Christened with a smile, by Miss Alice C. Seaver, the New Bedford, the latest addition to the fleet of the N. B., M. V. and N. Steamboat Co., took to the water Saturday. With her flags flying in the sunshine she slid from the ways at the fore River shipyard at Quincy before an audience of several hundred.

Two tugs awaited the steamer which slid smoothly down the ways, and within two minutes they had lines aboard the vessel. They towed her to a nearby dock, where she was tied up until after luncheon was served to the launching party, which then proceeded to inspect the steamer.

Although her line are exactly like those of her sister steamers, the New Bedford appears somewhat different in that the passenger gangway is considerably farther aft than on the other two steamers.

The most striking difference is seen in the extension of the main freight deck much farther aft than in the other steamers, a feature that adds one-third more freight space.

Other than the smoking room on the main deck aft and the men’s lavatory on the other side aft, there is no passenger space on the main deck of the steamer. Carrying the main freight deck so far aft has eliminated the purser’s office and the lunch bar from the main deck, and these will be found on the saloon deck.

The stairs from the main deck to saloon deck are at the extreme after part of the steamer, the stairs opening on the outer after part of the saloon deck. Aside from the purser’s office and the lunch bar on the saloon deck, this deck on the New Bedford is practically the same as on the other steamers.

Command Given to Veteran

Capt. Francis J. Marshall, the veteran commander of the line, will have command on the new steamer. Captain Marshall will take with him practically the entire crew of the steamer Uncatena, now the company’s oldest steamer, which passes into the category of a spare steamer, her future to be determined by events yet to come. The New Bedford will take over the ordinary summer runs of the Uncatena, tying up over night Edgartown and running as the early morning boat from the Vineyard and the 10:30 steamer out of New Bedford. The Martha’s Vineyard will be the early morning boat out of New Bedford, while the Nantucket will be the early morning boat from Nantucket.

This arrangement of the steamer runs is planned so as to give the New Bedford, with the largest automobile capacity, two trips from the Vineyard each day during the operation of the summer schedule. The New Bedford can take on board 35 of the largest types of automobiles, in addition to the regular freight, as compared with a maximum capacity of 25 cars of the other two steamers. Two turntables are installed for the more rapid handling of cars.

One additional refinement that the New Bedford will be a refrigeration system, supplying the ship with ice and cold water made on board.

Tonnage is 1,100

The New Bedford has an over all length of 210 feet 3 inches, and will be capable of turning up 15 knots an hour, with a maximum passenger carrying capacity of 2,000. Her dimensions are practically the same as those of the other two newer steamers, though her gross tonnage of 1,100 tons figures up slightly more than the other two steamers. She carries four larger lifeboats, with a total passenger capacity of 160, as against six smaller lifeboats with a passenger capacity of 140, on the steamers Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.

The contract for the building of the New Bedford calls for delivery on or before June 15, and the builders are anticipating this date by nearly a month, planning now to deliver the steamer at Newport on May 19. The steamer is now practically complete save for finishing some of the fittings, and when she arrives at Newport in two weeks her furnishings are ready to move into her. There will be 2,000 life preservers to be put aboard and the other equipment which the new England Steamship Co. installs.

Captain Marshall will take command at Newport, and the steamer will be in readiness for the opening of the summer schedule June 10.

The summer schedule between New Bedford and the islands will be the same as for several years, with the exception that on Saturdays there will be a steamer leaving New Bedford for Woods Hole and the Vineyard at 6:30 a. m., accommodating the passengers arriving on the New York steamer Saturday morning.

The New York steamers will leave New Bedford at 7:30 p. m., a half hour later than in the other seasons.

First Boat of Name

The New Bedford is the only present boat of the island line built at the Fore River yards. The Nantucket and the Martha’s Vineyard were built at Bath, Me. The old steamer Sankaty, partially destroyed by the fire that badly damaged the New Bedford Vineyard dock some years ago, was built at the Fore River yards. The name New Bedford is a new name, one that has never been carried by a steamer on the island line. There was once a City of New Bedford running between New Bedford and New York.

James Swan, superintendent of marine construction, and A. F. Haas, assistant superintendent of marine construction of the New England Steamship Co., have been on the job almost since the keel of the New Bedford was laid last autumn. They have supervised the construction of the steamer, and the launching yesterday marked the close of a long vigil for them.

Among those in the launching party at the yard were Frank J. Wall, New York, assistant to the vice president of the New England Steamship Co., formerly the New Bedford agent of the line; W. A. Smith, New Bedford agent; A. H. Seaver, assistant passenger traffic manager of the New Haven road; Charles S. Norton, Vineyard Haven, a director of the New England Steamship Co. The youngest person present was Alice C. Seaver, the smiling little daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Seaver, to whom fell the honor of christening the new boat.