New Hampshire has long been famous for the excellence of her ships. Her sturdy oaks, and the skill of her mechanics, have made her renowned on the ocean. Of all her mechanics, not one ranks higher than the builder of this noble ship; but of all her names, whose upon the scroll of fame can rank alongside of that of Webster? It was meet [sic] that a ship built of the oaks of the mountains the great statesman loved so well, should bear his name. It is a noble name and nobly has it been applied. The Webster is designed to stow a large cargo and sail well. She is 207 feet long between perpendiculars, on the upper deck, has 42½ feet breadth of beam, 29½ feet depth of hold, with 3 decks, and registers 1727 29-95ths tons. Her dead rise at half floor is 15 inches, rounding of sides from the light water line to gunwales 3 feet, and her sheer is 3½ feet. Her lines are boldly rounded forward and aft, and the bow has just suffucient forerake to look well. The whole rake of the stem is about 6 feet from a perpendicular on the keel, and the overhang of the stern, including its rake, is about 10 feet, so that her whole length from the knight-heads to the taffrail is 216 feet. She has a carved and gilded billet head, and carved work upon her trail boards and navel hoods, and the lower outline of the head boards is the continuation of the moulding of her planksheer, and its upper outline is the moulding of the outside clamp between the rack and the main rails. She has a waist of 9 narrow strakes, defined between mouldings, and her stern is nearly oval in outline, and is tastefully ornamented with gilded carved work, in the centre of which is a bust of Daniel Webster. Along her waist she has three strakes of red, the rest of her hull outside is black, and inside she is buff color, relieved with white. The height of her bulwarks is 5 feet, surmounted by a monkey rail of 16 inches, and the space between her main and rack rails is clamped on both sides, forming a solid outline below the monkey rails.
She has a topgallant forecastle with two capstans on it, and under this deck are the accomodations for her crew. Abaft the foremast is house extending nearly to the main hatchway, and it contains two gallies, several state-rooms and store-rooms, and protects two entrances to the deck below. Its top is protected around the outline, by chains and stanchions, and projects outside of the house, forming a protection to its doors. Abaft the mainmast is square house which protects the entrance to the second cabin, which is below. She has a half poop deck with a spacious wheelhouse aft, and before the wheelhouse is a trunk, which contains two neat cabins. The after one is finished with mahogany panelling, set off with enamelled white pilasters and cornices, fringed with gold, and flowered. The forward cabin is tastefully painted and grained, and both are elegantly furnished, well lighted and ventilated. Teir state-rooms are large, and are well adapted for the accommodation of passengers. Platform gangways connect the topgallant forecastle with tops of all the houses fore and aft, except the wheelhouse, so that the men can pass from one end of her to the other without descending to the deck. The skylights have raised vertical covers, and their ends can be opened at any time, for ventilation below. She has six of Perley's ventilators, and trunk ventilators fore and aft, which give light as well as air; but in our humble opinion, Emerson's ventilators are about as good, to say the least, as any we have yet seen. We highly approve, however, of the trunk ventilators in this ship, on account of the light they convey below.
She has a capstan on the quarter deck, massive bitts forward, and abaft the fore, main and mizzen rigging, and four hold pumps, which work with engine brakes and fly wheels. The watercasks, which stow on deck, are not round, but nearly square, and are fitted to stow alongside of the house, with the greatest economy of space. She has a powerful patent windlass, Crane's self-acting chain stoppers, and the best of ground tackle, and all her forward bitts are stepped in the hold.
The height between her main and upper decks is 7 feet 7 inches, and between the decks below 7 feet 4 inches. On each side of the main deck, opposite the hatchways, she has three large cargo ports, and opposite the main hatchway on the deck below, a ballast port on each side. The after part of the main deck is fitted as a second cabin, which contains 20 state rooms, with 4 double berths in each; but this space can easily be made available for the stowage of cargo, by taking down the staterooms, the parts of which are all numbered and moveable. The accommodations for her steerage are also well designed for comfort and safety.
