This splendid vessel is 226 feet long at the load-displacement line, and 243 overall, from the knight-heads to the taffrail; has 44 feet extreme breadth of hold, including 7½ feet height between decks, and registers about 2000 tons. Her keel for 30 feet forward gradually rises from a straight line, and the gripe of her forefoot, instead of being angular, is arched where it blends with the stem. This gives increased strength, caompared with the angular forefoot, and, in the event of her taking the ground forward, her gripe will not be the first to encounter resistance. In working ship, too, the arched form will facilitate her movements. She has sharper ends than any clipper ever built in the United States, and her lines are decidedly concave. At the load-displacement line, a chord from the extreme of the cutwater to the rounding of her side, would show a concavity of 16 inches, the curved line representing the segment of an ellipsis. The stem rakes boldly forward, and the bow flares as it rises, but preserves its angular form to the rail, and is there convex in its outline. She has a full female figure head, placed to correspond with her forerake, and this is her only ornament forward, for she has neither head nor trail boards, nor any other appendage for the sea to wash away. Her sides swell 10 inches, her rise of floor is 20 inches at 11 feet from the keel, and her sheer is 4½ feet, which is graduated her whole length, and rises gracefully towards the ends. The stern is semi-elliptical in form, and has the planksheer moulding for its base. The run is very long and clean, but is much fuller than the bow, and under the stern it is rounded, so that it has no hollow counter for the sea to strike against when the ship settles aft. Her after motions, therefore, will be easy in a heavy sea, and when she is going at her highest speed, the after vaccum in the water will be filled by the run, so as to enable her to sail upon the same lines forward and aft. It is well known that ships with hollow counters, when in a heavy sea, bring up aft with a tremendous splash, that makes everything crack fore and aft, and that when going swiftly through the water, they settle down almost to the taffrails. The Lightning's after-body was designed with special reference to obviate these defects.
Her stern is ornamented with gilded carved work; but this, at best, is only an excrescence, and adds nothing to the beauty of the hull. The ship will be coppered in Liverpool; at present her bottom is copper colored, and the rest of the hull outside is painted black. Inside she is pearl color, relieved with white, and the waterways are lead color.
the whole height of her bulwarks is 7 feet, and she has a full topgallant forecastle, which extends to the fore rigging, and its deck is connected with the top of a house, which is continued aft, and is 48 feet long, and 19 wide at the after end. The top of this house is connected with the poop by two gangways, so that the men can pass forward and aft, without descending into the waist. She has a full poop deck 90 feet long, the outline of which is protected by a mahogany rail, on turned stanchions of the same wood.
There is a spacious house over the wheel, designed, in part, for a smoking room, and it also protects a stair case on the starboard side, which lead to the captain's state-room and the after cabin.
The after cabin is 34 feet long, 12 wide, and 7 high, and is wainscotted with mahogany, enamel, polished ash and other fancy woods, relieved with rosewood pillars, papier mache cornices, and flowering gilding. It has 4 state-rooms, 2 sofa-recesses, and other apartments; a splendid sofa aft, rich carpeting, a circular marble table ineach recess, and a mahogany extension table amidships. All the state-rooms are furnished differntly, for the sake of variety, we suppose, and their furniture is of the choicest kind, arranged with consummate skill. Every state-room has a square window in the side, and a perforated ventilator between the beams, so that, for light and air, all has been done that could be desired. There are 4 stern windows, and a large, oblong square skylight in the after cabin, and similar skylights over the dining saloon, which is connected with the after cabin. The skylights are set in mahogany frames, and nearly all the windows are of stained glass. In the recesses and partition of the after cabin there are plate glass mirrors, which give reflected views of every part of the cabin. A more beautiful cabin or one more richly furnished we have never seen.
The dining saloon, which leads from it, is also wainscotted -- is painted pure white, like enamel,and is tastefully relieved with gilded mouldings and flower-work. It is 48 feet long, 13 feet wide aft, and 14 forward, and has a large mahogany table its whole length, with settees along its sides. It has spacious state-rooms and other appartments on each side, its whole length, and these rooms are admirably designed for the accommodation of families. In richness of furniture, light, and ventilation, they are equal to those in the after cabin. At the forward partition there is a costly sideboard of marle, and rising from it is a large mirror. Another mirror and sofa ornament the after part, so that the saloon is reflected from both ends.
The chief officer's state-room is on the starboard side, forward, and the pantry opposite, and between them are two doors, which lead to the quarter-deck. The from of the poop deck projects about 5 feet, and shelters the entrances to the saloon.
The accommodations for her second cabin passengers are in the house before the main hatchway, which has an entrance amidships, aft. It is thirty-six feet long and has a passage amidships, 5 feet wide, which leads to 6 state-rooms on each side; and these rooms are well lighted and ventilated, and tastefully furnished. The forward part of this house contains the galley, and before it, on each side, are staircases which lead to the between decks. Her crew's accomodations are under the topgallant forecastle, and are neatly fitted up.
