The Diamond Island Stone Boat
Courtesy of the Lake Champlain Maritime
The Diamond Island Stone Boat was
one of hundreds of wooden canal boats that transported cargo throughout
the lake and Champlain Canal. The name of this boat, who owned her,
and when she navigated the lake have not yet been determined. Similar
in size and construction to the coal Barge A.R. Noyes, the Stone
Boat is a flat-bottomed, vertically-sided vessel. There is no evidence
of an engine, nor of masts and sails, indication that she had no
independent means of propulsion. She was instead towed from port
to port by a tugboat, or by mules on the canal.
On her last voyage the boat carried
a load of quarried stone that filled her hold from stem to stern.
The circumstances of her sinking are unknown, but most likely she
was separated from her tow, leaving her to drift onto the rocky
shore of Diamond Island; or, the immense weight of stone in her
hold may have stressed the hull, opening seams in the plaking and
forcing her owners to attempt to save the cargo and hull by running
her ashore. Efforts to save the vessel were obviously unsuccessful.
Features of Interest
- Size of wreck: 93' long; 14'
- The stempost extends 8' above
the bottom and is reinforced by several heavy timbers
- The cargo of stone blocks lies
stacked upon the frames over the lenght of the wreck. The hull's
frame timbers and keelson are visible between the blocks.
- In the decades since the boat
sank, her sides have been broken down by decay and winter ice,
and now lie on the bottom on both sides of the wreck, thus exposing
the massive stone blocks.
- Experience level: Beginner (Note:
currents can be very stong
here making this an Advanced dive - use caution)
- Depth of water: 12'–25'
- Never leave your boat unattended.
If you are swept off the wreck someone in your boat must be prepared
to pick you up.
- This is a popular fishing site.
Watch for fishing line and carry a knife. Location Immediately
off the southeast side of Diamond Island.
Currents can be very strong here —always evaluate the site carefully
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