The New Ship Susan Howland, of Boston.

The great clipper building enterprise, consequent upon the discovery of gold in California, has been the means of introducing many improvements in naval architecture. Among these may be cited, beauty of outline in all other classes of vessels. The eye became accustomed to beauty in the clippers, and demanded its embodiment in full-modelled vessels also. This gave our designers more scope for the exercise of their talents, than they had before enjoyed, and the result has been highly satisfactory. Before clippers became general, shipowners were in the habit of furnishing their own models, and these were designed mostly for capacity, without reference to beauty of speed; but now, shipowners, though still desirous of great capacity, are not indifferent to beauty. The consequence is, that nearly all our full modelled vessels vie [?] in beauty of outline with many of our most approved clippers. What they lose in airy lightness, is made up in harmony of outline. The Susan Howland is a full modelled vessel, designed to stow a very large cargo compared with her register, but is of a beautiful model. She is 180 feet long between perpendiculars on deck, has 38½ feet breadth of beam, 23½ feet depth of hold, including 7 feet 10 inches height of between decks, and registers 1137 tons. Though full modelled, having only 9 inches dead rise at half floor, yet she has easy waterlines, finely formed ends, and a rounded stern. Her bow rakes and flares enough to give an air of lightness to her general outline, and is finished without head or trailboards. It is tastefully ornamented with a full figure of the lady whose name she bears, and the figure is painted white, relieved with gilding and carved flowerwork. The stern is also ornamented with gilded scroll-work upon a black ground, and the hull outside is painted black. She has 12 inches rounding or swell of sides, and 4 feet sheer, which is truly graduated her whole length.

The whole height of her bulwarks, including the monkey-rail, is about 5 feet, and the latter is built solid and bolted to the main rail. Inside she is painted white, and the waterways blue. She has an open topgallant forecastle the height of the main rail, and abaft the foremast a house 40 feet long by 17 wide, and 6½ high; and built into a half poop, is another house, of nearly the same dimensions, which contains two cabins. The forward house contains spacious accommodations for the crew, the galley, staterooms for the forward officers and boys, storerooms, &c. The after cabin has a staircase, which leads from the poop, and the forward cabin is entered in front from the quarter-deck, and also communicates with the after one by two doors. The after cabin contains 6 fine staterooms, is beautifully wainscotted with mahogany and other fancy woods, set off with double pillars, instead of pilasters, between the panels. It has a transom sofa, a mahogany table, a mirror in its forward partition, and is otherwise elegantly furnished. The forward cabin is white, relieved with gilded lines and carved, and contains 4 state rooms, the pantry and a bread locker. The cabins and staterooms are well lighted and ventilated, and admirably adapted for the accommodation of passengers. James H. Beal & Brother furnished her cabins.

She has two capstans, a patent windlass, two chain stoppers, Reed's patent steering apparatus, and a force pump aft, with 175 feet of hose. Her boats are stowed on the house forward, and on a gallows frame across the quarter deck and the house aft. Some idea may be formed of her stability from the facts that all her boats were in their places, all her masts and yards aloft, and yet, with a clean hold, she stood as upright as a church, and only drew 9 feet water.

Her frame is of seasoned white oak, and her planking, ceiling, keelsons, deck frames and lower deck, are of hard pine; she is square fastened throughout, seasoned with salt, and ventilated along the sides of the houses. Her keel is of rock maple sided 15 and moulded 28 inches, with scarphs 12 feet long bolted with copper. The floor timbers are 12 by 17 inches, and over them are three depths of midship keelsons, each 15 inches square, and sister keelsons of 10 by 15 inches. The floor timbers are bolted with 1¼ inch copper, through the first keelson and the keel, and the keelsons and navel timbers are bolted blunt into the keel with 1 3/8 inch refined iron. The sister keelsons are bolted diagonally and horizontally. The floor ceiling is 4½ inches thick. Over the first futtocks there are two bilge keelsons, each 15 inches square, scarphed, square fastened, and bolted edgeways, and above these there are 6 strakes of 6 inches thickness, and the rest of the ceiling in the hold is of 8 inches, all square bolted and scarphed. He [sic] stem, apron, stempost, sternpost, stern knee and false post, are all of oak, and are bolted with copper up to the load line. She has four pointers forward and three aft, filled in with massive hooks, bolted through all from both sides; also hooks in the between decks, which span the angles of her ends, and hooks under and over the bowsprit, beside the deck-hooks; and these are all of white oak. The lower deck beams are 15 inches square, with stanchions of 8 by 15 inches under them, clasped with iron above and below, and the hanging knees are of oak, with 20 bolts in each, sided from 10 to 12 inches, and moulded from 22 to 20 inches in the throats.

