- Comet (sternwheeler)
Career Name: Comet Route: Puget Sound, White, Black, and Nooksack rivers Completed: 1871 Out of service: 1900 or early 1880s. Identification: US registry #5973 Fate: abandoned General characteristics Type: inland steamboat Tonnage: 56.83 regist. Length: 65 ft (19.81 m) Installed power: two steam engines, horizontally mounted Propulsion: sternwheel
The steamboat Comet, whose name was said to have been “misleading”, was built in Seattle in 1871 by Capt. Simon F. Randolph (d.1909). Comet was constructed in an unusual fashion. Randolph built the vessel upside down by picking a flat area of ground, marking out the shape of the boat on the ground, and driving in posts at regular intervals to act as ribs. He then connected the ribs with crossbeams, bent planks around the posts and over the crossbeams, and had the hull complete, although upside down.
With the posts still affixed in the ground, the vessel looked like a potlatch house. Randolph then sawed off the posts, and pushed the hull out into the water. He then flipped the hull over using rocks piled on one side as an assist. The resulting hull was right-side up, but full of water. Randolph then beached the hull, pumped out the water with a home-made wooden pump, and the hull was complete. The steam engines Randolph installed were described as "non-descript and mismatching" and the upper works were said to have been tall and barn-like.
Comet was placed on the White River route under Capt. Curtis D. Brownfield (b.1850) until 1876 or later, and was the first steamer to be successful on that route, which included service to farmlands on the Black River. Comet then was shifted to run almost every route out of Seattle. Under Captain Brownfield, Comet was a pioneer vessel on the Nooksack River. Capt. George A. Cushman (d.1891), who built the steamer Snohomish, La Conner, Whidbey Island, Fidalgo, Bellingham Bay, Semiahmoo Bay, and Lopez, Orcas and San Juan islands.
- Affleck, Edward L., A Century of Paddlewheelers in the Pacific Northwest, the Yukon, and Alaska, Alexander Nicolls Press, Vancouver, BC 2000 ISBN 0-920034-08-X
- Newell, Gordon R., ed., H.W. McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest, Superior Publishing Co., Seattle, WA (1966)
- Newell, Gordon R., Ships of the Inland Sea, Superior Publishing Co., Seattle, WA (2nd Ed. 1960)
- Wright, E.W., Lewis & Dryden's Marine history of the Pacific Northwest, Lewis & Dryden Printing Co., Portland, OR (1895)
Steamboats of Puget Sound and western Washington State PropellersWood
- Alice (1897)
- Alice Gertrude
- Annie M. Pence
- Bay Island
- C.C. Calkins
- C.C. Cherry
- Florence K
- General Miles
- Hattie Hansen
- Inland Flyer
- Island Princess
- L.T. Haas
- Lady of the Lake
- Monticello 2
- Virginia V
Sternwheelers Sidewheelers Steam tugs Steam ferriesConvertedPurpose-built Motor vesselsTowingPacific Tow Boat Co.Ferry Shipyards PersonnelOregonBritish ColumbiaAlaska and YukonOther Navboxes
- Columbia River
- British Columbia
Lists of vesselsrelated topic: Washington State Ferries Puget Sound sternwheelers
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