Coal-burning Steamship RoRo Ferry: Great Lakes Future Uncertain

By George Backwell at March 09, 2013 05:02
Filed Under: Ferries, History, Steam
A coal-burning steamship ferry of some 400-feet in length, the car and passenger RoRo SS Badger, was amazingly still in commercial operation on Lake Michigan last summer after fifty-nine years, but whether she’ll make her sixtieth anniversary depends upon the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). SS Badger: Photo courtesy of Lake Michigan Carferry Service Presently the last coal-feed steamship in operation on the Great Lakes, the  Badger was honoured, amongst many organisations, by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers as a ‘Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark’. The citation reads:‘The two 3,500-HP steeple compound unaflow steam engines powering SS Badger represent one of the last types of reciprocating marine steam engines. Built by the Skinner Engine Company, most unaflow engines are single expansion. These feature tandem high-and-low-pressure cylinders separated by a common head. The Badger’s four Foster-Wheeler Type D marine boiler... [More]

'African Queen' Counterpart with a Mission on Lake Malawi

By George Backwell at October 01, 2011 21:48
Filed Under: General
Centenarian African ship, Chauncy Maples, is being renovated and refitted as a primary health-care clinic capable of routinely visiting poverty-stricken villagers on the shores of landlocked Lake Malawi. Lead corporate sponsor of the charitable ‘Chauncy Maples Malawi Trust’ is London-based mutual insurance company, Thomas Miller Ltd., whose Chairman Hugo Wynn-Williams explained:  “... we sought a way to celebrate this [his company’s 125th anniversary] which would be imaginative, have the potential to do good and be of universal interest …”Last week Thomas Miller announced that work at the lakeside shipyard was already under way, secure in the knowledge that the Portuguese charitable isntitution, Manuel Antonio da Mota Foundation, had pledged to finance €2million of the running costs over the next ten years; nevertheless, further help in cash or in kind for the outfitting of the vessel was still needed. Chauncy Maples in 1904: Photo cour... [More]

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