AS the elements principally concerned in the management of ſhips, are air or wind, and water, I hope I ſhall be excuſed in taking the liberty to endeavour to explain what I have learned from others, or know myſelf from experience, of the properties of theſe fluids, ſo far as they may concern practical ſeamanſhip.
IT is enough for our purpoſe here to ſay, that air in motion which moves ſhips, is a fluid body, as much as the water they ſwim in: This is proved from many experiments, and may be perceived from what we ſee ordained by the ALL GREAT AUTHOR of nature, in birds, inſects, and all animals that fly, how they float or ſwim, ſteer and govern their directions through the air by their wings and tails, upon the ſame principles that fiſh ſwim in water.
AND air is proved by experiment to have its weight in air of about ſeventeen grains to a quart, near the ſurface of the ſea, [Note: The weight of air.] as a quart veſſel when the air is pumped out by an air pump, weighs about ſeventeen grains leſs than when the air is in it; but the air weighs leſs and leſs in proportion, as it is higher above the ſurface or level of the ſea: And its property is to buoy up or raiſe any matter that is lighter than it ſelf, bulk for bulk, as may be ſeen by ſmoak, ſteam, [Page 2] or vapours, riſing up to certain heights, 'till they come to air that is of the ſame weight with themſelves, where they float and make miſts, fogs, or clouds, which darken the ſky, and hinders us from ſeeing any conſiderable diſtance about us, till they are diſperſed or ſeparated, or fall in rain or ſnow, &c.
CONFINED air in ſhips deſerves particular notice, it often occaſions diſeaſes, [Note: Foul air in ſhips.] and ſometimes immediate death, as has frequently been the caſe in the pump wells of ſhips of war; charcoal fires, &c. in cloſe places, are dangerous and ſometimes fatal; too many people together in cloſe places, filth and dirt made and ſuffered to continue below, fouls the air, therefore every ſeaman that does not know it ſhould be told, that by his common breathing he fouls a gallon of air, and requires a gallon of freſh air to breath in every minute; ſo that for the preſervation of themſelves, they ſhould not grudge or think much to keep the places where they reſt, as clear and clean as things will admit of; and uſe every method poſſible to keep ſhips clear of bad air, which becomes proportionably heavier as it becomes more foul, and looſing its circulating property it naturally deſcends to, and ſtagnates in the loweſt vacancies, where it haſtens to corruption every thing that is ſubject to decay, even the ſhip and her materials; and much more ſo the proviſions, which muſt conſequently make unhealthy ſhips.
[Note: To get clear of foul air.]WHEN foul air in ſhips proceeds from their being over crowded with people below, which may prove very fatal: to prevent the bad effects of its lying in a ſhip, I would recommend to keep the pumps conſtantly working tho' no water in the ſhip 'till a lighted candle will burn clear in the bottom of the pump well, where the worſt air lodges, as being the loweſt and greateſt vacancy in ſhip's holds; and all water pumps, will act the part of air pumps, or ventilators, as it is known that the water would not riſe to the ſucking pumps, if the air was not firſt pumped out of them. And as Guinea ſhips, whilſt the ſlaves are on board, have their large cloſe fire furnace ſtanding nearly over their pump well; how eaſy might a ſhort copper pipe, of about four-inch bore, be made to go into an iron nozel in the ſide of the furnace, and the other end on to a lead or wooden pipe of near the ſame bore, that might be carried down into the pump well by various ways; and as they make their fires for cooking juſt after midnight, which is the time when all the ſlaves are below, and then ventilators are moſt wanted, it is known from experience in ſhips of war, were ſuch pipes are uſed, that whilſt the fire burne, by its rarefaction, it will draw up and expel a conſtant flow of air from the pump [Page 3] well; ſo that by theſe means, the loweſt and fouleſt air may be got out of ſhips, and the freſh air will naturally circulate and take its place. [Note: The preſſure of air.]
THE power of the airs preſſure on all bodies near the ſurface of the ſea, is computed to be about fifteen pounds weight on every ſquare inch; it preſſes every way in all directions, not only downwards, but ſlanting, ſideways, and upwards, as may be ſeen in common without machines for that purpoſe, by thoſe little round leather ſuckers (as they are called) uſed by boys at play, which when wet, and clapped upon ſmooth ſtones, preſs the air from between the ſtone and the ſucker, then hawling upon the ſtring, in the middle it makes a ſmall vacuum or little hollow ſpace void of air, and the airs preſſure upwards oppoſite to the vacuum, is what the ſtones are lifted and carried by about the ſtreets.
THE preſſure of the air downwards is known and experienced in many caſes, [Note: The bad effects the air's preſſure may have on ſhips, &c. which ground in mud.] and its bad effects are felt upon ſhips ſometimes when they take out a raft port, which they think high enough out of the water when the ſhip is afloat; but if ſhe after that grounds, by the tide leaving her upon mud, ſo as to preſs the water from under part of the bottom, the airs preſſure downwards againſt that part in the mud, where there is neither air nor water, will confine the ſhip from riſing out of the mud 'till the water flows much above her floating mark, and the water may run in at the raft-port and ſink her. And in ſmall veſſels which are deep loaded, and lie a-ground upon mud, and eſpecially if their bottoms are flat, ſuch as a great number of veſſels are which carry goods up and down rivers, when deep loaden the maſters dread and avoid, as much as they can, laying them in the mud, on account of its ſuction, as it's commonly called, and thought to be, but is entirely owing to the airs preſſure downwards, acting upon the parts where the air and water are preſſed from under them, that their veſſels are in danger, of ſinking before they can riſe or float out of the mud, and which ſometimes pulls pieces of ſheathing off ſhips bottoms, from the ſame cauſe, when the water gets between the bottom and the ſheathing, and none between that and the mud. The ſame cauſe will alſo keep wood, or any other thing that will ſwim, and is lighter than water, from riſing; for if their buoyancy don't lift them before the water flows upon them, the weight and preſſure of the water is then added to the airs preſſure downwards to prevent their riſing.
IF a man, tho' famous for ſwiming or diving, [Note: How mud may occaſion people to be drowned.] by accident ſhould fall, or out of bravado jump into the water to dive, if his feet only reaches the mud, and ſink ſo far as to preſs [Page 4] the water from under them, the preſſure of the air and water downwards, will hold his feet ſo faſt, that all his ſtruggling won't be able to relieve him: The only help that can be given him, is ſomething that he may graſp or lay hold of with his hands before he looſes his ſences, or a boat-hook, &c. to hook him at all hazard, and to hawl him out of the mud.
[Note: The air's preſſure is the cauſe of what is commonly called ſuction.]WHAT is commonly or vulgarly termed ſuction, is cauſed by the preſſure of the air, which forces and raiſes the water upwards, in our common ſucking-pumps, as they are called, where the working of the boxes and clappers only pump up the air firſt, and takes off its preſſure downwards from the inſide or bore of the pump, when the air preſſing upon the water in the well, will make it riſe to the height of thirty-three feet above its level, up a pump or pipe, where the power of the air is taken off; and quick-ſilver, that is about fourteen times the weight of water, will riſe to about thirty-one inches in a tube or glaſs pipe, void of air:—And theſe prove a balance, or equal weight to the preſſure of our air or atmoſphere; and which air when in its moſt denſe or heavieſt ſtate, will very ſeldom raiſe theſe fluids higher.
[Note: On the weather judg'd from the weight of the air.]BUT the air in our Northern climates is conſtantly varying, and is ſometimes about a tenth part rarer or lighter than at other times, conſequently when lighteſt looſes, about a tenth part of its power to buoy up any matter that is floating in it, or to raiſe water or quick-ſilver, which laſt then ſtands at its loweſt ſtation in our barometers or weather-glaſſes, at about twenty-eight inches high, on the index where the weather is marked; the conſequence of the airs being in its rareſt or lighteſt ſtate; is that either the watry particles floating in it will fall in ſnow or rain, or it is made light, by an over charge of elementary fire or ſulphureous particles floating in it, by which I have had my ſails ſtuck full of black ſpecks, from the dews falling then upon them, when ſailing upon the coaſt of Barbary. This inflamatory matter in the air, no doubt, is the cauſe of lightening and thunder; for I have ſeen the ſame ſort of black ſpecks on the ſails of ſhips, where they have been ſtruck and tore with lightening; and if rain, ſnow or thunder does not happen, a ſtorm of wind (as mark'd on the index) is expected to be the conſequence, by the airs flying or ruſhing along with a ſwift motion from where it is denſe or heavier, and endeavouring to come to an equality in weight, with the place where it is rare or in its lighteſt ſtate. As the air increaſes in its weight, it preſſes the heavier on the quick-ſilver or mercury below, and raiſes it proportionably [Page 5] higher in the tube; and when it comes to twenty-nine inches and a half, the air is then reckoned at the medium or middle ſtate, and there the weather is mark'd changeable; but when the mercury comes to be forced above thirty inches; from that to thirty-one inches, is mark'd fair, dry, froſt, ſerene weather, &c. as ſuch may be expected, when the air is denſe or in its heavy ſtate; it then raiſes and buoys up the particles floating in it, to a greater height, where they may be ſeparated ſo as to make the ſky clear of clouds for a time. Theſe are the concluſions which I imagine our Philoſophers fixed on, when they endeavoured to make the barometer or air weigher, to foretel the different weather that might be expected.
BUT, (as a ſailor) I venture to ſay, [Note: Of the uncertainty of weather glaſſes.] that the weather often proves very different from what is pointed out by our weather-glaſſes, or by any other of thoſe improv'd inſtruments or rules that have been made by later, and more accurate obſervers of the air and weather that I have yet ſeen, and I doubt their being of any great ſervice to ſea-faring people; for I have ſeen ſtrong gails with a high glaſs, not only Eaſterly, (which commonly raiſes the mercury) but when up at thirty inches, I have known it blow ſtrong Weſterly, with rain and ſnow; I have likewiſe ſeen moderate and fair weather, with the mercury as low as twenty-eight inches three tenths. I have been in the open ocean along way from any land, in moderate and fair weather, ſailing pleaſantly along, when ſuddenly the ſhip has been ſtruck with a ſingle flaſh of lightning: This inflamable matter in the air, like electrical matter, ſeemed to take fire at the touch of the ſhip's maſts.
BUT in juſtice to barometers, I muſt own I had once, [Note: A ſtorm once pointed out by the weather glaſs.] and but once, the advantage of a true admonition of an approaching ſtorm of wind, from Tampion's portable barometer, which I carried to ſea with me as a weather-glaſs for ſome time; and this happened at the mouth of the Engliſh channel, when about ſeventy veſſels ſailed from the Downs, with a moderate breeze in the S. E. quarter. In the morning after leaving the Downs. I perceived a ſudden fall of the quick-ſilver, from about twenty-nine inches and a half, to about twenty-eight inches and a half; we had then all our ſmall ſails ſet; on this alteration, I ordered all hands to work, and took in our ſmall ſails, got down top-gallant yards, and did all that was thought moſt neceſſary, to prepare for an approaching ſtorm, which came on about eight in the evening, when we were a-breaſt of the Lizard; the wind from being moderate at S. S. E. came ſuddenly [Page 6] to N. N. W. and blowed ſo ſtrong, that tho' we had no ſails looſe but the fore-ſail in the brails, yet it laid the ſhip more down on her broadſide than ever I knew her, by any ſtreſs or preſſure of ſails. This ſudden change of weather, and of the wind to the oppoſite point of the compaſs, probably proved of bad conſequence to all who were unprepared for it. The next morning we ſaw a Dutch or Daniſh ſhip, floating bottom up, which we ſuppoſed was loaded with timber, and had been overſet by this unexpected ſtorm, taking her a-back with all ſails ſet, and the accounts we had afterwards, were, that moſt of this fleet ſuffered damage.
[Note: On the defects of a weather glaſs for ſea ſervice.]BUT I muſt acknowledge a defect in this portable barometer, for ſea ſervice, which is, that the quick-ſilver always kept the ſhips motion up and down, ſo that its height, muſt be taken from the medium of that motion; and I never had the opportunity of meeting with the marine barometer, ſuch as was carried to ſea by the great Doctor Hally, and which I judge from its not being continued in practice, has not anſwered the commendable deſign, of giving ſome certainty of the weather, to ſhips at ſea: Yet it muſt be allowed, that the diſcovery of theſe properties in the air or atmoſphere, has proved of great advantage in the management of pumps and ſyphons, or crooked pipes to raiſe water, and in many other uſeful inventions.
WIND may be ſaid to be only the air moving over the ſurface of our globe, from one place where it is heavier, towards another place where it is lighter, which difference occaſions its different directions; and the ſwiftneſs of its motion, is in proportion to the different denſities of the air in different places, as PROVIDENCE has pleaſed to order it for many valuable purpoſes.
WE call it calm, when the air is without motion; but when the air moves, we call it wind; and its power is calculated to increaſe, in proportion to the ſquare of its velocity or ſwiftneſs with which it flies, which is at the rate of about ſixty miles an hour, in one of the greateſt ſtorms in our climate, as the ingenious Smeaton has ſhewn in his table of winds, after he had found out what may be called the fix'd ſtandard for wind-mill ſails, from ingenious experiments, which I [Page 7] have ſeen him make in a cloſe room; for the air though at reſt, or in a calm, will act upon any body that is put in motion, as ſo much wind of the ſame ſwiftneſs. Suppoſe a ſhip launching in a calm to gain a velocity, or run at the rate of a mile in a minute, at this time, the ſhip will feel the ſame effect from this calm, as one of our greateſt ſtorms of a mile in a minute or ſixty miles an hour, would have had upon her ſtern, when ſhe was faſt upon the ſtocks; and a ſhip launched with the ſame velocity, and in the ſame direction with this ſtorm of wind, would feel it calm, for the time the run as faſt as the wind blowed, as may be noticed, when it happens that ſhips are launched with a briſk wind, and their colours blowing aft, the ſame way they are to run, when they come to a quick motion in launching, their colours flie fored for that time. And when any body is put into ſo quick a motion through the air, as not to give the air time to cloſe behind it, in that caſe it makes in ſome degree, a vacuum, and in proportion to this vacuum, there will not only be the reſiſtance, but the preſſure of the air, acting upon theſe bodies, which may be near fifteen pounds upon every ſquare inch; and this may be the reaſon why ſhips maſts and yards, ſome times are rowl'd away in a calm, when they are put into ſo very quick motion, by a labourſome ſhip's rowling. A ſhip under way in a calm, where there is a ſtrong tide or current, will be affected as if a light air or gentle wind was right againſt and in proportion to the ſtrength of the tide or current. As the wind happens to blow with or againſt the tide or current, a ſhip will feel leſs or more wind in proportion to the rate of the tide or current.
WIND in many inſtances is altered from its natural direction, [Note: On eddy winds, and how the wind is altered from its natural direction] as in a narrow river, that has high land, or high trees cloſe to the water, on each ſide, there the wind commonly blows either right up or right down the river. When the wind blows right acroſs a river, or right off any high land, or when a ſhip is cloſe under high land, when it blows ſtrong, they often feel ſuch guſts of eddy winds in all directions, that ſhips pendants are ſometimes ſeen to be blown right up in the air; in ſuch ſituations, they can't trim their ſquare-ſails faſt enough to any advantage, therefore it is beſt to have the ſquare-ſails cloſe furl'd; and if any ſails can be of advantage, it muſt be the ſtay-ſails, mizen, boom-ſails, try-ſails, and ſuch others, as may be worked without laying ſo long aback, as to give the ſhip ſtern-way.
A SHIP ſailing cloſe by the wind, one particle or part of air, drives off the other from the lee or after-leach of the ſail, [Page 8] which turns the wind from its direction for a little time, as may be noticed, by a ſhips after-ſails being obliged to be trim'd ſharper than her head-ſails, and her enſign not flying above three points to leeward, when the ſhip is ſailing near ſix points from the wind.
WHEN ſhips are ſailing quartering, or before the wind, the wind then blows perpendicular to, or right upon the ſails, which makes them bag more, or form a hollow, ſo that the wind when it blows ſtrong, may compreſs the air in the belly of the ſail, into leſs compaſs than its natural ſtate, for air contrary to all other fluids has that property, that it may be compreſſed into a very ſmall ſpace, as is known by charging and diſcharging of wind-guns, &c.
[Note: The proporties, of water.]WATER is a fluid element, capable to float ſhips, and Philoſophers tell us, that the particles or ſingle parts of water are ſo ſmall, that their form can't be preceived by the beſt microſcopes, or greateſt magnifying glaſſes; but that they muſt be round and ſmooth, from their moving ſo freely one amongſt another; and from their eaſily giving way, and opening a paſſage for all bodies moving therein: And particles of water muſt be hard, and touch each other, as it is known from experience, that water can't be compreſſed or forced into leſs compaſs than its natural bulk, by any power or weight that can be employed upon it, and as action and re-action are equal and contrary to each other, it re-acts as it is acted upon.
WATER will float the greateſt or heavieſt bodies that take up more room in water than it ſelf, and ſhips, boats, or veſſels, with all they contain in or about them, and all other things that will float in water, are exactly the ſame weight as the bulk of water they diſplace, by the bulk of that part of their bodies actually in the water, and below their ſwiming mark, which is lower down or higher up, according to the weight or denſity of the water they ſwim in; for ſhips are known to ſwim lighter in ſalt water than in freſh, in proportion as the ſalt is heavier than freſh: Therefore, ſuppoſe a pint of water to weigh a pound, (as it does or thereabouts in common) and any thing that will ſwim in water and weigh a pound, put into a veſſel full [Page 9] of water, will diſplace or make run over, its own bulk of water to its ſwimming mark, a pint for a pound. The ſame rule holds good to ſhips of the greateſt burden, or to other bodies according to their bulk.
