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Wanda III Coming Back to Life

July 9, 2021 in Uncategorized


Rita, like the RMS Segwun, is a creation of the Polson Ironworks. She was originally also steam powered. The logistics of safety and operation make the steam aspect less viable today, and she is in dry dock at the Muskoka Steamships and Discovery Centre (MSDC) in Gravenhurst.

MSDC President John Miller is passionate about the restoration/conversion project that is underway. A lot must be accomplished to finish the project. She will have her own slip all for viewing, passengers coming on and off, as well as dry dock. The space is a remarkable structure with soaring laminated beams and eventually, specialty lighting that will highlight different elements of the craft.

Wanda III was originally an Eaton boat and a familiar site on the lakes. She is very narrow, and commercial viability for cruises is affected by her design. Miller explained that part of the challenge in converting her to electric relates to the differences in the way electrical power is delivered. Ships like Wanda and the Segwun were brought to Muskoka originally by rail. Their size was limited by the dimensions of the rail system, bridges, tunnels and so on.

Currently, her rudder and propeller are wonderful works of rusty art, all barnacles and bubbles. Miller also explained that the interior would be rejigged a bit to include a second bathroom. Otherwise, her wood is in amazing shape and the ship will create a very special cruising experience. The Muskoka Fleet will include the RMS Segwun, the Wenonah II and the Wanda III.

By Tim Du Vernet

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