The Tiller Wreck, Lake Ontario, Port Dalhousie, Ontario

Pictures by Warren Lo 2006

Ship Type: Two masted wooden schooner
Lifespan: Built best estimates early 1800s, Sunk: unknown? 
Length: 94ft
Depths: 110ft
Location: 6km north of Port Dalhousie, Lake Ontario, Ontario
GPS N43.14.734 W070.17.064

The "Tiller" wreck, was thought to be the "Henry Clay" for some time until it was disproved, but is simply known as the "Tiller" because of the lack of a ship's wheel as the ship was steered by a large wooden tiller at the stern of the vessel. As not much is know about the wreck, details of it's origins and sinking are currently unknown. It does resemble work from ships built in the early 1800s, however, that is the extent of what we know.

The wreck itself is remarkably intact, listing at a an angle on it's starboard side. The two masts have fallen over and lay to one side. About one half of the bowsprit remains, as well as much of the railing on the ship's deck. The most remarked feature of the wreck is the large wooden tiller at the stern of the wreck. There are a number of open cargo hatches in the deck, which can easily be penetrated. Care must be taken not to disturb the silt and proper caution exercised for diving in an overhead environment if penetration is attempted.

The site itself can have variable visibility, but typically is around 40-50 feet. At times, visibility has been 60 ft+ and at times measured in inches, but these are the extremes. Water temperatures generally don't get warmer than the 50 degree range, and often times in the low 40s and high 30s, even in the height of summer. As the wreck is in the open lake, caution must also be given to the wind conditions to attempt this wreck. 


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All Photos copyright Warren Lo, 2006



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