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  • Carl Jones
    replied
    hi all riverrats
    I only know the Dredge Lewis wheels. The arms were of finished, planned wood with faded red paint, The bucket boards were raw wood. as she was a side wheeler. there were extra bucket boards to off set the weight of the crank and the wheel was egg shaped so that at the end of the stroke there was less bucket in the water.

    going way back in history to the Missouri Packet lost on the Missouri River in 1819. She had metal arms and boards for buckets not the 2 plus inch thick planks of the Lewis. the Missouri Packet only had one engine with the wheel in a boot jack arrangement. there was an iron balance wheel on the other side to keep her from dead centering. In looking at that engine and the rods to the sliding valve she may have had a cut off to the valve to save steam. The last I know that engine was at the Arabia museum in KC.

    Carl

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  • Bob Reynolds
    replied
    Searching for the thread on paddlewheels and dip, etc., I ran across this old thread. Lo and behold, in this picture I do believe that is Capt. Don Summers working in the ADMIRAL's wheel!

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  • Capt John
    replied
    Mark, the paddlewheel on the Spirit of Peoria is a mixture of materials. The shaft is steel, the arms/radials are fiberglass and the buckets are wood. The Spirit was originally built with an all steel wheel with wood buckets. The original wheel was too heavy (actually the bow was too light) and they could not keep the bow of the boat in the water. The wheel was replaced after the first or second season with the current wheel, the fiberglass was used to reduce the weight at the stern. The Casino Rock Island had the exact opposite problem, she was built with a steel, fiberglass and wood wheel, but she was too light in the stern. Instead of replacing the wheel with a heavier wheel, they filled the sponsons (pontoon type structures at the stern) with tons of lead shot and set concrete blocks on the deck next to the paddlewheel for ballast.

    I've never heard of anyone using "Trex" for a bucket, but there have been many experiments with different configurations and materials for paddlewheels over the years. I don't think you can beat wood for buckets, buckets need to be strong, but not too strong. When a paddlewheel come into contact with drift, the bank, rocks or a drydock...something's got to give. It's better that the less expensive, relatively easily replaced wood of the wheel give, rather than the expensive, more difficult to replace machinery driving the wheel.

    John

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  • Mark McCracken
    replied
    Paddlewheel question

    I recently was at a business show and a man had a trailer made for food service. It had an attached deck made from trex, which is a plastic composite. It was infused with red color and looked like a paddlewheel bucket. The owner claimed it was fifty times stonger than wood, won't chip, color fade, or break. It was solid and looked VERY good. Has this material ever been attempted on a paddlewheel. I know the Spirit of Peoria has fiberglass paddle wheel (I am not sure about the buckets). This seems to me an interesting new technology. Any thoughts?

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  • Keith Norrington
    replied
    Just came across another view of the Str. IDLEWILD (today's BELLE OF LOUISVILLE) in her early days with a WHITE sternwheel. This view was taken at the St. Louis levee.
    Attached Files

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  • Judy Patsch
    replied
    DQ roof sign

    I believe it was two-fold: to hide some piping or whatever, and to provide an overhead id, such as you saw in my picture - after all, you get lots of people pulling off into emergency lanes on an interstate bridge to take photos of boats passing underneath! And in 34 years of teaching, I found I needed to be suspicious of last row by the window scholars!
    Originally posted by Wesley Paulson View Post
    Judy and others,

    Today's question comes from the back of the SB 101 class near the windows. What was the purpose of the "backwards" DQ sign on the roof in Judy's bucketboard photo? Is this a left over artifact that found a home in that location?

    And thanks for the "sigh" picture. Hard to believe that it has been 15 years since my one and only trip on DQ. Ahh, what fun it was.

    Best to all of my friends on .org

    Wesley

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  • Wesley Paulson
    replied
    DQ Sign on the Roof?

    Judy and others,

    Today's question comes from the back of the SB 101 class near the windows. What was the purpose of the "backwards" DQ sign on the roof in Judy's bucketboard photo? Is this a left over artifact that found a home in that location?

    And thanks for the "sigh" picture. Hard to believe that it has been 15 years since my one and only trip on DQ. Ahh, what fun it was.