THE power and preſſure of water is known to increaſe according to its altitude, regardleſs of its quantity, for ſuppoſe a tight dock to be made, that would nearly fit to the ſhape of the bottom of one of our firſt rate ſhips of war to her floating mark, half an inch or the leaſt thickneſs of water would lift and float this ſhip, as effectually as the whole ocean; for water like other fluids, preſſes equally in all directions; therefore, the water muſt preſs equally againſt the ſhip, as it does againſt the dock, which muſt conſequently float the ſhip as ſoon as the water comes to the height of her floating mark: And ſuppoſe this dock could be filled with water when the ſhip is out of it, it would weigh the ſame as did the ſhip with all her materials then in and about her, and the ſmall quantity of water which floated her.
A ſhip which has the flateſt part of her bottom lying ſixteen feet deep, [Note: On the preſſure of water and leaks at different depths.] (which is often the caſe) the water then preſſes ſixteen times, as much upwards againſt this flat part, as it does on any part of the ſame ſhip about the waters edge, and ſo on to any other part according to its depth. And ſuppoſe this ſhip to have four leaks or plug holes of equal bigneſs, that could be drove out occaſionally, the firſt at one foot under water, the ſecond at four feet, the third at nine feet, and the loweſt at ſixteen feet in the flat part of her bilge; that hole at four feet deep would leak or let in as much water again in the ſame time, as that at one foot deep; and that at nine feet, three times as much; and that at ſixteen feet, four times as much, though it run into the ſhip upwards; and ſo on in proportion to the ſquare root of the height of the water above the leak or plug hole; therefore leaks in ſhips are more or leſs dangerous, according to their depth under water.
THE great Doctor Halley ſays, [Note: Different ſhaped bottles la [...]ke by the waters preſſure.] that the preſſure of the water thirty-three feet deep, (which is equal to the preſſure of our atmoſphere) preſſed the natural air into half its ſpace in his diving-hell. I have tried experiments on the preſſure of water upon bottles of different ſhapes, cork'd up without any thing in them but common air, making them faſt to a lead-line juſt above the lead, when two common ſquare flat ſided caſe-bottles, which would hold about three half pints each, broke at the depth of between ſix and ſeven fathom; but two oval form'd thin Florence flaſks about the ſame ſize, bore the preſſure to about fifteen fathom deep; and a quart bottle [Page 10] round one way, but having two ſides ſomewhat flated, bore about fifteen fathom; and a round common quart bottle, broke only at about twenty-eight fathom. At great depths I imagine few things that are made hollow and tight, will bear the waters preſſure; I have ſeen an inſtance of its great power, when by my ſhip driving off the bank in Gibralter Bay into deep water, our anchors would not reach the ground at a hundred fathom; and when we hove them up, we found our two new nun-buoys had their ſides cruſhed inwards by the waters preſſure.
[Note: On waves]WATER at the ſurface is powerfully acted upon by the wind, and by that according to its ſtrength, which forces the water from its natural level, which it always endeavours to come to, but is prevented and diſturbed by ſeveral cauſes acting upon it. When the water is in motion by a ſtrong tide or current, and the wind blows ſtrong againſt it, it makes the moſt dangerous and troubleſome waves. Heigh waves at ſea are ſuppoſed to move along at the rate of about twenty miles in an hour.
THOUGH I allow that planners and builders of ſhips generally know beſt, which form is moſt likely to anſwer the different trades or other purpoſes they may be deſigned for, yet as a ſeaman I hope I ſhall be excuſed in taking the liberty of giving ſome remarks and hints, which I think may contribute to make theſe moſt noble and uſeful machines leſs imperfect than they ſometimes are.
WHEN ſhips are contracted for to be built, and their dimenſions agreed upon, the owners commonly want what is called a long floor, which is generally reckoned to make ſhips have all good properties; and this long floor is made by having ſo many floor-timbers exactly of the ſame mold, laid all at equal height on a ſtraight keel, in the mainbody, or moſt bearing part of the ſhip, and are called very properly, ſo many dead flats; and then the other floor timbers begin to have more riſe, till they come to ſtand upon dead wood, towards the ſtem and ſtern-poſt, to form the entrance and run of the ſhip.
[Note: Againſt building ſh [...]s with long ſtraight floors.]THIS method of building ſhips with long ſtraight floors as above-mentioned, for many reaſons may be proved to be a wrong practice, for it is well known how much greater power [Page 11] any great ſtreſs, by weight or preſſure of fluids, has upon any body that is ſtraight or flat, and how little they will bear in proportion to bodies that are made curv'd or ſome ways circular, ſo as to form ſome ſort of an arch, as may be obſerved in thoſe almoſt flat arches, which tho' made of but ſmall and looſe materials, ſuch as brick and mortar, will bear great ſtreſs and weight upon them. And it's known from experiments by the air pump, how much leſs preſſure of air from without, will break a veſſel that is flat ſided, than will break a veſſel that is rounding or circular; which laſt will bear the whole preſſure of the atmoſphere without being hurt. And the experiments mentioned in the ninth page, of the preſſure of water on different ſhaped bottles, ſhew us that the firſt ſquare caſe-bottle which broke at between ſix and ſeven fathom deep, had two of its ſides a little rounding outward, which two ſides came up whole; but the other two being more flat were burſt in, notwithſtanding the extraordinary thickneſs of the glaſs, of theſe ſquare bottles, compared with that of the Florence flaſks, which are made like an egg ſhell, and which bore fifteen fathom preſſure. Theſe experiments, and what may be learned from obſervation, ſhew the bad effects which the water often has by its great power of preſſing upwards againſt the long floor of a ſhip, ſo that it ſoon makes the place of theſe dead flats hog and become a hollow upwards, whilſt the ſhip in her upper-works ſeems to keep her proper ſheer; and that this is a fact, may be perceived by any one who takes the leaſt notice, when they ſee long floor'd ſhips laid upon even ground, how the keel, and the floor'd part of the bottom bends upwards; or when put upon level blocks in a graving-dock how hard they bear upon the fore and after blocks, which blocks I have known ſplit, and the keel damaged by the ſtreſs being much more upon its fore and after parts than on that part under the flat of the floor, and that the ſhip has been ſo ſtrained, as to be obliged to be dock'd a ſecond time; which muſt naturally weaken her, and ſhe muſt carry leſs weight in proportion as her floor is bulged upwards, which muſt form one of the worſt bottoms a ſhip can ſwim upon, by its being a hollow upwards, where it ſhould be rounding downwards, which in my opinion would contribute greatly to make ſhips ſtronger to bear the preſſure of the ground, as well as the water, and help their ſailing, ſteering, ſtaying and wareing.
FOR the above reaſons, and many others which might be given, [Note: To build ſhips with rounding bottoms.] I am of opinion, that all ſhips ſhould be built with a root or rank end of a keel-piece fored, and which ſhould be ſtraight all the way below; and [Page 12] the upper part work'd with a curve, from the ſtem to the after-part of the floor, ſo that the fore and main part of the ſhip's bottom may be made to form a curve, or be rounding a little downwards, ſuppoſe with about the ſame ſheer as ſhips bends have in common, and the ſtem ſhould project with ſuch a rake forward from the upper part of the keel, that all the horizontal water-lines in the ſhips entrance, may form curves outwards all the way, which will be leſs reſiſted in paſſing through the water, than thoſe unnatural hollows which are too commonly made there, and which I have known to occaſion very deſtructive pitching motions in a fine ſhip.
THE above method of building, in my opinion, would turn to the advantage of all concerned; for by the floor timbers lying ſo much farther forward on this curv'd part of the keel it ſelf, without chocks, or the dead wood fored that is commonly made uſe of; the ſhip will be ſtronger and more buoyant, to carry more, with leſs timber, iron, and workmanſhip. I would recommend the deep end of the keel to project as far forward, before the ſcarf of the ſtem, and the fore gripe added to it, to be as rank as can with ſafety be faſtened; this with the deepeſt part of the keel fored, will make up for what may be thought wanting in the uprightneſs of the ſtem, and the rankneſs of the keel under the loweſt flooring, to help the ſhip ſailing by the wind. The ſtern poſt ſhould have no more rake aft, than juſt to make the back of the rudder ſtand upright when the ſhip is upon an even keel; and the run, or after-part of the bottom, to be according to the main and fore-part: If built full for burden at a ſmall draft of water, the run in proportion to be fuller and ſhorter, to make her anſwer this purpoſe. But if the ſhip is to be built ſharp, for ſailing faſt by the wind, as well as with the wind large; then ſhe will require a long run, drawn fair, without any extraordinary full part in the water, to hinder it from riſing, and cloſing to its level again, regularly and readily in proportion, as the body of the ſhip may be forced through the water, without making a great eddy, or carrying much dead water after her. But ſharpneſs may be carried to an extreme, for ſhips require a ſpreading body at the water's edge, both afore and abaft, to ſupport them from being plung'd too deep into the ſea, and gives the water more after-body to act upon as it riſes and cloſes abaft, to help the ſhip forward in her progreſſive motion, when ſailing faſt.
[Note: Difference of ſharp and full ſhips ſailing.]FROM experience I can ſay, that the ſharp and ſlight built ſhips will ſail faſter, than the firm and full built in little winds; though when it blows ſtrong, they won't bear to be preſſed with ſail, above [Page 13] certain degrees to advantage, but otherwiſe; then the fuller and ſtronger built ſhip will have the advantage by bearing preſſure of ſail, and will then perform better in proportion to the ſtrength with which the wind blows.
I have ſailed in a ſhip built full for carrying, in the Eaſt India trade, which was took by a French ſquadron, in little wind; but when the wind blew ſtrong, ſhe could be the headmoſt and weather-moſt ſhip in the fleet. The laſt war but one I commanded a ſhip remarkably ſharp and ſlight; ſhe was built at Malta for a cruiſing ſhip, from the timbers of their old Galleys; ſhe meaſured above 330 tons, was 88 feet keel, and 27 feet beam, ſhe was built low, with a ſhallow ſhelving bottom every way. In chaſing with this ſhip, when little wind and a head ſea, we have ſteered right up to the chaſe, when all their endeavours could not keep their ſhips head to the ſea, but lay broadſide to the waves. A ſmall preſſure of wind and ſail, would put this ſhell of a ſhip to her utmoſt ſpeed, and when the wind blew with a velocity of about thirty miles an hour, I reckoned (in ſailing large) we could make her go at the rate of about eleven miles an hour; therefore we never deſired more wind but rather leſs than that, to give us all the advantages we wanted in cruiſing againſt our enemies, ſo as to be able to take or leave as we pleaſed. In tacking this ſhip, when it blowed ſo freſh that we could juſt carry whole topſails, we found our advantage in hawling up the mainſail and foreſail, to make her ſure in ſtaying, otherwiſe ſhe would get ſternway ſo quickly, as to prevent her coming about: this bad property I attributed to the lightneſs of the ſhip's body, which could not bear ſo much ſail aback, without loſing her headway; and the long time ſhe took to bring the wind a-head, was probably occaſioned by her length being out of proportion to her breadth, for a ready and cloſe turning ſhip. This ſhip had another great defect, viz. want of her bow's being fuller, at, and above the water's edge, which would make little or no reſiſtance in the water, to hinder ſhips ſailing in fine weather, but is a great help to their ſailing, by keeping them from plunging ſo much into the ſea, in bad weather, which was the caſe with this ſhip when preſſed hard with ſail upon a wind, for in a great ſea, her bow's being like a wedge, ſhe plunged herſelf under, forward, which not only hindered her ſailing ſo faſt as ſhe would have done, but occaſioned her ſtraining, to ſuch a degree at thoſe times, that we were obliged to add b [...]iling to pumping, to keep the water from gaining upon us.—This is mentioned to ſhew, that ſhape and proportion [Page 14] are of the greateſt conſequence in the ſtructure of the hull of a ſhip, with reſpect to her ſailing, as well as to her ſtrength.
[Note: Advantages attending rounding bottoms.]WHAT I contend for is, that all ſhips, whether full for burden, or ſharp for ſailing, ſhould be built with the full parts of their bottoms to form an arch downward, inſtead of having long ſtraight floors as has been mentioned as it is well known when a round cannon ball is ſhot ſlanting into the water, the reaction of the water makes it riſe into the air ſeveral times, before it immerſes and ſinks, tho' it is about eight times heavier than its bulk of water, which will naturally act with the ſame principles upon ſhips which have their bottoms ſomewhat circular all the way, as they are forced forward through the water, the entrance and forebody of the ſhip in the water, have the paſſage to open, by dividing and ſinking the particles of water, till they have paſſed the main frame, or loweſt flooring; the reaction of the water upwards againſt this ſhaped bottom, will naturally tend to lighten or lift the ſhip from plunging into the ſea, all the way that there is any reſiſtance, which I reckon ceaſes at the loweſt main frame, for there the water begins to riſe and cloſe again to come to its level, which in my opinion muſt act upon the tapered after body, and run if well formed, ſo as to help the ſhip forward in her progreſſive motion: And ſhe will naturally act and turn upon this loweſt part of the bottom, becauſe within this main or midſhip frame muſt be the center of the greateſt cavity, or hollow part of the ſhip's hold: and thereabout will be the center of gravity of the ſhip and all that ſhe contains, and will thereby become the center of motion: and the water's preſſure upwards being greateſt againſt this loweſt part of the bottom, all will contribute naturally to make this the proper center for the ſhip to turn upon, to make her more manageable in ſteering, ſtaying, or wareing; and this laſt is a very valuable property, for it is moſt commonly wanted when ſhips are in the greateſt danger, and expeditiouſly performed may be the ſaving of the whole; and this ſeems to be pointed out by natural judgment, and what may be ſeen in the mechaniſm of nature; and the curve of a ſhip's bends and upper works (ſo as I would have their bottoms to be) don't offend but pleaſe the eye, and all ſtraight and flat parts about a ſhip diſguſt us. The ſwifteſt fiſh ſeen in motion at ſea, as well as thoſe fowl which ſwim and dive in water, are all formed with their bodies rounding, as is above recommended.
I HAD the advantages of the above recommendation farther confirmed by an accidental experiment, made by a commander of a long and flat floor'd collier cat, who is a man of veracity; he related [Page 15] to me, that loading his ſhip at Liverpool with rock ſalt, in order to prevent the ſhip from being too ſtiff and labourſome, he had it ſtowed in as ſhort a compaſs as poſſible, in the middle or main body of the ſhip, and left two great empty ſpaces, one afore and another abaft, which occaſioned the flat floor under the ſalt to bend downwards, and ſo as to make the ſhip very leaky, this, as may be ſuppoſed opened the butts in that part; the ſhip by accident came aground, when he could ſenſibly feel her touch firſt under where the ſalt lay, which was contrary to what he ever felt by her before, and he ſolemnly declared that he never knew the ſhip to ſail, ſteer, ſtay, or ware ſo well before or ſince.
THERE is another ſtrong circumſtance, which I think is a certain ſign that the rounding ſhaped bottom, and projecting ſtem, is wanted for ſhips in general. The beſt trim as they are built now is found to be by the ſtern, this cants the ſtraight part of their long floors upwards, which muſt make a longer reſiſtance farther aft, but then it acts in ſome meaſure, as the rounding bottomed ſhip would do (but to more advantage) upon an even keel, and the more upright a ſhip's ſtem is, the more ſhe will require to be trim'd by the ſtern to make her ſtay, as well as ware readily; for the center of theſe turning motions will be where the center of gravity is, that is about the main frame; ſo that the more upright the ſtem is, the more it will hinder the ſhip turning either way ſo readily, and experience is the beſt guide in theſe matters. I have enquired after the properties of a ſhip that was built with ſtem and ſternpoſt both upright; the report I had from the commander was, that her performance came far ſhort in ſailing, to what was expected, from her bottom, and that before they raiſed her abaft, ſo that ſhe ſtowed more goods there, which brought her to ſail two and a half feet by the ſtern, ſhe oft refuſed either ſtaying or wareing ſo readily, as other ſhips in company would, and now that they are obliged to ſail ſo much by the ſtern, they are much plagued to get the anchors up from under the keel or fore foot, which may be of bad conſequence where there is little room to get under way, ſo that the projecting ſtem gives great eaſe in getting the anchors up readily, as well as helps a ſhip greatly to riſe and fall eaſy, and prevents her from being preſſed or plunged deep into the ſea; for theſe and many other good reaſons the ſtem ſhould keep projecting as high as the upper deck.
THUS I have endeavoured to prove, that to make veſſels paſs through the water with the leaſt reſiſtance, and give them the beſt properties for managing them under ſail, they ſhould have a projecting [Page 16] ſtem; the bearing part of the bottom ſhould form an arch downwards, the loweſt flooring at the main frame, and what is called the floor, ſhould be with about the ſame ſheer as the lower part of the bends, and the ſternpoſt ſo near upright, that the back of the rudder may ſtand perpendicular to the keel. [Note: Rounding bottoms would take the g [...]ound with the leaſt damage.] This form of a ſhip's bottom, in my opinion, will alſo recommend itſelf to take the ground with the leaſt damage, for it is well known that a ſhip ſtrains and receives damage, leſs or more, in proportion as ſhe ſits upright, or lays along on one ſide, and what makes a ſhip lie along ſo much upon level ground, but the preſent practice of having a rank or deep keel under the main body of the ſhip, which cants her over ſo far, that the ends of the floorings or lower futtocks bear the ſtreſs upon the ground, by which they are often broke, and if the ſhip has a long ſtraight floor, it is liable to be bent upwards, which cauſes the whole frame to ſtrain the more, by being thus unnaturally conſtructed.
