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davits; the diminished figures of the marines and sailors looking over the sides; with the shrouds, masts and rigging, appearing as a hack-ground above them, at an immeasurable height, which fatigued the eye to look up to; all together formed such a picture as never is effaced from the memory, when seen for a first or only time.
No sooner had the officer, for whom we had a letter of introduction, obtained permission of the lieutenant of the watch for our admission, than he appeared at the head of the "accommodation ladder," (which is attached to the sides of ships when lying at anchor in port,) and invited us to mount. Many a suppressed smile was visible on the bronzed features of the seamen who assisted us, provoked at the awkwardness of a landsman in reaching the decks, even by this easy mode of ascent; but the first moral lesson we learnt, was, that every one connected with such a vessel seemed to have the more ill-natured part of his feelings subdued. This is one of the results of discipline and instruction. The lowest seaman scarcely suppressed a laugh at our ignorance, but it was suppressed, and he showed as considerate an attention to our wants and curiosity, as the first officer in the ship could do, with his more refined and gentleman-like deportment.
On reaching the top of the temporary staircase, we passed through a door, termed the entrance-port, on to the middle gun-deck, and great was our astonishment at the scene which it presented. The long vista between decks, increased by the comparative lowness of the ceiling; the scrupulous order in which every thing was arranged; the guns on their carriages, with all the apparatus required in their use; the mess-tables of the sailors which alternated with them, each distinguished by some little peculiarity, indicative of the dispositions of the gallant men who fed at them; the various hatchways leading to the upper and lower decks, each bordered by a frame pierced with circular holes, which, though now empty, sufficiently showed their destination, that of repositories for the shot to be used in the cannon; the massive capstans, with the messenger wound round them; the masts, passing through, and the numerous re called stanchions, supporting the upper deck; the view down to the lower decks, or through the upper hatchways, to the bright and dazzling sky, with the complicated rigging stretched between the masts, as obscurely seen from such a distance; the varied sounds necessarily occasioned by the fulfilment of their regular duty ; the shrill whistle of the Boatswain summoning a watch, or calling the guard of honour to attend at the gangway, on the coming or going of a superior officer; crowded in succession on the senses, till we felt dazzled and bewildered by the novelty and multiplicity of the objects before us.
We were invited to follow the officer to the Ward-Room, at the after-part of the deck'. This apartment, which is the mess-room of the lieutenants, and other commissioned officers, was fitted up with all the convenience of a sitting-room for gentlemen. A handsome wainscot table and side-board, with chairs, would have assimilated it to a room in a house, if the attention had not been re
* The terms fore and aft, express the relative situation of any things as they lie with respect to the head and stern of a ship; that which is nearest the former is said to be forward, a person is said to go forward or aft, as he goes towards the head or stern.
There area few other terms expressive of the relative situation of parts of a ship, or other objects, as referred to it, which from their frequent occurrence in all naval writings, it may be worth while to explain to the reader. When a person at the stern looks towards the head of a ship, the right side of the vessel is termed Starboard and the left larboard ; but, from the similarity of the sound of these words, fatal errors might occur if they were used in giving the directions to the steersman, or man at the wheel, who might mistake one for the other; consequently, instead of the latter, the term Port is always used, thus " Port the helm" is given out, instead of " Larboard the helm."
Another vessel or object at sea is said to be on the beam when it is in a line perpendicular to the keel. It is said to be on the bow when it is in the part of the horizon comprehended between the point towards which the ship itself is steering and an arch of forty-five degrees, or one half of a right angle. And it is said to be on the quarter, when in a corresponding arch, referred to the stern. If the object is seen in that arch of the horizon between " on the beam and the bow," it is said to be before the beam, and abaft the beam when seen between the beam and the quarter.
