Clipper Ship Herald of the Morning.

The clipper ship "Era" will not soon be forgotten by the careful observer of the progress of ship-building in the United States. While it is a cherished notion with many, that nothing has been done toward the advancement of the art, it is the settled conviction of quite as many, that much has been gained, and we are quite willing to be classed with those who believe that something has been done. As the man who has learned to know himself, has acquired the first and most important lesson in human wisdom, in acquiring a knowledge of his proclivities to err, so the era clipper shipbuilding has taught us the weakness of our ships, and should not pass unheeded. The lessons learned by damaged cargoes should be salutary and lasting. It cannot be denied that there has been more wealth wasted in clipper ships, directly traceable to an improper distribution of the materials in their construction, than by every other consideration. In the rapid race of competing interests, during the struggle for supremacy, in the size and length of clippers, owners, and not a few builders, seem to have forgotten the alienation they were cherishing between the bow and stern, by the increasing distance between them, and that, without substituting a new bond of sympathy, they would engender discord at the very spine of the fabric. We are glad to be able to present one of the exceptions to this very general rule of construction in the Herald of the Morning, the lines and spar draft of which accompany this article.

This ship was built by Messrs. Hayden & Cudworth, of Boston, too well known in the ship-building world to require a word of commendation from us. They were assisted in maturing the plans and calculations of this vessel by Mr. S.H. Pook. For her dimensions, see draft.

In materials and mechanism, this ship will compare favorably with any of her class. She has a keel of rock-maple, sided 15 inches, moulded 20 inches, and two depths of keelson, of yellow-pine, each 15 inches square. Her frame was selected with care, is of white-oak, floors sided 12 and 13 inches, diminishing to 8 inches at rail, The scantling is 17 inches at keel, 12 in. at floor heads, and 6½ inches at deck, with 4-inch bolts in each scarph. She has sister keelsons, 12 by 12, fastened with 1¼ iron to keelson and floors, also riders, 8 by 12 inches. her stem and post are white-oak, the former sided 15 inches, the latter sided 15 at keel, 17 inches at main transom, and moulded 15 and 24 inches. The dead-woods are of white-oak, bolted 2 feet apart with 1¼ inch yellow metal, and also with iron, through and riveted. Ceiling of yellow-pine, bottom 4 inches, bilge 10 inches, in two thicknesses, and bolted separately; breaking joints, below lower deck, 6 inches; lower deck clamps, 5½ inches; five strakes, 12 inches wide; lower deck waterways, 15 by 15, with sperketing; two strakes above, 10 by 10 inches, bolted to each timber with 1 1/8 bolts, and to each other; thick strakes on deck, 7 by 12, let down on beams, 1 inch, and bolted to water-way, 5 feet apart, with 1 1/8 iron. Main deck clamps, 5½ thick, in two strakes. Main deck waterways, yellow-pine, 12 by 12 inches. Lower deck beams, 13 by 15, yellow-pine. Main deck beams, 9 by 13 inches; knees of white-oak, 7, 8 and 10 inches sided, bolted through, and riveted with 1 1/8 iron, three knees to each end of beam, viz: lodge, lap or bosom, and hanging. Deck plank, white-pine, 3 inches thick; plank-shear and rail are each 7 inches thick, of white-oak. She has a deck hook, both forward and aft, on each deck, with three diagonal hooks, also, both forward and aft, coming up to beams, and kneed and well fastened at ends to same with through bolts, of yellow metal. She has a poop-deck, cabin extending forward of mizzen-mast, midships, and nearly to mizzen at side. She also has a top-gallant forecastle, with suitable capstan and bitts, the deck extending nearly to windlass; she also has a house on deck, about 40 feet in length, between the fore and main hatch. The pumps, aft of the main-mast, have composition chambers, and the usual rail around the mast, forward of the main hatch; she has, also, an after hatch forward of cabin, with capstan midway between hatches. The general arrangement is that of utility and convenience; while her performance is commensurate with her model and construction. Success to her.

The U.S. Nautical Magazine, Vol. III (1855-56), pp 407-408.

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

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Copyright © 1996 Lars Bruzelius.