The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Mackinac Light Vessel (Schooner), 1 May 1831

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Specifications called for in contract for building a light ship for Straits of Mackinac.
      Collector's Office, Michilimacinac.
Proposals will be received at this office until the July 1st. 1831, for building & equipping a
      to be moored at the head of the Straits connecting lakes Huron and Michigan, of the following dimensions, materials, and description, viz.:
      Her principal dimensions are forty-six feet ten inches between the perpendiculars; thirty-six feet keel for tonnage; breadth of beam moulded seventeen feet nine inches; and depth of hold seven feet six inches; carpenter's tons 50 41-95ths.
The Keel to be of white oak in one piece, sided eight inches, and moulded (including the rabbit) twelve inches parallel all fore and aft, having a dead wood upon it amidships, of two inches thick.
Keelson of white oak sided eight inches and moulded ten inches.
Stem and Post white oak, sided eight inches, and moulded according to the draught to be furnished. She will be built in frames of white oak bolted together with two bolts in each scarph, of three-quarter iron, and will have a three-quarter inch copper bolt driven into every other floor through the keel, and one into every other floor through the keelson, all to be riveted upon composition rings on the underside of the keel; the fastenings of the apron, forward dreadwood, and stempost knee, to be of three-quarter copper, as high as seven feet six inches perpendicularly above the bottom of the keel; above that height they will be of three-quarter iron.
The floors will be sided six inches, moulded in the throat seven inches, at ribbon six inches, and thence by a diminishing line - the futtocks, &c., will be moulded to four and a half inches at the deck, and thence to three and a half at the rail.
The first futtocks will be sided five and a half inches.
The second ditto sided five, and the top timbers, &c. four and a half inches.
      Wales of white oak in two strakes six inches wide each, and two and a half thick, reducing each strake below, a quarter of an inch in thickness, to be dubbed flush with the bottom plank which, as well as the ceiling will be of white oak, slack two inches thick; no strake below the floor heads to be more than eleven inches, nor any one above more than nine inches wide.
The fastenings of the bottom will be copper spikes, as high abaft as seven feet six inches, and forward as seven feet; above the bottom of the keel, and thence by a straight line fore and aft; and above that line of iron; in length at least twice and one half the thickness of the plank through which they are driven, two spikes to go through each strake into each timber (or square fastened) and no trenails; those of the ceiling; will be of iron of same lengths as on the outside, one spike in each timber (or cross fastened) to be butt bolted with five-eighth copper, the bolts riveted on composition rings.
The Beams are to be yellow heart pine, free from sap, sided nine, and moulded eight inches, to spring fourteen inches in seventeen feet; kneed at each end with two lap-knees, excepting the four beams amid-ships, each of which will have a lodge and a dagger-knee at each end, all to be sided five inches & bolted with a three-quarter iron, except one bolt near the end of the body of the dagger, which will be copper; the upper sides of the beam will be kept six inches above the clamps, so that the bolts through the beams about midway between their upper and lower sides, as also to give more air to the deck; the arms of the knees to be not less than five feet; the bolts all to be riveted upon rings.
The Ledges of heart pine, sided four and a half, and moulded five inches.
The Plank of heart yellow pine, free from sap, large knots or other defects, slack two inches thick, and in strakes not more than eight inches wide, fastened with five inch iron spikes, to be well punched in, and after the deck is dubbed, caulked and planked over, their heads to be well covered with putty, and the deck varnished.
To have two stern hooks end three breast hooks, all sided eight inches, excepting the one next the deck hook forward, through which the mooring ring-bolt goes, which will be sided nine inches, all bolted with three-quarter copper below, and iron above the copper fastenings.
There will be a List of four inches in width, left out all fore and aft, at the lower edge of the strake below the clamps, for the purpose of giving air.
To have a P1anksheer waterway, let over stanchions, running up at every other frame; upon the tops of which there will be fayed a solid rail of oak or heart pine, three inches thick, and five inches wide, let down half an inch upon the heads or the stanchions and fastened with staynails, the waist being left open fore and aft.