The half of the horizon towards which the wind blows is called the lee; consequently that side of the ship which is sheltered by the sails, or farthest from the wind, is called the lee side, and the other is termed the weather side. Thus a ship is said to be on a lee shore, when sne is D**t the shore, with a wind blowing directly towards it. J t is on lee shores that snipwrecks most frequently occur, because to escape being driven on shore, the ship must advance against the wind, or nearer the wind than w often possible.
called to the locality, by the appearance, on all sides, of the peculiarities of a ship. Thus, the decanters and glasses, instead of standing on the side-board, were placed in holes cut to fit them, in shelves round the recess, to obviate the confusion which a roll of the vessel would cause among them; the partitions which shut in the berths (or sleeping places) of the officers, on each side, were fixed to the ceiling by hinges, to allow of their being slung up out of the way during an engagement, so as to lay the whole length of the deck into one. This is one of the numberless improvements which have taken place gradually in naval architecture. Formerly, these partitions, or bulk-heads, as they are technically termed, were fixtures, and when the vessel was cleared for action, the carpenters went round to knock them away, and they had to be re-crected after the termination of an engagement. Our conductor showed us his berth, which was the smallest apartment in which a person could possibly contrive to rest, and the space was accordingly husbanded with that skill and neatness, which none are more perfect in than sailors. The dress-sword, a flute, a glazed drawing of a portrait, a few books, and many other trifles, spoke of the habits, rank, and feelings of an officer, while the very short and narrow couch was greatly encashed upon by a huge gun, with its carriage and furniture.
The Decks *. Is first and second-rate ships there are three complete decks, reaching from stem to stern; and below these there is yet another called the Orlop Deck, on which are laid the cables and other cordage for stores; on this deck are also situated the sail-room, the purser's, surgeon's, boatswain's, and carpenter's berths, the cock-pit where the wounded are dressed, and where the midshipmen mess, and the several officers' store-rooms. Below the orlop deck is the Hold, as the whole cavity above the keel, under the orlop, is termed. In Merchantmen this is the place wherein the cargo is stowed, and in such vessels, the whole of the hull is so built as to allow of the greatest possible space being devoted to this object; but in all ships the hold is the situation for the ballast, the provisions, and stores; and it is divided for this purpose by bulkheads into various rooms, called, accordingly, the Bread Room, the Spirit Room, &c. In ships of war, the Magazine, or Powder Room, is also placed here. The care taken for the security of this important place struck us much, as no lighted lamp of any kind can be allowed within it; the partitions enclosing it at each end are furnished with double-glazed windows, behind which are placed in the Light-rooms, as they are hence called, lanterns with polished reflectors and powerful lenses (or magnifying glasses), which throw a strong light into the Powder Room, to enable the person appointed to that duty to charge the cartridges and to give out the powder. No particle of iron is allowed within-side, and every other precaution is taken with the same view to security. The Bread Room affords a pleasing contrast to the magazine;—the cleanliness, order, and the care taken of the ventilation, indicate the importance of the contents. Flour and biscuit, but chiefly the latter, is the form in which bread is taken to sea. This apartment is at the
* In the Section Of I Snip, prefixed to this paper, an attempt is made to convey a popular view of the interior arrangement of a ship, and of the relative situations of the cabins, the divisions of the decks, and the communications between them. The insertion of the masts is correctly represented, and the spaces between the decks are in strict proportion to the length of the vessel. This view must necessarily be very imperfect, but with the following explanation, it may assist the reader in forming a general idea of the arrangement of a ship, and will give additional interest to the description contained in the text.
The first mast on the left-hand, is the foremast, that in the middie, the mainmast, and that to the right-hand, the mizenmast. It will be seen that the vessel is divided into six ranges. On the first, extending on each side of the foremast, is the forecastle, and next to it, between the foremast and mainmast, are the waist and gangway between the main and mizzenmasts, is the quarter-deck, and to the right of the mizenmast, is the captain's cabin, above which is the poop with marines upon it. The second range is the maindeck, at the left end of which is the sick-ward, and next to it the galley, or cook's room: at the light end, beneath the captain's cabin, is the admiral's cabin. The third range is the middle-deck, at the right end of which is the ward-toom. On the fourth range or lower deck, are seen some of the sailors at mess, hammocks slung to the beams, the pump with men working it, and to the right, the gunroom. The fifth range is the orlop-deck, on which, between the main and mizzenmasts, is the cockpit, or surgeon's room, denoted by a figure lying upon a table, 'the sixth range is the hold, which exhibits in separate divisions, beginning at the left-hand, the boatswain's and carpenter's stores, the powder-magazine, the watertanks and water-casks above them, the shot, the well of the pump, the salt provisions in barrels, tha wine and spirits, and the bread.
50MP ACCOUNT OF A SHIP.
A Snip has been justly considered as one of the proudest triumphs of human ingenuity and skill; and, if imposing merely from its size, and the complication of its structure and equipments, how much more so is it when the variety and extent of knowledge which man must have attained, before he could accomplish such a work, are considered. Other arts have arrived at a great degree of perfection in the earlier stages of society, and have even subsequently declined, but Ship-building and Navigation have slowly and steadily advanced. In earlier times, a few trunks of trees, lashed together, afforded a rude means of passage over a river or an estuary; the present civilized nations of the world possess fleets capable of traversing the boundless ocean, and of bearing to their shores the produce of remote countries, or of carrying the means of aggression or defence, when they are unhappily engaged in those wars to which the passions of mankind will ever give rise.
This gradual improvement is a proof of the great intellectual cultivation required in those arts. The physical powers of man have been nearly the same in all ages, and when emancipated from the necessity of building solely for shelter, he very early raised architectural structures, which for grandeur and magnitude have never been equalled; excepting, however, the taste manifested in the design, little more than an abundance of labour and time were required for the completion of many of the most magnificent structures. But of naval architecture, it may be truly said, that there is more science, more knowledge of the laws of nature and their effects, shown in the building of the smallest vessel of our times, than ever went to the erection of an Egyptian pyramid or temple; and this knowledge is only gained by degrees : every step in addition being based on all that have preceded it.
It might at first appear, that this assertion was not quite borne out by facts, and that the accounts of enormous ships constructed in ancient days, were proofs that man attained considerable skill in this, as well as other arts, at a comparatively early period. These exceptions, however, are more apparent than real. To that mighty vessel which had the Almighty for its architect, and the second progenitors of mankind for its crew, we do not here of course allude; but such ships as one stated to have been built by Archimedes, and described as having gardens, mills, baths, stables, and temples in it; as having the floors inlaid with agates and other precious stones, and its sides adorned with paintings, &c, may be fairly suspected, from the absurd exaggeration of the accounts, either to have had no existence except in the mind of the narrators, or to have been merely unwieldy floating houses, not coming within the definition of B ship in the true meaning of the word. Passing by, therefore, such exceptions as fabulous or exaggerated, it cannot be denied that the arts of Navigation and Ship-building have kept an equal and proportional pace with the improvement of mankind, till they have arrived at their present state of comparative perfection.
A recent visit to one of the largest and finest ships in the British Navy, suggested these reflections, and the consequent subject of this paper, which it is hoped may prove interesting to our readers, though pretending neither to scientific detail of its construction, nor technical description of its parts.
Varieties Of Sailing Vessels.
The term Ship is only properly given to such vessels as have three masts, and are square rigged; that is, having their sails suspended from what are called yards, hung from the masts, and lying, usually, at right angles to the keel or length of the vessel.
A Boat is a vessel without a deck, or open, and is propelled by oars or by sails; it is of endless variety of size and form, from the small, light, sharp-headed wherries of our rivers, to the Long-boat, Pinnace, and Barge of a Man of War, capable of carrying thirty or forty seamen, with arms and stores, for if short expedition.
Vessels with an entire or partial deck, and having one mast, and a bowsprit, or mast projecting forward from the head, are termed Sloops and Cutters; these carry one large, or main-sail, a top-sail, fore-sail, and jib-sail, all lying nearly in the line of the keel. These sails are larger in
proportion to the body, or hull, in the cutter than in toe sloop. The pleasure sailing-boats kept by gentlemen art usually Cutters, and when carrying all their sails in i gentle gale, no vessel can exceed them for beauty to the eye. Sailing Vessels of all kinds, from their general turn. that of their sails as swollen by the wind, and the greed. lines of their rigging, are perhaps the only objects of human production which are truly picturesque in the aru.-!< sense of the word.
Brigs are vessels with two masts, square-rigged, and Bi familiar to Londoners, from the Colliers, which bnne;s coals from the North, and lie in numbers in the Pool of London,below the bridge, in almost uninterrupted success: i for two miles. When vessels with two masts are not squar> rigged, but have their main-sails and fore-sails" like that of a cutter, they are called Schooners, but this species of vessel is very various in its rigging.
Ships are principally distinguished as those callei Merchantmen, which belong to individuals or companies and are engaged in commerce; and Men-of-war, or the national ships, built for the purposes of war. The lute receive their designations from the number of their deck'. or of the guns which they carry; the largest class are termed Ships of the Line, from their forming the Linetf Battle, when acting together in fleets; and are divided into First Rates, Second Rates, Third Rates, &c. hrsi Rates include all those carrying 100 guns and upwards with a company of 850 men and upwards; Second Rates mount 90 to 1 do guns, and their complement or ere*, is from f.50 to 700 men; Third Rates have from6(ltoH guns, and from 600 to G50 men, and so on, down to Sixfi Rates+; but some ships of less than 44 guns, are termed Frigates, a name which is also given to others carryinja greater number of guns, the distinction depending on the form and arrangement of the vessel.
Visit To A First Rate Line-of-battle Sam
The effect on the mind, when approaching, in a small boat, a ship of 120 guns, is an excellent preparation for the rapid succession of new and striking ideas, which crowd upon the imagination in viewing it.
On our first approach, we looked up with wonder to the vast hull which towered above the water, and whose sides seemed swelling out ready to overwhelm us. The graceful lines of the joints of the planks, as seen in perspective diminishing in width from distance; the formidable mur zles of the triple battery of guns, standing out of the port-holes, with the stout ports which shut the openings overshadowing them; the enormous cables of iron by which she was moored, the gigantic sheet and spare anchors, slung outside the fore-channels; the boats hanging from the
* These terms will be subsequently explained; the reader mist take them at present as mere names.
t The following is a list of the titles and numbers of the crew of a first-rate ship, classed in the order of their amount of pay:— 1 Brought forwd. 91
8 Caulker 1
Armourer .... 1
Mast. . 3
After Guard 3
Captain, . . .
Second Master . . 1
Boatswain .... 1
Midshipmen ... 23
Master-at-Arms . 1
—; Hold . . 1
Ship's Cook ... 1
Yeomen of Signals 1
Sail Maker's Mate 1
Volunteers. ... 12
Total Seamen . fl*>
Capt.of Marines. I
Total war rom-|
looking over the sides; witk I
No sooner had the officer, far *
On reaching the top of the tem: passed through a door, termed the to the middle gun-deck, and great ment at the scene which it presei between decks, increased by the the ceiling; the scrupulous order in which arranged; the guns on their carriages, viA a]_ tus required in their use; the mess-tatfas rf which alternated with them, each little peculiarity, indicative of the gallant men who fed at them; the leading to the upper and lower decks, eaob frame pierced with circular holes, wiiici. empty, sufficiently showed their destination! tories for the shot to be used in the cannus: capstans, with the messenger wound round passing through, and the numerous post*, supporting the upper deck: the view down to or through the upper hatchways, to the I r _• sky, with the complicated rigging streteiW masts, as obscurely seen from such a distance. sounds necessarily occasioned by the fulfill Ul «f gular duty ; the shrill whistle of the Boalkaaw a watch, or calling the guard of honour to gangway, on the coming or going of a crowded in succession on the senses, till and bewildered by the novelty and objects before us.
We were invited to follow the officer to the _ the after-part of the deck*. This upartnteat, mess-room of the lieutenants, and other officers, was fitted up with all the sitting-room for gentlemen. A hands*** and side-board, with chairs, would ha* to a room in a house, if the attenti
* The terms fort and rr/f, express ih things as they lie with respect to tin; has which is nearest the former is said to he go forward or aft, as lie goes towards il
There area few other terms L parts of a ship, or other objects, as frequent occurrence in all naval wri explain to the reader. When a p the head of a ship, tin ol tht
and the left Larboard ; bui, from the woiil ht occur if the
• r man at ih for the oil> always used, thus
t, B IS
>re lor r in, Is till the red 1 is nee deinto macpaint yred, the bstatv ■vided which I lost,
nposed of it er ends
up, from the
bat above the
iie whole mast
im some idea st be.
aftmost part, and is of two stories, or occupies the height of the hold and the orlop deck.
The Lower Deck, besides various objects which occur also on the middle-deck, was distinguished by the principal or Main Capstan, situated in about its mid-length. This is a large conical piece of timber, the lower point turning on a socket in the orlop, so as to afford the greatest resistance to the enormous weights it is employed to raise. There is another Capstan on the middle deck, used for lighter weights of many kinds.
The capstans are turned by means of long bars inserted horizontally into holes in the upper part; several men push against these, and turn the capstan round by that means, so that if rope or cable is wound round on it: the length of the capstan bars enables the men, by the advantage of this purchase, to raise the enormous weight and resistance of the anchor; and when it is recollected, that the "best bower," of ninety hundred weight, has often to be dragged out of a muddy anchorage, some idea may be formed of the immense power demanded; it accordingly requires the simultaneous effort of sixty or eighty men, who " man the capstan," to effect it: a drum and fife play a livoly air to encourage them in their exertions, and loUme their efforts.
Little further remains to be noticed on this deck except the Galley, as the Kitchen of a man-of-war is called. An immense boiler, big enough for a steam-engine, with furnaces, coppers, and other conveniences, sufficiently characterized the spot. At the time of our visit, the Cook and his Mates were busy in preparing this caldron full of soup for the dinner of the crew.
The Upper Deck differs from the two beneath it, in being open to the sky in the centre, or in what is called the Waist. The forward part of the ship has the ForeCastle, another partial deck above the main one, and the after part has also a deck over it, called the Quarter Deck; the space between these two is termed the Waist, and a narrow passage on each side of the vessel, commu
nicating from the Quarter-deck to the Forecastle, are called the Gangways. These have a stout double netting, stretched between iron rails on the outside, between which are stowed the seamen's hammocks* during the day and be fore an engagement, when they form two very secure protection to the crew against the musketry of an enemy. A similar breast-work of rails guards the Forecastle, Quarterdeck, and Poop. The Forecastle is the part of the ship which properly appertains to the best or able seamen, as the Quarterdeck does to the officerst. These two halfdecks are ascended by stairs or ladders from the main deck. Under the quarter-deck, at the after part of the upper deck, is the Admiral's State-cabin, which is, therefore, immediately over the Ward Room, and bears the same relation to this in its arrangements and fitting up, that the Admiral or Captain, to whom it is appropriated, bears to the Lieutenants. Handsome sofas,
• Hammock is the name of the bed of the seaman. It consists of a piece of canvas, five feet long by two wide, suspended to the deck overhead by means of two sets of small lines, called cltwi, made fast to rings of rope, which again are attached by a lanyard, or short rope, to battens fixed to the beams of the deck (see the Engraving) In this sacking are placed a small mattress, a pillow, and a couple of blankets, to which a pair of sheets may or may not be added. These hammocks, when suspended, occupy less than eighteen inches in width, and touch one another, and in many places where they are put, the occupant has no more than a foot between his face as he lies in them, and the beams of the deck above him. Every sailor has two hammocks, one of which is slung and in use, the other scrubbed, dry, and stowed away, ready to be exchanged for the dirty one.
t " Every person, not excepting the captain, when he comes on the quarter-deck, touches his hat; and as this salutation is supposed to be paid to this privileged spot itself, all those who, at the moment, have the honour to be upon it, are bound to acknowledge the com
fdiment. Thus, even when a midshipman comes up and takes oft lis hat, all the officers who are walking the deck, the admiral included, if he happens to be of the number, touch their hats like* wise."—Hall's l-'va§mcritsj
and tables, a carpet and other luxuries, would rank it with a drawing-room; but the same sacrifice, if such it can be called, to the main object of the ship, occurs here as every where else, two or more enormous guns occupied their posts at the windows, and though their carriages were a little more neatly finished and painted, and their apparatus kept more out of view, yet it was obvious that they were not there for show, and that when stern war called for their employment, they would be manned as promptly, and worked as steadily, as any others in the ship. The State Room is also the dining-room where the various officers dine with the captain, but only when invited so to do; for the strictest form and etiquette is observed on board of a ship of war. The officer who visited his commander by invitation, without being as scrupulously dressed as if going into the company of ladies, would, if not subjected to a severe reproof for his negligence, certainly not be invited again.
On the after-part of the Quarter Deck there is raised another deck, called the Poop, which contains the captain's sleeping-room, and some others. There are small ladderstairs on each side from the Quarter Deck to the Poop, and between these is the Wheel, by which the motion of the rudder is produced in steering or governing the course of the vessel. The Rudder turns on hinges attached to the Stern Post, in the middle of the stern of the vessel, and under the lower row of windows which light the Ward Room. A horizontal beam, the Tiller, fixed to the top of the Rudder, and of considerable length, has ropes at its extremity, which pass through Blocks, or pulleys, at the sides of the vessel, and are then wound round the barrel of the wheel in contrary directions;' when, therefore, this is turned either way, it draws the Tiller towards the sides of the ship, and, therefore, turns the Rudder in the contrary direction.
Just before the wheel is the Binacle, containing the Compass. This is a box, open at the side next the wheel, having the Compass hung in it, so as to remain horizontal however much the ship may lie on one side, or roll on the swell of a sea. There are lights to illuminate the Compass at night.
In large ships, especially of war, there are two binaries and compasses, at one of which a "quarter master" is stationed, who gives the proper directions for steering to the man at the wheel; this is called Conning. The helmsman or sailor who governs the wheel, keeps his eye on the binnacle, and regulates his proceeding accordingly.
At the middle of the Taffakel, or top rail of the stern, on the Poop, was an apparatus for the succour of sailors who accidentally fell overboard. If this accident happens when a ship is going at a great rate, the impetus of the vessel, and the time requisite for effecting the manoeuvres necessary to bring her round, carry her to so great a distance, that the unfortunate man would be exhausted before a boat could arrive to his assistance. The apparatus is for instantly dropping into the water two hollow thin copper vessels joined together, with an iron bar attached to them, so contrived that this would stand upright while the vessels floated, and enable a man to support himself by it till assistance could be rendered. In order to guide both the man and the boat to the same spot, if the accident occurred at night, a port-fire is fixed to the top of the bar, and is lighted by a gun-lock, discharged by the same contrivance which lets the instrument drop, at the moment it is detached from the ship; thus converting the copper balls into a floating beacon, whereby the sufferer is guided to immediate support, and which at the same time serves to point out the spot whither the boat, which is immediately lowered, is to row in order to pick him up. No sooner was the efficacy of this humane and ingenious invention substan, tiated, than Government ordered all its shins to be provided with the apparatus, and thus many lives will be saved, which formerly might, in such circumstances, have been lost.
The Masts And Rigging. Each of the three Masts * are round timbers, composed of several pieces, kept together by iron hoops, the lower ends
'The total length of the main-mast of a 74-gun .hip, from the heel on the keelson of the ship to its head, is 113 feet! the top-mast rises 48 feet above this, and the top-gallant again 42 feet above the top-mast so that, deducting the depth of the vessel, the whole mast rises fu 1 170 feet above the deck! 1 he reader may form some idea of what the altitude of the mast of a 120-gun ship must be