack at info on the Str. Washington photos. If I'm all wrong I hope all you experts come out of the woodwork and jump my case. Fred Way once told me he would slip in a error on a story in the Reflector just to get a real good fight started as to facts. The Str. Washington is on the Dravo ways to repair damage done to her bow by striking the lock gates at Ohio River lock #8, on August 16,1936.

        Kent Booth is the man on the left, the man in the white shirt and slacks is Capt. Fred Way, the lady is Charlotte Way ( Fred's first wife), the little girl, partly hidden by her mom is Betty Way ( Bee Rutter), the little boy is Fred Way III and the man in the straw hat is Capt. D.W. Wishard. Right or wrong let's hear more!!

        Comment


          #5
          Steamboating colleagues:
          Judy has us on a real 'roll' RE: 'Boatyards' and it's comes as a welcomed diversion on the history segment of the web. The Str. WASHINGTON photos fascinating giving us a "that's-how-they-did-it" view. Alan's and Bill's 'follows' are interesting. Bill's keen eye and mind nailed the figures in the picture. I've no doubts as to his identification. I bet Bee Rutter would love to see those photos and I'll see what I can do.

          The old 'Cincinnati Marine Railways' here in town on Eastern Ave. adjacent to Fulton was one big business in it's day producing among many the famed Str. QUEEN CITY Etc.. The site today runs due east from the famed high-lift crane and 'Cincinnati Sheet Metal Co.' The prominent Carrel famly [See Str. HERCULES CARREL] were the prime movers and shakers beginning in 1847 on until the end of boat building at that location. Another Carrel became the Mayor of Cincinnati and a street was named for him near old Coal Haven Landing. The term 'railway' itself at the yards indicated the use of slide ways lifting up and returning boats to the water upon construction or repairs without the end slide method. Up until recent years the rail/slides were still in evident and may possibly still be visible. I'd like to know more about how the 'railway system' worked at such yards and if steam engines were the prime power. The HERCULES CARREL had a long life and was one perky little harbor boat known here.

          Only one or two of the surviving old 'steamboat houses' still exist near the former site with a decided 'steamboat Gothic' look and a year or so ago I drove Kenny Howe and Jim Reising by for a look/see. The area is undergoing gentrification with new condos and town houses. In the 1920s the old brick offices were torn down and all of the company records, plans, photographs were destroyed. What a loss.

          Cheers and keep the postings rolling,
          R. Dale Flick

          Comment


            #6
            Shot across the bow

            I have been a member of this board for "awhile now". I also am not writing this towards any one person nor do I mean to be insulting but please hear me out.
            I need a matter cleared up. What is a good or best poster. I know, I'm already off topic. Granted this is the History section. Does this mean that only posting with day, date, time, and event are good postings? There is a great need for "factual" information, regardless of how wrong it may be or who is providing the "facts". Having been involved in several Coast Guard hearings, I can tell you what is on record has little to do with the facts.
            I enjoy reading history, however I have always said I'd rather make history than read about it. This is most likely why I have found myself in situations where, in hindsight, I wish I had not been.
            There are a good number of well educated people on this board. My education comes from Curbstone University, MS in Hardknocks. I feel, and others have also expressed the same feeling, that unless you meet a certain unspoken level of qualification, my posting is only taking up valuable space which could be used for "better" postings.
            By looking at the "views" it is plain to see that there are many more watchers than writers on this board. I spent 3 years riding the M. Q. and D. Q. and 13 more riding other type vessels. Does not my writing from "having been there" qualify me as being as factual as numbers in a book. This board seems very divided, which I find unfortunate, because limiting where your "Facts" come from, to me limits me as a person.
            One of the great things about riding the boats was the varity of people I worked with. If you read the "passive voice" of many of the postings on these boards, there is a great desire for those of us "who did, or still do it" to please not take up valuble "fact" space with our stories and memories.
            Fred Way liked to get arguments started about "facts". Lets get it on! I cannot tell you how many bucket boards are on the D. Q., but I can darn sure tell you how to replace them. I have done it. I feel that both bits of information have an equal standing. Just as any story about a deckhand can be as enlighting as stories about decades gone engineers. Don't need to worry about no pilot, he'll brag enough on hisself you'll begin to think it's fact.

            Comment


              #7
              Fred, perhaps I chose my words badly. What we need more of are just posters. Good, bad, indifferent. All posts in my mind are good, I just wish we would see more. In this history section though we do seem to have lost posters and I'd like to see a comeback. I agree all, from deckhand to company officials, have a story to tell and all should be treated on a equal basis as to content and interest. I personally find the " been there, done that" posts the most interesting.

              Comment


                #8
                I disagree. If anything I find this forum very inviting to post anything you want as long as its not a "harmful" thing. And even angry posts are allowed, if it's your opinion and stated as such. Many a time I have vented on this board, very thankful for this avenue given me to blow off steam. And venting here also has taught me a lot, many times people have contacted me and said..."that's not true..." and in the process I learn.

                There is nothing richer, more valuable to me and Deb than reading experiences of people that "were there". I see this board as a modern, alternative method of the wonderful stuff that can be found in the Reflector. And if the stories aren't told, how could that be a good thing?

                now for the definition of a good poster? My definition is one that starts, or continues to add to, a thread that provides an information flow from the learned to the less learned, i.e me! I feel very privileged to be able to add a bit now and then.

                Please, please post your stories, I'm here with baited breath...

                Now in that light, in regards to the wonderful pictures in this thread...is it just me our does the timber holding the boats upright look really flimsy or is it something else also holding the boat in place that I'm not seeing here...One big wind, I don't know...were there ever accidents? I suspect the "keel" is on the ground, but still, awful skinny wood holding those beauties upright...

