This magnificant ship, like Lightning and the Champion of the Seas, is designed for James Baines & Co's line of Liverpool and Australian packets, and is larger, and said to be more beautiful than either of them. She is 226 feet between perpendiculars on deck, has 44 3/4 feet extreme breadth of beam, 29 feet depth of hold, with three decks, a poop, two houses and a topgallant forecastle, and registers 2525 80-95ths tons. She has a long, rakish, sharp bow, with slightly concave lines below, but convex above, and it is ornamented with a bust of her namesake, which was carved in Liverpool, and which is said by those who know the original, to be an excellent likeness. It is blended with the cutwater, is relieved with gilded carved work, and forms a neat and appropriate ornament to be bow. She is planked flush to the covering-board, has a bold and bouyant sheer, graduated her whole length, and it rises gracefully at the ends, particularly forward; and every moulding is fair and harmonizes finely with the planking and her general outline. Her stern is rounded, and althouh she has a full poop deck, her after body surpasses, in neatness, that of any vessel her talented builder has yet produced. Our most emment mechanics consider her stern perfect. It is rounded below the line of the planksheer, is fashioned above in an easy curve, and only shows a few inches of rise above the outline of the monkey rail; and as this rise is painted white, and the rest of the hull black, when viewed broadside on, her sheer appears a continuous line along her entire length. The stern is ornamented with carved representations of "the great globe itself", between the arms of Britain and the United States, surrounded with fancy scroll work, has carved and gilded drops between the cabin windows, and her name above all -- the whole tastefully gilded and painted.
Her bulwarks are built solid, and are surmounted by a monkey rail, which is panelled inside, and their whole height above the deck is about six feet, varying, of course, towards the ends. she has a full topgallant forecastle, which extends to the foremast, and is fitted for the accommodations of her crew, and abaft the foremast, a large house, which contains soacious galleys, several state-rooms, store-rooms, an ice-room, and shelters a staircase, which leads to the decks below. She has a full poop deck, between 7 and 8 feet high, under which is the ladies' cabin, and before it a large house, which contains the dining saloon and other apartments. The outline of the poop and the house is protected by rails on turned stanchions, and the enclosure forms a spacious and beautiful promedade deck. She also has a small house aft, which shelters the helmsman in a recess, protects the entrance to the captain's cabin, is also a smoking room for passengers, and answers a variety of other purposes.
The ladies' cabin is aft, and is 30 feet long by 13 wide and 6 ½ high. It is pure white, with gilded carved work on the panels, and has papier mache comices, and ventilators between the beams. Aft is a beautiful sofa, fitted to correspond with the curve of the stern, and over it is a neat book case, containing among other works, a full and uniform edition of the British Poets. The forward partitions is ornamented with a large plate-glass mirror, which gives a reflected view of the cabin abaft it. The Captain's cabin and sleeping room are on the starboard side, and communicate with the wheel house on deck, so that it will not be necessary for him to enter the ladies' cabin. Besides these, the cabin contains 11 spacious state-rooms, a bath-room and other useful apartments.
The dining saloon is 35 feet long by 15 wide, is wainscotted with mahogany, has enamelled white panels and pilasters. ornamented with flowers and gilding, and its cornices, which are of papier mache, are edged with gilded flower work, and other ornaments. The ceiling is plain white, except the corners of the beams, which are also edged with papier mache mouldings. Two of the after panles, on each side, are mirrors, and a large square mirror ornaments the forward partition also. The alternate panels along the sides, are stained glass windows; and the casing around the mizzenmast and rudder-trunk, are beautifully variegated with national emblems and other ornaments. Permanent settees are fitted along both sides the entire length of the saloon, and on each side there are walnut tables extending fore and aft. The furniture of the saloon, as well as the after cabin and staterooms, is of the most costly kind, finished in the highest style of art. It was made by Messrs. Jas. H. Beal & Brother, who have furneished nearly all the splendid ships which have been built by Mr. McKay.
The entrance from the deck to the saloon is 2 1/2 feet wide, and extends across the house with a door on each side; and opposite to the midship door of the saloon is the pantry, which is spacious and fitted up in superior style. in the front of the saloon-house are the staterooms of the first and second officers and the windows of these rooms are of stained glass, and have the ship's name in them.
We will return to the saloon. A staircase in its after part leads to the main deck, where are the gentlemen's sleeping apartments. These consist of 24 staterooms, with two berths in each room, and extend along the sides, leaving a spacious cabin outside. This cabin is painted pure white, relieved with gilded carved work, and recieves light and air through two large ventilators amidships, the forward one of which passes through the deck below, and both extended to the skylights on the poop, and have glass in their sides. Every stateroom, too, along the sides has a square port in it, and the rooms adjoining have ventilated blinds, which admit light as well as air.
The deck before the gentlemen's sleeping cabin has three large cargo ports opposite the hatchways, one on each side, and square ports suitable for staterooms along the sides. This deck, when she arrives at Liverpool, will be fitted up for the accommodation of second class passengers, and the deck below for others. These decks are ventilated amidships with trunk-skylights, which pass through the house forward as well as the cabin and the saloon aft. Along the sides of the houses there are also ventilators and skylights, like those on board the Champion of the Seas. The height between each of her decks is 7 1/2 feet, and over the main and after hatch-ways are large ventilated skylights, with double companions, which lead to the decks below. On the poop deck there are two oblong square skylights, the after one extending from the wheelhouse to the mizzenmast, and the forward on is over the pantry. The ascent from the quarter deck to the poop consists of two staircases, one on each side, built into the front of the poop.
