Above: The steam boiler operated a genuine "Gallows A-Frame Walking Beam Engine". Modeled after the type found on the steamer "Francis Skiddy" of the gold rush era, circa 1900's.
Above: The Osceola-class steamship, "Southern Seas" ( I ) or "The Seas" during her sea trials on Walt Disney World's large Bay Lake, in 1970. At this point, boiler pressure, vessel speed, helm control, and propulsion systems were being tested. The Contemporary Resort Hotel can be seen rising on the shores of Bay  Lake. The Lake itself had been dredged, restocked with fish, and cleaner water.
The official Walt Disney World rendering in 1971 for the Osceola-class steamships. (Disney Imagineering artist unknown)
The "Southern Seas" I  steamship -
(Note: Retired from service in 1976)


Osceola class



Length: 100'- 5/8" long

Beam: 30'-0" wide

Draft: 5'-6" deep at keel

Displacement: 160 tons (Best estimate)

Engine: Steam boiler operating a genuine "Gallows A- Frame Walking Beam Engine". Modeled after the type found on the steamer "Francis Skiddy" of the gold rush era, circa 1900's.

Built: Hull sections built at the Tampa Bay Drydock Co. But then assembled at WDW's Drydock and Central Shops, during 1970.

















Click on pictures to see enlarged images




Above: The pilothouse of an Osceola-class steamship. With all the polished brass, the mohogany and teak wood, it had a very nice aroma inside. The window panels were raised and lower using the leather straps. This is actually the pilothouse of the Ports-O-Call, but it is the same design of the first Southern Seas' pilothouse as well. The brass steering tiller can be seen, and the ship's telegraph is a working version connected to the other one in the Boiler Room. It was actually used to signal the Engineer, about the speed and direction for the ship's movements.

The steam whistle pull-handle hangs from above, as does the aim-handle for the brass spotlight. The black handles are thruster controls to move the ship sideways if needed. There are duplicate buttons outside as remote controls. Most classic vessels have wooden pilothouses so it will not interfere with magnetic compasses, and other navigational aids. The brass binnacle in front of the ship's tiller, contains a floating compass.















The original "Southern Seas" ( I ) - an authentic steamship -













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