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In Harbor Tonight

In Harbor Tonight

Size 18 inches x 13 inches, oil on board

Last moments of daylight but the approaching sail ship is lucky. Paddle steam tugboat is approaching to them with pilot and hawser ready to guide them to the harbor. The crew of the ship is ready to receive the towing line

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Bravo Marek!

The paddle tug... is she a named vessel? The livery on the funnel, red with white bands, appears in Dover Harbour Board.

Lovely colours, great clouds.

Stephen
 

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Thank You gentlemen. Stephen, this is a "Ben More" London registration on stern. Just was good for my project.On another hand i am very curies if those tugs operated with two independent machines (each for its paddle) or one machine for both wheels on same shaft.
 

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Marek, re the tug the answer is both, all the early paddle tugs had a single engine, usually single cylinder and both paddles revolved in the same direction. Later what were known as disconnecting engines were often fitted, each paddle being driven by a separate engine allowing the paddles to revolve in opposite directions making these tugs very manoeuvrable. The shafts could be coupled together by a dog clutch for steaming. Stephen
 

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Marek,

I have some notes from 'British Steam Tugs' (P.H. Thomas) Excellent book! In the early 1850s a lot of wooden-built paddle tugs had independent paddles. Perhaps the early tugs were not but I would guess that later years they would have been independent. Must have been difficult to control without independent paddles.

Stephen
 

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Thank You for informations.I worked around of steam in shipyards but paddle units I experienced on river in my hometown (Warsaw) in early after war times. Every wheel used designated machine located in paddle box and transferring power same way like steam locomotive. Two telegraphs on bridge and two operators down in boxes. Boiler was in center. No knowledge about clutch, well, I was a very young boy in those times.
 

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Stephen and Marek, yes I agree that disconnecting engines were introduced quite early, as were feathering paddle floats, but they were by no means universal. The wooden paddle tug United Service of Great Yarmouth was built in 1871 and only had a single cylinder engine, incidentally she was very long lived not being broken up until 1940 and then only because she was badly damaged by being crushed by a naval vessel at Great Yarmouth. She was also used for passenger trips in the summer. In a book entitled Mistleyman's Log written by Chub Horlock of the famous Thames barge owning family, there is a chapter devoted to sailing in and out of Yarmouth and how the paddle tugs, all of which were single engined (with the possible exception of the King Edward V11), turned 180 degrees in the narrow river whilst towing a laden barge. Fascinating stuff long before bow thrusters were invented.
Stephen
 

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Independent paddle wheels presented problems in other than sheltered waters given that differences in immersion in a seaway would produce racing of one engine and slowing of the other (due to paddle box choking), placing strains on the machinery and making steering difficult. Similarly for passenger carrying craft the tendency of passengers to move to the side of the vessel from which disembarkation is to take place could also make steering uncertain on the approach to piers. Since for a paddle steamer the efficiency of the rudder depends entirely on the speed of the hull through the water, it is necessary to approach landing stages much faster than a screw driven vessel in order to maintain steerage way , and loss of control at this critical point potentially dangerous. Sea going passenger carrying paddlers were thus invariably fitted with single engines driving a single paddle shaft( a further consideration being the relatively high cost and handling complications of having two sets of engines, which would outweigh any manoeuvrability advantages) "Waverley" enthusiasts may well be familiar with cir***stances where due to cold winds or rain passengers congregating on the lee side of the ship are entreated over the PA system to move to windward to 'balance up' the ship and assist progress!
 

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marek sarba
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