Port Byron in Cayuga County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Tanner's Dry Dock
The Canalway Trail
The concept of the dry dock was simple. A large basin floored with wooden planks, was connected to the canal by a narrow entrance and gate that could be closed to block the flow of water. When gates were opened, the bay would flood and a boat could enter for repairs; once inside, the lock would be drained to allow work to be done; when the work was complete, it would be reflooded and the serviced boat floated out to the canal.
Tanner's was one of about 44 dry docks that operated at different times and locations on the Enlarged Erie Canal.
Building & Launching a Laker. Tanner's built different types of canal boats, but lakers were among the most common. They were occasionally built from blueprints, but more often, were constructed directly by an experienced shipwright. A canal boat was built of oak planks two inches thick that would be nailed to a heavy oak frame. Its bottom
It's been calculated that at $2.00 a day per worker in 1880, the labor for building a laker at Tanner's amounted to between $900 and $1000. Including materials, the boat's cost averaged about $3800.
When a laker or bullhead boat was finished, it was prepared for launching. Launch "ways" constructed from heavy timbers were thickly greased, slid under the boat, and raised to form a ramp. Canal boats were launched parallel to the canal because they were often longer than the canal's width.
Winches would then start the boat moving sideways down the ramp and with a giant splash, it would hit the water. In the years before the canal closed, Tanners also built pleasure yachts, launches, house boats, and in 1910, even a new gasoline powered "torpedo boat."
Erected by New York State Canals.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Erie Canal marker series.
Location. 43° 2.25′ N, 76° 37.154′ W. Marker is in Port Byron, New York, in Cayuga County. Marker can Touch for map. Marker is in Schasel Park; the park is on the south side of NY Route 31. The marker is the north panel of a tri-panel kiosk. Marker is in this post office area: Port Byron NY 13140, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Metaphor for Change (here, next to this marker); Village of Port Byron (within shouting distance of this marker); Port Byron (approx. ¼ mile away); Brigham Young (approx. ¼ mile away); Henry Wells (approx. 0.6 miles away); Glaciers, Drumlins, and High Level Lakes (approx. ¾ mile away); Blacksmith Shop and Mule Shed (approx. ¾ mile away); The Erie House (approx. ¾ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Port Byron.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on May 22, 2017. This page originally submitted on May 24, 2015, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 194 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on May 24, 2015, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.