WHERE ſhips are liable or are deſigned to take the ground, as in dry tide harbours, the rounding bottoms will certainly anſwer that purpoſe beſt, as they may be built either full for carrying, or ſharp for ſailing, as occaſion may require; with little or no depth of keel under the main body, ſo as not to make them lie a long, but as they may ſit quite upright, upon level ground; which will make the principal weight and ſtreſs tend towards the middle of the loweſt flooring, under the main or midſhip frame; where the center of gravity of the whole will be accumulated and ſupported, as upon the crown of an inverted arch, which form muſt be allowed to be capable of bearing the moſt preſſure, with the leaſt damage; and to lay the greateſt ſtrain where it ought to be, upon the middle or ſtrongeſt part of the floor timbers.
To anſwer the objections which may be made to the want of a deep keel in the midſhips, on account of ſtrength, or ſailing upon a wind, or beating on the ground, 1ſt. I ſay, that making the kelſon larger, and its bent downward, along with the ceiling and outſide plank in this part, will greatly make up above what may be thought a deficiency in ſtrength. 2d. To make the ſhip hold an equal wind, it has been obſerved, that what keel may be wanting under the midſhip frame, is made up by what is added forward, under the ſcarf of the ſtem; and ſuppoſe a ſhip's keel in common to be a foot deep, all the way fore and aft, and ſuppoſe the rounding bottom'd ſhip to have but ſix inches keel, under her midſhip frame, and to have eighteen inches under the ſcarf of the ſtem, this will make up that deficiency forward; and abaft the run becomes [Page 17] ſo ſharp and thin, that the plank lies almoſt upright with the plain ſurface of the keel and ſternpoſt. And as to ſtriking on the ground, if the ground is nearly level, ſhips commonly deſtroy the two ends of the keel before the midſhip is hurt, and if they come to roll much upon their keels, the rounding bottom will have the advantage, in proportion as the keel is ſhallower a midſhips; the ſtroke will be leſs, and lower down under the main floorings, where the ſhip by this form of conſtruction is ſtrongeſt, and moſt able to bear repeated ſhocks.
SHIPS are ſometimes loſt, by having their rudders beaten off in ſtriking upon the ground, which may be prevented by a method of hanging rudders, practiſed at Parkgate, and which I think deſerves particular notice, and eſpecially, where the navigation is among ſhoals, or where ſhips are liable to ſtrike upon the ground; this method permits the rudder to riſe about 20 inches, by having bands upon the rudder, the ſame as are in common upon the ſternpoſt, with a long iron ſpindle, to go through the eyes of all theſe bands, and which permits the rudder to riſe and fall, as the ſhip happens to ſtrike; and from the good report of foreign ſhips, as well as coaſters, that have tried this method, I think it ought to become more general, where the rudder head comes upon deck, or where it can be contrived to let the rudder and tiller riſe high enough for this purpoſe, which will ſave the ſtreſs from the ſternpoſt, as well as the rudder from breaking and unſhipping, which is often the caſe from the preſent practice, by having thoſe ſhort irons upon the rudder, that are chock'd and ſtopt, to prevent the rudder unſhipping.
THE many diſadvantages that I have ſeen to attend hauſe holes being too ſmall, makes me mention here, that it is abſolutely neceſſary, that all hauſe holes ſhould be made big enough at [Page 18] firſt, to admit the ſhip's cables when ſpliced with a ſhort ſplice, to go freely through them.
I PROFESS myſelf an advocate for tall maſts, and ſhort yards, from the example of ſhips in the coal and timber trades to the city of London, and from the experience I have had in ſhips ſailing faſter upon a wind, from ſhortning their yards, which muſt eaſe them by making every thing lighter, in proportion as the yards are ſhorter; even the expence is leſs at firſt fitting out, and to the ſhip and every thing aloft in wear and tear afterwards, and in ſailing her with fewer hands.
ALL maſts which are to be made from crooked poles, ſhould be made and fitted to ſtand with the back aft, that is with the projecting or crooked ends forward, which will make them ſtand upright without that great ſtreſs upon the ſtays, that has to act againſt all the other rigging, to prevent the maſts heads from raking too much aft, which is moſt commonly the caſe.
THE method we now practice of having few blocks, and little to phamper aloft, for eaſe and neatneſs, is certainly right, and ſhould be purſued as far as it can with ſafety, but I would adviſe not to carry this faſhion to an extreme, by having too many ſheave holes cut in the maſt heads, for I have known many top maſts break in the place of the ſheeve holes, under the rigging.
Topgallantmaſt going up and down abaft the topmaſts, I have found from experience, anſwers many good purpoſes in a cruiſing ſhip, and a great advantage to a ſhip that has much to turn to windward, as they may be ſtruck, and kept cloſe ſtruck occaſionally, with the whole topſails atrip.
THE ſquare ſails, ſuitable to taunt maſts and ſhort yards, as here recommended, will be in proportion, deep and narrow, which will trim and ſtand much fairer upon a wind, than if they were ſhallow and broader; and if the ſhip's imploy require it, will [Page 19] admit of larger ſtayſails, ſuch ſtayſails as are now made with judgment, not to hoiſt too high at the back of the ſquare ſails, to ſhake the wind out of them, but which permit all the ſails to ſtand to great advantage, clear of each other, as may be ſeen in the front plate, where the ſhip is repreſented in a light breeze ſailing cloſe by the wind.
To endeavour to make a ſhip ſail by the wind, [Note: Narrow deep ſquare ſails recommended.] and turn well to windward, deſerves the greateſt regard, becauſe, ſafety, as well as many other great benefits depend upon it. The good effects of deep and narrow ſquareſails, can't be better recommended to anſwer this purpoſe, than by the performance of ſhips in the coal and timber trades to London, tho' the deſign'd properties in building and fitting theſe ſhips, are burden at a ſmall draft of water, to take and bear the ground well, and to ſail with few hands, and little ballaſt, yet theſe ſhips perform ſo well at ſea, that the goverment often makes choice of them for ſtore ſhips, in the moſt diſtant naval expeditions; and in narrow channels among ſhoals, and turning to windward in narrow rivers, there are no ſhips of equal burthen can match them, for which I attribute a great deal, to their deep narrow ſquareſails, which may be perceived to trim ſo flat and fair, upon a wind, that all the canvaſs ſtands full, at a proper angle from the directions of the keel, ſo that the wind goes freely off from the lee leach of theſe ſails, without being much altered in its direction from one ſail to the back of the next, which is not the caſe, when a ſhip's ſquareſails are ſo broad as to overlap each other much, one ſail then ſhakes the next to it, and they extend ſo far to leeward, that the lee ſheets make the afterpart of the canvaſs, or lee leaches, ſtand rather, as ſo much back ſail to ſtop the ſhips way, or only to preſs the ſhip's ſide down and to leeward, which is the effect of all the canvaſs in a ſhips ſails, when it does not ſtand at a proper angle with the direction of the keel, when a ſhip is ſailing cloſe by the wind. Where a deal of canvaſs is wanted, to ſail faſt large, the narrow deep ſquareſails have in height, what they want in breadth; and all the flying ſails, including the topgallantſails as ſuch, being all of lighter canvaſs, may be made as large as things will admit of, to anſwer this purpoſe in little winds; and when it comes to blow ſo ſtrong, that theſe flying ſails can't be carried, then the ſtanding ſquareſails will be found broad enough.
I HAD the yards of a frigate-built ſhip ſhortened ſo much, and the mainſail made in proportion ſo narrow, that the maintack was [Page 20] hauled down through iron-bound blocks which hook'd to eye-bolts within board, fix'd for that purpoſe, and which made the ſail to ſtand much better, and work much eaſier than when at the cheſtree without board.
[Note: Foretacks to ſtand as far to windward as maintacks.]THE foretacks of all ſhips ſhould be made to ſtand by bumkins, or at the cat-heads, as far to windward as the maintacks, by which I have experienced, the foreſails will ſtand as near or nearer the wind, than the mainſail will when trim'd at the ſame angle, for the ſame reaſons, a collier's foretopſail ſtands upon a wind without a bowline, as the wind acts upon the head ſails, without being turned more aft from one ſail to the other abaft it.
[Note: The angles ſhips ſails ſtand at, upon a wind.]I HAVE taken the angles that the principal ſails ſtand at, from the direction of the keel, on board of a ſhip and ſloop as they have been turning to windward with a pleaſant breeze; the ſhip's mainſail and foreſail, with their topſails and topgallantſails above them trim'd, and ſtood at three points of the compaſs, which was at juſt half the angle the ſhip ſtem'd from the direction of the wind, which was at ſix points upon each tack, but the croſsjackyard at the ſame time required to be braced up to two points, and the mizentopſail-yard to a point and a half, ſo that the plain or body of the mizentopſail ſtood at a point and three quarters, or nineteen degrees; the mizen ſtood at about a point and a half or ſeventeen degrees, and the ſtayſails between the maſts ſtood at about the ſame angle ſeventeen degrees, when drawing full, and by the wind. The ſloop ſtem'd at five points of the compaſs from the direction of the wind, when her mainſail, foreſail, and jib ſtood at about half that angle, or two points and a half from the direction of the keel upon each tack.
[Note: Setting many ſails in an eaſy manner.]IN ſhips deſigned to carry many ſmall ſails in little winds, I have had the experience of turning to windward with thirty effectual ſails, ſet in a ſimple eaſy manner, and had them drawn, when in real practice at ſea, and they were as is repreſented in the front plate; beſides two jibs, foretopmaſtſtayſail, ſpritſail and ſpritſailtopſail, which are known to ſtand very well upon a wind, we had a foreſtayſail ſtood very well by our foremaſt ſtanding well aft, and the foretack well to windward, as before recommended; and by having two ſheeves in each truck, at our long topgallant mafts heads, we hoiſted the topgallant royals up to the trucks by the ſheeves on one ſide, and the main and mizen ſpindle ſtayſails by the ſheeves on the other ſide of the trucks, at the main and mizen topgallant mafts heads, we ſet a gaff topſail with a light yard ſlung by the thirds, [Page 21] hoiſted up through a block at the after part of the cap at the mizentopmaſthead, the tack hauled down on the weather ſide, to the after corners of the mizen top, and the ſheet to the gaff end; this ſail was eaſier managed and ſtood to more advantage than when ſet with a cumberſome heavy gaff, rigged at the mizentopmaſt head for that purpoſe; we ſet a large driver with a light pole for a boom, with two tail blocks at the ſmall or outer end, which we run out aft on either ſide, and laſhed it to the rail, ſo that the blocks on the outer end ſtood right aft, facing the middle of the ſtern, upon either tack, the driver ſlung by the third of the yard, like a log ſail hoiſted within about four feet of the end of the mizen gaff, which was about three feet longer than the mizen required it, on account of this ſail; the tack hauled down to the weather quarter piece on either tack, and the ſheet to the block amidſhips, with a bowline hauled to the mizen maſt, which made the ſail ſtand fair upon a wind, at an angle of about a point and a half, or ſixteen degrees from the direction of the keel, we ſet a foretopmaſt ſtudding ſail for a water ſail, the yard ſlung by the third, hauled out to the other tail block at the boom end, with the ſtraight leach or the ſheet clew uppermoſt, and made faſt to the weather corner of the ſtern rail, and the lower clew had two ſheets or lines led into the aftermoſt gunport or ſcupper in the waiſt on each ſide, ſo that in tacking when the wind was near a-head, we ſhifted the forepart of theſe ſails to the weather ſide, which trim'd them ready for the other tack, by which they prevented the ſhip from falling too much off, and had good effect upon her ſailing in a light breeze of wind; but when it came to blow freſh, the wind reflected from the mizen, ſhook the driver ſo much that we took it in when ſailing cloſe by the wind, and when we rigged in the boom, it lay ſnug fore and aft on one ſide, ſtopt to the rail and was much more out of the way than a cumberſome heavy yard, which is often uſed for a driver boom, and which lying acroſs is inconvenient, and holds wind when the ſhip is ſailing cloſe haul'd, and can only ſerve to ſet the [...]ail to advantage, when ſailing with the wind quartering, or before it.
IN ſailing any thing from the wind, to right before it, [Note: On ſailing lage with many ſail.] we eaſily ſhifted our driver boom to different parts of the ſtern, and by the heel ropes at the heavieſt end within board, trim'd it as the wind required, ſo as to make the driver and water ſail ſtand as fair and as far, or farther out from the ſhip, than could be done by a yard acroſs for a boom, as above mentioned. We ſet topgallant ſtudding [Page 22] ſails, without troubleſome and cumberſome booms on the topſail yards, by having thimbles fixed at the outer end of the topmaſt ſtudding ſail yards, we kept the tacks reeved and both ends made faſt to the inner yard arm, ſo that they could be come at from the topſail yard arm, to bend the tack and haul it out, which ſpread the ſails and made them ſtand very well, and ſhew'd with the driver and water ſail as in plate the 1ſt, where the ſhip is repreſented ſailing with all ſails ſet, with the wind quartering. But I muſt own we were obliged to ſtop the inner yard arm of the topmaſt ſtudding ſail, with the outer gaſket of the topſail yard arm, when the ſail was ſet abaft the topſail, to prevent the outer yard arm from flying forward.
IT is ſaid that we have ſhips that will bear and carry ſail ſo as to get to windward, or keep clear of a lee ſhore, as long as canvaſs will ſtand; in ſuch a caſe ſafety muſt often depend upon the ſails, therefore the method of making them ſhould have all the ſtrength that can be given to prevent their ſplitting in times of danger.
[Note: Sails how ſtrengthened in the making.]IT would contribute greatly to make canvaſs ſtand a ſtorm, and wear much longer, if the ſails were made with robbin, gromet, and point holes, in the middle of every ſeam, and about half an inch lower down in the ſail, than thoſe holes that are found neceſſary to be between the ſeams, and which fall in the ſingle part of the canvaſs, by this method the greateſt ſtrain will be upon the ſeams, which are the ſtrongeſt parts of a ſail, and will bear a greater ſtreſs than they will by the preſent practice of making all the above holes in the ſingle part of the canvaſs, clear of the ſeams, which is done to avoid as I ſuppoſe, cutting and ſewing through ſo many fold of canvaſs, for there is now made about the ſame quantity of holes as I would wiſh to recommend here, that is a hole in each ſeam and one midway between, which is enough for any ſail, and for the ſail that reefs by the foot, a point hole in each ſeam is found ſufficient.
I HAVE tried to manage the ſails in a cruizing veſſel, and in codſmacks a fiſhing, with robbins and points in the ſeamed parts of the ſails only, in order to reef and unreef them with more expedition, and lay the more ſtreſs where the principal ſtrength of the ſails lay, but found from experience that it requires robbins and points in the middle part of each cloth, to confine the ſails cleverly to the yards and gaffs; therefore the holes that are made in the ſingle part of the canvaſs ought to be a little higher up in the ſail, that the principal ſtreſs may be upon the ſeams which I reckon is about three times as ſtrong as the ſingle part of the canvaſs. When the ſail is [Page 23] ſeam prick'd, as all the foul weather ſails ought to be, in a zigzag or ſerpentine manner, as ſoon as they are ſtretched a little by wear, ſo that if the ſails are not confined to the yard, ſtays and gaffs, more by the ſeam'd part of the ſail than by the ſingle canvaſs, the weight of the ſeams will contribute to ſplit and wear out the ſingle canvaſs much ſooner, eſpecially when the ſails flap hard in gales of wind, or when obliged to carry ſail in little wind with a great rolling ſea.
INSTEAD of cutting theſe holes through ſo many folds of canvaſs at random with a knife, I take the liberty to recommend to have a round hollow tool or gouge with a mallet, and a block upon the knees, for the purpoſe of cutting the holes more regular.
WE ſhould avoid all unneceſſary rigging, as well as blocks, for every thing that the wind blows upon, about a ſhip, that don't ſtand in the plane of direction with the ſails, is a hindrance to the ſhip's ſailing upon a wind, therefore the running rigging ſhould not go double, where ſingle will anſwer the purpoſe. Thoſe ſtays to the long topgallantmaſts heads, and the cloſe net-work with bobs, which I have ſeen hanging under the fore part of ſhips tops are uſeleſs tophamper, and crowfeet there, in my opinion, do more harm than good.
WHERE the jibboom is to go through anupright cap at the bowſprit end, (which is certainly the beſt way) the end of the bowſprit through the cap, ſhould be left long enough for the collar of the foretopmaſt-ſtay to lie under it, and ſpread on each ſide of the cap, which anſwers good purpoſes, in keeping the ſtay ſo much farther forward, it ſtays the maſt better, and a larger foretopmaſt-ſtayſail may be ſet to advantage, and lets the jibboom go freely out and in as occaſion may require.
I have experienced the advantage of having the topſail yards, as well as the lower yards, rigged to hoiſt with a double block with two ſtraps upon the yard, to make the ſheaves ſtand fore and aft, and a double block with a long double ſtrap before the croſſtrees, with a leading block at the maſt head, to go as geers, inſtead of tyes, which are conſtantly chaſſing in the tye block upon the yards, by the ſheave ſtanding athwart the ſame way with the rolling motion of the ſhip, which makes the tyes ſo often break, but by the [Page 24] above method as geers, the ſheaves of the blocks ſtanding fore and aft, prevent the chaffing by the ſhips rolling motion.
I AM ſurprized to ſee continued in ſome ſhips, the old practice of having the mizentopſail braces and bowlines go acroſs, when they do as well on the ſame ſide, and gives a clear opening to ſet a large mizentopmaſt ſtayſail to great advantage.