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thanks, Bill for all that info on the photo. CW had annotated the back with the fact that the WASHINGTON was being repaired after hitting a lock gate, and at the bottom he had a 1940 date, which was after the W.'s demise. I think CW dated his photos as to when he received them. He got this one from F. Way.

                  Dale, for those of us not that familiar with Cincinnati, where was the Marine Railway in relation to the Public Landing, upstream or down?

                  Fred, As to who should be posting: everyone who has an interest, period.

                  Our diversity made this board so interesting, and that diversity seems to have homogenized too much lately into more or less one interest. That's why I thought I'd throw out the 'boatyards' thread because there are so many variations that can spin off of it.
                  Last edited by Judy Patsch; 02-29-2008, 01:31 PM.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Well, here goes with an 'untechnical' explanation of drydocking, and I'll try to find some pix to illustrate it: The boat's hull configuration is taken prior to drydocking and blocks of wood are then strapped to the bottom of the drydock to match the shape of the hull. When the boat comes up out of the water, it is sitting on those piles of blocks - the boat doesn't touch the drydock's wingwalls for support or anything. The two times I've seen the NATCHEZ in drydock, and in passing the Bollinger docks on the West Bank with vessels in them, it sure looks perilous, but unless hurricane winds come through, it works. The blocks are piled several feet high so that workmen can get under the hull to inspect and work. Even if the blocks are placed perfectly, there is always some stress on the boat - after a drydocking, the NATCHEZ usually has some cracks in the flooring around her galley, which is just forward of the engine room - nothing major though. I'll look for the pix now.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The two 1950's era photos of the Kahlke yard are very interesting due to the vessel in the photos. Now I spend most of my time looking at vessels, in the water, out of the water and under the water. I am always amazed in the out of the water vessels as to hull configuration and design. Note in photo #2 the eastern style sharp stem, wide mid-body and tucked in stern hull lines. Also note the upward slope of the stern, makes for easy backing. It also shows the length to width ratio popular in the early days, resulting in narrow boats but fast. When I was a kid I was told by local wood boat builders the ratio should be 5 to 1. Need Bates input here. Also note the raised stern on the green and white boat. Much like modern towboats. The old neat cruiser in the 3rd. photo looks like a Shipyard Sam project. In a later thread on this subject Bruno notes the flimsy props under the boats. I agree that it looks like an accident waiting to happen. Neither of these two boats have a keel to carry any weight. Now days a boat of that size would have six or more big cement block columns to support them. The red and white boat I think maybe has the railway carriage still under it. Neat photos!!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Pictures of drydock interior

                        Here are some pictures taken at the Zito Drydock in January 1987 when the NATCHEZ went there for her 5 year hull inspection.
                        1) This shows the blocking setup on the floor of the drydock. We had just been lowered back into the water after a week or so in the drydock in the middle of the picture, and were backing out of the complex. That yellow wing wall to the left is part of the drydock with the red and white towboat in it. The tall buildings in the background downriver are the Ochsner Medical Center complex.
                        2) This shows the height of the piles; starboard stern. That's the sea chest up on the hull(the thing which undid the MQ in her 12/12/85 'incident').
                        3) I'm between the rudders looking forward. If you look closely, you can see the light at the bow - these blocks are in rows with a couple of feet between rows. That oblong thing on the hull is a zinc plate to keep undesirable sea organisms off the hull plating.
                        All of these pix were taken moments after the NATCHEZ came up out of the water, so it was certainly an act of faith that the blocks were set properly and that the boat was secure, that we all went in and under her so quickly.
                        Attached Files

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Steamboating colleagues:
                          Fred makes some good points in the above. One mistake I've always made in posting is being too long and verbal. I now try to make my points, or share history, as if I'm talking directly to the person. Everybody knows I've stuck my foot in my mouth a number of times. Who hasn't? Franz does a fine job monitoring and keeping things on track. Remember, that which is written isn't always read in the same way. Personalities will always show through. How does Franz do it? The 'Rules of the Road' in posting Franz provides greatly help.

                          I value each and every posting as a kind of 'letter from home.' When a poster takes valuable time to write and share then, like a personal letter, I read. We don't always agree but it's the intent that counts. 'Steamboat History' on the web is valuable and important as one of three components--all being equal. If we don't get it down now from those "who were there then...had the actual experience" then in time it will be lost forever. Capt. Fred Way, Alan Bates, Barb Huffman, Chuck Parrish etc. and others here who've been published know that. Think what Doc Hawley could write if he were on line. Steamboat History isn't a definite science yet...but it's getting there. I find many fascinating exchanges of data, photos, information are now often being made off-line from one to another or in groups. Many writers/researchers have tapped us either on line or privately and I try to answer their questions or...even better...guide them to those who know more. So, feel free to open up, share and disucss. It often "takes a village" to tell a whole story. The list of great posters present and past here is too long to list. Good stories and memories are worth sharing even if a bit off topic. Even Capt. Fred Way used to say how "discreet" he had to be in writing his books and the REFLECTOR as many of the veterans of his day were still alive. For this he was often criticized. I don't believe the old saing that "History is bunk." Well, what do I know? Keep it coming!

                          Cheers,
                          R. Dale Flick

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Ok, I'll bite...What 12/12/85 MQ incident...? I think I have an idea, but none the less...and why is it called a "sea chest", looks like a water intake to this ignorant eye...

                            And Judy, the zincs on my boat are self-sacrificing to prevent electrolisis corrosion of the metal you want to save, i.e. the hull or, in my case, the lower unit and prop of my Mercury. And maybe they keep off the bad guys in the Crescent City but they don't do a darn thing to keep zebra mussels off up here...

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I was told that those pads were by order of the CG... there aren't any ocean organisms in the NOLA harbor. So I suspect they do the job that you want done on your boat anyway.

                              Comment

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