The Canadiana Engineering Study

Preface To Engineering Study

 While several years old, most of the facts contained herein have not changed significantly and any negatives have for the most part, been off-set by new developments.

Our engineering study sets estimates which, according to experts, are still good. The price of steel has not changed nor has the price of labor. With shipping on the decline, competition for remaining business is keen causing profit margins and other costs to be set at the low end. This was born out by Marsh Engineering's recent rebidding of their original 1988 quote for the hull rebuild.

During this interim, the Canadiana has been waiting in a slip alongside the Dry-dock in Port Colborne. She was allowed to settle to the bottom of the slip to protect it from bouncing around on the surges that occur when large ships pass in the Canal. It has the additional advantage of preventing additional wasting as rust does not occur nearly as quickly as when there is exposure to air. While this does not appear very dignified and has given the wrong impression to some, it was a necessary and purposeful move that has paid off. We recently had three separate naval architects look at the ship, one being the man in charge of Vessel Restoration for Parks Canada. There are no doubts that the Canadiana is physically able to be repaired. She is in much the same condition as when she was first taken to Port Colborne to await repair.

In other words; we have most of the parts of the beloved and historic "Crystal Beach Boat". To re-build, we just replace or add where necessary. It is that simple.

Engineering Study (Abstract)

Marine Consultants & Designers (Canada) Ltd.

Mr. David Munro; Naval Architect

Floyd Baker, President SSCPS, Inc.

  • COMMENT - It is realized that the Canadiana has historic importance and at all times the historical integrity and maintenance of the original equipment and material has been kept in mind. However, since the intent is to operate the Canadiana as a passenger carrying vessel, it must be treated by the United States coast Guard as a NEW vessel. As such, it must comply with all current regulations which are considerably more stringent now than when the Canadiana was built, particularly in the areas of passenger safety. Wooden construction is not acceptable so that the entire superstructure must be replaced with aluminum. Aluminum has the added advantage of being light and beneficial to stability which in turn allows more passengers to be carried. It can also be reproduced in textures which will duplicate the appearance of wood. All existing steel structural support pillars and girders will be retained. Wherever possible, the original wood paneling and moldings will be re-installed.
  • The Canadiana is a significant historic vessel for Buffalo. Its rehabilitation would be an asset in the waterfront development of the city. The fact that modern regulations have altered some of the construction details and materials, should not detract from its historical and commercial attractiveness to Government agencies and the general public alike.
  • U. S. COAST GUARD INSPECTION SERVICE - The findings and suggestions in this report have been discussed with the U.S.C.G., Buffalo Office and we have obtained verbal recommendations regarding regulations, etc. They have extended their fullest co-operation. Their "Approval" on the reconstruction of the Canadiana will be obtainable after construction drawings, machinery drawings and other plans and specifications have been approved in principle and after the work has been carried out in accordance with these approvals and also in accordance with the inspector's periodic checks with the work in progress. Final approval will be given when the work is complete and the vessel has undergone trials and test as laid out in the Coast Guard Regulations at which time a certificate of seaworthiness will be issued.
  • CONDITION SURVEY REPORT - Hull Plating. Ultrasonic testing has been carried out to determine plate thickness as far as possible without dry-docking the vessel. The hull of the vessel from the main deck to the waterline was generally found to be in good condition, however, the tests indicate that there are some other major areas of weakness and all repairs to the ship's plating have been included in the Cost Estimate section of this report.

    Because of cement, flooding and other reasons, an accurate estimate could not be made. At this time we are estimating 40% of the hull will have to be replaced. At the time of dry-docking the estimate will be updated.


    • After re-plating as indicated, the hull should be suitable for further service subject to U.S.C.G. acceptance. Extensive cleaning, blasting and painting will be necessary.
  • HULL FRAMES - Generally the hull framing appeared to be in good condition. The aft peak tank could not be fully inspected due to the depth of water in the tank. The Orlop Deck stringer and some of the bottom floors in the shaft compartment aft of the engine room are badly corroded. There is some local wastage of bottom floors in the space forward of the boiler room and in the engine room. The bottom floors in the boiler room could not be inspected due to the cement.


    • All bottom floors in the boiler room should be renewed. An estimated 20% of the remaining floors should be renewed.
    • The Orlop Deck Stringer in the shaft compartment should be renewed port and starboard.
  • MAIN DECK - Preliminary examinations showed the steel main deck to be in reasonably good condition with some exceptions.


