132. COAL. Ships sail best when coal is heaped up towards the hatchways in a line corresponding with the direction of the keelson; this mode is considered far more necessary with heavier goods such as mineral ores, iron, &c. Small vessels cannot, however, afford to lose any space. Coasting colliers are always fully laden, unless their construction will not admit of it. With 'tween-deck ships the lower main hatches are left open to replenish the hold, as the cargo settles; the loss of several large ships has been attributed to neglect in not removing a sufficient number of planks from the 'tween decks to permit the cargo to be fairly distributed in the main hold. When loading, the large coal naturally falls away to the wings, and a quantity of small is thus produced, and is often found immediately under the hatchways; this obstructs the approach to the large, however much there may be, and the consignee declines possibly to receive the cargo until the dust is thrown on deck; the consequent delay might be avoided by trimming off the small at the loading port. Merchants who ship large cargoes at Newport frequently dig out a few ton of the dead small in the wake of the hatchway and replace it with large. At Newcastle, eight men as trimmers are usually employed in the hold, and they take care to remove the small from the hatchways. Gas coals are the most friable, steam coal the least. The word Hartley designates the coal to be used for steam purposes, as Wallsend indicates the best description of house coal It is stated to be the practice at Hartlepool to prepare two sets of bills of lading for coal consigned to the merchant's agents abroad; one set shows the true quantity as between buyer and seller, and the other a less quantity by which freight is paid. At Liverpool two-thirds of the coal shipped is brought down by canal boats and is then carted to the docks, which involves considerable waste, and thereby diminishes the freight; when transhipped directly from the canal boats there is very little less. At Calcutta consignees sometimes offer to accept cargoes by the quantity in the bill of lading, less 4 per cent, but masters will exercise their own judgement herein. The Ravenscraig (see linseed) shipped 770 ton at Liverpool in March, 1862, and discharged 830 ton at Calcutta in July, 1862 -- every tenth basket was weighed. In bills of lading there is an important case relative to the discharge of coal at Singapore. Coal is said to encourage dry rot in the wood-work of the holds of ships.
Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius
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