Steaming around Puget Sound for 100 years

About the Ship: Engineering

The Virginia V’s engine is one of two identical steam engines built by Heffernan Engine Works for the U.S. Government. One was accepted and installed in the U.S. Army Quartermaster Steamer Evan Thomas, and the other was sold in 1904 to the Lorenz Brothers for the Tyrus, later renamed Virginia IV.

After the Virginia V was launched, the brand new hull was towed to to the King Street Drydock in Seattle where on April 2, 1922, the engine, boiler and condenser were transferred from the Virginia IV to the Virginia V. In a disastrous turn of events, loose engine mount bolts allowed water to fill the hull of the Virginia IV and she sank. Six months later she was raised, and sold to Canoe Pass Packing Company. They re-powered her with a diesel engine and used her as a cannery tender.

The ship was restored 1996-2002, with the final project completed winter 2005, and preserved by The Steamer Virginia V Foundation. Learn more about her triple-expansion steam engine on this virtual tour of the engine room.

The Engine

Steam Engine Type Three cylinder, Triple-Expansion Double-Acting engine
Indicated Horsepower 400
Maximum RPM Approximately 200
Cylinder Bore (Diameter) 10 1/2 inches, 16 3/4 inches, and 28 1/2 inches (HP, IP, and LP respectively)
Piston Stroke 18 inches
Year Built 1904 in Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA

The Boiler (Steam Plant)

Boiler Make Babcock & Wilcox Watertube Boiler
Boiler Type Diesel oil fired. The ship's original boiler burned Bunker C fuel-oil, although cord wood was stoked into the firebox to get the steam up when the boiler was cold. Once the boiler was heated, the oil burner was engaged.
Working Pressure 10,000 lbs/hr steam @ 200 ps
Fuel Consumption about 30-50 gallons per hour
Year Built 2000 and recertified annually by the U.S. Coast Guard for use in a passenger boat


Length 125 feet
Beam (Width) 24 feet
Draft 8 feet
Tonnage 99 Gross, 67 Net
Displacement (Weight) 150 tons
Propeller 75 inch diameter, 4-bladed
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