New Orleans, LA - Mississippi River - Steamboat Natchez - The ninth Natchez, the SS. Natchez, is a sternwheel steamboat based in New Orleans, Louisiana. Built in 1975, she is sometimes referred to as the Natchez IX. She is operated by the New Orleans Steamboat Company and docks at the Toulouse Street Wharf. Day trips include harbor and dinner cruises along the Mississippi River.
This is one of the two tandem-compound steam engines on the Steamboat Natchez. Each engine produces 1600 horsepower and has the dimensions 7 feet by 30 inches by 15 inches.
The Natchez IX is modeled not after the original Natchez, but rather the steamboats Hudson and Virginia. Her steam engines were originally built in 1925 for the steamboat Clairton, from which the steering system also came. From the S.S. J.D. Ayres were taken the copper bell, made of 250 melted silver dollars. The bell has on top a copper acorn that was once on the Avalon (now known as the Belle of Louisville), and on the Delta Queen. The Natchez IX also features a steam calliope that can play 32 notes. The wheel is made of white oak and steel, is 25 feet (7.6 m) by 25 feet (7.6 m), and weighs over 26 tons. The whistle came from a ship that sank in 1908 on the Monongahela River. The Natchez IX was launched in Braithwaite, Louisiana. She is 265 feet (81 m) long and 46 feet (14 m) wide, has a draft of six feet and weighs 1384 tons. Natchez IX is mostly made of steel, to comply with United States Coast Guard rules. [Wiki]
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