Inland Navigation. No. II
- The Monthly Nautical Magazine and Quarterly Review (New York, NY), November 1854, pp. 65-70
- Full Text
INLAND NAVIGATION. NO. II.
Not to the proud ocean alone, with its rock-bound, surge-
beaten shore, heaving its huge billows in terrific grandeur, or
bearing in pride the swift, majestic ship upon a salt-water
crest, is the contest for victory in maritime enterprise to be
confined. Another vast race-course is imbedded in our continent, upon which the grand nautical struggle of the age has
found spirited champions to conduct its manoDUvres with nerve
and intelligence. The clear, fresh waters of our inland seas afford a theatre for triumphs in marine architecture and nautical
skill, through wise application of scientific principles in building, [p. 66]
in noble daring and keen observation in navigation, quite
as important to the great States contiguous to their refreshing
breezes, as any that can be offered to their sisters on the salt sea-
The history of the fresh-water marine of the United States,
could it be written, would not be found without stirring interest. Its commercial as well as naval memories would recall a
series of achievements, of which we may be equally proud in a
national view, from the time the first exploring barge ploughed
her wake through the placid waves, till steam was introduced.
The watch-word has been progress, from the date of Perry's victorious battle on the wilderness basin, until the snorting locomotive has now come down upon the fertile banks, bellowing to its
kind, which is puffing in every creek that waters the growing seaports leaping into existence a thousand miles from sea. The
modest schooner first led the way, as schooners have ever led, to
fortune and bolder enterprise. Then the brig, the steamboat, the
propeller, the bark, and the monster steamer. Population and
wealth have long since demanded railroads, for the purposes of a
swifter conveyance of persons and property; and the rapidly
developing condition of our Central States still calls for an
equally rapid augmentation of commercial facilities. A cheap
and rapid interchange of the abundant products of these States
with the world around them, is an essential condition of commercial prosperity, and the only basis on which they can build
an emporium of commerce which shall shape the destinies of
the fertile West and their common country. Nature has furnished an ample highway to the ocean, which, by the arbitrary
exactments of British statesmen, has, until now, flowed in vain
for the evident purpose it was in part intended. But this obstacle is now to be removed, and our lake-freighted vessels may
yet pour down the St. Lawrence in hundreds, bound for the
markets of the whole world.
The physical prosperity of the West has already become in-
dissolubly connected with commerce, and its chief ports will
become the theatre of augmented bustle and business when the
great channel shall be opened to the Atlantic for American en-
[p. 67] Therefore, whatever adds to the efficiency of shipping by
greater burden, strength, and speed, will be hailed by the soil,
the mine, the forest, the manufactory, ‚Äî each, all, and every interest, -- as a fresh accession of wealth and supremacy, by enhancing the elements of commercial power. For the purpose
of a cheap and rapid interchange of products with the East,
marine transportation has hitherto stood unrivalled, and, as we
believe, is destined still so to stand, till the last cargo is freighted,
navigation is closed, and shipping operations come to an end.
But nevertheless, there are those whose interests are shackled
to the rolling locomotive on the iron track, who fain would be
but too happy to esteem their favorite "car" the fortunate rival
of the white-winged vessel on the track of foam. It is thought
they anticipate the time when rail carriage will gain the ascendency, railroads assume the sceptre, and our present prosperous
commercial cities become but gigantic way-stations upon the
vast lines of Eastern and Western trade.
We have no fears of such a result. Marine architecture is
susceptible yet of numerous and wonderful improvements, and the
exigencies of the time will wake them into life. Nature has
given us the wind and the wave, and only mechanical and nau-
tical skill is wanting, when capital bids, to outstrip every competitor in the field, whether in cheapness, safety, or speed, in
bearing the products of industrial energy to the markets of the
world. The superiority of our inland marine over railroads for
the transportation of freight will most clearly appear, as we increase the size and enhance the speed of vessels. These improvements are alone sufficient to maintain the balance of rivalry. And let it not be thought that the draught of water will
frustrate the designs of larger vessels. Ten feet is sufficient
for 1,000 tons.
As shapes have a clearer significance than signs, and investigation is rendered inviting by observation, we have given to the
eye the body-plan draught of a first-class lake vessel in fig. 5
of the present volume, and shall furnish the rig in fig. 6 of
same. This vessel is designed to embody, both in fact and
form, the principles which we endeavored to lay down in a
former article, and will be found of the following dimensions: -- [p. 68]