    • Renew approximately 35 deck overhang struts and replace most of plating around the ship.
    • Plate in corroded plating and deck openings as required.
    • Cut out creased area of deck plating port and starboard and replace and support structure as necessary.
    • Jack up deck forward of boiler room and replace angle pillars below; also repair any damage under deck.
  • BULKHEADS - Generally the existing transverse steel bulkheads, both plating and stiffening, appear to be in good condition. There was some water at the bottom of the bulkheads so that this area could not be inspected. The vertical stiffeners are not adequately connected at the ends.


    • From the preliminary damaged stability calculations conducted to comply with current U.S.C.G. regulations, additional transverse watertight bulkheads have to be installed.
    • In addition, the existing bulkheads (33, 50 and 62) although generally in good condition, require additional strength to comply with current regulations.
  • SUPERSTRUCTURE - The superstructure is of wood construction. It is not in good condition and leans to one side. The boiler room casing up to the Boat Deck is constructed of steel. It is buckled at the Promenade Deck level and badly corroded at the Hurricane Deck level. There are longitudinal steel members at all deck levels supported at intervals by pipe stanchions. The longitudinal girders appear to be in good condition, however, many of the stanchions have rusted through at the base or have buckled.


    • Entire wooden superstructure should be replaced. It is recommended that aluminum be used for the superstructure. Aluminum, being light, will be beneficial to the stability of the vessel. It can also be formed to simulate wood planking, beams etc. if required.
    • The existing steel support structure and boiler casing can be retained (after renewal and repair) to preserve some of the authenticity.
    • It should be possible to retain about 10% of the total exposed area of wood, or similar material to retain some of the original appearance of wood facings.
  • PROP\ULSION SYSTEM - The main engine, thrust block, shafting and shaft bearings will have to be completely taken apart and overhauled by skilled personnel. The engine seatings and the ship's bottom in the area of the engine seatings are covered in a thick deposit of a tar-like oil and it is expected the metal surface has been preserved to a large extent.


    • Much cleaning and refurbishing of the Main Engine will be involved. Main bearing and shafting to be opened up for refitting and alignment.
    • The existing jet type condenser will have to be replaced by a surface condenser to ensure good quality water be returned to the boiler. A second important consideration in favor of a surface condenser is the need to improve efficiency and reduce the amount of fuel burned in the boiler.
    • Because the existing air pump is built integral with the jet condenser a replacement air pump will be needed.
  • PROPELLER - The condition of the propeller is not known at this time. However, it is known that one propeller blade has broken off due to the grounding of the vessel.

  • RUDDER - The rudder has broken off as a result of the grounding. It cannot be determined the extent of the damage to the upper and lower bearings or the entire stern structure. It is known that the rudder stock as sheared and that the plating of the rudder is quite badly corroded.
  • BOILER - The original boiler has been removed.


    • A new suitable "packaged" boiler will be required. The new boiler should be automated to provide reliable operation with a minimum staff. The boiler would be arranged to burn Marine diesel oil and would require appropriately one hour to raise a full head of steam from a cold start.
  • LIGHTING PLANT - The one existing steam operated generator is beyond repair but should be retained as a historical display. None of the existing D.C. system is worthy of any consideration.


    • New low operating cost generators are needed and though steam is the best choice historically, the low initial cost and particularly the lower fuel costs of diesel powered generators makes that type the best choice subject to effective noise reduction.
    • Existing D.C. system to be replaced with A.C. power. A new control panel and distribution panel will be needed and the whole ship rewired. Original deck lighting plan should be retained.
  • STEERING GEAR - The existing steam powered steering engine is of considerable historic value and should be overhauled and retained as a display item.


    • The original steam powered steering engine should be retained as a historical exhibit only. A modern "hydraulic" system should be installed using electric driven pumps to develop power. Hydraulics will provide a reliable system requiring an absolute minimum of operating personnel with an attendant reduction in maintenance and repair needs. Should hydraulics be introduced, the same system incorporates the manual back-up system required to comply with U.S.C.G. regulations.
    • Maneuverability for a vessel of this type is of prime importance. Most modern vessels are fitted with transverse bow thrusters to control the bow particularly in high winds. although not mandatory nor required by regulations, it is recommended that a thruster of about 300 H.P. be installed. This is included in the cost estimates.
  • BILGE PUMPS - None of the existing system is serviceable.


    • Presently there is only one bilge pump. With watertight bulkheads each compartment would have to have its own bilge pumping system piped to a central manifold. Rules require duplicate pumps.
  • STEAM & WATER PIPING - Existing piping can not be reused.


