This splendid ship registers 1391 tons, and she is the second large clipper ship built by Mr. Samuel Hall -- the Surprise was the first -- and we have no hesitation in expressing our opinion, that in beauty of outline we consider her a decided improvement upon the Surprise . In materials and fastening she is nearly the same as the Surprise, and those who have inspected that noble ship, know that she is not surpassed in these essentials by any vessel of her class afloat. The Game Cock is 182 feet long on the keel, 190½ feet on deck between perpendiculars, and 200 feet over all; has 40 feet extreme breadth of beam, 22 feet depth of hold, 40 inches dead rise at half floor, 6 inches rounding or swell of sides, and 3 feet sheer. As her sternpost is upright, the whole rake of her stem is 8½ feet. Like all the other clippers, she has very sharp ends, but in their formation she has an easy gradation, peculiarly her own. Her lines are more clearly rounded, in their sweep, than those of the Surprise, and as they swell into the fullness of the model are easy and regular. The most casual observer would perceive at a glance that her lines were rounded, notwithstanding the great length and sharpness of her ends.
Her bow flares slightly above the line of the planksheer, but preserves its angular form up to the rail, a little modified in its termination in the wake of the knight-heads. There, it is neatly curved in the line of the monkey rail. The spring of her cutwater, as it forms the head, is easy and graceful, and imparts a lively and buoyant air to its parent bow, which, if possible, is improved by the termination of the lines of her planksheer and main rail, almost at the same point. Perched on the forward extreme, is a large, carved and gilded Game Cock, represented in the act of crowing, and descending from it along the trail boards and around the hawse holes, are braces of gilded carved work. Broadside on, her great length, and lively sheer, "fill the eye to an azimuth." She has a narrow waist, which is defined between the mouldings along the upper wale and the planksheer. And not only do these mouldings, but every line of her planking give evidence of the extreme nicety which must have been observed in her construction, to impart to the eye a picture of the beautiful in naval architecture.
The stern is light, and neatly rounded between the quarters, but the outline of the monkey rail above it is elliptical. To make a good finish of these combinations, required no ordinary skill. The quarters are slightly rounded, and connect with the taffrail, so that the latter forms an arch, which becomes the outline of the stern itself. The stern, therefore, from the archboard to the rail, is a complete arch. It is tastefully ornamented with carved and gilded branches. Her name and port of hail are carved into the arch board, and are painted white. Messrs. Fowle & Co. executed her carved work.
She is coppered up to 17½ feet forward, and to 18½ aft, and above that is painted black. Inside, her bulwarks, &c. are painted buff color, relieved with white, and her waterways lead color. On deck she has a topgallant forecastle, which extends aft to the windlass, with water closets in its wings for the use of her crew. The sailors' quarters are below forward, and amidships before the main hatchway, her long boat and galley, and a moveable house are secured, the whole forming an oblong square, and occupying very little space. Her chain lockers are in the hold, before the main hatchway; and abaft the mainmast she has an iron tank of 4,000 gallons capacity. It is the whole depth of the vessel, and is well secured in its place.
She has a half poop deck, under which she has two cabins, containing eight state rooms, two water closets, a pantry, &c. The cabins are plain but neat, are well lighted and ventilated, and comfortably furnished.
She has a patent steering apparatus, two capstans, a patent windlass, and all the other essentials suitable for a ship of her capacity.
Her between decks are 6 feet 7 inches high, and look splendidly, having been finished with as much care as her cabins. These details will give some idea of the ship and her accommodations; we do not think it necessary to dwell particularly upon the style of her construction, as she is in all her leading details nearly the same as the Surprise. Still a few facts will show, that she is as well built as she is beautiful.
Her keel is of rock maple, in two depths, sided 16 inches and moulded 3 feet; floor timbers 17 by 12; keelsons combined, 32 inches -- thus making the depth of her back bone, from the top of the keelson to the base of the keel, 7 feet 1 inch, including the moulding of the timbers. She also has sister keelsons, and all these are bolted in the most substantial style. The floor timbers are bolted alternately through the keel, and through the lower keelson and the keel, with 1¼ inch copper, driven through and riveted, and the navel timbers with iron of the same size, driven blunt into the keel. On the floor the ceiling is 4½ inches thick; on the bilge, commencing below the floor heads, she has 4 strakes of 12 by 13, above these 4 to 10 by 13, and the rest of the ceiling up to the deck is all 3 inches, and all the thick strakes extend the full length of the vessel, are scarphed and square fastened. Her knees, beams, stanchions, and breast and after hooks are all of the best materials, well fastened. In the between decks, her waterways are 15 inches square, and the thick work inside and over them stout in proportion, and the ceiling above is 6 inches thick, square bolted. Her garboards are 7 inches thick, graduated by the planking outside of them to 4½ inches, and her wales are 5½ by 7 inches, her waist 4 and her planksheer and main rail each 6 inches thick. The whole height of her bulwarks, including the monkey rail is 4 feet.
Her frame is mostly of white oak, and her scantling and deck frames of hard pine, and she is seasoned with salt and thoroughly ventilated. Like nearly all the ships which have been built in this vicinity during the past two years, she has Emerson's patent ventilators, placed in nearly the same pointers as those on board of the ships Witchcraft and John Bertram.
No unprejudiced mind can examine her, inside or out, without being convinced that a better vessel need not be built.
Her spars were made by Mr. Henry Pigeon, of East Boston, and she was rigged by Capt. Brewster, of the same place.
Her masts rake respectively, commencing with the fore, 1, 1½, and 1¼ inches to the foot. The following are dimensions of her masts and yards:--
The bowsprit is 30 inches in diameter, and 28 feet outboard; jibboom 16 inches in diameter, divided at 20 and 14 feet for the two jibs, with 5 feet end; spanker boom 54 feet long, gaff 35, and the other spars in proportion.
|Dimensions, Inches.||Length, Feet.||Mast-heads, Feet.|
It will be seen by the dimensions of her spars that she has very long lower masts, and short topmasts. This, we think, is the correct principle for clipper ships. The courses, when by the wind, or in squally weather, ought to be their chief reliance. The mainsail, especially, ought not to be hauled up, in every puff, while single-reefed topsails are kept standing. This ship's courses have two reefs in them, and it is designed that she shall carry her foresail and mainsail as long as they will stand. But after all, we think Forbes's rig for such heavy ships, far better than any other now in use.
She was built at East Boston, by Mr. Samuel Hall, under the superintendence of her owner, Capt. Daniel C. Bacon, and is intended for the California and China trade. Capt. Hollis, formerly of the ship Samoset, commands her.
She is regarded by all who have seen her as one of the most beautiful and best constructed ships belonging to the United States. As most of our nautical men are more familiar with square sterned than round sterned ships, there is less diversity of opinion upon the merits of the former than the latter. Our ideas of the beautiful in naval architecture are mostly with square sterns. The eye follows the sheer from the bow, and looks for its termination at the end of the plank-sheer aft. This point is its resting-place; but in a round sterned vessel, the sheer is not so defined aft, and hence those who have not noticed this peculiarity, conclude that a round sterned vessel has not such a handsome sheer as a square sterned one, just as an Englishman would consider one of our fine ships naked aft, because she was without quarter galleries. We are not accustomed to quarter galleries, and therefore do not miss them. In making comparisons, therefore, so far as outside beauty is involved, between a square and a round sterned ship, their respective peculiarities of outline should always be considered.
In the production of the Game Cock, Mr. Hall has fairly excelled all his other productions; and we think if he were to continue building clippers the rest of his life, he would find it impossible to produce a more beautiful ship. She is now at New York, and will there load for San Francisco.
Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius.
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