Before the mainmast there are three gallows frames, upon which her spare boats are stowed, bottom up, and over the sides she carries quarter-boats, suspended to iron davits, which can be swung inboard when required. She has copperchambered pumps, six capstans, a crab-winch on the fore-castle, a patent windlass, Crane's self-acting chain stoppers, a patent steering apparatus, and a large variety of other modern improvements.
Notwithstanding the vast space occupied by her fore-castle, houses and poop, she still has spacious deckroom for working ship, and looks splendidly. Her bulwarks and houses are painted white, and her water-ways blue, and in this style she is also painted below.
Of her materials and the style of her construction, it is not necessary to say much, for she is nearly the same, in these particulars, as the Champion of the Seas, a full and accurate description of which was published in the Atlas of May 20. Like her, the frame is of white oak, the ceiling, planking, deckframes and keelsons, of hard pine, and she is diagonally cross braced with iron, and square-fastened, and all her keelsons and waterways are scarphed and keyed. Her ceiling is also scarphed and keyed, and bolted edgeways every three feet. The style in which her hull is finished, both inside and outside, has not been surpassed, if equalled, by any ship which Mr. McKay has built; and this is saying much, when we call to mind the number of beautiful vessel he has "turned out of hand".
She is very heavily sparred, and will spread about 13,000 yards of canvass in a single suit of sails. Her mast-head and yards are black; the lower masts, from the truss bands to the fife-rails, are bright and varnished, their hoops white, and the tops and down to the truss-bands, are also white. She has iron caps, and is rigged in nearly the same style as the Champion of the Seas, so we learn from Messrs. Francis Low & Co., who rigged them both. Messrs. Porter, Mathew & Co. made her sails. The lengths of her lower masts, in the following table, are above the deck. Owing to the vast spread of her yards, the lower masts look short; but they will certainly stand better and receive more support from the rigging, than if they were longer. The following are the dimensions of her masts and yards:
The bowsprit is 20 feet long outboard; jibboom divided at 15 and 14 feet outside of the cap for the two jibs, with six feet end; spanker boom 58, gaff 44, main spanker gaff 24 feet 9 inches, and the other spars in proportion. She is more heavily rigged and spreads more canvass than the Great Republic will when she is refitted. Capt. N.B. Palmer, who now owns this ship, is having the fourth deck taken off her, and intends that her mainmast shall be only 66 feet above deck, and the mainyard 90 feet square, and that she shall be rigged in this proportion fore and aft. Capt. L. McKay, however, who is both a scientific shipbuilder and a sailor, contends that these alterations will spoil the Great Republic's sailing qualities, and he is also of opinion that the Jas. Baines is fully able to bear her canvass nobly, and that she is rigged in just proportion to her hull.
MASTS Diameter Length Mast-heads Inches feet Feet Fore . . . . . . . . . . . 40 63 1/2 17 Top . . . . . . . . . . . 20 47 10 Topgallant . . . . . . . . 15 29 0 Royal . . . . . . . . . . 13 17 pole 9 Main . . . . . . . . . . . 42 71 17 Top . . . . . . . . . . . 21 50 10 Topgallant . . . . . . . . 16 29 0 Royal . . . . . . . . . . 14 17 0 Skysail . . . . . . . . . 10 11 pole 9 Mizzen . . . . . . . . . . 36 61 14 Top . . . . . . . . . . . 16 42 8 1/2 Topgallant . . . . . . . . 12 26 0 Royal . . . . . . . . . . 10 15 pole 8 YARDS Fore . . . . . . . . . . . 24 1/2 90 yard arms 5 Top . . . . . . . . . . . 19 69 5 1/2 Topgallant . . . . . . . . 13 3/4 49 4 Royal . . . . . . . . . . 9 36 3 Main . . . . . . . . . . . 26 100 5 Top . . . . . . . . . . . 21 75 5 1/2 Topgallant . . . . . . . . 14 54 4 Royal . . . . . . . . . . 11 40 3 Skysail . . . . . . . . . 8 30 1 1/2 Crossjack . . . . . . . . 21 74 4 1/2 Mizzentop . . . . . . . . 16 57 1/2 5 Topgallant . . . . . . . . 10 42 3 1/2 Royal . . . . . . . . . . 8 30 2
She is commanded by Capt. Chas. McDonnell, formerly of the famous ship Marco Polo, in which he made one of the shortest voyages on record, between Liverpool and Australia, and who, for his uniform kindness to his passengers, received from them a valuable service of plate. The fact that he is entrusted with the command of such a magnificent ship shows the high estimation in which he is held by those who know him best. We wish him and his beautiful ship the best of good luck. In a few days she will sail for Liverpool, and there take her place in the Black-Ball Line of Liverpool and Australian clippers. For the same Line there is now on the stocks at East Boston, a clipper of larger stowage capacity than the Great Republic, and which will be named the Donald McKay, as a compliment to her builder.
Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius
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Copyright © 1996 Lars Bruzelius.