These two vessels were built at Portsmouth, N.H., by Mr. George Raynes, and are intended for the China coasting trade. They are not clippers, in the sharp sense of the term, but are designed to stow large cargoes, with a light draught of water. The Minna has already sailed for China, but the Brenda is now at this port. As these vessels are alike in every detail, a sketch of one will apply to both.
The Brenda is 112 feet long on deck, has 27½ breadth of beam, 12½ depth of hold, a feet dead rise at half floor, and will register about 300 tons. Her frame is entirely of white oak. On the floor the ceiling is of 3 inches thickness, and from the floor-heads to the deck, every strake is 6 inches thick, square fastened. She has three pointers in each end, filled in with hooks, and all are stout and strongly bolted. Her keel, keelson, stem, apron, stern and false post, are also very stout, and are well put together. Her beams have oak lodging and hanging knees, and the stanchions under them are of oak, 9 inches square, kneed in the wake of the hatchways, and clasped with iron elsewhere. The partner beams are 16 by 12 inches, and the deck frame throughout is of hard pine, and the planking of the deck 3 inches thick.
Her outside planking is of oak, 3 inches thick on the bottom, and 5 inches thick on the wales. The covering board is 5 inches thick, and the rail about the same substance. Her bulwarks are 4 feet high, and are closely and strongly stanchioned. She has a top-gallant forecastle the height of the rail, with a sunk deck, which forms accommodations for the crew. Abaft this is the windlass, a substantial, patent machine, secured strongly enough to tear the bows out of her.
She has a large half poop deck, with a standing room, aft, like a pilot boat, where she is steered.
Under this deck she has two cabins, the first of which contains two state rooms, a bread locker, and the pantry. The after one has three state rooms, water closet, &c., a large skylight, and in the state rooms are deck and side lights. Both cabins are wainscotted, neatly finished and furnished, and painted white. The after one has an entrance from the steering room, and also communicates with the cabin before it.
She has copper pumps, with a scuttle abaft them, through which a man may descend into the pump well, to clear the pumps if required. Along the line of her planksheer she has brass ventilators, and Emerson's patent ventilators for her hold. She has a patent steering apparatus, three good boats, four anchors, weighing respectively, 1600, 1350, 700, and 350 lbs., with heavy chains, and double hawseholes.
She is fore and aft rigged, but has also a large squaresail. Her foremast is 84 feet long, and 27 inches in diameter: the mainmast 87 feet, and 1 inch less in diameter; the bowsprit 23 feet outboard, and 27 inches in diameter at the knight heads -- and the others spars in proportion. She has long topmasts, and by the way they are fitted, we infer that she may carry gafftopsails and topgallantsails. There are 4 shrouds to each mast of 8½ inch; two fore stays of 10 inch; the main shifting stay is of 9 inch, and the spring stay of 8 inch. Her masts are beautiful spars, and appear to be well secured.
As already stated, she is of rather a full model, timbered round the stern, which, in form, is elliptical. For a head she has the representation of a crocodile with distended jaws, but has neither head nor trail boards to be washed away. Her stern is plain, with nothing on it but her name and port of hail, and a painted flourish. Outside she is black, above the copper, for she is coppered up to 10½ feet -- and inside, her bulwarks, &c., are painted white.
Her boats and galley occupy the space amidships, between the masts, the galley aft; and we must not forget to state that she has a water closet for the sailors forward, connected with the after wing of the topgallant forecastle, on the larboard side.
As she has great length of floor, a fair angle of dead rise, and well balanced canvass, she expected to sail very fast, and go where she looks, when by the wind.
She is owned by R.B. & J.M. Forbes, of this city, who also own the Minna, and as already stated, both are designed for the China coasting trade. We admire their names, but are non-committal about the appropriateness of their figureheads.
Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius.
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Copyright © 1997 Lars Bruzelius.