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found wreck...need ID

Discussion in 'Wreck Exploration and Expeditions' started by bell47, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. bell47

    bell47 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Maine
    127
    1
    0
    We found a wreck and cant find any info on it. It's not on any chart that I've seen. It's not listed on any wreck list or website that I've seen. We found two riveted boilers and found an anchor. The anchor is a "navy stockless" anchor of about 2200 lbs( I compared it to ones on the tall ship "Bounty" and its almost identicle. There is anchor chain and the "tube" that it went through. The "tube" from the deck to where the anchor hung is about ten feet long. There are several pieces of deck machinery including a big winch. One piece has a big bronze shaft about 4 inches in diameter and about 4-5 feet long--what would that be? We also found an intact glass vase, or wine decanter(not sure) so we thought it may have had passengers.(?). We found a couple of old brass/bronze valves(steam, water???) that say Kennedy Valve on them. We have not found a propeller or side paddle frames so maybe it was a schooner with some steam machinery, but would it have two boilers?? The mostly intact boiler is about eight feet long and about 6 feet in diameter. Any info on where to look for info would really be appreciated. It's on the coast of Maine. Thanks for any info.
     
  2. WetDawg

    WetDawg Captain

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Ft. Laud / Miami, FL
    343
    13
    18
    The "tube" that a ship's anchor chain runs through in known as a hawse pipe.

    I would start with talking to a ship wreck research expert like Gary Gentile. He makes a living at this sort of work.
     
  3. WetDawg

    WetDawg Captain

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Ft. Laud / Miami, FL
    343
    13
    18
  4. WetDawg

    WetDawg Captain

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Ft. Laud / Miami, FL
    343
    13
    18
    Have you found the actual hull outline? Have you done a full survey of the site? Are you able to judge approx length and width of the vessel? The reason I ask is that another likely scenario is that it's not really a wreck but maybe a dumping spot?

    Had a friend report a new wreck a few years back down here in a very heavily dived area... turns out it was not a ship but old fiberglass boat molds that were dumped and crusted up enough to look like wreck.
     
  5. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    55,213
    22,323
    113
    How exciting! Please keep us appraised of the situation as it unfolds.

    BTW, how deep are you operating at?
     
  6. WetDawg

    WetDawg Captain

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Ft. Laud / Miami, FL
    343
    13
    18
    Kennedy Valve has been in business in NY since 1877. Maybe someone there could ID a detailed photo of the valve and at least tell you the time frame it was made, this would help narrow your window of manufacture.

    On a related side note; in a recent episode of NCIS a person was murdered by having their head smashed with some sort of valve. From a simple imprint in the victims head they were able to run a computer analysis and narrow it down to a specific valve from a specific manufacturer. Further they were able to pinpoint the types of ships it was installed on including a certain class British Navy Destroyer of which there was exactly one docked in Washington at the time. They search engine room, find the valve and of course it has blood on it. Mystery solved. Naturally, this only took McGee about 60 seconds on his crazy computer, far-fetched, yes, but in theory the process of deduction is sound.

    A riveted boiler would have most likely been built sometime prior to 1940 when welding became the industry standard for shipbuilding.
     
    p.kiel likes this.
  7. WetDawg

    WetDawg Captain

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Ft. Laud / Miami, FL
    343
    13
    18
    Careful analysis of the boilers should reveal a manufacturers plate. Typically made of brass these tend to survive extended immersion in seawater.

    Take some time and carefully scape any growth from the boilers and work to find the tag. This would be very useful in tracking down the manufacturer of the ship and eventually the ship's name.

    ***Disclaimer*** I am not a Underwater Archeologist, NOR did I stay at a Holiday Inn last night... some of these folks may take extreme offense at disturbing any portion of the wreck, especially it turns out to be historically significant or a war grave of some such.
     
  8. bell47

    bell47 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Maine
    127
    1
    0
    We have not found a hull outline. Probably won't,The area has big boulders, and heavy surf. The anchor and deck equipment are shallow 20-40 feet and the boilers are out deeper. We think the ship hit this "wall" of a cliff and sank on the slope under it. It would have been beat to pieces here over the years. The hawse pipe, anchor, chain, and winch are only about 10-15 yards out from the shore/rocks. We've found some old plate iron/steel in the sand at the bottom of the slope, but no intact pieces of a hull. There may be more covered in the sand. How long have "navy stockless" anchors been used? Also, we thought that maybe it was a wood hulled ship. We have found NO iron beams that would suggest an iron frame.
     
  9. garyd54220

    garyd54220 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Manitowoc, WI
    132
    14
    0
    If you send me $1000 to cover my expenses I'll be happy to come out there and identify it for you.
    :eyebrow:

    Seriously though, I would also suggest you contact a marine archeologist in your area. I would start here:
    http://www.maritimehistory.org/chapters/maine
     
  10. bell47

    bell47 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Maine
    127
    1
    0
    Thanks WetDawg. I've looked over the mostly intact boiler and did not see a data tag. Do you know where on the boiler they typically put them? I found Kennedy valve online but have not contacted them. Probably later today.
     

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