The between decks are designed for the accomodation of passengers, and have 10 plate-glass air ports on each side, skylights and ventilators along the sides of the house above, so that they are well supplied with light and ventilation, and will be fitted up in superior style, when the ship arrives in Liverpool.
As the top of the house projects three feet on each side, a water-proof awning will be spread from it to the rails, so as to shelter the waist, that the passengers may always have an opportunity of coming on deck without exposure to wet weather.
Her accommondations forward and aft are upon a liberal scale, and are most admirably designed for health, comfort and safety.
The ship herself is neatly found in the best of ground tackle, has a good, substantial windlass, 3 capstans, a patent steering apparatus, and copper-chambered pumps, below she has an iron water tank of 5000 gallons capacity.
The leading details of her materials and fastenings will show that she is well built. Her frame, all the knees in the hold, and her hooks and pointers are of selected, seasoned white oak; and her scantling is of hard pine. The knees in the between decks are of hacmatack, the lower deck is of hard pine, and the upper deck of white pine, and her fastenings varies from 1¼ to 1 inch iron and copper. Her ends have four tier of uprights, which are bound to the keel and keelsons with massive oak knees, and they are almost filled with hooks and pointers.
Her keel is of white oak in two depths, sided 15, and moulded 30 inches, each depth 15 inches square. Its scarphs are 12 feet long, bolted with copper, and its parts were also bolted together before the frames were raised. The floor timbers are sided from 12 to 14 inches, and moulded 19, and the frames are chocked with oak above and below every joint, and bolated together fore and aft. She has three tiers of midship keelsons, each tier 15 inches square, and double sister keelsons of the same size on each side, one over the other. The whole of these keelsons are bolted through the timbers and keel with inch-and-a-quarter copper and iron, the bolts within a foot of one another. The sister keelsons are also bolted horizontally through the midship keelsons and each other. All the keelsons are scarphed and keyed, and fitted close as joinerwork.
The whole of her ceiling is of hard pine, and that on the floor is 5 inches thick, and square fastened. Over the first futtocks there are two bilge keelsons, each 15 inches square, placed alongside of each other, and these, like the other keelsons, are scarphed and keyed. They are squared fastened through the timbers, the bolts having been driven alternately from both sides and rivetted, and they are also bolted together edgeways. The ceiling above the bilge keelsons up to the lower deck, is all 9 by 12 inches, all bolted together edgeways every three feet, and square fastened through the timbers. The lower deck beams are 14 by 16 inches amidships, tapered an inch or two toward the ends, and the knees connected with are of white oak. The haning knees are sided from 10 to 12 inches, have 5½ feet bodies, 4 feet arms, are moulded about 22 inches in the angles, and have 20 bolts and 4 spikes in each. Their lower ends rest upon a lap-strake or stringer of 6 inches thick by 12 inches wide, which is bolted though the ceiling and the timbers. This strake forward and aft is beamed and kneed in the angles of the ends, and forms a strong horizontal hook. The lodging knees are sided 8 inches, are scarphed together in every berth, and closely bolted. The stanchions are very stout, are clasped with iron, and are kneed to beams above and to the keelsons below. There are 4 massive points of oak forward, ranging from 20 to 50 feet in length, and two of these are filled in the angles with hooks, and the others are fayed to keelsons below and the beams above. They are 12 inches square, and are bolted from both sides, through the cants and timbers. Her ends are as strongly secured as those of a Davis' Straits whaler. The run is secured in the same massive style as the bow.
Her between decks waterways are of hard pine 15 inches square, with a strake of 9 of 12 inches of them, morticed over the beams and bolted through them, and another strake of 12 by 14 inches over them. These extend her whole length, are vertically through the beams, and horizontally through the timbers. The ceiling above is 5 inches thick, and the clamp under deck beams is 9 by 14 inches, and like the other ceiling, it is square fastened. The upper deck beams are 9 by 14 inches, and the knees connected with them are of hacmatack, about the same size as those below and are fastened in the same style. The stanshions under them are of oak turned, and have bolts through their centers, which are keyed on the upper deck beams and set up with nuts and screws to the beams below, thus binding both decks together. The planking of the lower deck is of hard pine, 3½ inches thick, and the upper deck is white pine of the same substance. In every berth between the hanging knees she is diagonally cross-braced with hard pine of 9 by 7 inches over the ceiling, and these braces are bolted through the ceiling and the timbers. Her hooks forward and aft between decks are beamed and kneed in the same style as those below. She has 32 beams under the upper deck, and 30 under the lower deck, with a corresponding number of carlines. All the mastpartners and hatchways are strongly kneed in every angle.
The upper deck waterways are 12 by 14 inches, with a thick strake of them champered off toward the deck, and her bulwarks, like those of a ship of war, are built solid inside and outside. The bulwarks are 5 feet high, surmounted by a monkey rail of 2 feet, which is panelled on the inside.
