If great length, sharpness of ends, with proportionate breadth and depth, conduce to speed, the Flying Cloud must be uncommonly swift, for in all these she is great. Her length on the keel is 208 feet, on deck 225, and overall, from the knight heads to the taffrail, 235 -- extreme breadth of beam 41 feet, depth of hold 21½, including 7 feet 8 inches height of between-decks, and she will register about 1750 tons. Her keel is of rock maple, in three depths, sided 16 inches, and moulded 44 or 37 inches clear of the garboards; dead rise at half-floor 30 inches, rounding of sides 6 inches, and sheer about 3 feet.
Her bow, below the planksheer, is slightly concave, and at the load displacement line may be about 2 inches concave from a straight line. As it rises, however, the lines are gradually modified until they assume the convex, to correspond with her outline on the rail. At eighteen feet from the apron, inside, on the level of the between-decks, she is only eleven feet wide. She has the sharpest bow we ever saw on any ship, although she is ten inches fuller on the floor than most of the other large clippers which have been built here.
She has neither head nor trail boards, but forming the extreme, where the line of the planksheer and the carved work on the navel hoods terminate, she has the full figure of an angel on the wing, with a trumpet raised to her mouth. The figure is finely designed and exceedingly well executed, and is a beautiful finish to the bow. It is the work of Mr. Gleason, who made the figure-head of the Shooting Star.
Her name in gilded letters is let into the curve of her bow, between the mouldings of the rails; and it also ornaments the quarters.
Her great length and boldly defined sheer, give her a splendid appearance broadside on. Her lines aft are fuller than those forward; and her stern, which is elliptical, is small and neat, and is formed from the line of the planksheer. Her name and port of hail are carved and gilded upon it, surrounded by finely designed ornamental work. In her general outline, she bears some resemblance to the Stag Hound, but though her bow is somewhat sharper, yet she is 10 inches fuller on the floor than that splendid ship.
Her bulwarks are 5 feet high from the deck, or rather her main rail is that height, surmounted by a monkey rail of 16 inches.
She has a topgallant forecastle 30 feet long amidships, fitted for the accommodation of one watch of her crew, and in its after wings are two water closets. Abaft from the foremast is a house 41 feet long by 18 wide, and 6½ high, which contains quarters for the other watch of the crew; also the galley, and other apartments. Her poop deck is the height of the main rail, 68 feet long, and is surrounded by an open rail supported on turned stanchions. In the front of the poop is a small portico, which protects the entrance to the cabins, of which she has three. The first contains the pantry and state-rooms for the officers, and the second, or great cabin, is beautifully wainscotted with satin wood, mahogany and rose wood, set off with enamelled pilasters, cornices, gilt work, etc. The panels are of satin wood, gothic in their form, and are set in mahogany frames edged with rose wood. The after cabin is small, and is fitted in the same beautiful style. It contains two useful apartments, and is otherwise neatly arranged.
A few particulars of the style of her construction will show that she is a very strong vessel. We have already stated that her keel was in three depths, moulded 44, and sided 16 inches; her floor timbers average 12 by 17 on the keel, and are bolted in the usual style with 1¼ inch copper and iron, and she has 3 depths of midship keelsons, which combined are moulded 45 inches, and sided from 17 to 15, making her nearly 9 feet through the backbone. She has also two depths of sister keelsons, the first 16 by 10, and the second 14 by 10, cross bolted at right angles and diagonally, through the navel timbers. The ceiling on the floor is 4½ inches thick, square bolted, and on the bilge she has two keelsons, each 10 by 16 inches, which extended the whole length of the vessel. She has also a stringer of 10 by 16 inches, upon which the lower ends of the hanging knees rest, and all the other ceiling in the hold is 7 inches thick, all scarphed and square fastened. Her lower deck beams are 15 inches square, and those under the upper deck 9½ by 16 inches amidships. The hold stanchions are clasped with iron above and below, and are also kneed to the beams and to the keelson. Her ends are almost filled with long pointers and hooks, some of the pointers extending over 40 feet along the skin. Her chain lockers are in the hold abaft the foremast, and abaft the mainmast she has a large iron tank for water.
The hanging and lodging knees connected with the beams of both decks are very stout and closely fastened.
The between-decks waterways are 15 inches square, the strake inside of them 10 by 14, and that over them 10 by 16, bolted in superior style. Under the upper deck beams she has a clamp 7 inches thick; the rest of the ceiling between it and the standing strake over the waterways is 5½ inches thick. She has a long and stout hook forward, and the thick work aft is carried round the stern. The stanchions are of oak, turned, and are secured with iron rods, screws and nuts, and the deck planking is of hard pine, 3½ inches thick. Her comings and mast partners are well kneed off, and securely bolted.
The upper deck waterways are 12 by 14 inches, with two thick strakes inside of them; the deck planking is of white pine 3½ inches thick, and the covering board is 6 by 16 inches. Her bulwark stanchions are of oak, and between the main and rack rails there is a stout clamp, with extends fore and aft. The main rail is 6 by 16 inches.
Her garboards are 7 inches thick, the next strake 6, the third 5, and the rest of the planking on the bottom 4½ inches. Her wales, of which she has 18 strakes, are 5½ by 7 inches, and she is planked up flush to the planksheer. The boarding of her bulwarks is neatly tongued and grooved, and altogether, both inside and out, she is most beautifully finished. Her sides are as smooth as glass, and every moulding and line is carried out with mathematical precision. Outside she is black -- inside, pearl color.
Her frame is mostly of superior white oak, and her scantling of southern pine; she is strongly copper fastened, has many locust treenails in her, driven through and wedged in both ends, and her iron fastening is of the best kind. Her hood ends are bolted alternately from either side, through each other and the stem, so that the loss of her cutwater would not affect her safety or cause a leak. The same is true of her aft, so far as the bolting is concerned.
She is seasoned with salt, has air ports below, brass ventilators along the line of her planksheer and in her bitts, and Emerson's patent ventilators indispensable, for every class of ships, but more particularly for packets, and those trading to warm climates.
The Flying Cloud is a full rigged ship, and her masts rake alike, viz. 1¼ inch to the foot. The following are the dimensions of her masts and yards:
|Dimensions, Inches.||Length, Feet.||Mast heads, Feet.|
The bowsprit is 28½ inches in diameter, and 20 feet outboard; jibboom 16½ inches in diameter, and is divided at 16 feet for the inner and 13 for the outer jib, with 5 feet end; spanker boom 55 feet, gaff 40, main spencer gaff 24 feet, and the other spars in proportion. She is rigged in nearly the same style as the Stag Hound, and looks very well aloft. Messrs. Carnes and Chessman rigged her. Aloft, as well as below, no expense was spared to render her a perfect ship.
She was built at East Boston, by Mr. Donald McKay, and her admirers are sanguine that she will outsail any vessel in the world. Messrs. Grinnell, Minturn & Co. of New York, own her, and intend her for the California and China trade. One-third of her cargo is already engaged for San Francisco, and it is expected that she will soon be filled up. Capt. Creesey, long and favorably known as the commander of the ship Oneida, is her captain, and from his established reputation it is confidently anticipated that he will make her keep way with the fleetest of the clipper fleet.
Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius.
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Copyright © 1997 Lars Bruzelius.