The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Oct. 10, 1881

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On Saturday afternoon the sloop yacht Atalanta arrived in this harbor and anchored off the Queen's wharf. Since that time she has been the object of much interest, and it is the unanimous opinion that for model and build she cannot be surpassed in Canadian waters. Old ship builders have been over her and quietly shake their heads, and remark, that she is a fine craft. Captain Cuthbert has brought to bear his extensive knowledge in yacht making and also all the latest known improvements derived from visits to the chief sporting centres, in aquatic matters, and from the leading sporting journals of all lands. He has built the boat especially to contest the right of the New York Yacht Club to hold the

Championship Cup,

donated by Her Majesty Queen Victoria in 1851. At the time this cup was donated a contest occurred at Cowes, England, and the emblem wrested from English hands by the sloop yacht America. It was given in trust to the New York Yacht Club for competition by yachts of not less than 30 tons and more than 300 tons Custom House measurement. The only contest that has since occurred was in 1876 when the Countess of Dufferin, more by bad management than anything else, lost her races. Here we might mention that another cup valued at 150 guineas was presented in 1852 by Her Majesty and again taken to the States. In 1874 Capt. Cuthbert, with the yacht Annie Cuthbert, won the emblem on Lake St. Clair in a contest with an American yacht named Cora. The owner of the Annie Cuthbert holds the cup, we believe, at least it was turned over to him when the yacht was sold.

The Yacht Atalanta

It has been the burning ambition of Capt. Cuthbert, before retiring from the activities of yachting life, to have the championship cup of the world once more in British waters and thus re-assert the right of British craft to the prowess of the sea for build and speed. With this end in view in March last he began the work of building the yacht Atalanta. Owing to the press of other business the work on the yacht had to be abandoned for a time, but in the latter part of July work was resumed and rapidly continued until the 14th of September when she was launched. Her dimensions are: Length over all 71 feet; keel 63 ft. 10 in.; beam 19 ft. 2 in.; depth of hold 6 ft. 10 in. She is painted black and in the water looks remarkably pretty. Stepping aboard and going into the cabin you find a large commodious room 13 x 15, with 6 ft. head room. The cabin is fitted up in ash and walnut and a finely upholstered seat on each side. Under decks are four berths each covered with a beautiful white counterpane. All the other requisites in the cabin are to be found. On the starboard side is the owner's room, 8 x 14, having a large double berth, a single berth and an upholstered settee. On the port side is a room 6 x 8 with double berths. Forward of that is the kitchen and pantry, and a large and

Commodious Forecastle,

24 feet long. The water closet and store rooms are on each side of the companion way. The main mast is a beautiful stick of white pine, 15 inches in thickness and 72 feet high. The topmast is 36 feet, main boom 68 feet, gaff 36 feet, bowsprit out board 27 feet. All excepting the mainmast are of white spruce. The canvas is from the Kingston firm of Oldrieve & Horn, sailmakers, than whom there are no better in Canada. The mainsail has a hoist of 49 feet, but four reefs can be taken in it. The other canvas used in the race will be jib, topsail and jib topsail, storm jib, baloon gaff topsail, baloon jib and square sail, totalling in all 5,280 square feet. The rigging is light but strong. It is of the finest wire extant. For the running gear the best manilla rope is used. The sails sit nicely. The only alteration to be made will be in leach ropes, of mainsail, which are tight. The centre board is 3 inches thick, 17 feet long and 10 feet wide; 400 lbs. of bolts are used and also 300 spring steels. The yacht is built entirely of white oak, 2 and 2 1/2 inch plank being used; four inch clamps 4 x 9 inches; oak deck frame, square fastened and edge bolted garboard streak. She carries 28 tons of iron as ballast. The

Craft Is Not Yet Finished,

but Capt. Cuthbert desired rather to take her down in a rough state than disappoint the New York Yacht Club who have been so courteous to him and his backers. She was built purposely to win the championship emblem, and after making the attempt will be sold. The captain's watchword is "Victory or death." After making a few alterations here, he intended leaving this afternoon for Oswego, which he will reach tomorrow. There the spar and rigging will have to be unshipped, the ballast taken out of her bottom and part of it placed on one bilge in order to cant the yacht to enable her to pass the locks in the Erie Canal, than which she is sixteen inches wider. It will occupy about eight days to get to Albany, where the mast will be restepped. On the arrival of the yacht in New York the days upon which the races will be run will be named, as will also the yacht to compete against her. The craft will then be hauled out, smoothed, and put in perfect shape for the contest. She will sail over the course (which is forty miles) several times, so as to become accustomed to it, as well as to test the speed of the yacht, and decide as to the manner in which she should be handled.

