KEY STATS: Ship Type: Composite Barge Lifespan: Built 1898, Sunk 1945 Length: 177 ft (54.5m) Depths: 75- 100ft (23-30m) Location: Off Simcoe Island, Kingston, Ontario GPS N44 06 79 W76 34 78

The George T. Davie was a steamer owned by the Montreal Transportation Co. She was built in Levis, Quebec by the George T.Davie shipbuilding yards in 1898. This composite barge (wood and steel) was 177 ft in length, and sailed the Great Lakes carrying various cargos until April 18, 1945, when she sank for the second and last time.

The George T. Davie sank in June 12, 1911 near Alexandria Bay in the St. Lawrence River while carrying a cargo of grain.  The Calvin Co. of Garden Island tried unsuccessfully to raise her after several attempts.  Her stern lay on a ledge of rock and the bow in 65 ft of water.  

At this point Captain Gus Hinkley accepted the contract to raise the Davie; new to the salvaging business he was out to make a name for himself. He immediately brought tree vessels and 16 men to the job. He dry-docked two of the vessels, the barge Jessie and schooner Bertie Caulkins in Kingston in order to have holes bored through the sterns. These holes fomed eight 10- inch wells and through these were dropped two- inch iron chains, capable of lifting 50 tons. With this system Hinckley was prepared to raise 1,000 tons, and used divers to pass the chains under the wreck. After securing the hatches, pipes were attached and pumps drained the hull of water. During the raising process she rolled briefly to one side and for a short time it looked as if the effort was for naught. With a little ingenuity and praise of his crew Hinckley made the adjustments to the chains and successfully raised the Davie. Hinkley made a tidy sum for his salvaging efforts and the raising of the George T.Davie was one of many that brought him wide acclaim as an expert salvager.

The George T. Davie sank while being towed from Oswego, New York, to Kingston by the tug the Salvage Prince.  She capsized and as the story goes one crewmember had to scurry up the keel to be rescued.  She sank in 75 to 100 ft, 3 miles off Pidgeon Island, in Lake Ontario, Can.
The Davie was rediscovered by divers in 1983 and moored in 2000.  This wreck is a divers dream; she is in pristine condition and features a ship wheel at the helm.  The mooring line is placed about 20 ft off the wreck; divers first see the boilers and a winch.  Her decks sit in 75 ft and working ones way from the stern, checking out the holds on your way to the wheelhouse one of the best tours to cover the wreck.  Highlights on the wreck are a dory still intact, crane complete with shovelhead, ships wheel and the wheelhouse.

This is a dive that is best done at least twice as there is much to see. Limiting factors are depth, so monitoring time and air closely are a must. Good buoyancy is also essential as there is a light dusting of silt on the wreck and the bottom is of a silt composition.


NAME: George T. Davie OFFICAL NO.: 107233 TYPE: B1 (St. Lawrence grain barge) YEAR BUILT: 1898 BUILDER: G.T. Davie & Sons COUNTRY WHERE BUILT: Canada LBP: 177.42 BEAM: 35 MOULDED DEPTH: 12.42 GROSS TONNAGE: 680 SECTION B: OWNERSHIP/NAME CHANGES/DISPOSAL CSL OWNERSHIP DATES: FROM: 1921 TO: 1923 CHRONOLOGY: YEAR VESSEL NAME OWNERSHIP/COMMENTS 1898-1905 George T. Davie John L. Davie Quebec Que. Ca. 1905-07 George T. Davie J.R. Booth Quebec Que. Ca. 1907-21 George T. Davie Montreal Transportation Co. Ltd. Montreal Que. Ca. 1921-23 George T. Davie C.S.L. 1923-26 George T. Davie J.E. Russell Montreal Que. Ca. 1926-29 George T. Davie J.T. Sowards Montreal Que. Ca. 1929-44 George T. Davie Pike Towing & Salvage Co. Ltd. Kingston Ont. Ca. 1944-45 George T. Davie L.R. Beaupre Kingston Ont. Ca. 18 April 1945 Capsized and sank in heavy weather 2 m. W. of Nine Mile Point, Lake Ontario in tow Oswego-Kingstion, coal. At times of sin King a local Kingstonian Billy Bois (pronounced locally Booah) was the sole crew. As she went over Billy went with her and finally sat on the keel until the salvage Prince returned to rescue him. This vessel was named after George Taylor Davie the famous shipbuilder of Lauzon, Levis, Quebec and was DSL Hull No.2. SECTION C: CONSTRUCTION SHIPYARD: G.T. Davie & Sons SHIPYARD LOCATION: Levis, Que. HULL NUMBER: 2 DATE OF LAUNCH: 1898 DATE OF DELIVERY: 1898 HULL: Composite, steel framed, wood planked below W.L. steel plated top sides and deck and hatch coamings. HULL CONSTRUCTION: Rivetted and Bolted. SUPERSTRUCTURE: Wood SECTION E: ENGINE AND MECHANICAL ENGINE TYPE: Nil STROKE: Nil TURBINES: Not Applicable NUMBER OF BOILERS: 1 TYPE: LOCO. for steam auxliaries BOW THRUSTER: Nil STERN THRUSTER: Nil PROPELLER: Nil SECTION F: CARGO HANDLING CAPACITY AND FEATURES HOLDS: 1 HATCHES PER HOLD: 24 C to C

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george_davie.txt · Last modified: 2019/04/18 09:22 by tom
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