No vessel of her size is more thoroughly built. Her frame, nearly all her outside planking, all her hooks, all her stanchions, and all the knees in the hold, are of New Hampshire white oak, and her ceiling and deck frames, and her lower and main decks, are of hard pine, and her upper deck of white pine. Her keel is of rock maple, sided 17 inches and moulded 2 feet, the floor timbers on it are 13 by 17 inches, and she has three depths of midship keelsons, each 17 inches square, with an oak rider over them of 4 inches thickness. Of her fastening, we may say once for all, that all her floor timbers are bolted trough the keel and keelson with 1¼ inch copper, and the navel timbers with iron of the same size, driven vertically and diagonally, and that she is square fastened throughout, and has all her thick work bolted edgeways also. Her fastening inside and out is most thorough, and her workmanship perfect. She has double tiers of sister keelsons, the first 17 inches square and the second 14, and outside of these again, another keelson of 12 inches square, making the whole spread of her keelsons 6 feet 3 inches, and the depth of her "back bone" from the top of the rider to the base of the keel, 8 feet. The ceiling on the flat of the floor, for the 6 feet outside of the keelsons, is 4 inches thick, and the whole above there, commencing inside of the futtocks, is covered by ceiling of 12 by 14 inches, except three strakes of 10 inches thickness, immediately below the stringer, wpon which the lower ends of the hanging knees rest. This stringer is 14 inches square, and the clamps 8 inches thick. The lwoer deck waterways are 17 inches square, the main deck 15, and the upper deck 12 by 14, and the two decks below have thick work of 12 by 14, and 10 by 16 inches, over and inside of their waterways, and the ceiling is 6 inches thick. The upper deck has also a thick strake inside of the waterways, let over the beams; and the planking of the lower and upper decks is 3½ inches, and of the main deck 3 inches.
Her garboards are 8 inches thick, the next strake 7½, and the third 7, graduated to 4½ inches; her wales are 5½ by 7, and the waist 4 inches thick, the whole square fastened with threenails, and butt and bilge bolted with copper. Her planksheer and main rail are each 6 inches thick, and her bulwarks stanchions are of oak, and pretty close together.
Her lower deck beams are about 17 inches square amidships, those under the main deck, 14 by 15, and those under the upper deck, 9 by 14. In the hold she has three tiers of stanchions under the beams, one tier on each side and one amidships, and the hanging and lodging knees are of oak, with 18 bolts and 4 spikes in each of the former, and she has 5 hooks and pointers, in each end of the hold, and massive hooks between each of the decks above, and over and under the bowsprit. Her stern frame is also strongly secured with natural hooks fashioned upon the quarters. In the hold she has stout shifting boards amidships, suitable for the stowage of grain, but which can be easily unshipped, when stowing a general cargo. The knees connected with the beams of her main and upper decks are of hacmatack, and are very stout and strongly fastened, and the stanchions are of oak turned, secured with iron rods and screws in the usual style. In a word, no vessel of her size is of better materials, is more thoroughly fastened or better finished. She is seasoned with salt, and as already stated, is well ventilated.
She has a noble set of spars. The fore and main masts are built and hooped over, the mizenmast is of a single spar, and her topmasts and jibbooms are of hard pine. The following are the dimensions of her masts and yards. The yards upon the fore and main are like:
|Fore and Main||22||82||yard arms..4|
Her fore and main rigging is of 11½ inch patent rope, wormed; and all her standing rigging is served over the ends and eyes, and is well fitted. She is finely fitted aloft, and looks magnificently. She has chain lightning conductors, upon the old fashioned principle, to lead from the mast heads over the sides, which are better than none; but we think Harris's plan is decidedly the best. Capt. Forbes has recently published a pamphlet descriptive of them, and we beg leave to call the attention of shipwowners to it. Capt. Forbes will cheerfully give any information respecting Harris's conductors, that may be required.
Viewed as a whole, this fine is worthy of high praise. She is very strongly built, and is fitted out in a liberal style. She was built at Portsmouth, N.H., by Mr. Geo. Raynes, New Hampshire's greatest mechanic, and was equipped under the superintendence of Capt. French, one of the most experienced shipmasters belonging to New York. Her spars were made by Mr. Thos. H. Odiorne, the rigging by Messrs. Johnson & Handy, her sails by Chas. Walker, and she was rigged by Mr. Chas. Harratt, Jr. Messrs. Swasey & Rowell painted her, Joy & Colcord were her joiners, and she was ornamented by Mr. J.W. Mason, of Boston. She is owned by Messrs. Spofford, Tileston & Co., and is intended for their line of New York and Liverpool packets. Success to her, for she is a noble ship and has a noble name.
Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius.
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