I WOULD adviſe to have all ropes above ſix inches round, to be cable or double laid, [Note: Ropes above ſix inches to be cable laid.] that is with nine ſtrands, inſtead of three, with the ſame number of yarns; for reaſon as well as experience teaches us, that all ſingle or ſhroud laid ropes with three ſtrands only, and above ſix inches round, the outſide yarns in each ſtrand are ſtrained in making the rope hard enough, by being worm'd or twiſted round at ſo great a diſtance from the center, that the yarns about the middle of the ſtrands are by that means made to be ſlack, ſo that before they come to bear a ſtrain, the outſide yarns muſt be broke, that this is a fact may be perceived when opening a ſtrand of a large ſhroud-laid rope, one ſees there the inſide yarns are drawn up ſlack, when the outſide yarns are worn out and broke, for which reaſon I would recommend the ſtanding rigging above ſix inches to be cable laid, with the ſame quantity of yarns, which will be ſtronger than the ſhroud-laid rope, in proportion, as all the yarns lie in a ſtraighter direction with the length of the rope, conſequently, they all bear more equally a part of the ſtrain.
I HAVE tried the ſtrength of a number of threads together, made faſt to a ſcale beam, firſt, laid in a ſtraight direction, without any twiſt, like to a ſolvigee; ſecond, the ſame number moderately twiſted; third, an equal quantity twiſted more, and found from repeated experiments, that thoſe with the moderate twiſt, bore the greateſt weight before they broke, and that a number of threads joined together will not bear a proportional weight to one of them ſingly, that is, ten threads comes a great way ſhort of bearing ten times the weight that one thread bore ſingly, and I reckon the caſe is the ſame with a rope and one of its yarns.
A Ship ſailing, ſteering, ſtaying and waring, and being lively and comparitively eaſy at ſea in a ſtorm, in my opinion, depends greatly on the cargo, ballaſt, or other materials, being properly [Page 25] ſtowed according to their weight and bulk, and the proportional dimentions of the built of the ſhip, which may be made too crank, or too ſtiff, to paſs through the ocean with ſafety; which makes this branch of knowledge of ſuch conſequence, that rules for it ought to be endeavoured after, if, but to prevent, as much as poſſible, the danger of a ſhip overſetting at ſea, or being ſo labourſome as to roll away her maſts, &c. by being improperly ſtowed, which is often the caſe.
BUT this ſubject requires and deſerves encouragement for the labour of ſome of our greateſt mathematicians, to account from fix'd principles, and give reaſons, why ſhips, or the ſame ſhip, may be thus differently effected by ſtowage, ſo as to inſtruct ſeamen in this moſt important point of duty, becauſe, ſucceſs, as well as ſafety, may greatly depend upon it; for it is known that our government has had two ſhips of war built by the ſame mold, fitted out in the ſame manner, and with the ſame materials, as near as poſſible, yet one ſhip anſwered much better than the other, this can only proceed from different management, which induces me, ſailor-like, not to halt before I find myſelf quite lam'd, but to puſh forward, at all hazard, to endeavour to explain what I know, from experience and obſervation, which I hope will be found of ſome ſervice, if it but induces others more capable, to conſider and treat on this moſt important ſubject, with that attention and to that extent it deſerves.
WHEN a ſhip is new, it is prudent to conſult the builder, who may be ſuppoſed acquainted with the ſhip of his own planning, and moſt likely to judge what her properties will be, to adviſe how the cargo or materials, according to the nature of them, ought to be diſpoſed of to advantage, ſo as to put her in the beſt ſailing trim; but I would recommend trials at every favourable opportunity afterwards, to find out or to confirm which is the beſt trim of a ſhip for ſailing; as experience is the only guide.
I was in a fine ſhip which did not ſail to expectation, [Note: Experience the only method for finding ſhips beſt ſailing trim.] and the fault was always laid on her not being ſtowed to ſwim at her propoſed trim, which was ſo much by the ſtern, that a full part coming into the water aft near her loading mark, prevented her ſtowing the cargo ſo as to bring her to that deſigned trim, but when the experiment came to be tried, to ſwim her more upon an even keel, ſo as to keep the too full part more out of the water, the ſhip then ſailed much better. I have been cruizing in concert with a ſhip that we outſailed every way, but by their taking their anchors from her [Page 26] bows and ſtowing them abaft the bitts, gave her the advantage in outſailing us after that, both by the wind and large.
[Note: What ſort of ſhips may require different management in ſtowing.]SHIPS muſt differ in their form and proportional dimentions, to make them anſwer their different purpoſes, they will require different management, in the ſtowage, which ought not to be left to meer chance, or done at random, as goods or materials happen to come to hand, which is too often the cauſe, that ſuch improper ſtowage makes ſhips unfit for ſea, therefore the ſtowage ſhould be conſidered, planned, and contrived according to the built and properties of the ſhip, and which if they are not known ſhould be enquired after; if ſhe is narrow and high-built in proportion, ſo that ſhe will not ſhift herſelf without a great weight in the hold, it is a certain ſign that this ſhip will require a great part of heavy goods, ballaſt, or materials laid low in the hold, to make her ſtiff enough to bear ſufficient ſail, without being in danger of overſetting. But a ſhip that is built broad and low, in proportion, ſo that ſhe is ſtiff and will ſupport herſelf without any weight in the hold, this ſhip will require heavy goods, ballaſt, or materials ſtowed higher up, to prevent her from being too ſtiff, and labourſome at ſea, ſo as to endanger her maſts being rolled away, and the hull worked looſe and made leaky.
[Note: The bad conſequence attending ſhips too crank or too ſtiff]I SPEAK from experience, having been in ſhips of both extremes, ſome too crank, and others too ſtiff, and I have been in company with a ſhip ſo ſtowed as to be ſo crank as proved fatal to her and crew, which laſt is the moſt dangerous of the two extremes.
THE bad conſequence of a ſhip being too ſtiff, I experienced in one of the Governments old twenty gun ſhips, which was bought and fitted out with lighter guns and materials than ſhe formerly carried, and was loaded with a general cargo of different goods for the Weſt-Indies, ſhe was but about fourteen days at ſea, when down came our main yard, occaſioned by the new main tye, being chafed to pieces in the middle of the rope, or inſide of the ſtrands, by one ſtrand rubbing againſt the other, from the ſhips extraordinary quick rolling motion, and which ſoon wore out the other rigging, and alſo work'd looſe the hull in proportion. With quite a full ſhip from Jamaica, we have rolled away a new ſet of main lanyards in one night, though we uſed in the ſtowing her, all poſſible means that the goods of the different cargoes we carried would admit of, ſo as to lay the heavieſt part as high in the middle of the ſhip as we could, to overcome this bad property; notwithſtanding which when in company with other ſhips, in fine weather, ſailing before the wind [Page 27] with a long following ſwell of a ſea, they all carried their topgallantſails and ſtudding ſails, without any inconveniency or danger, when we were obliged to take in our ſtuddingſails, topgallantſails, &c. and lower the topſails half maſt, to ſave the topmaſts from being rolled away. We loaded a cargo of lead and leather, &c. for Leghorn, and ſtowed the lead upon a great height of leather, which we ſcrewed down with boards upon it, to ſupport the lead at a proper height, to keep the ſhip tolerable eaſy in the ſea, which anſwered our deſign, the firſt part of the paſſage very well, but the ſhip working by the motion of the ſea, occaſioned the lead by its weight to preſs the leather a great deal lower, in the latter part of the paſſage, by which ſhe became ſo labourſome as to roll away two topmaſts in ſpite of our beſt endeavours. This experience convinced me, that this ſhip was too broad, and her decks ſay too low in proportion for a merchant ſhip, for carrying general cargoes to the beſt advantage, but ſhe was more fit for what ſhe was firſt deſigned, viz. to carry heavy guns and heavy materials above water, which could counterpoiſe and make her more eaſy in great ſeas.
BUT there are good properties mix'd with bad ones, in ſhips of all conſtructions, the above mentioned ſhip was ſo ſtiff without ballaſt, that we have laid in an open road with the topmaſts an end, and guns upon deck with a clean ſwept hold, ready for her cargo, and we had the advantage of carrying a preſſing ſail, with an upright ſide upon a wind, our principal care was to look up at the maſt to ſee how much they bent, to prevent their being carried away, when the crank ſhip's ſide would be preſſed down, and make her go heeling much along at the ſame time. But when two ſhips of theſe different properties, meet with turbulent dangerous high waves, then the extraordinary ſtiff ſhip, will be ſo labourſome by a quick jerking deep rolling motion, as not only to endanger the loſs of the ſails, rigging, and maſts, but the hull may be work'd looſe and made leaky, by the ſame violent rolling motion, when the crank ſhip in company at the ſame time, may be comparitively eaſy in riſing and falling with the waves, without that deſtructive rolling motion; for when ſhe is turned upon one ſide, by the force of the wind or waves, her recovery is ſo ſlow, that a danger is apprehended of her not riſing upright again, which ſlow motion is the cauſe that ſhe receives little or no damage, when the ſtiff ſhip may be greatly diſtreſſed.
[Page 28] [Note: The medium of being neither too ſtiff nor too crank to be endeavour'd after.]THIS ſhows there muſt be a medium for the beſt proportioned breadth of a ſhip, according to her deſigned buſineſs, and which ſhould be endeavoured after, that ſhe may be ſtowed neither too crank nor too ſtiff, and which is ſuch as to admit the ſhip to yield or heel to her ſails, when the maſts are in danger of being carried away by being overpreſſed, for that ſhip is ſufficiently ſtiff for any purpoſe, that will bear to carry away her maſts before ſhe will overſet, if this trim could be hit upon, by any rules for the conſtruction and ſtowing of a ſhip, it would be of great advantage to make them paſs through the ocean with more caſe, and conſequently, leſs damage, for the overſtiff ſhip, when pres'd hard with ſail, ſtrains every thing imperceptably to a dangerous degree, and to guard againſt her maſts being carried away, obliges to keep a conſtant looking up, to ſee how much they bend, which can't be ſo much attended to, as when the ſhip heels in proportion as ſhe is overpreſs'd, which gives the ſureſt warning to take in ſail in proper time.
[Note: The weightieſt part of the cargo or materials ought to lie in the main body of the ſhip.]IN order to help a ſhip's ſailing, and to be lively and eaſy in her pitching, and ſending motions, it ſhould be contrived by the ſtowage, that the principal and weightieſt part of the cargo, or materials, ſhould lie as near the main body of the ſhip, and as far from the extreme ends, fore and aft, as things will admit of. For it ſhould be conſidered, that the roomy part of our ſhips, lengthways, form a ſweep or curve, near four times as long as they are broad, therefore, thoſe roomy parts at, and above the waters edge, which are made by a full harpen, and a broad tranſome to ſupport the ſhip ſteady, and keep her from plunging into the ſea, and alſo by the entrance and run of the ſhip, having little or no bearing body under, for the preſſure of the water to ſupport them, therefore, ſhould not be ſtowed with heavy goods or materials, but all the neceſſary vacancies, broken ſtowage, or light goods, ſhould be at theſe extreme ends fore and aft, and in proportion, as they are kept lighter by the ſtowage, the ſhip will be more lively to fall and riſe eaſy in great ſeas, and will contribute greatly to her working, and ſailing, and to preſerve her from ſtraining and hoging, for which reaſon I think it a wrong practice to leave ſuch a large vacancy in the main hatchway, as is uſual to coil and work the cables, which ought to be in the fore or after hatchway, that the principal weight may be more eaſily ſtowed in the main body of the ſhip, above the flatteſt and loweſt floorings, where the preſſure of the water acts the more to ſupport it, as mentioned page the 9th on the preſſure of water.
THESE are fundamental points which are certainly in a ſhip; and her trim, as laſt mentioned, depends upon their places, but ſo little are they underſtood, as I have been told, that a great ſea officer was heard to ſay, when his ſhip was labouring hard in a rough ſea, how ſhould ſhe but roll when ſhe had ſo much top-hamper? which was aſcribing the effect to a wrong cauſe, and what will be often the caſe till the fundamental principles are known; I am therefore emboldened to endeavour to communicate what I have learned of theſe difficult points, hoping an abler pen, will ſome time undertake to mend and make up my defects, in the knowledge of theſe points, that they may become uſeful to ſeamanſhip.
THE center of cavity of a ſhip, [Note: On the center of cavity] is a point in the middle of the hold, or hollow buoyant part of the hull, which ſupports her loading and her materials, but it is in reality the cavity, or the center of the bearing part of the ſhips body, that is immerſed in the water, that acts to ſupport her in all the different ſituations, and motions a ſhip is ſubject to, which occaſions this center of the cavity immerſed, to be always ſhifting its place, as the different parts of the ſhips hull happen to be in the water, it moves from being about the midſhip, when the ſhip ſwims upright and upon an even keel, to forward or aft, as the ſhip is trim'd more by the head or ſtern, and from one ſide to the other, in proportion as the ſhip is made to heel.
THE center of gravity of a ſhip, is a point ſome where in her, [Note: And center of gravity.] where the weight of the whole ſhip, cargo and materials in and about her is brought to a point; when the ſhip ſwims upright and upon an even keel, it is ſome where in a line of direction from the ſtem to the ſternpoſt, and where another line would croſs it about the midſhip frame, from one ſide to the other, where, if the ſhip could be ſuſpended in air, ſhe would lye in any poſition ſhe was put into.
BUT the center of gravity of a ſhip, is always liable to alter its place, higher or lower, more forward or aft, on one ſide or the other, according to the ſtreſs or weight that happens to be laid, upon the different parts of the ſhip or her materials, not only by the management of the ſtowage, but by the power and preſſure of the waves and wind.
[Page 30] [Note: Why a ſhip overſets and what ſupports her from over ſetting.]THE center of gravity of a ſhip, as in other heavy bodies, has always a tendency to deſcend towards the center of our globe, whether the ſhip is on ſhore or afloat, if it is not prevented from falling by a baſe or bottom, that ſpreads without this point to ſupport it. For whenever it happens that a ſhip is laid on ſhore, and heels ſo much that the center of gravity overhangs that part of the ſhips bilge, upon the ground, that ought to ſupport it, the ſhip will be ſure to tumble over, if not prevented by ſome means. And when a ſhip is afloat, if ever ſhe heels ſo much, that the center of gravity goes farther over to one ſide than the center of cavity, or the middle of the bearing part of the ſhips body, then immerſed in the water, the ſhip will overſet; but whilſt the center of cavity immerſed, goes faſter and farther over to the ſhips ſide in her motions, ſo as to keep without the perpendicular of the center of gravity, the ſhip will be ſupported from overſetting, and the water will act upon the center of cavity immerſed, in proportion to its diſtance without the center of gravity, with more or leſs power, to bring the ſhip upright again, as ſoon as the force of the wind or waves ceaſes, or the power or weight is taken off or ſhifted, that occaſioned the ſhip to heel or turn on one ſide.
[Note: On the center of motion.]THE center of motion of a ſhip, depends upon the places of the center of cavity and gravity, as laſt mentioned, and as they alter, the center of motion ſhifts its place, but in ſhips, as in other heavy bodies in motion, this point always endeavours to be, at the ſame place with the center of gravity, and it is really ſo, when the center of gravity is above the ſurface of the water, and the ſhip is afloat; but when the center of gravity is below the ſurface of the water, and the water ſmooth, then the center of motion is at the water's edge, which I found by experiments that I made with models of ſhips, about three feet long, in a trough of water.
[Note: Experiments on models of ſhips to find out their center of motion.]I FIRST tried a model that was made exact from a draft well deſigned for a faſt ſailing ſhip, with a rounding bottom, as has been recommended, it was quite light, and had only a mainmaſt in, to heel her by, ſhe ſwam upright, and drew three inches water aft, and two forward, I then ſtuck pins in, at the water's edge, in the middle of the ſtem and ſternpoſt, then heel'd her gunnels in, by the mainmaſt head, which cauſed the pins in the ſtem and ſternpoſt to riſe out of the water, and form a ſweep upwards, that made it evident, the center of motion was higher up: then I tried where her center of gravity was, by ſuſpending her in air, between two pointed irons, in the middle of the ſtem and ſternpoſt, and [Page 31] found it about an inch and a half above the pins, at the water's edge, and found the points of ſuſpenſion on each ſide, about the ſame height above water a midſhips; I ſtuck pins in theſe four points, pointing to the center of gravity in the hold, I found by repeated trials, that theſe upper pins or points, were the axis or the center of motion that ſhe turn'd upon; when making her heel and roll, thoſe upper pins in the ſtem and ſternpoſt had little or no motion, whilſt thoſe pins at the water's edge, roſe out of the water as ſhe moved from ſide to ſide; and when ſhe was made to pitch and ſoond, by preſſing her down fore and aft, thoſe pins on each ſide amidſhips, ſeemed to have little or no motion, whilſt I confin'd them as ſteady as poſſible to a point.
I LOADED the ſame model with lead, till ſhe drew four inches and a quarter fore and aft, there ſtuck in pins at the water's edge, in the ſtem and ſternpoſt, and found the center of gravity, two inches and a quarter below theſe pins, then heeling her in the water, gunnel in, each way as before, found the pins in the ſtem and ſternpoſt, to continue at the ſurface of the water. I raiſed the lead higher up in the hold, till I found the center of gravity at the water's edge, then heeling her in the water as before, found the center of motion at the ſame place. I raiſed the lead ſtill higher, till the center of gravity was about half an inch above the pins, at the water's edge, then the model would juſt hear herſelf from overſetting, in this trial the center of motion was at the ſame place with the center of gravity, about half an inch above the ſurface of the water.
I TRIED a model of a high full built ſhip, that was rigg'd, and had guns upon deck, ſo that ſhe would but juſt ſupport herſelf from overſetting, ſhe drew five inches water forward, and ſix inches and a half aft, ſtuck pins in the middle of the ſtem and ſternpoſt at the water's edge as before, and found the center of gravity fore and aft, an inch and a half above theſe pins at the water's edge, there put in pins, and tried by heeling her in water as above, and found theſe upper pins, the center of motion or axis, that ſhe turn'd upon, which will always be the caſe, when the center of gravity is above the ſurface of the water, an inſtance of a ſhip launched, agreed with and confirmed the above experiments.
