Re: C&O Lake Michigan Ferries, was Crappy Job

Daniel A. Mitchell

Just a slight correction/addition to an earlier post … the SS Badger Skinner Uniflo engines ARE “reciprocating” compound steam engines. So, in-service coal-fired reciprocating steam-engine powered vessels are not yet “gone from the Great Lakes”. Seriously endangered though!

The SS Spartan has similar engines, though she is now out of service.

Another note: The Chief Wawatam had THREE engines … two in the stern as usual, and one in the bow for a bow propellor. The front propellor was part of why she was such a powerful icebreaker (second only to the USCGC Mackinaw). The forward prop pulled water out from under the ice in front of the ship, weakening it. The front engine and prop were not used during the ice-free months.

I spent several hours in the Chief’s rear engine room, and was amazed how smooth and quiet these two big steam engines were when running. One had no trouble conversing in a normal voice. There was just a very low frequency “thud-thud” sound (more of a feeling than a sound) and a bunch of hissing, whooshing, and sliding noises.

Dan Mitchell

On Sep 12, 2019, at 8:50 AM, Bob Weston via Groups.Io <oandle@...> wrote:

Hi Guys! There's a web site loaded with info on the Great Lakes Car Ferries, it even explains the Skinner Uni Flo engine which I believe was made in Erie, Pa. The web site can be found at
Bob Weston

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