Koninklijke Vereniging - Société Royale



SS Delphine. Chronicle of Horace Dodge's steam yacht.

Ineke Bruynooghe.


As SS Delphine is back to her former glory, and restoration work has been completed, a hardback book fully documenting her history, which has already meant several years of intensive research on the subject, has been published. The book, published in English, contains fully archived information in addition to acknowledgements from other publications and sources, all featuring one of the last remaining American Steam Yachts of the 1920's. Besides the inclusion of many never revealed stories and anecdotes about Delphine, the book also address the mistakes and misconceptions regarding her history. The text contains approximately 400 photographs, illustrating to the reader the changing face of Delphine over the years. The book contain details of her latest restoration. In addition to her own background, there is a brief history of steam yachting, and also a dedicated feature on the Dodge family and their fleet of vessels. Mention is also made of Delphine's engineer Henry John Gielow. The story began in April 1921 at River Rouge (near Detroit), Michigan, USA, where the Great Lakes Engineering Works had the honour of launching DELPHINE belonging to the Dodge family. At that time, the Dodge Brothers? Company was one of the largest American automobile-manufacturers. For seven years the Brothers had been producing their own Dodge automobile, which was a great commercial success with cars to a value of $35 000 000 being sold in the first year! Horace Dodge, the youngest of the Brothers and the mechanic of the two, loved yachting. In 1904 he ordered a 40-foot launch and by 1910 he owned two other larger vessels, both named HORNET. As Horace had always liked to develop his own sources of power, he created the Dodge Marine Division in addition to the car business. These launches had always one problem: insufficient sleeping accommodation. So in 1913 he ordered the 180-foot NOKOMIS I and four years later, its 243-foot long successor was built. His next yacht, the 258-foot DELPHINE, named after his only daughter, was built in 1920. That year tragedy hit the family when both brothers died. The splendid yacht DELPHINE was finally launched on April 2, 1921. At that time she was the largest yacht in tonnage ever built in the USA. The facilities onboard were superb: besides the large owner's stateroom with en-suite bathroom, there were also nine guest staterooms. The guests could enjoy the luxury of three lounges, a music room, a card room, and above the dining room there was a smoking room. To serve the 20 guests onboard, there was a crew of 55 who all had their accommodation in the bow. DELPHINE could reach a speed of 15 knots with her quadruple steam expansion engine designed by Horace Dodge. This powerplant gave approximately 150 revolutions a minute, while the required pressure of 250 p.s.i. was produced by three American Babcock and Wilcox boilers. Even today DELPHINE's engine is unique, as most of the steam engines ever built were of the triple expansion type! Her voyages were mainly in the Great Lakes area but the trips to the Atlantic Ocean would always be very tricky. As a matter of fact, the 258-foot yacht with her 15-foot draught was the largest yacht to pass through the locks on the Welland canal and the Saint Lawrence River, in the 1920?s! Although, this palatial yacht was used mainly for cocktail parties, she was also used for watching speedboat races in which Horace Junior Dodge, son of Horace Dodge, was a frequent participant. etc.

private publication, 2003. hardcover, with dusjacket 29x25cm, app. 400 photographs, 328 pages, only 1000 copies, English edition. very fine condition !! ISBN: 90806159
Boeknummer: 47183 | Prijs: EUR 140.00



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