The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
James Couch (Schooner), 16 Apr 1871

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      Some Thing New. - The new vessel at Muir & Livingston's yard has had heavy irons put on her outside for leeboards. These irons are about twenty-five feet in length and four inches in thickness. The ends are bent and run through the sides of the vessel, and fastened by large nuts screwed on firmly. There are two of these irons on each side of the vessel, and, although presenting a rather odd outward appearance, it is presumed that they will add to her strength and will be a vast improvement over the old style of center-boards. - Port Huron Times.
      Detroit Free Press
      April 16, 1871

NOTE: This vessel was the JAMES COUCH, later TASMANIA, a large three-mast schooner of nearly 1,000 tons. Watch for a posting tomorrow detailing the construction of the COUCH.

      The Launch at Port Huron. - The launch of Captain Parker's new vessel at Port Huron, from Messrs. Muir & Livingston's shipyard, took place on Saturday last, at the appointed time. She glided beautifully in the water and was christened the JAMES COUCH, in honor of a prominent Chicago gentleman. As it is already known, this vessel is of mammoth proportions. A brief description of her construction has been forwarded to us by Mr. Livingston of the above firm: Her length is two-hundred and ten feet keel, thirty-five feet beam and fourteen feet depth of hole (sic) in the shoalest place; size of frames fourteen inches, which are place twenty-one inches center to center; bottom plank four and a half inches and top sides four and a quarter inches; deck plank three inches; keel sided fifteen inches; keel-moulded twelve inches. Her floors are sided thirteen and a half inches with main and rider keelsons sided and moulded sixteen inches; beams moulded at center, twelve inches; under each beam are wrought-iron hanging knees, weighing thirty pounds, the cost of these alone being $2,500. Her bilge streaks (sic) are nine inches and ceiling from bilge clamps from six to seven inches; deck clamps eight inches; depth of shelf-piece twenty-six by nine inches. She is bolted through and through and well fastened. Outside her frames she is surrounded by heavy wrought-iron straps from forward to aft, and in short the material throughout has been the choicest and most select. She will have three masts and has eight hatchways. A new feature is that of lee boards in the room of the centerboard, which are supported in their positions by wrought-iron rods four inches in diameter. Her model is faultless. Her commander is Captain Charles Elphicke. The COUCH sails Wednesday, to-morrow evening, for Bay City, where she takes on lumber for Chicago as her first cargo.
      Detroit Free Press
      April 25, 1871

      The splendid new mammoth vessel the JAMES COUCH, Capt. Elphicke, passed here this forenoon for the first time in tow of the tug BURNSIDE, and has on board doubtless the largest grain cargo that ever passed here by sail vessel. The COUCH while pasing was gaily decorated with a beautiful suit of colors embracing besides her own nearly every nationality.. She is a splendid vessel and while opposite received divers salutations from on shore by the waving of bunting, handkerchiefs, etc., by those aware of her coming. - Detroit Tribune, 7th.
      Buffalo Morning Express
      June 9, 1871 3-4

      The splendid new mammoth vessel, the JAMES COUCH, Capt. Elphicke, arrived at this port yesterday for the first time. Her cargo consisted of 57,200 bushels of wheat from Milwaukee, which is one of the largest loads ever delivered here. - Commercial.
      Buffalo Morning Express
      June 9, 1871 3-4


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new vessel
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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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James Couch (Schooner), 16 Apr 1871