The between decks waterways are 15 inches square, with a strake of 8 by 12 inches inside of them, let over the beams, and a strake of 9 by 15 over them, the whole bolted vertically and horizontally. The ceiling above is 5 inches thick, square fastened, and the beams 9 by 15 inches, with hacmatack hanging knees, which have 20 bolts in each, and are finished smooth as joiner-work. The between decks are lofty, neatly finished, and well adapted for the accommodation of passengers. They have a cargo port in each side, double main hatchways; the lower parts of their beams are bright and varnished, their thick work is blue, and the rest painted white. The upper deck waterways are 11 by 12 inches, the planksheer and main rail each 6 inches thick, and the bulwark-stanchions are of oak, 10 by 7 inches at the planksheer. The planking of both decks is 3½ inches thick.

Her garboards are 8 inches thick, let into the keel, are bolted through it and each other, and are square fastened through the timbers; the second and third strakes are champered down to 4½ inches, the substance of her bottom planking; her wales are 5½ by 7 inches, square fastened with treenails; she is butt and bilge bolted with copper, and is remarkably well finished throughout.

She has built fore and main masts and bowsprit, hard pine topmasts and jib-booms, and the best of Russia hemp standing rigging. The following are the dimensions of her masts yards. The length of the lower masts, in the table, is above deck:--

Diameter. Length. Mast-heads.
Inches. Feet. Feet.
Fore 31 51 13½
Top 16 42 9
Topgallant 11 23 0
Royal 9 14 pole 6
Main 32 57 14
Top 16 44 9
Topgallant 11 24 0
Royal 15 pole 6½
Mizzen 24 48 11
Top 13 33 7
Topgallant 17 0
Royal 12 pole 5½
Fore 19 67 yard-arms 4
Top 16 53 5
Topgallant 10 38 3
Royal 28 1
Main 19 70 4
Top 16 56½ 5
Topgallant 10 42 3
Royal 32
Crossjack 15½ 54 3
Mizzen Top 11 42
Topgallant 8 32 2
Royal 5 21 1

The bowsprit is 28 inches in diameter, and 22 feet outboard; jibboom, 16 inches in diameter, divided at 16 and 13 feet for the two jibs, with 5 feet end; spanker-boom, 44 feet long; gaff 34, and main spencer gaff 18, and the other spars in proportion. Her lower masts are white, mast.-heads bright, and her yards black. She has a noble set of spars, well-rigged, and she looks splendidly aloft. Nothing has been omitted in her outfits, required to make her a perfect ship.

She is owned by Messrs. Vernon Brown & Son, and others, and is commanded by Capt. Wm. H. Adams, an able and experienced seaman. Messrs. Pratt & Osgood built her at East Boston, and she is their second vessel; the Elivira was their first, and her performance was so satisfactory, that her owners purchased this vessel also. We believe she is as good as the Elvira; she is certainly more beautiful to the eye, and will probably stow more cargo, and sail as fast. Viewed as a whole, she is as fine a vessel of her class as can be produced anywhere, and as such reflects great credit upon her enterprising builders. She is now loading in Train & Co.'s line of Liverpool packets, and will sail hence on the 1st of May.

Boston Daily Atlas, April 19, 1856.

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

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Copyright © 1996 Lars Bruzelius.