This beautiful clipper has not yet been measured by the Custom House officials, but she will probably register about 1600 tons. On the keel she is 195 feet long, between perpendiculars on deck 215, and over all 225; her extreme breadth of beam is 41½ feet, and depth 22½, including 8 feet height of between decks. In model she differs widely from any clipper which we have inspected. The rise and form of her floor are designed to obtain the greatest possible buoyancy consistent with stability and weatherly qualities. Her lines, too, have been formed upon the principle that when sailing by the wind, the pressure aloft will incline her, and to overcome the consequent angular resistance, is one of the elements in her model. But whether sailing, inclined to the plane of the horizon, or at right angles to it, her lines have been calculated for both, so that she is expected to float more buoyantly and pass more easily through the water than any other clipper that has yet been built. At the load displacement line, for twenty feet from the cutwater, are almost straight, but aft they swell into the convex, and blend beautifully with her fullness amidships. Her greatest breadth of beam is at the centre of her loadline, and her lines aft are decidedly convex. She is fuller aft that forward, upon the principle that, when passing rapidly through the water, she will be liable to settle aft, hence the fullness of the lines to buoy her up; and also, that the pressure of the water, as it closes aft, will actually force her ahead, and leave her without a ripple. Her model above is also designed with special reference to overcoming atmospheric pressure; hence she has little if any flare to the bow, (which is angular in its outline to the rail,) low bulwarks, and a flush deck. Her bow is long, very sharp, and rises grandly in its sheer; and the cutwater is just inclined enough to make her a perfect picture forward. She has a large gilded eagle on the wing, for a head, and it forms the best and most beautiful head that we have yet seen upon any clipper. The ends of her catheads are ornamented with gilded carved work; otherwise she is smack-smooth forward.
She has about 2 [3?] feet sheer, and sufficient swell or rounding of sides, to preserve the harmony of her lines, and she rises forward and aft with such easy grace, that even on the line of the planksheer, the eye cannot detect any wavering in its sweep. Her stern is slightly elliptical, inclined aft, and is formed from the line of the planksheer, the moulding of which and the strake below form its base. It is very light, beautiful in outline, and tastefully ornamented.
She is sheathed with yellow metal up to 20 feet forward and to 21 feet aft, is planked flush to the covering board and painted black.
The height of her bulwarks from the deck is only 4 feet, and they are regularly built, the same as those of a ship of war, planked inside and out. She has 4 ports in each side, fitted with tackle and breeching bolts, and will mount a couple of long 6's. This node of constructing the bulwarks gives solidity where a vessel is most liable to warp from the action of the sun in warm weather, and is much neater and cleaner, than where the stanchions are only boarded on the outside. Her bulwarks are surmounted by a small monkey rail, constructed in the usual style. She has a small topgallant forecastle; and abaft the foremast a house 36 feet long by 8 wide. Its forward division contains a metallic life boat, placed on rollers, and the sides of the house are made to unship, so that the boat can be taken out upon either side of the deck, when required. Abaft this is the galley, and abaft it a stateroom, with berths suitable for the forward officers, such as the carpenter, boatswain, &c.
The quarters for the crew are below forward, protected by a companion above, and they are spacious, well lighted and ventilated, and admirably fitted up.
Her cabin is below aft, with a square house over the staircase, which leads to a vestibule, from which the cabin is entered. The vestibule has state-rooms on both sides for the officers, and before them the pantry and store-rooms. The cabin contains 5 state-rooms, &c., has a large skylight over it; is beautifully wainscotted with mahogany and other fancy woods, and the staterooms have each a patent plate glass air-port, and together with the cabin are furnished in excellent style.
Her frame is of seasoned white oak, her scantling and deck frames of hard pine, and she is copper fastened and seasoned with salt. The keel is sided 16 inches and moulded 30, in two depths; the floor timbers on the keel are moulded 19, and sided from 12 to 14 inches; she has three tiers of midship keelsons, each 15 inches square, and sister keelsons of 12 by 14 inches. Through every floor timber and the keel there is 1¼ inch copper bolt, and these are again doubled through the first midship keelson and the keel. The navel timbers, sister keelsons, &c., are closely bolted into the keel, and otherwise fastened, the bolts within a foot of one another. The frames are chocked at every joint and bolted together fore and aft. Her floor ceiling is 4½ inches thick, and over the first futtocks there are three strakes of 12 by 14 inches, and all the other ceiling up to the deck is 8 inches in thickness, all scarphed and square bolted. A lap strake or stringer of 6 inches thickness is bolted over the ceiling, and to it the lower ends of the hanging knees are fayed.
She has three massive pointers forward, which cross all the cants diagonally, and extend almost to the deck, and those above the keelson are filled in with hooks. Diagonal braces of oak, varying from 10 to 12 inches square, extending from the floor-heads to the deck, and nearly parallel to the after pointer, are continued to abaft the foremast, and these, as well as the pointers, are crossed by diagonals of the same size, all bolted through the ceiling and timbers. Abaft these again, are other diagonals, extending from the lower strake of the thick work over the first futtocks to the stringer upon which the lower ends of the hanging knees rest, forming a series of acute-angled triangles, with the projecting line of the thickwork for a common base. In this bracing, there are over 600 one inch bolts. Her after end is also diagonally braced, and spanned with hooks bolted through all.
