Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fireboat Duwamish

In 1909, in Richmond Beach Washington, construction started on Seattle's new fireboat. Designed by Seattle architect Eugene L. McAllaster and named the Duwamish, the Richmond Beach Shipbuilding Company equipped her with three American LaFrance steam piston pumps that were rated at a capacity of 3,000 gpm each. This gave the Duwamish a total delivery of 9,000 gpm and when launched, it was the world's most powerful fireboat. Her twin screws were powered by vertical compound marine steam engines with 4 Mosher watertube boilers. This gave her a maximum speed of 10 1/2 knots. The Duwamish was accepted by the fire department in 1910 and went into service while Seattle's first fireboat the Snoqualmie, built after the Great Seattle Fire, was put into dry dock to be converted from coal-burning to oil-burning like the Duwamish. The Snoqualmie returned later that year and the two boats served side by side from Station 5. In 1927, the Seattle fire department brought the Fireboat Alki into service and retired the Snoqualmie 5 years later. Although the Alki was newer, the Duwamish was more powerful and she remained the mainstay of Seattle's marine firefighting fleet.

Was not sure what I would see on my Self Guided Tour

Went to the Wheel House first, pretty Sparten.

I was thinking this must be one of the oldest vessels in the Work Boat Fleet

Did not find a big wooden wheel here and the same red/Green on each side of the compass?

I wonder if something like this existed here when it was a steam ship?

Samae type of communication controls for the pumps for fire the water cannons.

Major windless, I wondered if they anchored the ship when fighting fires?

Down into the biggest engine room so far

Port and Starboard Diesel engine controls

Two Huge Deisels

There were Three big deisel pumps as well, 1 really big one and two big but smaller ones, This pipe shows how powerful the pump is aas it pumps water to the main deck water cannons. 

Port and Starboard water lines to the water cannons. 

Not sure how fare they would shoot a stream of seawater?

Seattle Fire Department

There was just one guy aboard when I went to checkout the Duwamish Fireboat. He said to feel free to go anywhere on the vessel so I did. What I found amazing was she remained a Steam powered vessel well into 1950's when she was converted to Diesel. The Duwamish served in the Seattle fire department until her retirement in 1985. She remained the most powerful fireboat till a new one built  in 2003. Checkout the whole story of this 120' vessel at http://www.fireboatduwamish.org/ , even better to visit her for free at the Center for Wooden Vessels the next time you are in Seattle.

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