A MERCHANT ſhip built with a high and ornamented top, [Note: The center of motion ſhown by the launching of a ſhip.] upon a narrow thin bottom, having her lower maſts in, and rigged when ſhe was launched, and as is common at ſuch times, had a great many people upon deck, all theſe raiſed the center of gravity ſo high, and the center of cavity immerſed lay ſo low in her ſharp bottom, [Page 32] when ſhe came into the water, that it would not ſupport her upright, but ſhe ſallied and laid down on one ſide, with the black ſtrake above the bends amidſhips in the water, this frightened the people upon deck, and all getting upon the upper ſide, ſhe then ſallied or rolled over as low the other way, and the people as before ſhifted themſelves to the contrary ſide, which made her keep conſtantly thus ſallying, whilſt they towed her with boats about half a mile, and got her to a ſide, where the people gladly got out of her.
SHE was launched without her rudder, and I had the opportunity of being near her, and obſerved a boat under her ſtern that was held by a man with the boats ſtem cloſe to a rudder-band, about three feet above the water's edge, which rudder-band I perceived to have little or no motion, but was the axis of the center of gravity, and motion, that ſhe turned upon, while ſhe was thus ſallying or rolling, with her upper works in the water, which I reckoned was as high above water, as the keel was under water amidſhips, when the ſhip was upright.
CAUSES are beſt diſcovered by their effect, from experience and obſervation we muſt find out true principles. This ſhip's ſharp bottom in the water, when ſhe was upright, made too ſmall a baſe, and the center of cavity lay too low, to ſupport her upright, with the center of gravity lying ſo high above water, that it made her ſally or lie down on one ſide, till that brought a broader baſe into the water, and the center of cavity (then immerſed) higher up, and farther over, and without the center of gravity, ſo that the center of cavity then became as a prop, to ſupport the ſhip from going lower, as ſhe ſallied each way, and in this caſe, the center of cavity was the center of motion, that ſhe turned upon, when her ſide was laid down; for all the weight and power that was without the center of cavity acted as a lever, the ſame as when ſhips are hove down keel out, that lifted the center of gravity a little, as ſhe ſallied, which ſoon preponderated again, [Note: The center of gravity and motion are at the ſame place in great ſeas, and a ſhips behaviour depends upon that place.] and the people always moving over to the upper ſide, accounts for this ſhip's ſallying.
THIS ſhip's behaviour, and the above experiments, in my opinion, make it evident, that the center of motion of a ſhip, is at the center of gravity, and according to the built of the ſhip, and her center of gravity, being higher up or lower down, the different properties or behaviour of ſhips, may be accounted for; from the conſtruction of the above ſhip, when loaded with refined ſalt, that juſt fil'd her, the center of gravity being then a great height, the report of her performance at ſea was that ſhe anſwered very well, and [Page 33] was remarkably eaſy in her rolling motion, in great ſeas, tho' the ſpectators at her launching, expreſſed themſelves, that they would be loath to go in her to ſea, on account of her rolling.
ITS a known property of all heavy bodies, [Note: Heavy bodies turn in ſwift motion upon their center of gravity and bring their heavieſt end foremoſt.] forced into quick motion through air, or water, that they turn upon their center of gravity as their center of motion. I have ſeen a bomb ſhell turn round in the air, by the center of gravity being near the middle: and where the center of gravity lies near one end, that heavieſt end will go foremoſt in all directions, upwards as well as downwards, as may be ſeen in [...]kyrockets, and arrows ſhot from bows; an arrow ſhot with the light end upwards, immediately turns upon its center of gravity for its center of motion. The ſame cauſes produce the ſame effects upon ſhips, when by high mountainous waves they are toſſed up and down, with a violent quick motion.
IT muſt be allowed that there is a point in a ſhip which may be called the center of motion, and which ſhe turns upon, conſequently it has leſs motion than any other part of the ſhip, when rolling, pitching, ſcending, or in any other motion, a ſhip is ſubject to, in great ſeas, when its place is then at the center of gravity, which lying higher, or lower, according to the built of the ſhip, contributes to make her comparitively eaſy, or uneaſy, in high waves.
SUPPOSE a well proportioned ſhip for carrying cargoes in general, [Note: Reaſons why a well proportioned ſhip may be eaſy or uneaſy.] could be when loaded, ſo that the center of gravity and motion were even with the ſurface of the water, this would make her remarkably eaſy in her rolling in great ſeas. And again, to ſuppoſe the ſame ſhip without dunnage, to be loaded with lead, which is eleven times heavier than its bulk of water; in a ſmooth ſea, this might ſeem a benefit by making her extraordinary ſtiff upon a wind, and what little ſhe was made to heel to her ſail, would turn upon the center of motion at the waters edge, but if ſhe ſhould meet with great ſeas, ſo that ſhe muſt riſe and fall, in proportion to the height and quickneſs of the waves, that would give liberty for the center of motion to act with its natural tendency, to the center of gravity, which by this ſlowage would be laid ſo low, that the ſhip would roll away her maſts, and be in danger of foundering, by working her hull to pieces.
FOR a further confirmation of the above opinion, [Note: The properties of a collier cat loaden with timber.] I examined into the properties of a collier cat, of about five hundred tons burden, that carried her loading of Riga timber, without any ballaſt in the hold, and had about a ninth part of her cargo upon deck and on the quarters, and was ſufficiently ſtiff, and remarkably eaſy in her [Page 34] rolling, in great ſeas, comparative to what ſhe was, when loaden with Newcaſtle coal, though ſhe carried herſelf full of them, yet ſhe was then remarkably labourſome in her rolling. And this difference may be accounted for, from the above principles, for when this ſhip was loaded with Riga timber, which is lighter than its bulk of water, it was computed, that about a third part of her cargo lay above the water's edge, at her loaded mark, which would bring the center of gravity and motion as high as the ſurface of the water, when ſhe drew about ſixteen feet amidſhips; from thence to the upper part of the rigging at the maintopgallantmaſt head, meaſured one hundred and eight feet, which is ſomewhat leſs than ſeven eight parts of the whole, above water; and above the center of motion; and is more than an eighth part under water, and below the center of motion, and what made her ſufficiently ſtiff, was, her extraordinary breadth, and the tight free board, or upper works, above the loaded mark, that ſupported the center of gravity ſo high, and that occaſioned her to be ſo remarkable eaſy in her rolling, as the water and waves acted at the leaſt diſtance, and with the leaſt power poſſible, above the center of motion, on that ſmall part of her hull above her load mark, to move, and give any degree of violent rolling motion, to ſo large a part of her body, that was under water, and below the center of gravity and motion; for what her keel was made to move ſide ways, her topgallantmaſt head had a little leſs than ſeven times more to move in the ſame time, [Note: The difference of being loaded with timber and coal.] therefore her rolling motion muſt be much leſs, and eaſier in great ſeas, than it would be, if ſhe was loaded with coal, which is heavier than its bulk of water, and would make the center of gravity and motion lie ſo much lower down in the hold, ſuppoſe four feet below her load mark when ſhe drew ſixteen feet water; in this caſe, the water is perpetually acting with an additional power, on that four feet of the cavity of the ſhips hull, that is immerſed above the center of gravity, to ſupport the ſhip, and make her ſo much ſtiffer, to carry more ſail upon a wind with an upright ſide, in ſmooth water, as before mentioned; and the ſame cauſe will make her more labourſome in great ſeas, when ſhe comes to be lifted up, with a ſwift motion, from the bottom to the top of a high ſteep mountainous wave, that may break in upon deck at the ſame time, as repreſented, plate the 6th on ſhips lying too. The aſcending ſide of the waves in this caſe acts, with an additional power, to turn the ſhip bodily more on her lee-ſide, in proportion, as the center of gravity and motion lie lower, than when ſhe was loaded with timber, and at the ſame time like other heavy bodies in motion upwards, ſhe has [Page 35] a greater tendency to turn her bottom more up, as the center of gravity lies lower, as mentioned page the 33d, and in proportion, as theſe combin'd cauſes have turn'd the ſhips weather ſide up, at the top of the wave, which then leaves the weather ſide, with more of the bottom lower down, without water to ſupport it, which muſt naturally fall on the deſcending ſide of the wave, which now acts on the lee ſide of the ſhip, to turn and plunge the weather ſide into the hollow of the next wave, which will act as before, to give the ſhip more violent rolling motions, according to her breadth, and the height the waves have to act upon the ſhip's hull, above the center of gravity, and motion, which now lies a little leſs than a tenth part, from the keel to the top gallantmaſt head, ſo that for every foot her keel is made to move by the above powers, ſide ways, the maſt head has nine feet to move, in the ſame time, inſtead of ſeven, with a ſlower motion, which was the caſe when ſhe was loaded with timber, which I hope will be underſtood to account for the difference, why ſhe is more labourſome when loaded with coals than with timber. [Note: The conſequence of loading lead without dunnage.] And to ſuppoſe this ſhip was to be loaden to the ſame draft of water, without any dunnage in the bottom with lead, which is eleven times heavier than its bulk of water, which might bring the center of gravity and motion eight feet below the waters edge, and within eight feet of the lower part of the keel, which is little leſs than a fifteenth part from the keel to the topgallantmaſthead, in ſuch a trim its well known from experience, that in a ſtorm, the above mentioned cauſes would act with ſo much more power, to give her more quick violent rolling motion, and for every foot her keel was made to move ſideways, the maſt head would have to move fourteen feet in the ſame time, which would be ſure to make her roll away her maſts, in the firſt place, and after that, become ſo much more labourſome, for want of them, ſo as to be in great danger of foundering, by working looſe the hull.
I HOPE what has been ſaid on this important ſubject, makes the principles underſtood, how ſhips act, and how they are acted upon, by thoſe natural cauſes above mentioned, and the neceſſity there is to try every expedient, that may prevent the loſs and damage that is done by ſhips being too crank, or too ſtiff; for I am convinced from experience and obſervation, that it is not the ſhape of the ſhips bottom, that makes her eaſy or uneaſy in her rolling motion, which is a common notion, but it is the center of gravity lying higher or lower, according to the breadth and height of the veſſel, the water acts with more or leſs power, that makes narrow built [Page 36] ſhips fitteſt to carry heavy cargoes, with the leaſt expence of dunnage, and for light bulky cargoes, broad ſhips will anſwer beſt; as the above mentioned ſhip was much eaſier in her rolling motion, when loaded with timber, than with coals, which was a certain ſign that her deck lay too low, for her breadth, to carry that cargo with eaſe in great ſeas; and by account, ſhe was ſtiff enough quite light, to bear ſail to go any where, and only took in ballaſt, to make her ſail better by the wind, ſo that its evident, that this ſhip, as well as all others, [Note: Experiments recommended, to find out ſhips beſt trim, by their different degrees of ſtiffneſs.] have their ſafeſt, eaſieſt, and beſt trim; and that depends upon their different degrees of ſtiffneſs, which in my opinion might be found out, by making nice obſervations how much the ſhip is made to heel when hoiſting the long-boat in and out, o [...] in the tackles along ſide, clear of the water, which is ſuppoſed to be ſmooth, and the ſhip quite upright, when the experiment is [...] and the remarks how much the ſhip is made to heel, may be reade by various ways, as by water upon deck ſtanding in p [...] places, or running over from one ſide of the deck to the other, by making marks at the water's edge without board, by meaſuring the different heights of the gunnels, in the broadeſt part from the water's edge, by a plumb-line in the higheſt vacancy within board, from any fix'd thing above, and down into a vacant hatchway, or from the middle of the after part of the companion, to the cabbin deck, or bulk head of the cabin, or from the middle of the fore or after part of the mizentop upon deck, &c. and to ſet down the remarks in the log book, with the draft of water, and the ſhips behaviour at ſea each time the experiment is tried, which in time, by taking pains, might become of great ſervice, and in the above mentioned ſhip by this practice, would be found a very ſenſible difference, by her heeling more when loaden with timber, than with coal, as above mentioned; in caſe ſhe was to load lead, or iron, a judgment might be formed by this experiment, how the ſtowage would anſwer, ſo that in this, or any other ſhip, where there had been ſufficient experience, by this practice, the ſtowage might be altered as occaſion might require, before ſhe went to ſea: where ſhips are too ſtiff, or too big for the long-boat to be heavy enough for this purpoſe, the long-boat might be filled with water, to a certain height, each time: and in ſhips of war, might be added to the weight of the long boat, a certain number of guns, by being run out on one ſide, cloſe over to the other; and they might alter her trim as experience might require, by ſtowing the iron or heavy ballaſt, higher or lower, in the main body of the ſhip.
IT is ſuppoſed that the ſhip is now ſtow'd and trim'd to the beſt advantage, and that every thing is ready for ſea. [Note: To ſail with the ſtood tide, recommended.] If it's in a tide way it ſhould be a rule, when the wind ſerves, to get under way and ſail againſt the flood, which gives time to get in the moorings, or the anchor up and ſtowed away at pleaſure; and the ſhip may be ſteered without danger in little room through a croud of ſhips, ſhould any be in the way, or through narrow or ſhoal channels with a flowing tide; by which means many riſks may be avoided.
To prevent the difficulty that often happens in getting the anchor, [Note: To heave ape [...]k, with the firſt of a windwa [...]d tide, recommended.] when it blows freſh with a windward tide, when the tide firſt ſets, or makes right to windward, you ſhould heave in the cable as it ſlacks, till the anchor is apeek, before the ſhip ſwings end on the tide, to bring the wind aft, that may keep the ſhip ahead of the anchor, with the cable ſo tight under the bows and bottom, that it cannot be hove in, without breaking the ſhips ſheer, by putting the helm hard over, firſt one way then the other; this ſlacks the cable, ſo that it may be hove in briſkly for the time the ſhip ſheers broad ſide to the tide, from one ſide of the anchor to the other, but the ſhip is liable to get ſo much head way in the time of ſheering, that makes her bring up with ſo powerful and ſudden a [...]erk, that I have had the experience: of breaking the cable by this practice in the Downs, which obliged us to ſtay there with a fair [...]nd, to get our anchor again.
IF you are under a neceſſity of getting under way with the wind and tide in the ſame direction, [Note: To conſult the officers on neceſſity occaſions, [...] m [...]d,] and ſhips or [...]oals lie near right a-ſtern, dangerouſly, in the way you are to go; in ſuch a ſituation or any other that happens to be dangerous, I would recommend, where time will admit of it, to [...]d every capable officer to look about with attention, where the danger lies, to conſider and conſult what is beſt to be done, and what can be expected for the ſhip to do, on the occaſion, and eſpecially if there be but little wind, [Page 38] ſuppoſe it to blow at the rate of ſix miles an hour, which at an anchor, will ſeem a commanding breeze; but it ſhould be conſidered, that if the tide runs at three miles an hour, when the ſhip is under way ſhe will loſe onehalf of the winds power, that may hinder her from performing what may be expected from the moſt dexterous management. [Note: The method of proceeding to be made known.] And after the opinions are heard, the intended method of proceeding, ſhould be made known, that none through ignorance may hinder, but that all may know how to help to put the deſign in practice, whether the ſhip is to be ſhot a-head, or backed a-ſtern of the danger; this might contribute greatly to prevent loſs or damage that is often done by weighing the anchor, and proceeding without thought of the difficulties that often attend getting a ſhip ſafely under way, in narrow or crowded places, and making a ſtern board is frequently neceſſary, and the beſt management depends ſo much on the right ordering of the helm, the effects of which, on theſe occaſions, I ſhall endeavour to explain.
WHAT we call the helm is the tiller, that turns the rudder on either ſide, of the after part of the keel and ſtern-poſt, for the water to act upon, as the management of the ſhip may require; and as ſhips differ in breadth abaft, ſo ſhould the tiller in its length; that is, the tiller ſhould be juſt long enough to reach cloſe over to each ſide, when the rudder ſtands at an angle of 33 degrees or bears three points of the compaſs from the direction of the keel, which is generally allowed to anſwer beſt; for to make the rudder go more over, is found from experience to increaſe the reſiſtance of the ſhip's way, which leſſens the power of the rudder, to ſteer and manage the ſhip, in proportion as ſhe loſes her way through the water. [Note: Fault of the helm going too much over.] Yet in boats and larger veſſels, where the rudder and tiller admit of it, I have ſeen people ſo ſtupid, as to put the helm in tacking almoſt right athwart the ſtern, which tends more to ſtop the veſſels way, than to bring her head round againſt the wind and waves, from one tack to the other. This ſhews how neceſſary it is as far as poſſible, to have things fixed by the beſt rules, to prevent ſuch bad practice.
To confirm that the angle of 33 degrees is ſufficient, with a bevil I tried the rudders of many ſhips, ſome built ſharp for ſailing, others [Page 39] full for carrying, Dutch as well as Engliſh, and found ſome, [Note: Fault of the helm not going enough over.] tho' very few of their rudders, that ſtood at ſo large an angle as 33 degrees, but moſt at about 30 degrees, and ſeveral at but about 28 degrees or two points and a half, which is certainly a fault, to looſe any of the rudders outmoſt power, becauſe it is often wanted on the moſt important occaſions, when ſafety may depend upon it.
MOVING the helm can have no effect to manage a ſhip but when ſhe paſſes through the water, or the water paſſes by her, in a tide or currents way, then the water gives equal power to the helm, as if the ſhip went at that rate through the water.