    Best to all of my friends on .org

    Wesley

    Leave a comment:


  • R. Dale Flick
    replied
    *RE: Painting boat wheels when?*
    Hi, Alan & Steamboating colleagues:
    Thanks Alan for memories of Louisville landing and GREENE boats in port. Granted, with those hours laying there painting could be done more frequently. This not the case with the DK/DQ in California days. Both boats, upon returning to San Francisco from the Sacramento run, entered into the 'huckster trade' in and around the port picking up, dropping off cargo for the night runs. They had precious few 'down' hours in SF until sailing time. What few memories and accounts we have indications are the boats could have done wheel maintenance laid up in Sacramento during the day. Bottom line was/is if the wheels aren't turning then you aren't making any money. For some years a funny story has been passed around RE: a crew member painting one of the GREENE boat wheels and what happened when the man--bucket, brush and all--fell in the river. I won't repeat it here. Thanks for the below RE: Jim Howard's memories on 'blue paint.' Cheers!

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

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  • Alan Bates
    replied
    There was a wide-spread superstition that blue brought on bad luck. The Louisville and Cincinnati Packet Co.'s sidewheeler housing tops were light blue according to Captain Jim Howard. Same for pilothouse domes.

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  • Alan Bates
    replied
    For a year or two the Avalon had signs painted on the bucket planks. One bucket was marked, "VISIT OUR," and the next was marked, "GIFT SHOP." Passengers got the message about 15 times a minute. The wheel was red and the lettering was white gothic.

    Bertrand's paddlewheel was painted with red lead (bright orange).

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  • Alan Bates
    replied
    My years of interest in the rivers and the boats started in about 1935. At that time I would say 98% of sternwheels were painted red with white steel parts. Then the boats did a lot of waiting for loading of barges, certainly enough time to repaint paddlewheels. Greene Line boats laid at the Louisville wharfboat from about six in the morning to five in the afternoon. Winter was when we saw unpainted wheel parts.

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  • mel hartsough
    replied
    That pilot house looks so out of place. I miss those old days of having the Deck and the Gazebo right down in front and the old Carbon Arc lights, changing Carbons in the middle of a windy night, cleaning a set of guts with Brasso and mop string. It looks like the PH is tucked back amongst the cabins.

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  • Judy Patsch
    replied
    More boards, etc.

    1) The MQ in Lock 15 1980s
    2) Mel mentioned standing on the pilothouse roof to check bridge clearances. Here is an example of that as the MQ approaches the I-280, with a pool clearance of 62.5 ft, but obviously a higher stage here, 2006.
    3) sigh.............
    Attached Files

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  • Judy Patsch
    replied
    Stored bucket boards

    Here are some shots from the UMR of paddlewheel pieces stored and ready to go.
    1) from the I-280 bridge as the DQ heads upstream 2007
    2) the AQ from the I-280 bridge 2007
    3) the AQ from Lock 15, the next year Since the roof was used for passenger space on the AQ and MQ, spare boards were stored on the fantail.
    Attached Files

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  • R. Dale Flick
    replied
    *RE: Blue Paint On Vessels*
    Hi, Mike & steamboating colleagues:
    You're right RE: Fred's comments on the superstition of "blue paint" on steamboats--and other vessels. Several years back this was quite a discussion on Steamboats.org with insights from posters. There are scores of such accounts as mariners for untold centuries have been the most mystical and prone to these beliefs to the point of 'magic.' How the 'blue' came about I can't recall now. This also prevailed on ocean ships until recent years but has faded into the folklore--with some old sailors still holding out. 'Red' was another suspect color. Even today big cruise liners, like buildings ashore, won't have the No. 13 indicated on elevators as passengers and crew shrink from it. Can any of you remember and post others?

    GREENE LINE Purser Bob McCann also harbored the old belief that you turned your back for a time watching a boat/ship steam out to ward off bad luck. I thought it pretty quaint on his part until I viewed a group of older Italian sailors do the same when a big Italian passenger liner pulled out from the pier in Genoa, Italy with them crossing themselves and mumbling. Another old tradition was for sailors/boat crews to toss any items they had from a vessel watching it head for the breakers or sinking to divest themselves of bad luck or 'spirits.' Well, what do I know?

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

    Leave a comment:

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