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Some time ago the Northern Steamship Company, in order to keep pace with the demands made upon them by the largelyincreased trade of the Upper Thames District, consequent upon the development of the mines in that locality, placed an order in the hands of Mr. R. Logan, sen., of the North Shore, for a new steamer of such dimensions as would enable the company to give every facility to the travelling publio and shippers of goods for rapid communication between Auckland aud the various places of call along the Thames River as far as Paeroa. Being a purely local company, the management lias always exhibited a strong desire to keep in touch with their many constituents along the Thames waterway, and as that district has made very rapid strides during the past year or so, it wa3 evident that, although the service conducted by the steamers Paeroa and Ohiuemuri was an excellent one, a. steamer of larger proportions, giving better and more roomy accommodation for passengers, should be constructed. Mr. Charles Ransou, the energetic manager of the company, made several trips up the river in order to keep himself fully posted as to the requirements of the trade; and, as the result of his observation, he placed the matter betore the directors, who, coinciding with his views, ordered a steamer of such proportions as would enable the company to meet all demands for some years to come. Placing the building of the steamer in the hands of Mr. Logan, the company were assured that the best material and workmanship would be given; aud that they were right in their surmise was exemplified by the steamer which was launched yesterday. Shortly after nine o'clock yesterday morning everything was made ready at Mr. Logan's yards, on the reclamation, near the Freezing Company's works, for the launching of the new steamer. Some little delay occured in getting the vessel off, owing to her sticking on the ways, but the company s steamer Gairloch getting a hawser out, soon got the new steamer into the water. Miss Macfarlane, daughter of Mr. James Macfarlane, the managing director of the company, performed the christening ceremony in the orthodox fashion, naming the new vessel the Waimarie, and wishing her every success. The Waimarie is built of kauri thoughout, and is constructed on the diagonal principle with three skins, and is copper fastened. Nothing but the best material has been used in her construction, Mr. Logan being especially careful to see that all the timber used was of the best and properly seasoned. She is a most roomy and comfortable vessel. The saloon, which extends about two-thirds of the length of the steamer, and the whole breadth, has sleeping accommodation for about 70 persons. The upholstery and fittings are in crimson velvet, and give a very comfortable appearance. Curtains are fitted to each berth, so as to give as much privacy as possible. Right aft of the saloon is a very neatly-fitted card-room, with two tables, and all requirements. There is a very comfortable ladies' saloon at the fore-end of the saloon, with sleeping accommodation for 20. nicely fitted in crimson velvet, with all necessary lavatory conveniences, The poop deck is fitted with sparred seats, and has room for a very large number of passengers to bo comfortably seated, arrangements being mado for necessary awnings, etc. ; that everyone should be mado comfortable. A feature throughout the steamer is the arrangements for sanitary and ventilation purposes. There is ono tank holding about 400 gallons of fresh water; while two other tanks are connected with the engine-room, providing for a considerable supply of water for the washstands, lavatory, etc.; it being the intention to keep all these places continually flushed. The steamer is to be ringed with two pole masts, with two derricks fitted to each. There are two steam winohes to give every facility for the rapid loading and discharging of cargo. The steamer is to be fitted with the electric light throughout. At the foremasthead a light with very great power is to be placed with a reflector, which it is estimated will throw a light about a quarter of a mile ahead on each side, and so prevent as muoh as possible any delay occurring by the steamer touching on the banks on the up or down trip, during the fogs which are of so frequent occurrence in the river. The light is to be of sufficient brightness to enable the banks on either side of the river and the course ahead to be seen in the thickest fog. The engines are to be twin screw, by Messrs. A. and G. Price, of the Thames, and the boilers by the same builders are guaranteed to carry 1201b to the square inch. The engines are to be sufficiently strong enongh to maintain an average rate of ten knots per hour. The steamer has been constructed from the designs of Mr. J. G. Trevithick; the joinery work has been done by Mr. B. Hines, of the North Shore while the upholstery work has been carried, out by Messrs. Winks and Hall, of Short land-street. The construction of the steamer has been carried out under the personal supervision of Mr. Ranson, who expresses himself as being perfectly satisfied with the manner in which Mr. Logan has fulfilled his contract, nothing but the best of material and first-class workmanship having been employed throughout. Judging from appearances the Waimarie should be a most comfortable and successful vessel in the trade for which she has been built, and we feel sure that all will wish the Northern Steamship Company every success in their endeavours to foster the trade of the upper country with the city. The dimensions of the new steamer are:—Length overall, 123 feet ; keel, 106 feet; beam, 22 feet ; depth of hold, 8 feet 6 inches. She is fitted with two holds, and will carry about 200 tons of cargo on a draught of 5 feet 9 inches, or when light 4 feet 6 inches. She is fitted with a fore and aft tank, so as to enable the steamer to be lightened at either end as circumstances demand, '

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Bibliographic details

NEW STEAMER FOR THE UPPER THAMES TRADE., New Zealand Herald, Volume XXXIII, Issue 10045, 4 February 1896

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NEW STEAMER FOR THE UPPER THAMES TRADE. New Zealand Herald, Volume XXXIII, Issue 10045, 4 February 1896