    • Though some of the existing pipes could be used, a number of changes will be necessary and it is, therefore, recommended that new piping and valves be used throughout.
  • ENGINE ROOM MACHINERY - Existing machinery can not be reused.


    • It will be necessary to reduce the potential fire hazard of the "open" engine room with the result that electrical equipment will have to be eliminated by locating many items in the insulated boiler room. Some of the historically valuable duplex steam pumps will be retained.
    • An efficient hot-well and feed water filtering system will be essential because the modern boiler is less tolerant to oil contamination than was the case in 1910.
  • ACCOMMODATIONS - Original living accommodations below deck are beyond repair. Original catering facilities, toilet spaces etc. have been removed.


    • Remove all existing wood bulkheads, floors and ceilings in the accommodation spaces below the main deck.
  • WINDOWS - Windows in the forward and accommodation bulkheads on the Hurricane and Promenade Decks and the Pilothouse may be re- usable.


    • Windows above the Main Deck will be arranged to reproduce the outline of the original 1910 layout. Only one or two would be arranged to opening. Windows in the toilet and catering spaces are smaller and would open for ventilation purposes.
  • NAVIGATING APPLIANCES There are no lights etc. on board.


    • The ship would require the following:
      • Radar
      • Marine Radio
      • Shortwave Radio
      • Compass
      • Telegraph
  • LIFE SAVING APPLIANCES - The lifeboats and their launching davits have been removed from the vessel.


    • Regulations require a life jacket be provided for every passenger and crew member with an excess of 10% children's sizes. If the vessel will operate less than 3 miles off shore in the summer months only, 6 lifeboats capable of carrying 10% of the total complement are acceptable. Extensions of these limits would involve additional life rafts for 100% of the compliment.
  • PAINTING - The general condition of the steelwork throughout the vessel indicates that sandblasting or a similar process will be necessary, followed by painting.
  • STABILITY - U.S.C.G. requirements have changed considerable since the Canadiana was built. The vessel has to meet the criteria for both intact and damaged stability. Stability is the ability of a vessel to return to the normal upright position when heeled by the action of the wind, waves, passengers all to one side etc. Intact stability is when the vessel is in a normal floating condition, either empty or full with passengers, fuel, stores, etc. Damaged stability is if any below waterline damage occurs allowing water into the interior of the vessel. The vessel has to remain afloat in a stable condition. Extensive calculations will have to be conducted to ensure that a vessel will comply with all the regulations.
  • FIRE PROTECTION - The vessel does not meet any of the current requirements and a preliminary detailed review will be made to ensure compliance with the rules.


    • A major proposed change to the vessel will be that the "open" engine room will only contain steam equipment. All electrical equipment, fuel and diesel generator will be located in the boiler room which will be fully insulated to A-60 standard.
  • CATERING FACILITIES - Provision should be made for the storing and serving of snacks and beverages. The original buffet area on the Main Deck would be used, however additional areas should also be created.
  • PUBLIC ADDRESS SYSTEM - A good system for announcements, etc. should be provided.
  • SEWAGE - Holding tanks will have to be installed and these should be complete with a special sewage pump connected to discharge, port and starboard, to dockside connections to the Buffalo City sewage system.
  • HEATING - Anticipating that the Canadiana would only be used in summer months, we have not made any provision for heating.
  • DANCE FLOOR - Dancing will be on the Promenade Deck. Stiffening and floor covering will be arranged to suit.
  • DRY-DOCKING - To accomplish the necessary underwater work on the vessel it is mandatory that the vessel be dry-docked. This is also a Coast Guard requirement. Various alternative docking arrangements have been reviewed however, it is recommended that an experienced, well established facility be used due to the complexity of some of the work involved.
  • CREW- Discussions with U.S.C.G. has established a minimum compliment of nine, consisting of deck and machinery personnel. Additional crew will be required for catering, bars, security, concessions, ticketing and sales as deemed necessary by development of a business plan.
    As this report recommends an automated boiler, it is expected the crew may be reduced by one man. A final ruling cannot be obtained at this time as detailed plans and specifications of fuel storage tanks, boiler room, engine room, controls, wheel house, navigational equipment and loading ramps are required by the Coast Guard personnel before they can provide a final ruling.

