Inside Front Cover - "Permanencia" N. Sydney's Concrete Boat
ISSUE : Issue 18
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1977/12/1
Permanencia N. Sydney's Concrete Boat Captain John Parker, North Sydneyj Well, it wasn't a tragic fate • it was just the end of the ship. In the great shortage of ships, some of these people • some local people, some in Sydney • got together and they organised a company to build a cement ship, on the wa? terfront in North Sydney • at what was known as the Ballast Heap. Not quite at the Bal? last Heap • out "behind where Canadian Tire used to be. (Jenkin's Hardware today. In those days it was back of Jackson's store, at his wharf.) This was around 1919 • (Had a concrete boat ever been built around here before?) No, no. This is the one and only. They had built a few in the southern States. But this one • she was quite small, but they tried to build her the best they could, with the materials they had. They used steel; she was reinforced. These early cement ships weren't too successful because they had to make them quite thick, with a lot of material in them, as well as the steel reinforcing. And they didn't have 1'1' finished, the surplus of shipping was start? ing to show in the slump that came. Ships became very cheap. But this ship was fin? ished, with great effort from the financial end of it • and she went on a trip down to the south coast of Newfoundland. And on the way back, as I understand it, she got into a bit of a breeze and blew ashore. She just didn't have the power to hold herself off of the shore. So that was the end of her. She just ended on the rocks at St. Pierre • the crew jumped to shore. From news accounts of the day, we learn that the Permanencia wrecked March 8, 1921. She had a crew of 9 and was bound from Bel- loram, Newfoundland, for Boston with a car? go of fish • 3000 barrels of frozen herring valued at about $60,000.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 26 much cargo on them, for the displacement, you see? And then the additional weight of oil engines and the fittings round the deck. They had very little cargo space in the end. And they couldn't lift much. This one • the Permanencia • got fitted with a Bolinger C 0 Diesel, which was a type of early diesel engine that had to have the heads heated with blowtorches. There was a bulb that had to be heated red hot • a dome top to the combustion chamber • and blow? torches were rigged up-to play on this bulb--one for each cylinder. And I had one myself later on. In fact, some of them are still around. However, there was a shortage of money • and then, all of a sudden, before she was Our Front Cover Photo by Edith S. Watson. Courtesy Enid M. Byford, Managing Editor. The Royal Canadian Geographical Socity.
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