Her garboards are 8 by 12 inches, the second strake 7 by 12, the third 6 by 12, champered off to 4½ inches thick, the substance of the planking on the bottom. The whales are 5½ by inches, and she is planked flush to the planksheer moulding. Outside as well as inside she is square fastened, and is butt and bilge bolted with copper.
The mouldings of the planksheer and rail are relieved with raised strakes above and below them, which are also moulded on the edges, and outside she is polished smooth as marble, and every line and moulding is graduated in exact proportions fore and aft.
She is a full-rigged ship and looks grandly aloft. Her lower masts and bowsprit are built of hard pine, dowelled together and bolted, and are hooped over all with iron. The topmasts and jibbooms are also of hard pine. The following are the dimensions of her masts and spars:
MASTS Diameter Length Mast-head Inches Feet Feet Fore . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 86 15 Top . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 ½ 46 10 ½ Topgallant . . . . . . . . . . 13 ½ 23 - Royal . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 ½ 15 pole 7 Main . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 90 16 Top . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 ½ 50 11 Topgallant . . . . . . . . . . 14 ½ 23 - Royal . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 ½ 15 - Skysail . . . . . . . . . . . 8 ½ 13 pole 8 Mizzen . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 79 13 Mizzen Top . . . . . . . . . . 15 ½ 40 8 Topgallant . . . . . . . . . . 11 ½ 18 - Royal . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 ½ 13 pole 6 YARDS Fore . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 87 yard arm 4 Top . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 ½ 72 6 Topgallant . . . . . . . . . . 13 52 4 Royal . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 ½ 40 1 ½ Main . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 95 4 Top . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 72 6 Topgallant . . . . . . . . . . 14 62 4 Royal . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 40 2 ½ Skysail . . . . . . . . . . . 7 32 1 Crossjack . . . . . . . . . . 19 72 5 Mizzentopsail . . . . . . . . 15 52 4 Topgallant . . . . . . . . . . 10 40 1 ½ Royal . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 32 1
Her standing rigging is out Russia hemp, four stranded and wormed. The fore and main rigging, for the main topmast backstays, lower and topmaststays are all 11½ inch, the mizzen rigging of 8½ inch, and the other in proportion.
She has six shrouds to the fore and main masts on each side, three topmast backstays, double topgallant backstays, and three shrouds to the topmast rigging. The lower rigging topmast backstays, &c., set up with lanyards and dead eyes, and most of the other rigging on its ends. She has chain bobstays and bowsprit shrouds, martingale stays and back ropes - iron futtock rigging, patent trusses and parels, chain topsail sheets and ties, and all the other improvements of the day. Altough her masts are of very heavy dimensions, they are so completely fitted into doublings, that they appear comday. Although her masts are of very heavy dimensions, they are so compactly fitted into doublings, that they appear comparatively light, and her yards, too, though very square, are so neatly tapered toward the arms that altogether, aloft, she appears the lightest sparred clipper of her size we have yet seen. Her mast-head are crowned with gilded balls, and doublings and lower masts are white, the yards black, and the booms bright, with black ends. The sails are of cotton canvas, with Manila roping; have cross diagonal roped bands between the reefs, and are also roped from opposite clews to opposite earings. Her running rigging is mostly of Manila hemp, and her blocks are large and iron-strapped. Aloft, as well as below, everything which skill, without regard to cost, could produce, has been abundantly supplied.
This magnificent ship is owned by Messrs. James Baines & Co., of Liverpool, is designed for their line of Liverpool and Australia packets, and is commanded by Capt. Jas. N. Forbes, who superintended her outfits. Capt. Forbes is well known as the former commander of the famous ship Marco Polo, in which he made two successive voyages from Liverpool to Australia in less than 12 months, including detension in port. Her builder, Donald McKay, has a world-wide reputation; his ships, for beauty, strength and speed have no superiors on this side of the Atlantic; and as the Lightning is the first ship ever built in the United States for an English house, he has done his best to make her perfect in every detail.
She is the largest ship belonging to Liverpool, and we be lieve she will prove the finest ship of her size that has ever been produced, on either side of the Atlantic.
She now lies at Constitution Wharf, and is loading in Train & Co's packet line for Liverpool. We advise everybody to call and see her.
Mr. McKay has now on the stocks, for the owners of the Lightning, a clipper ship of 2500 tons, named the Champion of the Seas, which will be launched in April. She is 245 feet long, has 45 breadth of beam, 29 feet of depth of hold, and three decks. Also, another clipper of 3000 tons, named the James Baines, which is 310 feet long, has 56 feet extreme breadth of beam, and 30 feet depth of hold, with three decks, and will be launched in September. These ships have white oak frames, will be diagonally crossbraced with iron, and built in the best syle.
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Copyright © 1997 Lars Bruzelius.