      She will be coppered with twenty-six ounce copper, as high as directed for the copper fastenings of the bottom.
To have a Trunk Cabin fitted for the accommodation of six persons, with berths, lockers, cupboards, &c., complete.
To have one Double Mast, in two square pieces, forty-two feet long each, answering as ways for the lantern to travel up and down on, and kept about three feet four inches apart in the clear fore and aftwise - for that purpose - and are to be heart yellow pine.
The Lantern will be fixed upon a frame or carriage (of oak) as per draught, and suspended in equilibria by cords attached, one on each side to the heel of the carriage, close to each piece of the mast, thence passing through the head of each piece, over a pulley or sheave, are fastened to weights traversing in grooves, formed by battens nailed on the forward and after pieces of this double mast; the forward and after pieces each is eleven inches square, exclusive of the battens, which form the grooves for the weights to travel in; each piece is supported by a pair of shrouds on each side, of five inch rope over its head; the inner shrouds cross each other fore and aftwise, the aftermost shrouds lead well aft, and a five inch stay from the head of the foremost mast piece, leads forward to the end of the bowsprit, which will be about five feet outboard. The mast pieces are kept in their parallel direction by a flat iron hexagonal hoop, three inches broad and five-eighths of an inch thick, embracing a square headed collar bolt, one and a quarter inch diameter in the center of the head of each mast piece, over which, are, after the pieces are rigged, the hoop is placed and firmly keyed down; this hoop is open sufficiently for the lantern to pass through it with readiness.
To have a Trysail Mast, Boom and Gaff, and a Conductor or lightning rod, of three eight inch iron, with a spindle reaching two feet above the 1antern, the end of which for one foot down, to be covered with Gold Leaf, and the lower end of the rod to extend eight feet into the water. A Caboose, (properly secured upon deck, fitted upon a platform, covered with sheet lead) of sufficient size to accommodate six persons.
Two Common Pumps, with boxes &c. complete.
A Ball of four hundred pounds, well hung with strong Belfry.
Twelve tons of Kentledge, kept one inch from the ceiling by battens and covered over by a platform of inch and half heart pine plank, laid upon straight sleepers or beams of heart pine, six inches square.
      One cast iron Mushroom Anchor for eight hundred pounds, shank of wrought iron, and one common Kedge anchor of three hundred pounds, chain cable of full seven-eight iron, sixty fathoms long, and a seven inch hempen cable of the same length. One Boat fourteen feet long with rudder and four oars.
The Mooring Ringbolt to which the chain cable is to be attached, by a shackle, will be one inch and quarter tough iron, well driven, having a good screw cut upon its end and secured by a strong nut or burr, under which there will be one or more good substantial washers, the ring of inch and a half iron five inches in diameter in the clear, the eye to have a solid throat piece, and to be of inch and half iron, to hold the same size four inches within the stem, where it is to be reduced to inch and quarter. There will be a plate of iron let into the stem on each side, long enough for a rivet above, and one below the ringbolt of half inch iron well riveted to secure the stem from splitting.
      The vessel to be painted above the copper, over the rail, and one strake upon deck, as also the cabin and all other parts usually painted, with two coats of paint, exclusive of the priming.
      The vessel to be well salted - to have four Cisterns or vessels for oil, to contain forty gallons each, made of strong double tin with brass cocks, one Harness cask, two Draw buckets, a small Cast Iron Stove for the cabin, a Mainsail and Jib and an Awning from the mast to reach quite aft. A deck tackle fall and blocks, and all rigging for raising sails and lantern, &c. All the materials to be of the best quality, and the vessel with her fixtures to be finished in the most complete and workmanlike manner, by the 1st day of May, 1832. No payment will be made until the whole of the above work shall be completed and approved.
      Adam D. Steuart, Collector,
      A draft of the above described Vessel, can be seen by any persons disposed to contract, upon application at the Custom House, Detroit.
      Cleveland Weekly Herald
      Thursday, May 5, 1831 p. 2 c. 4, 5, 6,

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William R. McNeil
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Mackinac Light Vessel (Schooner), 1 May 1831