The Travels of Tug 44

Dipper Dredge No. 3 - NYS Canal Corp

Dipper Dredge No. 3 is one of only two surviving steam derricks in North America, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. She was built in 1929 by the Bucyrus Company, though the steam engine and much of the machinery were built in 1909. She now lies retired, in the Lyons Drydock facility. And yes, she is still steam powered.

DD-3 is a giant steam-shovel, capable of lifting about 6-7 cubic yards of mud with each bite. Note the large beam laying on deck far to the right in the photo, seen better in the previous photo. That beam is a spud, used to hold the boat in place while working. When fully rigged, another beam would be in the middle of the rigging, crossing at the point where we see the large wheel half way up the derrick, with the beam extended forward and down and the bucket would be located on the end in the left bottom corner of the photo. The bucket digs with the teeth facing forward, and empties via a trap door in the bottom.

On the rear deck of DD-3, we see two buckets stored away. Note, what looks like large wheels on the bottom of the buckets are actually the hinges for the lid used to dump the load.

A close-up of the two buckets. One is slightly larger than the other. One day I need to somehow get inside and photograph the steam engine and other machinery. The hull of Dipper Dredge No. 3 is 110 feet long, 34 feet wide, with a draft of 7 feet, and made of riveted steel.

Our later visit in April 2013, shows Dipper dredge No. 3 with a fresh coat of paint!

An old postcard, dating perhaps to the 1930s or 1940s, showing Dipper Dredge No. 3 at work on the Erie Canal near Tribes Hill. Thank you John Hartge for sending this!

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