New Jersey Scuba Diving
Steamer or Steamship
Steamer is early term for any vessel power by a steam engine rather than sails.
The Delaware, an 1880's screw steamer
Early steamers were propelled by large paddlewheels. "Side-wheelers", with the paddlewheels on each side, were more seaworthy, and therefore more common in ocean waters, while "stern-wheelers", with a single large paddlewheel at the back, were more common as riverboats. Later, these were replaced by more efficient screw ( or propeller ) vessels.
The Black Warrior, an 1850's side-paddlewheel steamer. There are no stern-wheelers in the region that I know of.
This sketch of the Delaware shows the remains that you can expect to find of such a vessel.
Of note is the universal pattern of:
< == bow - boilers - engine - drive shaft - propeller - rudder/stern == )
and the fact that the boilers are always in front of the engine. Identify any one of these features on the wreck, and you can orient yourself in even the murkiest conditions.
Boilers on the Delaware. In the foreground is an intact one. Next to that is
a collapsed one; there are four all together. In the background is the engine.
An old postcard of the City of Keansburg, the last of the New York commuter ferries, and one of the last steam ships to ply local waters - until 1968.
One of the Keansburg's two triple-expansion steam engines,
at Allaire State Park.
I make no claim as to the accuracy, validity, or appropriateness of any information found in this website. I will not be responsible for the consequences of any action that is based upon information found here. Scuba diving is an adventure sport, and as always, you alone are responsible for your own safety and well being.
Copyright © 1996-2016 Rich Galiano
unless otherwise noted