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Using theWard LaFrance to launch the Minnehaha

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Last Wednesday I flew into Excelsior Minnesota to help Jeff J launch the Minnehaha. I have previously posted pictures from a past years launch but these are a little more up close and personal.


A little background: The boat is a lake boat, along with 2 others, that was used in it's previous life as a ferry on Lake Minatonka. it was intentionally suck many years ago and a historical society raised it and refurbished it over many years. It is powered by a triple expansion steam engine, originally fired on coal but now uses fuel oil. During the season it runs excursions on the lake. Jeff is tasked with launching it in the spring and retrieving it in the fall. Gross weight of the boat and trailer is 132,000 pounds.


The boat is stored in a building next to Jeff's shop. It is towed down to the marina on an old railroad bed that is now a hiking/biking trail. The trip is a few hundred yards. The truck is in first gear in low range at around 900 rpms. It tows it with ease. As some of you may know, these trucks we're rated to tow 50,000 pounds. It was an enjoyable experience to be part of this as the truck was in it's element and had no trouble in the mud in the marina yard. The pictures are self explanatory. I was the spotter for Jeff. I am the guy in the desert camp rain coat and Jeff is in the driver's seat.


A special thanks to his son Danny for taking the photos.


John G









Edited by 42 chevy
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