NEW FIREBOAT FOR DETROIT.
(Specially written for FIRE AND WATER.)
DETROIT, MICH., June 9. 1900.
Our fire department here is to be still further improved by the addition of the fireboat Deluge, which is approaching completion in the yards of the Detroit Dry Dock co. She will present several new features and will be altogether a great advance on other craft of the same kind. As she will be called out in winter as well as when the water is free from ice, she is so built of mild steel as to force a passage through the ice which would otherwise hinder her progress on the way to a fire. Her length overall is 122 feet; beam, twenty-five feet; depth, thirteen feet. There are four compartments, separated by three watertight bulkheads. The forehold is fitted up for drying hose; in the middle hold are the boilers and coal bunkers; in the after hold are the propelling engines, fire pumps, and workshop. The pilothouse and deck are built of steel, and reels for 2 000 feet of hose are fixed in a room at the after end. On each side amidships are lockers for nozzles and fittings The pumping engines are being built at the works of Thomas Manning, jr., & Co., of Cleveland, Ohio—a firm whose reputation as builders of such engines stands deservedly high, and whose pumps are to be found all over the United States and Canada, and are found most serviceable here, at Cleveland Baltimore, and elsewhere. Two sets of these vertical triple flrepumps will be installed athwartwise on board the Deluge. They are of a new style and embody the triple feature in steam and water cylinders, and are the first of their kind ever placed in a fireboat. For this innovation the credit is due to Mr. Beaufait. mechanical superintendent of this city’s fire department. It admits of increased capacity, with the same weight, greater strength, and, as a consequence, greater durability. All these are points to be taken into consideration in the case of fireboats which are to be employed in forcing large quantities of water through an auxiliary pipe system to considerable distances, at high pressure, from the river, harbor, or lake. This will be accomplished without difficulty by the new boat, and by means of the triple pump the jerky motion common to double pumps will be avoided. Each set has three steam cylinders of hard cast iron, fourteen-inch bore and fitted with piston valves; three water cylinders, eight-inch bore, of composition metal and cast in one piece, having a common stroke of eleven inches. The pumps are double-acting, connected with suitable rods, cranks, and flywheels, and have about the same capacity as the largest double flrepumps now in service. The framing is the usual open style used in the Manning pumps at Baltimore, Detroit, and Cleveland. The cranks are set at 120 degrees—thus bringing every part in perfect balance when working through long lines under heavy pressure. The pumps are tested to 450 pounds, and the steam cylinders to 300 pounds hydrostatic pressure. The combined capacity of the two sets of pumps is 6,000 gallons of water a minute. The steam cylinders are covered with magnesium, with steel jacket and polished heads, to conform to the same general finish as the propelling machinery. The weight of the two sets of pumps will be approximately 32,000 pounds. They were designed by Thomas Manning, and Frank E. Kirby, designer of the fireboat, says they are a splendid job. The boat is equipped with two water guns—one located on the top of the pilothouse, and the other at the aft end of the deckhouse Twenty three and one-half-inch hose outlets are provided— ten forward, six amidships, and four aft. Four suction sea-valves, twelve inches in diameter, are fitted, so that a current of water from the propeller can be swept over their strainers to prevent any accumulation of ice. The propelling engine is of the simple, inverted, direct-acting type, with cylinder of eighteen inches diameter, and twenty-four inches stroke, driving a propeller of eight feet, six inches diameter. Steam reversing gear is provided, and all parts are extra heavy. Steam will be generated in two cylindrical boilers, eleven feet, three inches diameter, and nine feet, six inches long—each having two forty-fourinch furnaces and 336 two-inch tubes; working pressure, 170 pounds. Each boiler is fitted with double stack and casing. A complete electric lighting plant of 100 sixteen-candle-power lights capacity will be installed, and ventilation will be assisted by a steam fan. A steam capstan is fitted for working anchors, and a life raft and outfit for thirty passengers is provided.