The New Ship Witch of the Wave.

The clipper ship of this name was built at Portsmouth, N.H., by Mr. George Raynes, since deceased; and after establishing a reputation for speed and delivering her cargoes in excellent, was sold at a very high rate, to a foreign merchant. The present Witch of the Wave, of which we propose to give a brief sketch, was built in the same yard, by the son of the deceased. But this ship is not a clipper. She is a noble freighting ship, of the most approved European packet model, designed to stow a large cargo, and has all the appointments now in use for the accommodation of passengers. She is 195 feet long, has 37 feet breadth of beam, 24½ feet depth of hold, including 8 feet 2 inches height of between decks, and registers 1198 tons. Her dead rise at half floor is 10 inches, rounding of sides 15 inches, and sheer 3½ feet. She has a long, buoyant floor, rounded lines, almost an upright stem, and a light, curvilinear stern. Her bow is tastefully ornamented with a full female figure, in vestments of white, fringed with gold, and the stern is also neatly ornamented with gilded carved work, the whole made by Messrs. Gleason & Henderson. Outside she is painted black and inside buff color, relieved with white. She has an open topgallant forecastle, the height of the main rail, with capstan on it; under it are lockers, and in its after wings places peculiar to packet ships.

Abaft the foremast is a house 47 feet long, 17 wide and 6½ high, which contains two galleys, quarters for the crew, staterooms and storerooms, and also protects staircases, which lead to the deck below. Her after house is 50 feet long, built into a half poop deck. It contains two fine cabins and an anteroom. The after cabin is wainscotted with mahogany, set off with rosewood pilasters and papier mache cornices. It contains four staterooms, has two beautiful recess sofas, with panelled mirrors -- has a staircase aft, which leads to the poop, and is neatly finished and elegantly furnished. The forward cabin is also wainscotted, has white panels, with colored pilasters and cornices. It contains two staterooms and the pantry, and is also well furnished. The anteroom has accommodations for the mates, and at the same time affords protection to the entrance of the cabin. Her cabins were furnished by Messrs. Jas. H. Beel & Brother, of Boston.

She has the good old fashioned steering gear, which any sailor can repair when out of order, and her wheel is protected by a snug house. On the quarter deck is one of Perley's patent capstans; she has a strongly secured windlass, Crane's patent chain stopper, and copper chambered pumps.

Her keel is of rock maple, sided 16 inches, moulded 2 feet forward and 22 inches aft; the floor timbers are 16 by 14 inches, and over them there are three depths of midship keelsons, from 16 to 15 inches each, with a rider of 4 inches thickness; and the sister keelsons are 14 by 15 inches. The floor timbers are bolted with 1¼ inch copper through the first tier of keelsons and the keel, and also with iron driven blunt into the keel. The sister-keelsons are bolted vertically, horizontally and diagonally. The floor ceiling is of white oak 4 inches thick. On the bilge, commencing inside of the first futtocks, there are six strakes of 10 by 14 inches, scarphed, square fastened and bolted edgeways; above these are one strake of 9½, on of 9, one of 8½, two of 7, two strakes of 11 by 13 inches, upon which the lower ends of the hanging knees rest, and above these, four strakes of clamps, each 7 inches thick, the whole square fastened. Her deck frames are of hard pine; the lower deck beams are 14 by 15 inches, and those under the upper deck 9 by 15, all bolted through the timbers at the ends. The lower deck knees are of white oak, with 4½ feet bodies, 3½ feet arms; sided from 10 to 12 inches, moulded in the angles, 22 inches, and have sixteen bolts and four spikes in each. The upper deck knees are of hacmatack, nearly the same in size and fastening as those below. She has four hooks and pointers of oak in each end, braced off with oak along the skin, and bolted through all; the stanchions are also of oak, 10 by 12 inches, kneed in the wake of the hatchways, but clasped with iron elsewhere.

