The splendid ship, which bears her name, is designed to stow a large cargo and sail fast. She is 188 feet long on deck, has 37½ feet breadth of beam, 23 feet depth of hold, including 7 feet 9 inches height of between decks; has 15 inches dead rise at half floor, 8 inches rounding of sides, 3½ feet sheer, and registers, 1230 tons. Her bow rakes boldly forward, flares as it rises, is convex in form, and is ornamented with a full female figure in vestments of flowing white, fringed with gold. The sheer is gradual her whole length, with just sufficient spring forward to give grace and lightness to the bow. The stern is oval in outline, very light, and is neatly ornamented with gilded carved work, and the run is long and clean, and beautifully formed. The ship is yellow metalled up to 19 feet, and above there is painted black; inside she is buff color, relieved with white.
Like the general run of clippers, all her accommodations are on the upper deck. She has two snug cabins built into a half poop deck. The after one is wainscotted with mahogany and satin wood, relieved with rosewood pilasters, gilded flower-work and mouldings, and is elegantly furnished. It is connected with the cabin before it, and has a stair-case, which leads to the poop. The forward cabin is white, set off with gilded mouldings; and the state-rooms of booth cabins are neatly fitted up, well lighted and ventilated. The ante-room contains the pantry and accommodations for the officers, and has an entrance which leads to the quarter deck. A large house before the main hatchway contains quarters for the crew, the galley, store rooms, etc.
She has a capstan on the topgallant forecastle and one of Allyn's patent capstans on the quarter deck. We are glad to see Allyn's capstan coming into general use, for it is by far the best that has yet been invented. It is worth half a dozen of any others that can be named. She also has a patent windlass, a patent steering apparatus, and copper chambered pumps.
The ship herself is built of oak, and copper fastened. Her keel is sided 16 inches and moulded 26; the floor timbers on it are 17 by 12 and 13, and over them are three depths of midship keelsons, the two first 16 inches square, and the rider 15 inches square. She has also sister keelsons of 12 inches square, the whole fastened in the most substantial style. The floor ceiling is 4½ inches thick, and on the bilge the thick work commences at 14 inches square, and continues this substance from the first futtocks almost up to the stringer upon which the ends of the hanging knees rest, and diminishes to 8 inches thick, without projection. All this work is scarphed, keyed and square fastened. The lower deck beams are 15 inches square, and those under the upper deck 9 by 15. The between decks waterways are 15 by 16 inches, with one strake of 9 by 12 inside of them, and two of the same substance over them; the ceiling above varies from 5 to 6 inches, and is also scarphed, keyed and square bolted. The upper deck waterways are 10 by 13 inches, and the planking of both decks is 3½ inches thick.
Her garboards are 7 by 14 inches, the next strake 6 inches, and the third 5 inches thick, tapered to 4 inches, the substance of her bottom planking. She has 23 wales of 5 by 7 inches, is flush to the covering board, square fastened with locust treenails, and butt and bilge bolted with copper. The main rail and planksheer are each 6 inches thick. She was caulked on the stocks, and when hove out to be sheathed, every seam was again ho__ed and payed and two tiers of felt were placed under the yellow metal; consequently she is as tight as a bottle.
All her hooks and pointers, all the knees in the between decks as well as the hold, and all the stanchions are of white oak. The hanging knees under the lower deck beams, are sided from 10 to 13 inches, have 3 feet arms and 5 feet bodies, are moulded in the throats from 2 feet to 20 inches, and have 20 bolts and spikes in each. She has 8 hooks forward and 5 aft, and throughout is as strong and well finished as any ship need to be, and is liberally fitted out in every particular.
She has built fore and main masts and bowsprit, hard pine topmasts and jibbooms, the best of Russia hemp rigging, and has a fine set of spars as any ship of her class that we have seen. She carries a main skysail, but nothing higher than royals on the other two masts.
This truly beautiful ship was built at South Boston by Messrs. Briggs, the builder of Northern Light, Bonita, John Land, Southern Cross, and a fleet of other famous clippers, all of which have been remarkably fortunate. They have now on the stocks two other beautiful vessels, which, when finished, will add to their reputation, as eminent shipbuilders. The Grace Darling is owned by Chas. B. Fessenden, Esq., and is commanded by Capt. L.N. Doane, an excellent sailor. She is now loading with rapid despatch in Glidden & Williams' line of California clippers, and will sail soon, as nearly all her cargo is engaged.
Crane's Chain Stoppers Champion of the Seas
Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius
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Copyright © 1999 Lars Bruzelius.