    The consultant's work would require at least the following:

  • Preparation of detailed plans and specifications.
  • Obtain U.S.C.G. approval of plans. Preparation of final plans and specifications based on the approved plans and specifications.
  • Carry out final designs and cost estimates.
  • Prepare working drawings.
  • Prepare a master work schedule.
  • Prepare specifications for each piece of new machinery.
  • Prepare specifications for each piece of repaired machinery.
  • Prepare specifications for each piece of equipment.
  • Prepare specifications for hull and superstructure.
  • Prepare contract documents ready for tender and/or construction.
  • Perform analysis of tenders.
  • Make recommendations for award of contracts.
  • Make recommendations for the construction work.
  • Supervise the work.
  • Carry out the general administration during construction.
  • Attend job meetings.
  • Prepare approval certificates of contractors' payments.
  • General follow-up of construction with respect to progress, cost and schedules.
  • Review of shop drawings.
  • Comment on alternative materials and construction with respect to progress, cost and schedules.
  • Preparation of change orders.
  • Obtain warranties, guarantees and certification of contract completion.
  • Obtain warranties, guarantees for all equipment.
  • Supply resident staff on a part-time basis to determine that the work is being carried out in accordance with the contact documents.
  • Supervise the progress of the work in accordance with the master work schedule.


  • HULL
    • General Arrangements.
    • Midship Section.
    • Longitudinal Section and Deck Plans.
    • Subdivision Details and Data.
    • Water-tight and Oil-tight Bulkheads.
    • Sea Chests
    • Boat Arrangement.
    • Natural and Mechanical Ventilation.
    • Sprinkler System (if fitted).
    • Fire-resisting Bulkheads.
    • Lifeboats, Life Rafts and Buoyant Apparatus.
    • Scuppers and Discharges.
    • Aluminum Superstructures.
    • Rudder and Steering Gear.
    • Stem and Stern frame.
    • Pillars and Girders.
    • Shell Expansion.
    • Engine and Boiler Seatings.
    • Schemes of Riveting and Welding.
    • Trim and Stability Calculations.
    • Tonnage Plan.
    • General Arrangement of Machinery.
    • Diagrammatic Arrangement of the Feed Water, Cooling Water, Blow down, Oil and Fuel and Compressed Air Systems and the Vent, Sounding and Overflow systems for Oil Fuel Tanks.
    • Diagrammatic Arrangement of the Bilge and Ballast Pumping and Piping Systems.
    • Unfired Pressure Vessels Including Sprinkler and Foam Pressure Tanks.
    • Main and Auxiliary Boilers.
    • Boiler Mountings.
    • Diagrammatic Arrangement of Steam Piping.
    • Fresh and Raw Water Systems.
    • Electrical Equipment.
    • Diesel Engines.
    • Reciprocating Steam Engine.
    • Condenser.
    • Main and Auxiliary Steering Arrangements.
    • Plans for Fixed Fire Extinguishing Equipment.
    • General Arrangement of Controls and Explanation of the Operating Sequence.
    • Thrust Shafts, Intermediate Shafts, Propeller Shafts and Shafts of Electric Generators and Motors Essential for the Safe Operation of the Ship and Couplings.
    • Fuel Tanks.

Most of the drawing listed above relating to Hull and Machinery are not available for the "Canadiana" and the Consultant will have to carry out extensive measurement of existing structures and machinery to reproduce the shipbuilder's original prints. This is mentioned because an unusually large amount of time will be required to produce many of the prints. In addition to those drawings required by U.S.C.G., a similar number will be required for issue to the contractor and though some will come from suppliers, most will have to be produced showing details of construction, welding, seatings, piping, etc.

    The cost estimate using current (August 1986) day prices is $4,300,000.00. It can be broken down approximately as follows:

  1. Steelwork (incl. dry docking, towing etc.) $600,000.00
  2. Superstructure (incl. insulation, wood, trim etc.). $1,350.000.00
  3. Main Engine and Boilers. $500,000.00
  4. Auxiliary Machinery and Pumps. $400,000.00
  5. Piping and Electrical. $550,000.00
  6. General and Outfitting. $500,000.00
  7. Engineering, Inspection and Insurance. $450,000.00

This estimate does not include the costs of any Sales Taxes, Duties, U.S.C.G. fees, legal fees or cost of re-floating the vessel.
Some estimates of costs were obtained from suppliers in present-day dollars. Most of the costs were developed from our knowledge of the scope of work and prevalent charge-out rates and material costs on file and within the marine industry at this time.

 Copyright SS Canadiana  and Mr. Lee Online