Northern Prairie Ships: Ripple

Built at Selkirk in 1885, the Ripple was a small wooden paddle steamer of 7 gross tons (4 net tons). In August of her inaugural season, on the return trip from Emerson to Winnipeg, her engines failed and required a tow home by the steam yacht Kathleen. Its use and ownership up to the vessel’s registry being closed in Deecmber 1890 are unknown.

The following year, a new registration was made under the same name and a slightly larger wooden hull totalling 9 gross tons (6 net tons). This second version of the ship was built at Winnipeg. Still a paddle steamer, the plausibly-reconstituted Ripple was examined by Inspectors in September 1891 and began passenger and excursion service the next month. The ship’s Master (1891-1896) was Captain Patterson.

Despite the smaller size, the Ripple saw service as a freighter as early as 1893, with the addition of a tow barge that season. In July 1895, she was en route from a lumber camp off Lake Winnipeg down to Selkirk with a heavily-laden barge in tow when her engines failed. The Sultana came to aid and towed the Ripple and barge to safe harbour for repairs.

The Ripple was eventually broken up and its registry was closed in Decemer 1899.


“City and province [The steamboat Ripple ...],” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 20 August 1885, page 4.

“The reportorial round [Capt. Patterson’s new boat ...],” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 26 September 1891, page 8.

“City and country [Capt. Patterson’s new steamer ...],” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 28 September 1891, page 6.

“Str. Ripple,” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 13 October 1891, page 4.

“The reportorial round [Capt. Patterson ...],” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 26 April 1892, page 8.

“People we talk about [Mr. Abell, steamboat inspector ...],” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 25 May 1892, page 8.

“The reportorial round [Captain Patterson had his new boat ...],” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 14 June 1892, page 8.

“Christ Church Bible class,” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 14 July 1892, page 6.

“The reportorial round [The Ripple took a crowd ...],” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 9 August 1892, page 8.

“The reportorial round [Captain Patterson left Monday ...],” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 9 August 1892, page 8.

“The reportorial round [Coming to Winnipeg],” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 5 June 1893, page 8.

“The reportorial round [Excursion to Queen’s Park],” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 30 June 1893, page 8.

“Capt. Patterson interviewed,” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 29 March 1894, page 5.

“Morning edition local [Capt. Patterson],” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 30 March 1894, page 8.

“[Early last week Capt. Patterson ...],” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 13 July 1895, page 8.

“Selkirk shipping,” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 1 June 1896, page 6.

Ship Registrations 1787-1966, Ripple, Library and Archives Canada.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 12 February 2022