1850's sternwheeler

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by baboonslayer, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. baboonslayer
    Joined: May 2010
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    Location: Colorado

    baboonslayer Junior Member

    I took a road trip down to Georgia a few months ago, and on the way I went through Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Going through St. Louis, I drove over the Mississippi river and saw a few sternwheelers and I thought they were pretty cool. Several hours later I drove over the Tennessee and Ohio rivers, and I saw a few more sternwheelers. I got kind of interested in them and did a little research when I got back, not much came up about them and I just forgot about it for a while. I'm just curious how sternwheelers were built back in the 1850's. I heard somewhere that most were built without plans. Did they just lay the keel and frame and nail planks to it? What tools did they use back then?
     
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    They were built to plans originally, but there after, a master builder may have "built to model" or type by eye after he had a few under his belt. They where fairly typical in some ways and unique in others. Because they were quite shoal and often had huge deck structures, they eventually developed massive girder and truss systems in their hulls, to keep them from hogging and buckling, which was a common sign in old age. As to the tools and build methods, well this is covered in a few texts on the subject, though most of the basics, could be gathered from boat building texts of the era.
     
  3. baboonslayer
    Joined: May 2010
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    Location: Colorado

    baboonslayer Junior Member

    Thanks for your help, I found a few good sources that really explained better how they were built. Just reading about their construction methods makes me realize why a steel hull is so much better. One of the sources said that a floating log could punch a hole clean through the hull.
     
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