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USS Wheeling: Speed Trials, 1897

- from The Wheeling "Daily Intelligencer," May 25, 1897


Of the Gunboats "Wheeling and "Marietta" Occur To-Day


In San Francisco Bay, a Mile in Length. There is Much Interest in the Trial, Especially as to the Relative Speed of the Two Boats  Wheeling Committee to Go to San Francisco in June, Probably. Arrangements Not Completed.

The United States gunboats "Wheeling" and "Marietta" which were launched from the yards of the Union Iron works at San Francisco this spring, will have their trial trips this afternoon in San Francisco bay. There is much local interest in the outcome and the wagers as to the relative speed of the two boats will now be in order. The types of engines of the two are different and the reult of the speed trials will be significant on that account.

The following Associated Press dispatch received last night from San Francisco tells of the arrangements for to-day's speed trial:

When the Wheeling and the Marietta, twin gunboats recently completed by the Union Iron Works, at San Francisco, for the United States government, have their speed trial on Tuesday, it will be over a new course, which has been laid out between Tiburon and El Campoe. It is exactly one nautical mile in length. Heretofore trials have been made in a stretch of the bay extending 1.78 nautical miles, but the water was shallow, a fact that lessens the speed of vessels and the dense smoke issuing from the refinery chimney, one of the object points, usually obscured the rear signal of the north range so that it was impossible to tell the exact moment when the vessel had completed the course. In consequence a new course had been laid out. The course will be of value to shipbuilders and owners desiring to test the speed of the vessels, as the signals are to be permanent and marked by granite monuments.

The local gunboat committee, bearing the testimonials in silver, glassware and pottery ware, will probably go to San Francisco next month, when it is anticipated the "Wheeling" and "Marietta" will be placed in commission. The arrangements, however, have not yet been completed. Satisfactory arrangements for the railroad transportation seem to be the stumbling block of the committee.

- from the Wheeling "Daily Intelligencer," May 31, 1897


Made Satisfactory Trial Trip  Speed is all Right  Ready for Delivery in Two Weeks.

SAN FRANCISCO, May 30.  The four hour official trial run of the gunboat Wheeling took place yesterday, back and forth over a twelve mile course in the bay, and at the finish her manoeuvering powers were thoroughly tested. She ran the four hours at 231.4 revolutions per minute, with a steam pressue of one hundred and eighty pounds, which gave a speed of 12.75 knots per hour. Everything worked satisfactorily, her performance being even more creditable than that of her sister ship, the Marietta, less coal per horse power being required and the engine and fire rooms cooler. This difference is due to the dissimilarity of boilers used in the two vessels.

The Wheeling will be ready for delivery to the government in two weeks and the Marietta in three weeks from this date when they will go to the Mare Island navy yard to be masted and to receive their batteries, boats and equipment.

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