Nearly all clippers in point of beauty, have a family likeness, though few if any have been built after the same model. The best model, like the best man, has not yet been acknowledged, if discovered, and therefore every one who designs a new clipper, makes some alteration, from those already built, with a view to improvement. Our first large clippers had rounded lines and 40 inches dead rise at half floor; but now nearly all new clippers have hollow lines, and only 30 or 18 inches dead rise. The upright stem, too, has been modified into the inclined, and the length and sharpness of the ends have also been much varied.
The Phantom, though very sharp and clipperly in the ends, has only 20 inches dead rise at half floor, experience having demonstrated, that great length with sharp ends do not require extreme sharpness of floor. Buoyancy is of more importance, and the speed obtained, especially running free, is more satisfactory. It is therefore doubtful whether another clipper, having 40 inches dead rise, will be built.
The Phantom is 179 feet long on the keel, 195 between perpendiculars, on deck, and 200 over all; her extreme breadth of beam is 37 feet 11 inches, depth of hold 21½, including 7 feet 10 inches height of between decks, and she registers 1300 tons. her sheer is about 2 feet, and rounding of sides 6 inches. Her stem rakes like a pilot boat's, and her lines are decidedly concave up to the load line, but above there gradually merge into the convex, to harmonize with her outline on the rail. From the line of the planksheer upwards, the turn of her bow is thrown outwards into a bold and dashy flare. A simple vine, terminating in a rounded billet, forms her head, and to our eye, it appears the neatest, because the snuggest head, we have yet seen upon a clipper. The bow is carried well up, in accordance with the sweep of her sheer, and is faultless in form. Her appearance broadside on is perfect to a shaving, and her stern is light and graceful, boldly rounded between the quarters, and tastefully ornamented with gilded carved work.
The run is long and clean, but not cut up, like that of some clippers, for it has good buoyancy to bear her up, however fast she may fly through the water. She is planked smooth to the covering board, is coppered up to 19 feet forward and 20 aft, and true clipper fashion, is painted black outside. The whole height of the bulwarks, amidships, including the monkey rail, is only 5 feet 4 inches, but as the bow has considerable spring, they are higher forward.
She has a topgallant forecastle with a capstan on it, and the space below contains stock-pens, lockers, &c. Abaft the foremast is a large house, which contains quarters for the crew, the galley, and several staterooms. She has a trunk cabin, built into a half poop deck, and abaft the trunk she is steered and has a patent steering apparatus. The poop, and the top of the cabin, which forms a promenade deck, are protected by handsome railings.
The after cabin has an entrance leading amidships to the poop, and contains four spacious staterooms. It is wainscotted with mahogany, rosewood, &c., set off with pilasters, and cornices edged and flowered with gilding. The forward cabin contains five staterooms and the pantry, but two of the rooms, one on each side, are entered on the outside, leaving a small anteroom between them amidships, to the forward cabin. Both cabins are elegantly furnished, well lighted and ventilated, and most admirably adapted for the accommodation of passengers.
Her bulwarks, houses, &c., are painted buff-color, relieved with white, and the water-ways blue. The marine inspectors say that she is the strongest vessel of her size belonging to the country. Her keel is of rock maple, in one depth, sided 16 inches, and moulded 24 inches forward and 17 aft. The frame is of seasoned white oak, and her scantling of hard pine. Her floor timbers are sided from 12 to 13 inches, and moulded 17, and she has three depths of midship keelsons, each 16 inches square. The first keelson, the floor timbers, and the keel, are bolted with 1 and 1¼ inch copper, rivetted on the outside, two bolts through every floor timber and the keel. The navel timbers are bolted through the second keelson into the keel, with 1 3/8 inch iron, driven within two inches of the base of the keel; and the upper keelson is bolted through the others. Her stem is sided the same as the keel, and moulded 21 inches, and the apron stout in proportion. The sternpost is moulded 16 inches at the foot and 12 at the head; the stern knee extends along it 14 feet, and is worked in with the dead-wood and the keelsons along the keel. Over all the keelsons she has another stern knee, which binds the whole together. Her main transom is 18 inches square, braced to the sides with heavy wing transoms.
Before ceiling or planking, she was diagonally crossbraced with iron, the braces 4 inches wide and 11-16ths of an inch thick. These braces extends from the floorheads to the planksheer, and also take in all the cants, are bolted through every timber and rivetted, and are also rivetted together at every intersection. She is the first sailing vessel built in this vicinity which as been thus braced with iron.
Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius.
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Copyright © 1997 Lars Bruzelius.