WHEN the helm is a midſhips, the rudder can have no effect to turn the ſhip either way, as it then ſtands in the ſame direction with the keel and ſternpoſt; but ſuppoſe the helm put to ſtarboard, [Note: The effect of the water upon the rudder.] it turns the rudder towards the larboard ſide of the ſhip, which makes the larboard ſide of the rudder to reſiſt the water, which acts with a power according to its velocity, or the ſhip's head way thro' the water, againſt the larboard ſide of the rudder, to turn the ſhip's ſtern to ſtarboard, and conſequently her head to port, and the center of this turning motion; is allow'd to be at the ſhips center of gravity, as mentioned page the 14th. It may eaſily be perceived that when the helm is put hard a port, how it acts, from the ſame cauſes to turn the ſhips head to ſtarboard, as may be ſeen by looking at plate the 7th, where the plane of a ſhip, in three different ſituations is repreſented with the helm hard a-port, which makes it evident that when the ſhip has headway, the water muſt act againſt the ſtarboard ſide of the rudder, in a direction ſo as to turn the ſhips ſtern to port, or towards that ſide the helm or tiller is put upon, and her head to ſtarboard from that ſide that the helm lies, as abovementioned.
WHEN a ſhip gets ſternway through the water, the helm has juſt the contrary effect upon the ſhip, to what it has when ſhe has headway; as may be perceived by the abovementioned figures, [Page 40] plate the 7th, with the helm hard a port, when the ſhip gets ſternway, the larboard ſide of the rudder, [Note: The effect of the rudder when ſternway.] in that direction, is the firſt part of the ſhip that the water acts againſt, and it cauſes ſuch a reſiſttance, as to have a powerful and ready effect to turn the ſhips ſtern to ſtarboard from that ſide the tiller lies, and her head to port, that is always towards that ſide the tiller is put upon, whether to ſtarboard or port, which ſhould be ſtrictly attended to on all occaſions, when a ſhip is about getting or has got ſternway through the water.
SUPPOSE a ſhip at a ſingle anchor, ſituated as mentioned page the 38th, the wind and tide being both in the ſame direction, and ſhips or ſhoals lying near right a ſtern, in the way you muſt go, and that to keep clear of them, it requires to caſt the ſhip upon the larboard tack, and make a ſternboard; in all theſe proceedings I ſpeak of a three maſt ſhip, and the main braces leading aft.
IN trading ſhips, it requires all hands to heave up the anchor, therefore, all the neceſſary ſails ſhould be made, as ready as poſſible, the three topſails hoiſted, and the yard braced ſharp up, with the larboard braces, and the mizen haul'd out, before weighing.
IN this ſituation, you have only to attend the helm, and put it aport, when the anchor weighs; the tide running aft, acts againſt ſtarboard ſide of the rudder, and in that direction, will caſt the ſhip the right way; and bring the wind upon the larboard bow, which may be kept ſo, at pleaſure, by the helm, till the ſhip begins to get ſternway through the water, which ſhould be ſtrictly noticed, to put the helm hard aport, or a weather; which puts the plane of the ſ [...]p in a poſition, as repreſented plate the 7th, figure the 3d, and ſuppoſe, the wind on the larboard bow, with the topſails aback, which will ſoon give the ſhip ſternway, through the water, which will act againſt the larboard ſide of the rudder in that direction, and will have great power to prevent the ſhip from falling too faſt off, from the wind, and by the anchor under the bow, while it is heaving up, and the foretopſail kept ſhivering ſhe will drive, as the ſhip is repreſented plate the 3d, figure the 2d, by which means it may be [Page 41] ſuppoſed that ſhe has drove paſt, and kept clear of the danger, or of the ſhip, figure the 4th, and has got the anchor up and room to ware, and get before the wind, as is repreſented figure the 1ſt, in the ſame plate.
THUS making aſtern board, [Note: The [...] [...]ng a ſternboard.] gives an advantage in getting under way, as above, from a ſingle anchor; as the anchor heaven up eaſier when the ſhip goes aſtern, and at the ſame time it is heaving up, it helps to keep the ſhip's head to the wind, which will continue the ſtern way the longer; but notwithſtanding, all theſe helps, its well known from experience, that a ſhip cannot be ſteered long, ſtern foremoſt, under ſail, ſo as to keep the wind before the beam, but ſhe will keep falling off, ſo long as the ſternway continues, until ſhe brings the wind abaft the beam, and then the ſtern-way, the power of the weather helm, and her falling off will all ceaſe at the ſame time; and the ſhip will drive broad ſide through the water for a little time; as is repreſented, figure the 2d, plate the 3d, till ſhe gets head-way; which is a proper time to ware, as above mentioned, if the anchor is cloſe up. But where there is little room to ware, I would adviſe not to attempt it (if it can be avoided) till the anchor is hove quite up, for many ſhips have been run on ſhore, in attempting to ware, by ſtreſs of head ſail, whilſt the anchor is heaving up.
BUT let us ſuppoſe that from the above ſituation, inſtead of backing aſtern to clear a danger, it requires the ſhip to be ſhot ahead, and that there is but juſt room enough, cloſe by the wind, to clear a danger that lies in the way to leeward.
TO proceed with ſafety from ſuch a ſituation, much depends on the anchor being hove briſkly up, after it is out of the ground, and having proper ſails ready to ſet to the beſt advantage, the three topſails muſt be hoiſted and the yards ſharp braced up, with the larboard braces forward, and the ſtarboard braces aft, when the anchor is at a long peek, ſo that at weighing the anchor, you may [Page 42] have only the helm to attend, putting it hard a-port, the tide will act upon the rudder, and the foretopſail being braced ſharp up with the larboard braces, will readily caſt or box the ſhip off, the right way, ſo as to fill the after ſails, when the foretopſail may ſoon be braced about, and fill'd, before ſhe gets ſternway, and the helm may keep the ſhip under command, to ſteer her by the wind ahead, clear of the danger. But if the ſhip gets ſternway in caſting, the helm ſhould be kept hard a weather, to prevent her from falling too much off, [Note: In caſe of getting ſternway.] from the wind, and when ſhe gets headway again, you ſhould be very cautious how you eaſe the weather helm, with the anchor much below the bows, which increaſes the reſiſtance forward, and may bring the ſhip up in the wind, ſo as to prevent her ſhooting clear of the danger, which ſhould be guarded againſt by the weather helm, and head ſails, as gibb and foretopmaſt ſtay ſail &c. As ſoon as the ſhip is ſhot far enough ahead to clear the danger to leward, and there is but little room ahead, its certainly beſt to bring the ſhip too, and drive with the helm al [...]e, with the main and mizen topſails aback, and the foretopſail ſhivering, as repreſented in plate the 3d, figure the ſecond, till the anchor is up, then take proper time to ware, as before recommended.
SUPPOSE a ſhip riding in ſmooth water, in the ſtream of a tide, with the wind two points on the ſtarboard how, and ſo near the ſhore on the larboard ſide, that ſhe muſt be caſt upon the larboard rack to clear the ſhore.
1.18. To caſt a Ship on the Larboard Tack, when riding in a Tide, with the Wind two Points on the Starboard Bow.
THIS I have done from the above ſituation, by the common method of proceeding, as mentioned in the laſt caſe, having the three topſails hoiſted, and the yards ſharp braced up, with the ſtarboard braces, aft, and the larboard braces forward, with the ſtarboard for [...]opbowling well hauld, and at the anchors weighing, putting the helm hard a port; the tide acting upon the rudder, and the wind upon the falls braced in that direction, brought the ſhip about, with the wind on the larboard bow, before ſhe got ſternway, which ſhould be always ſtrictly noticed, for in all proceedings of this kind, if a ſhip gets ſternway, before ſhe brings the wind right ahead, you may be ſhu [...]e that ſhe will not come about the right way; in that [Page 43] caſe it muſt be the ſureſt way, directly to veer away cable, [Note: To [...] by [...] anchor.] and bring the ſhip up again, and carry out a ſmall anchor, on the larboard bow, taking in the rope, and hauling it tight, on the larboard quarter; when the bower anchor is apeek: or you muſt lay till the windward tide makes, to bring the wind on the larboard bow, when you may get under way, and clear the ſhore.
1.19. To caſt a Ship upon the Larboard Tack, when riding with the Wind right a-head, and to ware her ſhort round, before the wind, in little Room.
IN this caſe, the head ſails only ſhould be looſe, [Note: Caſting with a lee tide.] viz. the foretopſail hoiſted, the foreſail in the brails, braced ſharp up with the larboard braces, the jib and foretopmaſtſtayſail ſet with the larboard ſheets flat aft, when the anchor is apeek, and if there is a lee tide running, at weighing the anchor, the helm ſhould be put aport, ſo [...]ar as to bring the wind a little on the larboard bow, which ſhould be kept ſo, by ſteering the ſhip till the tide ceaſes to run aft, which ſhould be ſtrictly noticed by the water along ſide, then put the helm hard aſtarboard, or alee, and when the ſhip gets ſternway, the water will act very powerfully on the ſtarboard or lee ſide of the rudder, in that direction to turn the ſhip's ſtern to windward, whilſt the wind acting at the ſame time upon the head ſails, aback, will box her round off, upon her heel, ſo as to bring the wind almoſt aft, by the time ſhe looſes her ſternway; then the ſhip will ceaſe falling off, and ſoon get headway; which ſhould be attended to, and the head ſails be braced about flat, with the ſtarboard braces, and the helm ſhifted hard aport at the ſame time.
WHEN there is no tide, but the water ſtill at weighing the anchor, the helm muſt be hard a-ſtarboard, and as the ſhip gets ſternway, [Note: Caſting in ſtill w [...] ter.] the water meets with ſo much reſiſtance againſt the ſtarboard ſide of the rudder in that direction, that the rudder acts with great power to turn the ſhips ſtern round to port, and the head ſails being ſet and trim'd as above mentioned, and the foreſails let fall with the ſtarboard bowline hauld cloſe forward, will contribute to caſt the ſhip the right way round, ſo far by the time ſhe loſes her ſternway as you may then proceed as above directed, and may get the ſhip under command of the helm to ſteer at pleaſure, as ſhe gets headway. The ſucceſs of this caſe depends greatly on heaving up the anchor briſkly. From [Page 44] the above it will be eaſy to know how to caſt and get a ſhip under way upon the ſtarboard tack, the ſame rules hold good, only to manage the helm and ſails the contrary way to that which has been deſcribed.
IT may not be amiſs here, to endeavour to explain by what means, and upon what principles it is, that this moſt noble and uſeful machine a ſhip, is made to gain ground, and is brought about from one tack to the other, againſt the wind and waves, when they are moderate.
IT is well known that we have ſhips that will ſail from ſix to nine miles an hour, upon a wind, when it blows freſh and the water is ſmooth, and will make their way good within ſix points of the wind, ſo as to gain to windward, in ſtill water, a third of what they run by the logg; ſuppoſe ſix miles an hour to gain two miles, or nine miles to gain three to windward, with the ſails trim'd in that oblique or ſlanting direction as is particularly deſcribed page the 20th, which certainly tends to force the ſhip much more broadſide to leeward, [Note: What makes a Ship gain to windward.] than a-head; for it is a known principle, that a ſhip ſailing with the wind upon the beam, and the plane of the ſails trim'd to four points or forty-five degrees from the direction of the keel, the ſails at that angle tend equally to drive the ſhip broad-ſide to leeward as a-head; ſo that a ſhip ſailing and turning to windward as above mentioned, muſt be owing to the ſhape of the ſhip's hull, which makes little reſiſtance in ſailing a-head, compared with the great reſiſtance made by the broadſide in the water, not only by the ſhip's extraordinary length in proportion to her breadth as has been obſerved, but all thoſe thin parts, the dead wood, cut water, gripe, ſtem, keel, ſternpoſt, and rudder, which make very little reſiſtance in the ſhip's going a-head, but a powerful reſiſtance ſideways; that though the ſails are trim'd in that ſharp direction, yet in a moderate wind when the ſhip can carry all her ſails, by the wind and the water ſmooth, ſhe will ſail with the wind two points before the beam, as faſt, or faſter than ſhe will do when right before the wind, with the ſame breeze. Thus ſuppoſe the wind blows at the rate of ten miles an hour, when one of theſe faſt ſailing ſhips may ſail at the rate of ſix miles, and gain two to windward, which increaſes [Page 45] the power of the wind one ſixth part, and makes it act equal to twelve miles upon the ſails cloſe by the wind, and if you put right before the wind ſo that we will ſuppoſe the ſhip to go about five miles an hour, this reduces the power of the wind one half, and it has not one half of the canvas to act upon that it has when the ſhip is ſailing cloſe by the wind. To confirm this opinion, [Note: An experiment to prove that when the wind blew 9 knots, a boat ſailed 5 by the wind and large.] I have tried experiments, and found the velocity of the wind in a pleaſant breeze, by a man running on the ſhore right before the wind, ſo as to keep a light vane in his hand becalm'd, when he run with a log-line faſtened to him, five different times to be about nine knots: I then tried a ſchooner rigg'd boat with two ſails cloſe by the wind, and found that ſhe ſailed by the ſame log-line five knots, at five points from the wind; then I put her right before the wind, and tried her with both ſails drawing full, when ſhe went but the ſame five knots by the log, three different tryals, before and by the wind, at the rate of five miles an hour, when the wind blew at the rate of nine miles an hour; [Note: To ſail within 6 points of the wind is near enough for a 3 maſt ſhip.] I reckon that a faſt ſailing ſhip would have gone as faſt or faſter than this boat, at ſix points from the wind, with her principal ſails braced up to three points of the wind, as before obſerved, which is ſharp and near enough to the wind, for a three maſt ſhip, that has more tophamper to hold wind than a ſloop, or ſchooner rigg'd veſſel, and therefore requires to ſail farther from the wind, to overcome all the reſiſtance that is againſt her, and a ſhip makes more or leſs lee-way in proportion to her head-way, on which depends the power of the helm, to ſteer and bring her about from one tack to the other, in the moſt advantageous manner, ſo as to gain ground to windward. I have in chaſing to windward been coming faſt up with many a veſſel that ſailed much nearer the wind than we; for it ſhould be conſidered that a ſhip ſailing at ſix points from the wind, nothing but the ſails properly trim'd contributes to give her headway, and all other parts of the ſhip or her materials, that the wind and waves act upon, tend (two points out of eight) to give her ſternway, and the wind may be ſaid to be reflected, ſo as to act upon the after part of the ſhip, as if it was only three points from being a-head, as may be perceived by the fly of the enſign, and the after-ſails upon the mizen maſt ſtanding at an angle of only a point and a half from the direction of the keel, as mentioned page the 20th. Therefore to trim a ſhip's ſails to ſteer nearer the wind than ſix points, muſt tend to leſſen her headway, and in proportion increaſe the leeway, ſo [Page 46] that there muſt be more loſt than gain'd by this practice, except in a very narrow river, where it may prove ſometimes neceſſary.
THIS excellent property of a ſhip turning to windward, and tacking or ſtaying well, depends greatly on her dimenſions, ſhape of her bottom, and being trimmed, and I reckon a ſhip is in the beſt trim for tacking, [Note: On a ſhips [...] trim [...] ſailing.] as well as ſailing, both by the wind and large, and is the moſt manageable on all occaſions when ſhe will almoſt ſteer herſelf cloſe by the wind, under all her principal ſails, carrying the helm near a-midſhips with a trembling motion; this a faſt ſailing ſhip will often do, when it blows freſh and the water is ſmooth, though two thirds of the canvas (as I have computed) ſtand before the mainmaſt, and a good deal of it over the bows, upon the bowſprit and jibb-boom, when there is none which projects over the ſtern; when a ſhip carries the helm a-lee at ſuch times, it is a ſign that ſhe is too much by the ſtern, or the maſts are ſtay'd or ſtand too far forward. But when a ſhip is not enough by the ſtern, or the maſts rake or ſtand too far aft, ſhe will gripe, and carry the helm a-weather, which is thought by many to be an advantage in turning to windward; [Note: An experiment of a rudder fixed to the ſtem of a ſailing boat.] this opinion I have heard refuted by a very plauſible experiment, tried on this account, by fixing a rudder to the ſtem of a ſailing boat, ſo that it could be pointed to windward occaſionally on either tack, thinking this would make the boat carry her proper helm a-weather, and the water would act upon the lee ſide of the two rudders, in a direction ſo as to cauſe her to gain more ground in turning to windward; but it was ſou [...]d from experience to increaſe the reſiſtance a-head, and that it did more harm than good. I have experienced great advantage from ſuiting a ſhip with more head than after ſail, to eaſe the weather helm, when chaſed by a much ſuperior force at a ſmall diſtance to leeward, carrying a preſſing ſail cloſe by the wind; at ſuch times it may be perceived how much the water is raiſed above its natural level before and on the lee bow, and you may ſee a hollow, below the level on the luff of the weather bow, by the head way, and the ſhip heeling to the preſſure of the ſail ſhe makes a fuller water line to leeward, than to windward, conſequently, a greater reſiſtance on the lee than the weather bow which is the reaſon that ſhips in general require [Page 47] ſo much more head than after ſail, and to ſwim ſo much by the ſtern to be in the beſt trim to ſteer, and be under command of the helm ſo as to make them moſt manageable.
SHIPS lightly ballaſted, or of an extraordinary length, are very uncertain, and require extraordinary attendance and time in tacking, (as is mentioned page the 13th) when a ſhorter well proportioned ſhip in a good trim for turning to windward, may come about ſo faſt as to make it difficult to work and manage the ſails, ſo as to get them properly trimmed in due time.
1.22. To tack a Ship when in a dangerous Situation by a ruff Sea, or when her Trim or her Property is ſuch as may make her Staying doubtful.