Who Compose The Crew.

The Atalanta will carry a crew of sixteen men. Six of these are already on board, and are: Capt. Cuthbert, Belleville; Timothy Sullivan, Kingston; Hugh and R. Thompson, Belleville; C.C. Martin, Cobourg; and J. Kelly, cook. Messrs. H. Hubbell, W. Grigor and A. Kirkpatrick, from this city, will meet the boat in New York, as will also the remainder of the crew, who are of Belleville. Entire confidence is placed in the crew; all are British subjects. The Captain will have no others. Captain Cuthbert is highly pleased at having Mr. Tim Sullivan along with him. The latter is one of the best yachtsmen on the lakes, and was for years the Captain's rival in numerous races.

A Fast Sailer.

On the way down from Belleville the yacht made excellent time. From the Stone Mills to the centre of the upper gap, the distance 19 miles was made in one hour and six minutes with mainsail, three reefs in it, and a jib. The reach, three quarters of a mile in width, and fifteen miles in length, with the wind blowing a gale dead ahead of them, was made in ten stretches.

To show the crowds of Kingstonians who lined the wharf yesterday what the yacht could do Captain Cuthbert invited some sixty persons to board her and take a spin around the harbor. The mainsail and jib were run up. A fresh breeze was blowing, and the way she ran through the water was remarkable. She could not do her best however, as about forty persons were in the stern, which threw her out of trim. She made sixteen miles an hour. When opposite Captain Donnelly's residence, Garden Island, Captain Cuthbert gave him a signal for the sake of old acquaintanceship. The yacht divided the water in fine style. After about an hour's sail she returned to her moorings, and it was unanimously agreed that it would require a very smart boat to beat the Atalanta. In leaving for New York to redeem the honor of Britain, Captain Cuthbert carries with him the hearty wishes for success from Kingstonians.


The harbour tug F.A. Folger will probably be put in service next week.

The schr. Fanny Campbell is loading 300,000 feet of lumber for Oswego at 90 cents per m.

Tug Porter and barges have cleared from Collinsby for Bay City to load lumber.

The forward portion of the steamer Campana was docked at Port Dalhousie on Thursday.

The Cleveland Leader says coal is so scarce there that it is doubtful if a vessel could procure a load.

The water in the Ottawa river continues very low, and interferes seriously with the shipment of lumber. Many of the Canadian barges are lying idle, being unable to load in paying quantities.

The dredge and scows will be kept for another week at Portsmouth. The $8,000 grant is not yet exhausted. There is already a great improvement in the harbour. Vessels can move about more freely.

The value of the meterological service was exhibited during the passage of the Campana from Kingston to Port Dalhousie. The probabilities of the weather were closely depended upon, and the indications each day were found to be correct.

Yesterday the steamer Ontario, in entering Brewer's Mills' lock, struck the wing wall, and knocked away three courses of stone (about 9 inches square). It caused the steamer to leak badly. Previously she had struck a rock, injuring her wheel and bending her shaft.


Barge Oswego, Oswego, 560 tons coal.

Barge Cayuga, Oswego, 470 tons coal.

Barge Colborne, Oswego, 470 tons coal.

Schr. Katie Eccles, Colborne, 9,002 bush. wheat.

Schr. E.H. Rutherford, Hamilton, 18,400 bush. wheat.

Str. Corinthian, Montreal, pass. and fgt.

Str. Spartan, Hamilton, pass. and fgt.

Prop. Africa, Cleveland, pass. and fgt.

Prop. Dromedary, Montreal, pass. and fgt.

Prop. Persia, Montreal, pass. and fgt.

Has The City Retrograded?

In 1826 a gentleman from England wrote as follows: "The time will come when steamboats for war and peace will be found in great plenty on all the lakes, when Kingston dockyard will tell a tale, do its own work, and not be only for putting ships together whose pieces came to England heretofore." According to this Kingston has retrograded as she cannot put the big pieces together even now. It will have a big dry dock before long we hope.

An Extended Cruise.

The steam yacht Princess Louise with her owner, Capt. Wickstead and a crew of Ottawa pleasure seekers, passed down on Friday night. The vessel has completed her fourth annual cruise, having within the past month voyaged nearly 800 miles. The route taken was: Down the Ottawa River to Montreal; down the St. Lawrence to Sorel; up the Richelieu River to Rousse's Pont; through Lake Champlain to Whitehall; along the canals to Troy and Oswego; across Lake Ontario to Kingston, and along the Rideau canal to Ottawa.

Pull It Down - fish building at foot of Brock Street; Fishing Inspector of this section has a letter prohibiting fish from being sold there.

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Date of Original:
Oct. 10, 1881
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), Oct. 10, 1881