Explorers find wreck of rare daggerboard schooner in Lake Ontario
- On 13/12/2008
- In Parks & Protected Sites
From the Associated Press
Finding a rare 19th-century dagger-board schooner in the deep water off the southern shore of Lake Ontario was a chance discovery, say two underwater explorers.
Jim Kennard and Dan Scoville located the 17-metre-long ship unexpectedly this fall while doing underwater surveys west of Rochester using deep scan sonar equipment.
On the very last survey run of the season, a faint image of something protruding from the bottom showed up at the very edge of the display screen. Another run was made to obtain a better image and the position of the object.
The two explorers returned to the site two weeks later and used a remote operated vehicle to explore and photograph the shipwreck.
Kennard said vessels of this type were used for a short time in the early 1800s. The dagger-board was a wood panel that could be extended through the keel to improve the ship's stability.
The dagger-boards could be raised when the schooner entered a shallow harbor, allowing the boat to load and unload cargo in locations that would not otherwise be accessible to larger ships.
The ship is the only dagger-board known to have been found in the Great Lakes.