Floating Tombstone The Mysterious Disappearance of North America's First Concrete Ship
by Sonny Moran
The Concretia was one of the most unusual boats to ply the waters of the St. Lawrence River in the 1000 Islands Region. The Concretia featured a hull made entirely from reinforced concrete, the first self-propelled vessel of its kind in North America when constructed in 1917 as a secret World War I project.
John Dick was her captain while the vessel was stationed at the former Dominion Lighthouse Depot for a period in the 1920s in Prescott. The times and the background of the boat have been captured in the eBook from Dick descendent Sonny Moran.
The shortage of wood and steel for ship building during World War I caused the government to search for other materials.
Buying the eBook will pull you into the mayhem and memorable moments the Concretia experiences as a government marine and fisheries ship and then refit as a recreational vessel sailing to beautiful exotic locales.
With a veil of secrecy hanging over her, the concrete boat was built and completed sea trials before her existence was publicly announced in 1918. She was used primarily as a Coast Guard ship.
An example of the Concretia’s durability is outlined in the Morris family’s “History of Prescott”. During a severe storm in December, 1921, the Concretia was driven into a bay and drifted with the high winds and churning waters after her anchors failed to hold. She was unable to be freed and remained hung up until spring. When she finally could be released, it was found that no serious damage had been done.
But that was only the beginning of the legend. When the Concretia finished her government service career, her hull ended up sunk to form a wharf. The boat was refloated in 1979 by a consortium of investors who refitted her into the barquentine Onaygorah, a tall ship to sail the high seas....
- Sonny Moran, January 2011
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