The lower deck beams are 16 inches square, and those under the upper deck 9 by 15. Her lodging and hanging knees in the hold, are all of oak, and the latter average from 18 to 20 bolts in each. The hold stanchions are 10 by 12 inches square, kneed and clasped with iron above and below, with the clasps bolted through them, the beams and the keelsons.
The between decks waterways are 16 inches square, with a strake of 10 by 14 over them, and another of 10 by 12 inside of them, the whole bolted vertically and horizontally. The ceiling above is 5 inches thick, and the clamp under the upper deck beams 7 inches, all square fastened. We will state two facts which show the strength of her fastening. Through the between decks waterways, the timbers and beams, there are 1452 bolts, and in a section of 8 feet by 10, also in the between decks, there are 165 bolts.
The knees in the between decks are of hacmatack, about the same in size and fastening as those below, and her ends are spanned by heavy hooks. The stanchions are of oak turned, secured with iron rods and screws in the usual style.
The upper deck waterways are 12 inches square, with two tick strakes inside of them, morticed over the beams, and cross bolted through the beams and through the waterways and timbers. The planking of both decks is 3½ inches thick, the between decks of hard pine, and the upper deck of white pine.
She has breast-hooks above and below the bowsprit, and is heavily planked round the curve of the stern. Her windlass-bitts, topsail sheet-bitts, and fast bitts, are all of oak, extending below, where they are kneed and bolted. Her stem, cutwater and apron, also her stern and false posts, are all very stout, and bolted with copper up to the load line, and above there with iron.
Her garboards are 7 inches thick, bolted through each other and the keel, and upwards through he timbers; on the bottom the planking is 4½ inches thick, and the wales are 5 by 7 inches, all square fastened with treenails, and she is butt and bilge bolted with copper. The covering board and main rail are each of hard pine 6 inches thick, and her bulwarks, as before remarked, are built solid, but beaded outside, and finished smoothly as cabinet work. She is painted pearl color inside, and has magnificent deck room for working ship.
She has a patent windlass, the best of ground tackle, two of Perley's patent capstans, 4 boats, a patent steering apparatus, a force pump for washing decks or wetting sails, Shelton's hold pumps, a circular iron tank her whole depth, close before the after hatchway, and capable of holding 6000 gallons of water, and every thing else that a ship can require. Our old friend Capt. Gilford superintended her construction and equipment, Capt. Brewster, of East Boston, rigged her, and Mr. Thomas J. Shelton furnished her hold pumps, blocks, &c.
She is a full rigged ship, and has made lower masts and bowsprit, the outside pieces of which extend the whole length from the steps to the heads, and are of selected hard pine, dowalled together, bolted and hooped over all. The lower mast heads, commencing with the fore, are 15, 15½, and 13 feet long, which give the topmasts great support. The topmasts and jibboom are of hard pine, and have no sheave holes in their heads, but double gins instead, for double ties, which have double halliards that lead on deck, on opposite sides. The following are the dimensions of her masts and yards:
The bowsprit is 28 inches in diameter, 22 feet outboard, and has 4 inches steve to the foot; jibboom 17½ inches in diameter, and 22 feet outside of the cap; spanker boom 1 foot in diameter, 58 feet long, with 2 feet end, and the others in proportion. The studdingsail booms are one-half the diameter of the yards, and of the usual lengths. Her fore and main rigging is 11 inch four-stranded patent rope, of Russia hemp, wormed and served over the eyes and ends, and the stays are covered over the collars with leather. Her lower rigging and backstays have more spread than usual, having, like a ship of war, sufficient space for a port between the chain-plates of the third and fourth shrouds. From the chain-plate of the forward swifter of the main rigging, to the chain-plate of the royal backstay, is 22 feet. Her fore and main topmast backstays are of 10½ inch, and the other rigging stout in proportion. Everything aloft is strong enough to stand while every rag of canvas blows away. In a single suit of sails, she has between ten and eleven thousand yards of the best cotton duck, manufactured expressly for her, and her sails were made by Mr. Porter, of East Boston. Her masts and yards, though very heavy, look beautifully proportioned, from the trucks to the decks. The masts are painted white, the yards black, and the booms are bright, with black ends.
She was designed, modelled, draughted and built by Mr. Donald McKay, at East Boston, and as already stated, is different in model from any clipper that has yet been built, by him, at least. To say that she is beautiful is hardly enough, for nearly all clippers are beautiful vessels — but it appears to us that he has embodied in her more buoyancy, with sharper and more beautiful ends, than we have yet seen in any vessel. Mr. McKay, perhaps more than the general run of builders, has the rare faculty of producing a beautiful model, and making the ship built by it an exact copy. In other words, he makes the ships he builds look just as he likes. He delights in his noble profession, and considers labor or expense nothing, compared with success. It is his ambition to build the best, most beautiful, and swiftest clippers in the world. Those, therefore, who may inspect the Bald Eagle, taking this ruling passion into consideration, will be able to account for her excellence.
She us owned by Geo. B. Upton, Esq., of this city, and will be commanded by Capt. Caldwell, well known as one of the fastest packet captains in the Atlantic trade. In a few days she will proceed to New York, and there load in Ogden's line of San Francisco clippers.
Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius.
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