68 The Monthly Nautical Magazine.
Height of load-line of construction above base
|Length on ditto between rabbets
|Breadth moulded at dead flat frame
|Depth from rabbet to gunwale at dead flat frame
These are the principal for which the ship-builder would in-
quire; but the world, without the pale of mechanical attainments, would not feel to be in possession of any satisfactory information upon the topic of dimensions, unless the length of keel
and depth of hold were exactly defined in feet and inches. A
few remarks may enable the uninitiated to comprehend the inexpediency of determining the length of keel as the measure of a
ship's length ; for while it is true that many vessels have a keel
ending abruptly under the fore-foot, there are others which unite
the keel and stem by a curve continuous and easy, -- so blending
the vertical with the horizontal back-bone of the sled-runner
vessel, that the prince of puzzlers would be all adrift in locating
the point where one began or the other ended. Moreover, the
rake, which may be in curved or straight lines, destroys the
value of the investigation, although the corner of the fore-foot
remains, and the amount of rake is exceedingly varying, according to caprice or fashion, on both ends of the vessel ; so that
the length of keel, without a knowledge of the rakes and curves
of post and stem, conveys a very indefinite idea of a ship's
length. On the other hand, the length taken on the load-line of
construction averages at once the mean length of the vessel
from wood ends to wood ends. The depth of hold is equally
vague and indefinite respecting the measurement of depth. It
varies fore and aftwise with the sheer of the vessel, and depends
on the location of the hatch, the thickness of the ceiling, and the
crown of the beams. It may or may not show, within a handful of inches, the exact condition of depth. If the vessel have a
large sheer, the depth of hold appears the same, as it is usually
taken in the same manner as if the sheer were less. If the vessel
have a large amount of dead-rise, the hold is made to appear very
deep in figures, though capacity may be very limited in comparison
with a shoaler vessel having a flat floor. The measure we have
shown for depth is all that is of any real utility in commercial [p. 69]
mechanism. And what can we determine from the principal dimensions that shall afford us any clear indication of the bulk and quality of marine structures? Very little, we think is furnished to the casual inquirer, when he is summarily posted upon the elements of government appreciation; for without the builder's CALCULATIONS, nothing is known of the model beyond the intuitive fany of the spectator, aiding by his unfailing eye, and some friend's opinion. Therefore, without the unerring deductions of figures, we cannot hope to compare model with model when the fancy has become attached to favorite dimensions, or the eye wedded to threadbare forms, and refuses, perhaps, to acknowledge correct principles if clothed in unfamiliar shapes.
We will now give the calculations of this schooner, or bark, as some would dignify the rig; and in succeeding pages it will more fully appear how readily we may compare the forms and qualities of vessels, and point out the indices to the mysteries of performance.
|Displacement, moulded below load-line
|Displacement, planked " "
|Displacement, total in gross tons
|Displacement, total below light-line of flotation
|Displacement for cargo in gross tons
|Centre of gravity of displacement aft of middle of load-line, = 1.85 feet. Centre of gravity of displacement below load-line, 3.72 feet. Area of load, or 6th waterline plane, = 4494.6 square feet. Centre of gravity of load-water plane aft of middle length, = 2.51 feet. Area of dead flat frame, in square feet, 272.25. Moment of stability, = 390064.1 = S 2/3 y^3dx. Metre centre, or index of stability, above the centre of gravity of displacement = 13.32 feet, (very high) Exponent of displacement, = 0.51 L.B.H. Exponent of load-water plane, = 0.736 L. B. Exponent of dead flat section, = 0.81 B.H. Centre board is 40 feet long, and the maximum resistant area = 360 sq. ft. Centre of effort of the centre board ranges from one to five feet forward of middle of load-line. Centre of lateral resistance on an even trim, when the board is down is near the middle of load-line; bt when the latter is up, it will be found quite as far aft as the centre of buoyancy, or centre of gravity of displacement.
LIST OF SPARS
Main-mast, 87.60 ft. long, -- head off, 14.75 ft.; yard, 68.85 ft. -- both arms off 9.50 ft.
Main top-mast, 33 ft.; yard, 57.37 ft. -- arms off, 9.50 ft.
Main top-gallant, 26 feet; yard, 43 feet -- arms off, 5.25 feet.
Main royal, 14 ft. + 8 ft. pole; yard, 32.25 ft. -- arms off, 4.25 ft.
[p. 70]Foremast, 67.50 ft.‚-- head off, 11.2 ft. ; yard, 68.85 ft.‚-- arms off, 9.50 ft.
Foretop-mast, 40.5 ft.‚-- head off, 6.75 ft. ; yard, 55 ft.‚-- arms off, 9.50 ft.
Foretop-gallant, 21.4 ft. ; yard, 41.25 ft. ‚-- arms off, 5.16 ft.
Fore royal, 14 ft. + 7 ft. pole ; yard, 30.93 ft. ‚-- arms off, 4 ft.
Mizen-mast, 85 ft.‚-- head off, 14 ft. ; topmast, 36 + 12 + 6 ft. pole.
Bowsprit outboard, 17 ft. ; first jib-boom, 15 feet; 2d do., 11.25 ft.
Flying jib-boom, 7.50 ft. + pole, 3.75 ft.
Main staysail boom, 62 ft. ‚-- pole off, 2 ft.
Main boom, 39 ft.‚-- pole off, 1 foot ; gaff, 33 ft.‚-- pole off, 3 ft.
Mizen boom, 48 ft.‚-- pole off, 3 ft. ; gaff, 31 ft.‚-- pole off, 4 ft.
CALCULATIONS OF RIG.
Area of leading sails, or those on which the centre of effort is found marked, = 13147 square feet. Number of square feet of sail to the ton of load-line displacement, = 15.60 feet. Centre of effort of sails forward of centre of length of water-line, =2.75 feet ; forward of centre of buoyancy, 4.60 feet. Centre of effort of sails above load-water line, = 50.69 feet. Vertical moment of sails, = 666463. Vertical moment of sails = moment of stability X 1.70, which is a small amount of sail in proportion to the vessels stability, -- the latter being very great, but a fair apportionment when we consider the displacement, and the ease of the lines of resistance.
We may add, that the rig is not taunt, when we compare the
great breadth of beam, and consequent spread of the rigging ;
the bowsprit is short, and the jib-booms may be well guyed, as
the bow is sufficiently full on the rail to afford ample spread.
The jibs are so shaped as to stand well when the sheets lead in
a line drawn from the centre of effort through the clue of the
sail, as this is the correct principle to get the foot and after
leech to stretch alike. In shaping stay-sails, jibs, and all triangular sails, it should be an object to cut down the length on the
stay to the shortest practicable limits, so as to dispense with all
unnecessary hoist and down-haul, and to get the sail in a body,
that it may be handled and trimmed with dispatch.
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- November 1854
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes