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VESSELS AND BOATS.
Heaven speed the canvas gallantly unfurld,
PROGRESS OF SHIPBUILDING. A Return showing the progress of shipbuilding in the United Kingdom during the year 1853 :
Progress of construction at the places of most importance :-
285 1,793 2,173 16,248 1,421 3,332 2,418 1,161 1,422
62,715 45,682 17,892 11,615 8,060 4,010 2,471 1,898 1,809 1,750 1,543 15,419 8,938 3,872 3,848 3,328 1,768
PRIVATEERS. By Royal Proclamation, March 6, 1854, it is stated that by Act of 59 George III., it is amongst other things enacted, that if any person, within any part of the United Kingdom, or in any part of His Majesty's dominions beyond the seas, shall, without the leave or license of His
Majesty, for that purpose first had, under the sign manual of His Majesty, or signified by order in council or by proclamation of His Majesty, equip, furnish, fit out, or arm, or attempt or endeavour to equip, furnish, fit out, or arm, or procure to be equipped, furnished, fitted out or armed, or shall knowingly be concerned in the equipping, furnishing, fitting out, or arming of any ship with intent that such ship shall be employed in the service of any foreign prince, state, or potentate, or of any foreign colony, province, or part of any province or people, or of any persons exercising or assuming to exercise any powers of government in or over any foreign state, colony, province, or part of any province or people, as a transport or store ship, or with intent to cruise or commit hostilities against any prince, state, or potentate, or against the subjects or citizens of any prince, state, or potentate, or against the persons exercising or assuming to exercise the powers of government in any colony, province, or part of any province or country, or against the inhabitants of any foreign colony, province, or part of any province or country, with whom His Majesty shall not then be at war; or shall, within the United Kingdom, or any of His Majesty's dominions, or in any settlement, colony, territory, island, or place belonging or subject to His Majesty, issue or deliver any commission for any ship, to the intent that such ship shall be employed as aforesaid, every such person so offending shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanour, and shall, upon conviction thereof, upon any information or indictment, be punished by fine and imprisonment, or either of them, at the discretion of the court in which such offender shall be convicted ; and every such ship, with the tackle, apparel, and furniture, together with all the materials, arms, ammunition, and stores which may belong to, or be on board of, any such ship shall be forfeited. And whereas it has been represented to us, that ships are being built in several places within the United Kingdom, and are being equipped, furnished, and fitted out, especially with steam machinery, with intent that they shall be employed as aforesaid, without our royal leave or license for that purpose first had, or signified as aforesaid : We have, therefore, thought fit, by and with the advice of our Privy Council, to issue this our royal pro: clamation, warning all our subjects against taking part in such proceedings, which we are determined to prevent and repress, and which cannot fail to. bring upon the parties engaged in them the punishments which attend the violation of the laws.
REGISTRY AND MEASUREMENT.
HOUSE OF COMMONS, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 1854. Mr. CARDWELL rose to move for leave to bring in a bill to consolidate and amend those various laws which, since the repeal of the Navigation Act, had been passed for the benefit of British shipping. The first part of the bill would refer to the question of the registry and measurement of ships, and it would contain a novelty which he hoped would meet with the acceptance of the house-he meant the substitution of a new and more scientific mode of measurement for the mode that now existed. The mode to which he referred was well known by the name of the person who had written a description of it-viz., Captain Moorsom-and it contained this advantage—that, while it arrived at the same average of tonnage, it ascertained the contents of the ship with greater accuracy and fairness than on the old plan. It also took away all encouragement, in the mode of measurement, from antiquated and inferior models of construction, while it favoured strength of model, and, therefore, promoted safety in navigation. This mode of measurement had been referred to the surveyors of the Navy and the Board of Trade, the Trinity-house, the shipowners, associations of Liverpool and London, and other bodies, and it was only on the concurrence of those parties that it was now adopted by the government. The bill, then, in general terms would consolidate the law with. regard to registry and measurement—with regard to discipline and comfortwith regard to safety, and also with regard to lights and pilotage. It was not 80 much a change of law he aimed at as bringing the existing laws into a consolidated shape-into a shape in which the whole would be made to subserve the interests of that important part of the community who were more immediately concerned in this department of legislation.*
MORTGAGE. By T. L. May, 1854, application having been made to the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury for permission to register a vessel de novo, without endorsing thereon a mortgage which remained undischarged on the previous certificate, their Lordships have been pleased to comply with the request, and to direct that the practice which prevailed prior to a General Order issued in 1852 be restored, and the order alluded to rescinded.
THE COMPASS. The loss of the unfortunate ship Tayleur may yet be turned to the benefit of future navigators if the evidence taken before the Liverpool Marine Board and the report of the meeting be duly considered. The real cause of the calamity was the condition of her compasses. So says Captain Noble, and the Marine Board of Liverpool endorse his explanation to its fullest extent.
Here follows the extraordinary part of the report :
“ This Board would call particular attention to the fact that numerous instances have been brought under their consideration of compasses having proved greatly in error on board of both wood and iron ships while navigating the Irish Channel, and which deviation is not accounted for by any theory at present."
This is strange enough, but other instances are quoted of the like kind. On board of the Niagara, a wooden steamship, a change of four degrees occurred. The Teneriffe changed her magnetism in coming home a point and a half. Neither the principles of this important science, nor the details of practice and of mechanical arrangement to provide against deviations, are at all fixed. There can be no reason for supposing that such irregularities are confined to the Irish Channel. If there, no doubt the same things occur at other portions of the earth's surface. The result can be stated in a few words—the mariner's compass is a most uncertain guide. We do not wish in these remarks to enter again into the case of the Tayleur. We are prepared for the moment to believe that the ship was good, the crew better, the captain best of all. The compasses were of the kind and quality supplied to the Queen's yacht-still, scarce had the Tayleur left port when she blundered upon an island on one side of a wide channel. Cannot our scientific men suggest a remedy ?—The Times, April 26, 1854.
“ CLIPPER." I have more than once been asked the meaning and derivation of the term clipper,” which has been so much in vogue for some years past. It is now quite a nautical term, at least among the fresh-water sailors, and we find it most frequently applied to yachts, steamers, fast-sailing merchant-vessels, &c. And, in addition to the colloquial use of the words, so common in praising the appearance or qualities of a vessel, it has become quite recognized in the official description given of their ships by merchants, &c. Thus we often see an advertisement headed “the well-known clipper ship," " the noted clipper bark," and so forth. This use of the word, however, and its application to vessels, is somewhat wide of the original. The word in former times meant merely a hackney, or horse adapted for the road. The owners of such animals naturally valued them in proportion to their capabilities for such service, among which great speed in trotting was considered one of the chief. Fasttrotting horses were eagerly sought after, and trials of speed became the fashion. A horse, then, which was pre-eminent in this particular was termed a “clipper," i.e., a hackney par excellence.-Notes and Queries.
* Should the Act be passed in time, it will be noticed in ADDENDA.
J. M. RENDELL, Esq., President, in the Chair. It was contended that the statement of a supposed wave pressure of 85,000 tons of water, or even of 40,000 tons, to which it had since been reduced, by & modified estimate, was inadmissible. As an instance of the advantage of lengthening ships, the case of the vessels belonging to the North of Europe Steam Navigation Company was mentioned. As to the mechanical strength of such vessels, there was no difference of opinion on that point among engineers, provided the structure was of iron. Ships of wood, on the contrary, were limited in size by the nature of the material which was grown, and not manufactured, and therefore the produce was of limited size; whereas plates of iron could, on the other hand, be rolled of any required dimensions. Further, as to the resistance of large vessels to waves, it was evident that the waves of the Atlantic, being of the same size whether the vessel was small or large, their proportional magnitude would be decreased as the size of the vessel was increased, so that the large ship, in a gale, would merely encounter waves of the same proportional size as a ship of half the dimensions in half a gale. The large Atlantic waves, observed by Dr. Scoresby, did not strike the ship, but made her rise and fall in a gentle oscillation, each of which lasted sixteen seconds, a period of too long duration to admit of any approximation to violent collision between bodies. It was only the small wind waves or crests which moved at a different velocity from that of the ship; and the proposed vessels were so much higher out of the water than the observed altitude of these waves, that the decks would probably never be more than wetted by the spray.
RIVER STEAMERS FOR SHALLOW WATERS.
A steamboat running on the Ohio, from Pitsburgh to Cincinnati, has a pair of direct acting engines with 32-inch cylinders and 8 feet stroke. There is no main crank-shaft connecting the two paddle wheels, but each engine works its own wheel independently of the other. This arrangement enables the boat to be steered with greater facility round the sharp turns encountered in the tortuous course of the river. The framework and outer bearings of the pad. dle-wheels are supported by suspension rods, which are, as it were, slung over beams and framework strongly constructed and fixed in the centre of the vessel. The main deck is 280 feet long, and 58 feet wide. The paddles are 38 feet in diameter, having 24 floats, 12 feet wide by 28 inches in depth. For shallow rivers, flat-bottomed steamers propelled by a paddle-wheel at the stern, are commonly used. Two built of iron in New York, drawing only 21 feet of water, are intended for the passage across the isthmus of Panama, by the Nicaragua route. — Mr. Whitworth's Report.— New York Industrial Exhibition.
Small Craft.-General Regulations. The Commissioners of Customs may, from time to time, by order under their hands, make such general regulations as they shall deem expedient in respect of vessels and boats not exceeding 100 tons burden, for the purpose of prescribing, with reference to the tonnage, build, or description of such vessels or boats, the limits within which the same may be employed, the mode of navigation, the manner in which such vessels or boats shall be so employed, and, if armed, the number and description of arms, the quantity of ammunition, and such other conditions as the Commissioners may think fit, and also from time to time may revoke or vary such regulations ; and the general regulations made under any former Act, and in force at the time of the passing of this Act, shall remain and continue in force until altered or revoked. 16 & 17 Vict. c. 107. $ 199. Aug. 20, 1853.
Contrary.--Every ship or boat which shall be used or employed in any manner contrary to the regulations prescribed by the Commissioners of Customs shall be liable to forfeiture, unless the same shall have been specially licensed by the Commissioners of Customs to be so used or employed, as next herein-after provided. $ 200.
Special Licences. The Commissioners of Customs may, if they shall so think fit, grant licences in respect of any vessels or boats not exceeding 100 tons burden, upon such conditions, and subject to such stipulations, as in such licences mentioned, notwithstanding any general regulations made in pursuance of this Act, whether the regulations be revoked or not; and if any vessel or boat so licensed shall not comply with the conditions imposed by any such licence, or if found without having such licence on board, such vessel or boat shall be forfeited. Ş 201.
Revocation. The Commissioners of Customs may revoke or vary any licence granted under any former Act, or which may hereafter be granted under this or any other Act relating to the customs.
Removal of Uncustomed or Prohibited Goods. If any such vessel or boat shall be used in the importation, landing, removal, carriage, or conveyance of any uncustomed or prohibited goods, the same shall be forfeited, and the owner and master of every such vessel or boat shall each forfeit and pay a penalty equal to the value of such vessel or boat, not in any case exceeding £500. $ 203.
Names. - The owner of every ship belonging wholly or in part to any of Her Majesty's subjects shall paint or cause to be painted upon the outside of the stern of every boat belonging to such ship the name of such ship and the port to which it belongs, and the master's name withinside the transom, in white or yellow Roman letters, not less than two inches in length, on a black ground, on pain of the forfeiture of every such boat not so marked, wherever the same shall be found. $ 206.
Other Names. — The owner of every boat not belonging to any ship shall paint or cause to be painted upon the stern of such boat, in white or yellow Roman letters, of two inches in length, on a black ground, the name of the owner of the boat and the port to which she belongs, on pain of the forfeiture of such boat not so marked, wherever the same shall be found. § 207. General Regulations, for prescribing the Limits within which Vessels and Boats not exceed
ing One Hundred Tons Burden may be employed and the Mode of Navigation, Manner of Employment, and other Conditions applicable thereto. We, the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Customs, in pursuance of the power and authority vested in us, under the provisions of the Act of 16 and 17 Vict. c. 107, do hereby make the following General Regulations for defining the limits within which vessels and boats not exceeding one hundred tons burden may be employed, and for other the purposes of the said Act in reference thereto, in lieu of any former or other Regulations.
1. That boats and vessels under 15 tons burden, and open boats, shall be limited to a distance of 4 leagues seaward from that part of the coast of England which is between the North Foreland and Beachy Head ; to a distance of 8 leagues seaward from any other part of the coast of the United Kingdom.
2. That open and half-decked boats and vessels above 15 tons burden shall be limited to a distance of 4 leagues seaward from that part of the coast of England which is between the North Foreland and Beachy Head ; to a distance of 12 leagues seaward from any other part of the coast of the United Kingdom.
3. That decked vessels and boats under 40 tons burden shall be limited to a distance of 4 leagues seaward from that part of the coast of England which is between the North Foreland and Beachy Head ; and to a distance of 12 leagues seaward from any other part of the coast of the United Kingdom, except those parts of the coasts of England and Treland which lie opposite to each other.
4. That vessels and boats of less than 100 tons burden shall not carry arms for resistance, nor more than one carriage gun or swivel gun, without shot, for the purpose of making signals in case of distress, nor more than two muskets or fowling pieces for every five men.