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    #31
    I never could get all the oil out of the water in the hot well. I tried all kinds of stuff. Some oil just seems to get by, no matter what. It sits there in the gage glass and mocks you. Here's a mystery. I had hauled Willie, my first steamer, out of the water, and removed the condensing tubes to examine the hull in that location. I discovered a perfectly round hole, about the diameter of a finger. It served no useful purpose. The boat was not taking on water. Never-the-less, I plugged it up before putting Willie back in the water. All I could figure was that debris lodged between the tubes and the hull had plugged the hole. How the hole got there in the first place is unknown.

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      #32
      What happens in Caddo Lake, stays in Caddo Lake. Besides, they are a lot more concerned about Giant Salvinia, Water Hyacinth, mercury, and water hungry industries than anything we do.

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        #33
        Well, I could see that coming. It was just a matter of from whom. But you were way up there on the list of from whom.

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          #34
          You puts on your welding gloves, grabs those chunks of flaming lumber, and chucks them in the river.

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            #35
            I agree, Lexie. While something of a stunt, it is likely relatively easily done on the Graceful Ghost...while I hope it hasn't had to be done, I sincerely believe that it can be done. But where there are multiple boilers..each with its own firebox in a battery (three probably; the GORDON GREENE had three 28 foot long boilers and burned coal until 1941)... plus you are burning coal and not wood...sometimes fine coal, you'd need have a dedicated crew of some size standing by, a supply of looooong metal handled shovels and rakes, gloves all around and long before you are through some asbestos underwear. I think that this question is much more than a academic one, in that the thrust of Jo Ann's question related to boiler explosions and I think it is quite important that the DELTA QUEEN does NOT have to deal with such unwieldy and chancy events in that the DQ burns oil and this can be shut off easily in the event of low boiler water. The SAM P SUIT, mentioned here as exploding a boiler in 1937 was owned by Island Creek Coal Co. You can bet the rent that she did not burn oil. The J C RAWN was originally the WEBER that hauled Green River coal and surely burned coal. Another boat discussed here that exploded was the JOE COOK. I have no info as to what she was burning but suspect that it was coal since she was an up-river boat near to the coal fields. Cap'n Walnut.

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              #36
              COAL BURNERS LASTED UNTIL 1961:
              Lexie and Tom's discussion above on this thread RE: 'pulling the fires' on steamboats is interesting. Jo Ann's initial question has brought much interesting and informative data. Steamboats burning coal lasted a tad longer than many think. I can't recall the date when the AVALON converted from coal to oil even though I sat in rapt attention to Capt. Doc Hawley's excellent program at S&D several years ago. I do remember her coal days. Who remembers?

              Steamboats I recall still burning coal were: 1. OMAR, coal until her final days in 1961. 2. HERBERT E. JONES, originally built with oil burners but converted to coal in 1952. She was retired, 1961.

              Two more fine boats around here were the GEORGE M. VERITY and WEBER W. SEBALD. Both listed originally as 'oil burners' until their retirement in 1960. I've no knowledge if during their careers they ever had conversion to coal and then back to oil. If the owning company was in the coal business, then they burned fossil fuel. Alan Bates, Bill Judd and others may know more about these two dandies--or others still burning coal until later days I can't recall. Were the VERITY and SEBALD impressive? You bet.

              Cheers,
              R. Dale Flick

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                #37
                Clairton burned coal until 1964. Lone Star lasted until 1967, but I do not know what she burned.

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                  #38
                  Lone Star

                  The LONE STAR was originally a wood-burner. She was converted to coal-burning in 1900 and remained so until she was cooled-down in 1967.

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                    #39
                    Okay, this brings up another question as to "pulling the fire" on a coal or wood fired boat: Was there any way to (a) close off air to the firebox and (b) open a valve to exhaust steam in there as a smothering/extinguishing agent? Seems to me this would be a much more effective means of getting rid of the fire than manually pulling the fire on large boiler(s).

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                      #40
                      It has been done. Before we started doing tours, a small valve gave way and could not be shut off. We pulled the fire and just had to wait and wait until the steam all ran out. There was plenty of water in the boiler. We learned to put the screwed-in end of all valves so that the valve handle was between the boiler and the weak end of the valve. It took about 30 minutes for all the steam to run through that little pipe. In recent memory, there was a boiler explosion on an antique tractor, but such events are, thankfully, rare.

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                        #41
                        That sounds like a remarkably good idea, using steam to put out the fire, but I've never heard of it being done, although it could be done easily enough. Hmmm.

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                          #42
                          Lex, as you no doubt remember, the paint locker on the DQ had a steam smothering fire extinguishing system, simply a valve that could be opened (after the door was locked) to flood the locker with steam and smother any fire there.

                          A story that circulated on the boat amongst the crew in the 1970's was this: Capt. Wagner had asked Capt. Chengery (running Mate) to clean the paint locker after midnight one night. It was also used to store some oils and greases, and was quite a mess inside. Capt. Gabe had the bright idea to get everything out of the locker, close and secure the door, and shoot the steam to it, thereby cleaning the walls and softening the grease and dirt. They did this (no doubt feeling a bit smug at their cleverness!) but did not take into account that the steam and heat would set off sprinklers in the vicinity. What they ended up with was a much larger mess than they had in the first place, alarms going off, a sprinkler head that had to be isolated and replaced, causing much cussing and irritation from First Assistant Engineer Jim Bryeans. Of course, the Big E heard the story the next morning at the breakfast table, and the mess probably was still not cleaned up. Dave Tschiggfrie was, I think, a party to this debacle, and can possibly add more details.

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