GOLD-CARRIERS IN DEMAND
Captain Goodall Says Few Suitable Steamers Are for Sale.
He Purchased the Cottage City, Curacoa and Valencia While East.Captain Charles Goodall of the Pacific Coast Steamship Company returned from the East yesterday. The company's experience with last season's rush to the Klondike showed them that they could not hope to handle next season's business with the present fleet. Accordingly Captain Goodall accompanied by his son Harry and chief Engineer Lacey of tho Umatilla visited New York and Philadelphia to have a look at the vessels for sale and to purchase whatever ones might be suitable for the Alaskan trade. The Cottage City and the Curacoa were purchased for the Pacific Coast Steamship Company and the Valencia for the Pacific Steam Whaling Company. The Cottage City is now several weeks on her way to San Francisco and the Valencia sailed on the 20th and the Curacoa on the 23d inst. All three steamers called at Baltimore and bring from that port a load of coal for San Francisco.
"There are plenty of steamers for sale in the East," said Captain Goodall, "but very few of them are suitable for trade on this coast. All the vessels that are of any account are engaged in regular trade and only those that are superannuated are offered for sale. We looked at dozens of steamers whose engines and boilers were from seventeen to twenty years old and the repairs on them necessary for a voyage around the Horn would cost almost as much as a new ship. The Curacoa, Valencia and Cottage City were the vessels most suited for business on this coast and they were accordingly purchased. The Curacoa has accommodations for thirty-four first-class and about thirty steerage passengers. At the present time she averages ten knots an hour. On her arrival in San Francisco the Howden system of forced draft will be put in and then we anticipate that the steamer will have no trouble in averaging twelve knots an hour. We have not yet decided whether to put her on the Mexican or Alaskan route. Should she go on the former run her present passenger accommodations would be ample, but should we send her to Alaska additional accommodation would have to be put in. The new steamer Senator now being built by the Union Iron Works was intended for the Mexican trade, but should we decide to put the Curacoa on that route then the Senator will be sent to Alaska.
"The Valencia purchased for the Pacific Steam Whaling Company has a speed of ten and a half knots an hour and accommodation for thirty-six first-class and twenty-five steerage passengers. She will be overhauled and her passenger accommodations completely remodeled and increased. In a measure, she will take the place of the steamer Jeanie, now ice-bound in the Arctic. She will run between here and Copper River, her passengers making their way to Klondike over the Copper River trail. She will also act as a tender to the canneries and will, therefore, be of use after the Klondike season has closed."
The Valencia is a sister steamer to the Caracas, which went ashore at Yaquina Bay shortly after her arrival on
this coast and became a total wreck. She is in command of Captain Lord, who also brought the Caracas out here from the East. The Pacific Steam Whaling Company have also purchased the Excelsior and chartered the Alliance for the St. Michael trade.