SUCH circumſtances certainly deſerve attention, as ſafety may depend upon management; every thing ſhould be ready and clear, the people properly ſtationed, the ſails fairly trimmed, the ſhip cunned and ſteered juſt full and cloſe by the wind, and if it is a ruff ſea to take the advantage of the firſt ſmootheſt time, when the ſhip has as much head way upon her as can be expected. To haul down the jibb, if ſet at ſuch times is of great ſervice, and not to put the helm a lee all at once, but luff the ſhip up by degrees to ſhake the ſails, and not till then order the helm hard a-lee with a loud voice, to let go the lee ſheets forward, but not the lee braces and foretop-bowline as in common to back the head ſails too ſoon, that ſtops the ſhip's head way, which muſt continue to give power to the helm till the wind is brought a-head, elſe you may be ſure the ſhip will not ſtay. To off tacks and ſheets, and haul mainſail when the wind is a point on the weather bow, this ſwings the yards ſharp round, that the main tack may be got cloſe down, whilſt the head ſails becalm the foreleach of the main and maintopſails, at the ſame time the wind blowing aſlant on the afterleach of theſe ſails, acts jointly with the rudder to turn the ſhip's ſtern, ſo as to bring her about the right way, as repreſented by figure 1. plate the 2d.
WHEN a ſhip comes about, at ſuch times ſhe is ſure to have ſtern way, by the time the head ſails are hauled; therefore the helm ſhould not then be ſhifted a-lee, as is commonly done, but ſhould be kept hard a-weather till her ſternway ceaſes: the water acting upon [Page 48] the weather ſide of the rudder prevents the ſhip falling round off from the wind, which the helm when hard a-lee occaſions while the ſternway continues; and ſtrict notice ſhould be made by ſome object a-head, or by the compaſs, that the ſhip continues coming about till the wind is on the other bow, for if ſhe ſtops with the wind a-head, and by the water along ſide her headway is perceived to be done, the helm ſhould he directly ſhifted to the other ſide, ſo that by the ſternway the water may act upon the rudder and bring her about the right way, and then the helm ſhould not be kept a-lee, but immediately ſhifted, and kept hard a-weather till her ſternway ceaſes; for the reaſon already given, the head ſails may be hauled as ſoon as poſſible, for the ſhip will be ſure to fall off the faſter, and farther in proportion to her ſternway, ſo that the weather braces ſhould be tended to prevent the head yards flying fore and aft, as they will do if it blows freſh, and to keep the head ſails ſhivering, that the fore tack may be got eaſily cloſe down, the ſhip ſtopt the ſooner from falling off, and ſhifting the helm a-lee when the ſternway ceaſes, the head ſails may be trimmed ſharp as the ſhip is perceived to come too.
A GOOD or bad haul in this caſe makes a material difference in gaining to windward, and in wear and tear, and in the eaſe of the people; I have been in a ſhip, that when hauling mainſail, it was always catched a-back, as is repreſented figure 2, plate 2d. ſo that we had the maintack to get down five or ſix feet, and the after ſails to trim after the ſhip was tacked; and that this is often the caſe, may be ſeen from the common print of a ſhip tacking, where it is repreſented in the ſame manner; this is owing to the cuſtom of always putting the helm hard a-lee whether the ſhip requires it ſo far or no and not hauling the mainſail till the wind is right a-head.
THEREFORE to make a good haul at the time, when it is known that the ſhip will be very quick in ſtays, the helm ſhould not be put hard a-lee, as cuſtomary, but half down a-lee leſs or more as experience proves to be ſufficient to bring her about before ſhe looſes her headway, to off tacks and ſheets as ſoon as the ſails ſhake, that [Page 49] the mainſail may be hauled, with the wind two points on the weather bow, as repreſented figure I. plate 2d. This management helps the ſhip in ſtays, and gives time and a favorable opportunity to get the maintack cloſe on board, and the after ſails fairly trimmed by the time they fill, ſo that the people may be all at liberty to haul and trim the head ſails; then the helm ſhould be ſhifted, or righted only, as the ſhip may require, by her head or ſternway, to work her cloſe, and not always hard a-lee, as cuſtomary; for if the ſhip has headway, it may bring her up in the wind; and if ſternway, it may make her fall broad off from the wind, as before mentioned.
IT muſt be allowed, that the leſs helm a ſhip is tacked with, ſo as ſhe don't get ſternway, the farther ſhe will ſhoot and gain to windward in ſtays, for the rudder ſtops the ſhip's way through the water more or leſs, in proportion as the helm is put over to either ſide. I have tried experiments in a ciſtern of water, [Note: Experiments made on the helm more or leſs over with a model of a ſhip.] with a model of a ſhip, that had the helm prepared to traverſe four points of the compaſs each way, which was marked out from the center of the rudder's motion, and puſhing her right forward through the water with an equal power, firſt with the helm a-midſhips, ſhe went much farther before ſhe ſtopt than ſhe did afterwards, with the helm altered a point at a time to four points, when ſhe ſhortened her diſtance and made a leſs ſweep each trial. And as to a ſhip coming about with little helm, it is well known that will often happen when not intended, by a ſmall neglect of the helm.
IN narrow channels, [Note: Tacking in very narrow channels.] where a ſhip has very little room to turn to windward, ſhe may require the helm to be put down hard a-lee, all at once, and the lee braces forward, ſheets and foretop bowline, all to be let go at the ſame time, alſo to brace the head ſails, which may prevent the ſhip ſhooting a ſhore in ſtays. When this happens the mainſail may be hauled with the wind three points on the weather bow, when the after ſails ſhake, and the head ſails take aback, by being [...]raced to, which will give more time to get down the maintack, and to trim the after ſails without hindering, but rather helping the ſhip to ſtay, as before obſerved. For ſuppoſe a ſhip was to be launched head foremoſt, wi [...]h her ſquare ſails ſet and trimmed ſharp, with the larboard braces forward, and the ſtarboard braces aft, and with the wind three points on the ſtarboard bow, as repreſented figure I. plate 2d. it is evident from thence that the wind would act whilſt the headway continued, ſo as to turn the ſhip's head to ſtarboard; and on the after ſails to turn the ſtern to port, which would bring her round on the larboard tack, though ſhe had [Page 50] no rudder hung, or if ſhe had her helm a-midſhips, by the effect of the ſails only.
BUT the beſt leſſons for tacking, and working to windward in little room, [Note: On working to windward in the coal trade to London.] are in the Colliers bound to London, where many great ſhips are conſtantly employed, and where wages are paid by the voyage, ſo that intereſt makes them dexterous, and induſtrious to manage their ſhips with few men, in a complete manner, in narrow channels, more ſo than perhaps in any other trade by ſea in the world; the ſeamen there go regularly from one thing to another, which they know depends upon them, by the great practice they have in turning to windward againſt Weſterly winds, through narrow and ſhoal channels, with their deep loaded ſhips, that are trimmed ſo near an even keel to make them draw as little water as poſſible, and their mainmaſts ſtand farther aft than common; this occaſions them to gripe, which often obliges them to work ſpritſail and all the head ſails they can bear, to make them manageable when turning to windward; in narrow channels, when it blows ſo ſtrong that all hands cannot haul aft the fore ſheet, but are obliged to heave it aft by the capſton, even then it would be looked upon as a great blunder to make a bad haul, obſerving always the ſhip's quick or ſlow motion in ſtays, to off tacks and ſheets, ſo as to be all ready, and haul mainſail in the proper time, whilſt the wind takes the back of the weather or fore leach of the main and maintop ſail, which ſwings them ſharp round, with the main ſheet block cloſe aft, and the main tack on the other ſide, cloſe forward to the cheſtree or the tack hole, ſo that they have only to haul in the ſlack of the main tack and ſheet, and trim the after ſails whilſt becalmed by the head ſails, ſo that all hands are at liberty to help to haul and trim the head ſails, when the weather requires it.
IT muſt be allowed, as mentioned page the 19th, that theſe ſhips being adapted for this trade, are rigged as light as poſſible, to make them work eaſy to windward in narrow channels, with few hands; they have no lifts to the lower yards, no foretop bowlines; and have ſhort main bowlines, and ſnatch blocks for the main and fore ſheets; the main braces lead forward, ſo that the main and maintop bowlines are hauled and belayed to the ſame pin, the ſame way with the main brace, ſo that one man eaſily lets them all go together at once when the mainſail is hauled, or rather ſwung ſo ſharp round, by the wind, as above mentioned, with ſo ſwift a motion that tho' they haul every thing hand over hand, can only get in the ſlack of the maintop bowline by its going ſingle, which they make faſt to [Page 51] keep the ſails thus ſwung ſharp round, till the main tack is got down, and the yards braced up, then haul the bowlines upon the main brace, for the reaſons given, and the ſhip being trimmed near an even keel, with the mainmaſt ſtanding far aft, as before remarked, makes them work cloſe, by preventing them falling much off from the wind, though they may have loſt their head way, when the head ſails are hauled: And they are moſtly built with pink ſterns, rounding inwards in their upper works, that they trim the ſails to ſtand full within five and a half points of the wind, and ſo little tophamper above water, to hold wind, in proportion to other ſhips, that when turning to windward in narrow channels, they beat ſhips that would beat them in the open ſea, which muſt be owing to ſuch reaſons as have been given, and that the running ropes may run clear in making ſhort trips, they don't coil them up, but they let them run as they were hauled.
SAFETY depends greatly on getting a ſhip at firſt fairly under way, and where there is water enough, it is certainly beſt to heave ſhort upon the anchor, and weigh with the firſt of the tide's making to windward. And if the wind is partly acroſs the tide, it will caſt the ſhip with her head towards the weather ſhore, which ſhe may be kept clear of, by driving with the ſails a-back, as repreſented plate the 3d. figure 2, till the anchor is up and ſtowed; and as the tack towards the weather ſhore is the ſhorteſt, it is prudent to back as near the lee ſide as you can with ſafety, to make the firſt board the longer, to get the proper ſails fairly ſet, and to get all ready in time for tacking, and to make as bold as poſſible with the weather ſhore, on which ſide a ſhip is always ſureſt in coming about, and in caſe of miſſing ſtays, a ſhip may be backed off from the weather ſhore as above mentioned, till ſhe has room to fill and ſet the ſails, and get all her head way to try her in ſtays again, without any danger. But when the ſhip is got about to ſtand towards the lee ſhore, where ſhe is not ſo ſure in ſtays; when going ſlanting with the tide as going acroſs it, and eſpecially if there runs any waves that may hinder the ſhip ſtaying, and not being ſure of all the ropes running clear upon this tack for the firſt time, therefore it may be neceſſary to put the ſhip in ſtays in good time, [Page 52] that in caſe of a miſs, there may be room enough to fill and try her the ſecond time, or to uſe ſuch means as may prevent her going on ſhore.
BUT when the wind is right againſt the tide, that begins to make to windward, it requires caution, not to weigh the anchor till the ſhip ſwings end on to the tide, and brings the wind ſo far aft, that ſhe may be ſteered right againſt the tide, till the anchor is up and ſtowed, and the ſails with which the ſhip is to work are all ready; as repreſented figure I. plate the 3d. and to haul the wind from being cloſe over to one ſide, which gives the whole breadth of the channel, to get the ſhip fairly under way, cloſe by the wind, and ready for tacking, let the firſt trip be made as ſhort as poſſible, till it is found how the ſhip and people work upon both tacks, and make them longer or ſhorter accordingly afterwards; but care ſhould be taken not to ſtand into an eddy tide on either ſide, which may be perceived by a rippling, which has often occaſioned ſhips to miſs ſtays and go on ſhore.
THERE is a ſaying amongſt ſeamen, if a ſhip will not ſtay, you muſt ware her; and if ſhe will not ware, you muſt box haul her; and if you cannot box haul her, you muſt club haul her; that is, let go the anchor, to get her about on the other tack; each of theſe maſterly performances deſerve perticular notice.
MANY advantages as well as ſafety, often depend upon this being put properly in practice; for it often happens, that a ſhip refuſes ſtays, when there is not room to ware in time, ſo as to avoid danger, by the common method of filling the head, and ſhivering the after ſails, &c. Therefore whenever a ſhip in a dangerous ſituation is put in ſtays, and it is perceived that ſhe ſtops coming to, before ſhe brings the wind a-head, it is then certain, that ſhe will not ſtay, therefore ſhe ſhould be immediately box hauled, by keeping the helm hard a-lee, and haul off all; bracing about the head as well as the after ſails, hauling cloſe forward the lee fore and foretop bowlines, and up mizen and down after ſtayſails at the ſame time; the wind will then act upon the ſails thus aback, and the water upon the lee ſide of the rudder, by her ſtern way, will box the ſhip ſhort round, upon her keel, with her ſtern up to the [Page 53] wind, far enough aft for the after ſails to draw full the right way to act with the helm, which muſt be ſhifted hard a-weather when the ſtern way ceaſes; ſo that the head way with the wind ſo far aft, will readily bring the ſhip round on the other tack. The main and fore tacks are eaſily got down when the wind is upon the quarter, and ſhivers the ſails, the main ſheet eaſily haul'd aft, and the after ſails braced up and trimmed ſharp, as the ſhip brings the wind more aft, which help her round the faſter, till the wind comes on the other quarter, that the mizen and mizen ſtayſail may be ſet to take the right way, to bring her to the wind, whilſt you tend and trim the head ſails, as ſhe comes to.
BOX-HAULING may be proved to be the ſureſt and readieſt method to get a ſhip under command of the helm and ſails, to anſwer many occaſions in little room, as well as to ware, and bring her from one tack to the other, with the leaſt loſs of ground to leward, when a ſhip refuſes ſtays. [Note: Why a ſhip loſes little ground in box-hauling.] Nice managers of ſloop rigged veſſels, turning to windward in narrow channels, when they want but little to weather a point, rather than make another tack, have a practice of running up in the wind till the headway ceaſes, then they fill again upon the ſame tack, this they call making a half board: thus a ſhip in Box-hauling may be ſaid to make two half boards, firſt running with her head, then with the ſtern up in the wind, by which two motions, a ſhip if well managed, rather gains to windward, and brings the wind almoſt aft, by the time the ſtern way ceaſes, ſo that ſhe is under the command of the weather helm, and the after ſails, to bring her ſhort round, on the other tack, with the firſt of the headway, in which time only it is that the ſhip goes any thing to leward, worth notice, in Box-hauling; therefore it ſhould always be put in practice on theſe occaſions, by putting the ſhip in ſtays, though it is known ſhe will not come about with her head to windward, and in a gail of wind and high waves, or when there is not people enough to manage and haul the head ſails, the after ſails only may be hauled, and the fore ſheet hauled cloſe aft again, when its perceived that the ſhip has done coming to, as is repreſented plate the 7th, of a ſhip imbayed on a lee ſhore, which ſhall be ſpoke of in its place.
THIS is to get a ſhip from one tack to the other, by letting go an anchor, when by an eddy tide, or by a ruff ſea, or being out of trim, or from any other cauſe, ſhe refuſes to ſtay or ware, in time to avoid danger. When this happens in ſhoal water, found by the lead, that if the ſhip has not water over her anchor, ſhe ſhould have ſternway given her, and not headway when the anchor is let go, and the weather anchor is likelier to go clear of the ſhip than the lee one, therefore both bower anchors ſhould be ready on theſe occaſions.
A SHIP in this ſituation, muſt be managed according to the manner you deſign to proceed, for if the tide is ſtrong enough, in proportion to the wind, ſo that ſhe will drive faſt enough to windward, ſtern foremoſt, it will certainly be the beſt, as it may be done with or without any ſails ſet, the yards being braced ſharp up, as repreſented plate the 3d. figure 1. A ſhip may be ſteered at pleaſure, and to a great nicety, end on to the tide, and ſhe will drive ſtern foremoſt in leſs room than her own length; but it will require above three times her length to drive broadſide, if the wind is right againſt the tide; and dexterous management is required on ſuch an occaſion, becauſe a ſhip will always ſhoot and tend towards that ſhore a-head of her, ſo that you cannot drive far upon one tack, though with the ſails a-back, without waring at times, to drive on the other tack, or the ſhip will ſoon ſhoot on that ſhore a-head of her, which I have ſeen inſtances of in ſpite of all endeavours to back a-ſtern.
SHIPS in general have a longer and ſharper run-aft than they have an entrance forward, the ſternpoſt and rudder ſtand more upright, than the ſtem and gripe, and they ſwim more or leſs by the ſtern; therefore the after part of a ſhip muſt be more powerfully acted upon by the windward tide, than her fore part in the water, which conſequently ſets her ſtern more to windward than her head, which at the ſame time is more acted upon by the wind above water than her ſtern, in proportion as the foremaſt, and all belonging to it, is larger and ſtands further forward than the mizen maſt ſtands aft, and the bowſprit, with the jibboom, and all that belong to them projecting ſo far over the bows, and nothing projecting over the ſtern to hold wind, in the ſame proportion abaft; they muſt naturally cauſe the ſhip to drive with the wind moſtly a-baft the beam.
AND though the moſt effectual means are ſuppoſed to be uſed on ſuch occaſions, to keep the ſhip's bow to the wind, and prevent as much as poſſible her falling off and ſhooting a-head, by letting her drive with the after ſails braced flat a-back, the mizen hauled out, the helm a-lee, and the head ſails kept ſhivering, as is repreſented by figure 2, plate the 3d. where it appears as if a ſhip might be backed a-ſtern at pleaſure, yet experience proves the contrary, and the following reaſons may be added to thoſe above mentioned: The helm muſt be kept a-lee when driving in this way, and though the after ſails are a-back, the ſhip will ſhoot a-head, and back a-ſtern alternately, but ſhe will come to with a ſlow motion by her headway, till ſhe brings the wind before the beam, which gives her ſternway and makes her fall round off upon her heel, with a quick motion, and brings the wind ſo far abaft the beam, that ſhe ſoon gets headway again, ſo that ſhe will ſhoot much farther a-head than ſhe backs a-ſtern, which makes it difficult to drive broadſide with the tide, right againſt the wind, in little room, with ſafety.
BUT I have heard of this difficulty being overcome, by two veſſels driving broadſide with their ſterns confined near together by a rope, that each veſſel could check and command the other, at pleaſure, to keep in a fair way, which I think is practable to the advantage of both veſſels, as they may drive without any ſails, only hoiſting a ſtayſail occaſionally.
