A regular line of steamers, to accommodate the increasing trade between this port and New York, has long been an object of interest to the traders of both cities. Several years since, the attempt was made, but failed, principally owing to the inferior qualities of the vessels. Experiences has since remedied the defects of the first undertaking, and now a class of new and splendid vessels — regular ocean steamers — have been built. These are qualified to brave the sea in all weathers.
The City of New York is one of these; she is 580 tons register, or 4500 barrels capacity, independently of stores, fuel, &c. She is 165 feet long on the keel, 176 feet on deck, has 27 feet 3 inches extreme breadth of beam, 18 feet, depth of hold, including 7 feet height of between decks, 18 inches dead rise at half floor, and about 1 foot sheer. Her stem is nearly upright, her bow long and sharp, with concave lines, her stern curvilinear, and her run very clean. She is planked flush to the covering-board, has a beautiful gilded eagle for a head, but neither head nor trailboards; and consequently, no outworks for the ice to clog in winter. Smack-smooth forward, she will throw ice or water off like a duck. A gilded eagle, with the American shield in its talons, ornaments the stern. She has a narrow yellow ribbon around her waist. The mouldings of her planksheer and main rail are painted red, and the rest of her hull, outside, is black. Her outside appearance is beautiful and substantial.
Her materials are of the best quality, and her construction is in the first style of workmanship. Her keel is of white oak, 14 inches square, with a shoe 5 inches thick; the floor timbers are moulded 13 and sided 9 inches, and in the wake of the engines, she is filled in solid, and bolted vertically and horizontally. The main keelson is 14 inches square, backed by sister keelsons of 12 inches square, and these extend the whole length of the vessel and are extra bolted with copper. Before the ceiling was put on, the frame was diagonally braced with iron, the braces 4 inches wide and 1½ thick, let into the wood, bolted through every frame, and rivetted together at every intersection. These braces extend from the keel to the planksheer, and are most thoroughly secured.
She has a bilge keelsons of 10 by 12 inches, and 8 bilge strakes of 5 inches thickness, all square fastened. The lower deck clamps are 7 inches thick, and the rest of the ceiling in proportion. All her thick-work is scarphed, and she is square fastened throughout.
Her lower deck beams are 12 by 14 inches, with oak lodging and hanging knees, and the upper deck beams are 12 by 6 inches, well secured with knees and stanchions. The lower deck waterways are 12 by 14 inches, with thick work inside and over them, and the upper deck waterways are 10 inches square.
Her ends are literally filled with massive hooks and pointers of oak, which bind them beyond the power of working adrift.
Her gardboard strakes are 6 inches thick, bolted through the keel and each other, and upwards through the timbers and ceiling. The bilge and wales are of white oak, varying from 4 to 5 inches in thickness, and her waist of hard pine 4¼ thick. She is fastened with copper up to 12 feet draught, and all her treenails are of locust, driven through and wedged in both ends. Her covering board is 5 inches thick, the main rail about the same size, and the bulwark stanchions are bolted with copper. Her bulwarks are of 1½ inch, tongued and grooved in the usual style, and are low and neat.
On deck she has two houses, one forward, which contains store rooms, and the other, which is 30 feet long, 12 wide, and 6 high, is abaft the principal cargo hatchway, and contains a wheel room in front, and in its other divisions, galleys, state rooms, &c.
The entrance to her cabin is protected by a circular house; the cabin stair-case is spiral and of iron. At its landing is an ante-room, which contains the pantry and three state rooms.
She has two cabins. The after one is small and contains two berths; that before it contains four spacious state rooms, two recesses, a water closet, and a wash room, and is beautifully wainscoted, the cornices, pilasters, and panels set off with flowering gilding. Its sides and ceiling are white, and it is well lighted, ventilated, and tastefully furnished. Every state room has a deck and side light, and between the beams there are perforated ventilators, which are also edged with gilding.
The accommodations for her crew are below forward, and are spacious and well arranged. On deck are water closets on each side, for the use of the crew.
She has goose-necked patent ventilators along the line of her planksheer. These are always open, and yet defy the entrance of water. She looks beautifully on deck, and has plenty of room. The houses are tastefully painted and grained, and the bulwarks buff color relieved with blue waterways.
Her motive power consists of two engines with 30 inch cylinders and 30 inch stroke. These work direct action applied to a propeller, which is 9½ feet in diameter, with three blades. Her rudder is of iron, stepped into the keel abaft the propeller, but is supported by the stern. It acts without a post, and is much snugger than any we have yet seen. The boilers, engines, coal bins, &c., are in the centre of the vessel, and only occupy 30 feet space fore and aft. The propeller shaft is 12 inches in diameter, and her motive power throughout, so far as we are qualified to judge, is excellent. It has been tested during a voyage to Chagres in the dead of winter, and found to be all that could be desired. In one day, under steam alone, she ran 240 miles. Her last passage from New York was made in 29 hours. Messrs. Hogg & Delamater, of New York, made her engines, and she was also built there by Messrs. Capes & Allison. Mr. Charles W. Copeland, a well-known scientific engineer, superintended the making of her engines.
She has three masts, and a short bowsprit; is square rigged on the foremast, but fore-and-aft rigged on the main and mizzenmasts, and looks as neatly aloft as a royal yacht. She is well supplied with boats, has a patent windlass, good ground tackle, and all the other details of a complete vessel. Messrs. Phineas Sprague & Co., of this city, and others, own her, and they also own the new steamer City of Boston, now fitting out at South Boston, and intended for the same line.
Every thing on the part of the enterprising projectors of this line, will be done to ensure satisfaction; and, if traders of their part, its success will be certain. We wish to impress upon the minds of traders that this line is composed of ocean steamers -- vessels which can afford to carry freight as cheap as any other conveyance. When the Philadelphia line of steamers were withdrawn, the remark was made in Southern cities, that Boston was too old-fashioned to comprehend the use of steam; we hope, in this case, the remark will not have to be repeated. The City of New York is commanded by Captain Baxter, a gentleman well acquainted with the trade. She is now loading at T wharf, and we advise those interested in navigation to inspect her.
Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius.
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Copyright © 1997 Lars Bruzelius.