The between decks waterways are 14 inches square, the strake inside of them 8 by 12, and over them there are two strakes of 8½ by 10 inches, square fastened, and bolted vertically; and the ceiling above is 5 inches thick, also square fastened. Her between decks stanchions are of oak, turned, with iron rods through their centres, set up with nuts and screws below. In each end is a massive hook 52 feet between the extremes, with 102 bolts in each. The lower parts of the beams and stanchions are bright and varnished, the hanging knees are grained oak-color, the thickwork is granite color, the waterways are blue, and the rest of the paint work is white. The between decks (8 feet 2 inches high) are admirably adapted from the accommodation of passengers.

Her upper deck waterways are 12 inches square, and the planking of both decks 3½ inches thick, the lower one of hard pine, and the upper one of white pine.

The outside planking, from the keel to the waist, is of selected New Hampshire white oak, square fastened with treenails (those along the bilge driven through and wedged in both ends) and butt and bilge bolted with copper. Her garboards are 7 inches, the next strake 6, the third 5, and the bottom planking 4 inches thick, the wales 5½ by 7, and the waist 4 inches, carried up without projection to the planksheer. The covering board and main rail are each 5½ inches thick, and the outline of the monkey rail is built solid and bolted to the main rail. The whole height of the bulwarks is 5½ feet, and the bulwark-stanchions are of oak, well secured. Notwithstanding the houses, she has spacious deck room for working ship, and looks remarkably well.

She has built fore and mainmasts and bowsprit, hard pine topmasts and jibbooms, and Howes's rig on all three masts. The following are the dimensions of her masts and yards.

Diameter. Length. Mast-heads.
Inches. Feet. Feet.
Fore 20 79½ 14
Top 16 45 9
Topgallant 11½ 26 0
Royal 10 17 pole 9
Main 31 83 14
Top 14 43½ 9
Topgallant 11½ 25½ 0
Royal 10 17½ pole 11
Mizzen 28 75 11½
Top 18 36 7
Topgallant 9 19 0
Royal 7 13½ pole 7
Fore 19 72 yard-arms 3½
Lower Top 15 64 3
Upper Top 15 56 3
Topgallant 11 42
Royal 7 32 2
Main 19 73
Lower Top 15 65 3
Upper Top 15 57 3
Topgallant 11 42½
Royal 32 2
Crossjack 15 58 3
Lower Top 12 50
Upper Top 12 43
Topgallant 32 2
Royal 6 24 1
The bowsprit is 30 inches in diameter and 26 feet outboard; jibboom divided at 18 and 14 feet, with 6 feet end, and 16 inches diameter in the cap; spankerboom 49 feet long, gaff 38, and main spencer gaff 16 feet. Her masts rake, commencing with the fore, ¾ths, 7/8ths, and 1¼ inch to the foot. She carries a main skysail, but nothing higher than royals on the two other masts. She is strongly and neatly rigged, and looks finely aloft.

Her spars were made by T.H. Odiorn; Deering & Yeaton rigged her; J. Wilson did her joiner work; Joy & Leland finished her cabins; Timothy S. Trafton and John Dame were her blacksmiths, and T.R. Holbrook made her sails. Want of space alone prevents our publishing the names of all the mechanics employed upon her, for all have performed their work well.

She is owned by parties in Newburyport, and as already stated, was built by Mr. Geo. Raynes. He also designed, modelled and draughted her. Last year he built the fine ship Arkwright. The Witch of the Wave is one of the best of those excellent oak built ships, which have given New Hampshire such a high reputation abroad. No American vessels rate before them at Lloyd's. Mr. Raynes is a young man, of great promise, as a shipbuilder, and bids fair to be eminently successful. He has on the stocks at present a beautiful clipper of 900 tons, owned by Wm. F. Parrott & Co. She is also oak built and copper fastened, and will be ready for launching in a few weeks.

The Witch of the Wave is commanded by Capt. J.E.A. Todd, of Salem, who has the reputation of being an able and experienced sailor. She sailed from Portsmouth on Saturday, bound to Mobile. Success to her.

The Boston Daily Atlas, March 24, 1856.

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

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Copyright © 1996 Lars Bruzelius.