IT is a maſterly and neceſſary piece of ſeamanſhip, to be able to perform this with ſafety, where there is very little room, as is repreſented plate the 3d. where the ſhip figure 1. by the help of a ſtrong tide, may be ſuppoſed to have drove ſtern foremoſt, right to windward, where it was too narrow to drive broadſide, and is got where there is but juſt room and tide enough to drive broadſide, which may make a great deal of difference in the ſhip's driving according to the wind and tide; for if we ſuppoſe the wind blows ſo freſh that the ſhip cannot be made to go leſs than at the rate of two miles an hour, through the water, when driving ſtern foremoſt, the tide muſt run at the rate of three miles, to make her drive one mile an hour to windward, but where the tide runs but two miles an hour, the ſhip will then be at a ſtand between wind and tide, but when ſhe is brought to, and drives broadſide, as repreſented by figure 2. ſhe may not drive above half a mile through the water; ſo that what is the difference between that and what the tide goes, ſhe will drive to windward.
A SHIP may drive ſtern foremoſt without any ſail, as ſhe only, requires ſteerage way to command her, and the leſs way ſhe has through the water, the faſter ſhe will drive, ſo that when it blows freſh, to contrive and make ſtop waters may be of ſervice to help her to windward. But to bring a ſhip to, where there is little room, ſo as to drive broadſide, will require the three topſails, the mizen, and the jib and foretopmaſt ſtayſail, to be ready to hoiſt, to make her manageable to back, or fill, ſtay, or ware, as may be required; for to endeavour to bring a ſhip to without ſail to throw a-back occaſionally, ſhe would perhaps ſhoot on that ſhore a-head before ſhe loſes her headway.
NOW let us ſuppoſe that the ſhip figure 1. plate the 3d. after driving ſtern foremoſt as above mentioned, has ſet her topſails braced ſharp up with the larboard braces, in order to bring to, and drive broadſide on the larboard tack. In this caſe the ſhip ſhould be ſheered as near the ſtarboard ſhore as ſhe poſſibly can with ſafety, then put the helm hard a-ſtarboard, hauling out the mizen as ſoon as it will take the right way, ſo as to bring the ſhip round to, [Page 57] with the topſails a-back, to prevent her ſhooting too near the larboard ſhore.
A SHIP bringing to with much headway, will bring the wind nearly right a-head, by the time the headway ceaſes; then the helm ſhould be ſhifted hard a-weather, and the ſails being a-back, will ſoon give her great ſternway, by which means a ſternboard may be made to back her as near the ſhore a-ſtern as poſſible; for, as it has been obſerved, a ſhip driving broadſide may eaſily be ſhot a-head, when ſhe cannot be backed a-ſtern, and this is the only time a ſternboard can be made to advantage at the ſhip's bringing to; for when the ſternway ceaſes, the helm muſt be put and kept hard a-lee, and the ſhip muſt drive with the main and mizen topſails a-back, the mizen hauled out, and the foretopſail kept ſhivering, as is repreſented figure 2. plate the 3d. and if the mizen ſtayſail was ſet with the ſheet to windward, it might help to keep her more to the wind, ſo that ſhe might drive the farther on one tack, before you are obliged to ware her to drive on the other tack, which muſt be done as ſoon as the ſhip is perceived to draw near the ſhore a-head, which will always be the caſe with a ſhip driving right to windward, for the reaſons given.
WHEN you intend to ware as a ſhip is always coming to, and falling off, by her head and ſternway when thus driving, take the opportunity, when ſhe has juſt done falling off by her ſternway, as ſhe is then as far a-ſtern as ſhe will be upon that tack, and the wind as far aft, being then all ready, up mizen, down mizen ſtayſail, (if ſet) ſhiver the main and mizen topſails, fill flat the foretopſail, up jib and foretopmaſt ſtayſail, (if neceſſary) ſhift the helm hard a-weather, the tide then ſetting round the ſtern, as is repreſented by the ſhip's wake and boat to windward figure 2, it will act with ſuch power upon the rudder in that direction, that with the firſt of her headway, the ſhip may be wared, and proceeding as before, brought to, ſo as to drive on the other rack; in this manner a ſhip may be managed, to change tacks, and drive right to windward with the Tide, in leſs room than any one would think poſſible that has not had the experience.
BUT inſtead of waring as laſt mentioned, I cannot help thinking it would be better to put the ſhip in ſtays, filling the after ſails flat, keeping the foretopſail juſt drawing full, till the ſhip comes to, ſo that it will take a-back to help her about, and if ſhe ſtays, let the helm lie, as it will then be, a-weather; the ſhip may then be backed, by making a ſternboard towards the ſhore a-ſtern, at pleaſure; [Page 58] and if ſhe refuſes ſtays, it gives a favourable opportunity to brace the topſails a-back, and box-haul her round, as has been deſcribed page 53, by which ſhe will loſe leſs ground than by wareing, and the ſhip's trim may require this practice, as it is known that loaded colliers will ſtay when they will not ware, and when light in ballaſt, they will ware when they will not ſtay.
1.29. To drive Broadſide to Windward, with the Tide running acroſs the Channel, or in a River of a winding or ſerpentine Form.
IN channels where the tide runs acroſs through ſwaſhes, &c. the ſhip ſhould be laid to drive with her head towards that ſhore the tide ſets from, and the ſetting of croſs tides is beſt perceived by ſome objects which may be found to lie nearly in the direction of the channel; obſerve nicely how your ſhip opens or ſhuts theſe marks, that the ſails may be kept a-back, ſhivering, or full to ſhoot a-head, as the tide may require, ſo as to keep the ſhip in a fair way.
DRIVING in a crooked or ſerpentine river, as repreſented plate the 3d. the tide commonly runs winding like the river, from a point over into a bay on the other ſide, and out of a bay again paſt the next point, into the next oppoſite bay, &c. therefore at the bottom of each bay, where the tide begins to ſet out again, the ſhip ſhould be put on the other tack, to drive with her head towards the next point, as repreſented by the ſhip figure 2, by which means a ſhip may be backed a-ſtern, to drive clear of the ſhore a-head, upon both tacks.
WHEN the wind blows a point or two of the compaſs, acroſs a tide that runs true, a ſhip driving with her head towards the weather ſide may be eaſily managed, ſo as to keep in a fair way, by backing, filling, or ſhivering the ſails, and the more the ſails can be kept ſhivering, the faſter the ſhip will drive.
VARIOUS ſituations and different ſorts of harbours, roads, and coaſts, different directions and ſtrength of winds, waves, and tides, make it impoſſible to fix certain rules to bring a ſhip properly to an anchor, at all times and places. Yet in my opinion, a great deal may be ſaid on this ſubject, that deſerves notice. And firſt it may be neceſſary to make ſome remarks on coiling cables.
IT may be the loſs of a ſhip, to coil a new cable with the ſun, as it is termed, before it is properly ſtretched, or the end taken through the coil, for it is almoſt ſure to come up in kinks when yeered out, and eſpecially in cold weather. The greateſt dependence being on new cables, they are commonly kept in reſerve till the other cables, or the anchors, give way, which makes this bad practice in coiling them the more dangerous; therefore it ſhould be firſt conſidered, how to manage the cables, to make them work and coil to the beſt advantage, and run clear of catch ſakes as well as kinks.
A CABLE, in my opinion, works and wears much better for being [...]iled the ſame way that it runs round the windlaſs, or bitts. Therefore the cables for the ſtarboard anchors, which work round the windlaſs againſt the ſun, ſhould be coiled againſt the ſun, and thoſe for the larboard anchors coiled with the ſun, as they work that way round a windlaſs, and as they run out round the bitts the contrary way, ſo that the cables ſhould be coiled accordingly. And to make new cables anſwer this practice, is, the firſt time, to coil them with the ſun, over the cable tier hatchway, with larger o [...] leſs ſakes, according to the limberneſs or ſtiffneſs of the [...]ope, and take the upper end through the coil, to coil it down in the tier; this will make the rope pliable to coil, and veer out eaſy, clear of kinks, either with or againſt the ſun.
TO coil a cable to run clear of catch ſakes, the cable ſhould always be laid out from the inſide ſake to the outſide ſake, at the [Page 60] farther end of the cable tier, fartheſt from the hatchway; this will likewiſe coil the cable ſo nuch lower in that part near the hatchway, ſo as to give more room and height to bend and coil the cable, and for the bends to upſet clear when veering away.
THE bad cuſtom of coiling cables with the ſun, ſo as to run in kinks proceeds firſt from the rope-makers, who for their eaſe, coil them that way to ſend them to the ſhip, where, without thought, they are too commonly coiled down the cable tier the ſame way, becauſe a new cable before it is well ſtretched, will always bend of itſelf that way in coiling, for the rope opening againſt the lay, gets clear of a turn at the bend of every fake, which is the reaſon that a new cable bends and coils ſo eaſy this way; but when this cable comes to be veered out, this turn muſt come into the cable again at the upſetting of every bend; but the lay of the rope inclines it to keep clear of this turn, which prevents the fakes from upſetting, and cauſes it to come up in kinks, by which bad practice I have known many narrow eſcapes. Therefore all new cable-laid ropes, hawſers, and towlines, as well as cables that require to run clear of kinks, ſhould be either coiled againſt the ſun, till they are well ſtretched, or with the ſun, and the end taken through the coil as before mentioned; for the ſame reaſon, as it is well known, that a coil of new rigging will not run clear of kinks, without the end is properly taken through the coil. But to coil a new cable againſt the ſun, that is from the right hand to the left, requires a turn to be forced into the lay of the rope, at the bend of every ſake, which makes it troubleſome to coil this way; but this turn in every fake, makes the bends upſet of themſelves, ſo that the cable veers out very eaſy.
NOW if we may ſuppoſe that the anchors and cables are all ready, ſo as to be ſure of running clear: The next things to be conſidered, are the depth of water, the room, ſtrength of the wind, waves or tide, where you expect to anchor; alſo that the buoy and buoy rope, range of cable, handſpikes, ſtoppers, ring-ropes, and buckets of water to throw on the windlaſs or bitts, be all ready, as occaſion may require, and to give as great a ſcope of cable as the place will permit, before you offer to bring the ſhip up, becauſe the length and weight of the cable, will contribute greatly to eaſe both the anchor and cable, as well as the ſhip, when the waves run high, for which reaſon, I have known ſhips have the inner ends of the ſheet and beſt bower cables ſpliced together, ſo that by overſetting one cable, they could vear out both upon one end, to either anchor, if [Page 61] neceſſity required it, for it is well known, in a ſtorm when the waves run high, and eſpecially in deep water, that a ſhip will ride much eaſier and longer by two cables, or more, upon one end, to one good anchor, than by two anchors with a ſingle cable to each. For to ride by two anchors, they muſt lie far enough aſunder on each bow, to prevent one anchor from hurting the other cable, by which a ſhip ſeldom pulls hard upon both cables at the ſame time, but firſt pulls hard upon one cable; if but a ſhort ſcope, it plunges her deep into the ſea; then that ſtrain draws the ſhip towards that anchor, which ſlackens that cable; ſo that by the next wave ſhe ſtrains hard upon the other cable, and ſo on ſhe pulls firſt at one and then at the other, which cauſes a ſhip to labour, and be very uneaſy in the waves, in compariſon to what ſhe would be, if riding by one good anchor and a great ſcope of cable, which admits the ſhip to fall and riſe eaſy with the waves, without hauling the whole length and weight of the cable off the ground, which makes the anchor hold longer without coming home.
IN letting go an anchor, care ſhould be taken that the ſhip does not hurt herſelf upon it, in caſe of ſhole water, and that the anchor is not fouled by the cable getting about the fluke or ſtock of the anchor, which may prevent its holding the ſhip when any ſtrain comes upon it.
IT ſhould be a rule to ſhoot the ſhip a-head of the anchor, or ſheer her clear of it, upon the ſame tack you deſign to ſhoot her upon, the next tide, endeavouring always to keep the ſhip in ſwinging with the tide on one ſide of the anchor, to keep clear of it, for reaſons that will be given in its place on keeping a clear anchor. As it is repreſented plate the 3d. it may be ſuppoſed that the ſhip driving to windward has got to an anchoring birth, or the tide is ſo far ſpent that ſhe will drive no farther, to windward, and muſt come to an anchor on the ſtarboard tack. In this caſe at letting go the anchor, the ſhip ſhould be ſhot a-head of it, and kept a-head with the helm a-weather, and the yards braced full with the larboard braces, and the foretopmaſt-ſtayſail and mizen ſet full, as is repreſented by figure 3, plate the 3d. till the windward tide is [Page 62] done, that ſhe falls to leeward and rides windroad, with the wind, anchor, and cable right a-head, as repreſented figure 4, plate the 3d. in which poſition ſhe will lie till the next windward tide.
WHERE there is room, it is certainly neceſſary to full the ſquare ſails, as the ſhip is running before the wind and tide, and to take room to bring her to, by putting the helm hard over to ſtarboard or port, and haul out the mizen to bring the ſhip's head up as much as poſſible, againſt the wind and tide, at letting go the anchor, which will contribute greatly to bring the ſhip up with ſafety and eaſe, compared with that bad practice of letting go the anchor as the ſhip runs right before the wind and tide, without handing the ſquare ſails, which adds all that extraordinary force of the ſhip's way through the water, to the ſtrength of the wind and tide, which increaſes the ſtrain and rubs the cable to a dangerous degree, by which I have ſeen great damage done, as breaking the cable, &c. which might have been avoided by bringing the ſhip to, and letting go the anchor as above recommended.
THE damage that is often done on this occaſion, proceeds from want of conſideration; for as it has been obſerved before, a ſhip ſailing right before the wind, and a ſtrong tide, does not feel the real ſtrength of the wind; therefore apprehending no danger, lets go the anchor as the ſhip runs, which if it does not make ſomething give way, muſt greatly ſtrain every thing that is immediately concerned in bringing the ſhip up.
WHERE it can be done, the ſhip ſhould be always put upon that tack that ſtems againſt the tide, when the anchor is let go; and if it is deſigned to continue at a ſingle anchor, in order to keep it clear, I would recommend to ſheer and keep the ſhip to leeward of the anchor, by keeping the helm a-weather, and [Page 63] the foretopmaſt-ſtayſail ſet with the ſheet to windward, as repreſented by the ſhip figure 1, plate the 4th, for the reaſons which will be given on keeping a clear anchor.
GREAT advantages may attend letting go the anchor ſteming againſt the tide, and eſpecially where the tide runs over rapid, for it gives an opportunity to take notice at what rate the ſhip may be going a-ſtern, ſo as to judge whether it may not be neceſſary to keep ſail ſet, in order to help to bring the ſhip up, and ride eaſy in a rapid tide. I have been where we let go the ſmall bower anchor, with all ſails ſet, with a freſh breeze of wind againſt the tide, and veered out the whole cable, and the ſhip ſtill drove; then we let go the beſt bower anchor and veered out all that cable, by which the ſhip brought up; and road ſo cloſe to a ſhole a-ſtern, that we were obliged to ride with the helm a-port, to keep the ſhip with a broad ſheer, to prevent her touching the ground, which would have been fatal to the whole: the rapid tide would have overſet the ſhip, broke away her maſts, and turned her over and over upon the ſhole, which would probably have been the caſe, had it not been for the ſails being kept ſet, which helped to bring the ſhip up and ride.
1.35. To come to an Anchor at Slack-tide, or in ſtill Water, where there is neither Tide or Current.
IT is expected in this caſe, that the ſails are taken in, as the ſtrength of the wind, and ſituation may require, to bring the ſhip up with caſe; in moderate weather, and where there is room, it is certainly beſt to bring the ſhip to under the topſails, throwing her head up to the wind, by putting the helm a-lee, with the topſails lowered down or clewed up; and when the ſhip is perceived to get ſternway, then let go the anchor to the ground, but veer out no more cable but as the ſhip takes it, by driving to leeward from the anchor, as repreſented by the ſhips figure 2 and 3, plate the 5th, and not offer to bring the ſhip up, till it is thought that ſhe has a ſufficient ſcope of cable to ride her, on which it depends to make the anchor and cable hold, as occaſion may require.
1.36. To come to an Anchor in Roads that are often crowded with Ships, ſo as to take and give good and clear births.[Page 64]
THE beſt anchoring births in theſe places are commonly well known by marks, which the firſt ſhip naturally takes up, and has a right to keep, clear from any other ſhip anchoring ſo near as to make her a foul birth, as is repreſented by plate the 5th, where the ſhip figure 1, may be ſuppoſed to be come to an anchor, in the beſt birth, having the caſtle and windmill in one line, and the houſes and church in the other line of direction, pointing exactly to the anchor; theſe particulars ought to be wrote down in the logg book, as ſhould likewiſe the bearings by the compaſs, of extreme points of land, ſholes, rocks, or ſands, all which it may be neceſſary to remark, ſo that a courſe may be ſteered to keep clear of them, if the ſhip ſhould be drove from her anchors in the night, or in thick weather, and that the anchors may be found again by the marks made when they were let go, if their buoys ſhould diſappear.
IF it is a tide, or trade wind road-ſteed, the next ſhip that comes ought not to anchor right a-head, or a-ſtern, of the firſt ſhip, ſo as to lay in each others hawſe, but ſhould come to upon the bow and quarter, at a proper diſtance, to prevent other ſhips from coming between, and in a ſlanting direction from the tide or wind, as is repreſented by the ſhips figures 2 and 3, plate the 5th, this in my opinion might contribute to the ſafety of ſhips in ſuch places as the D [...]wns, Yarmouth Roads, or the Weſt Indies, and other ſuch places, that may be crowded with ſhips; when it happens to blow ſtrong upon a lee tide, or in ſtrong ſea breezes in the Weſt Indies, each ſingle ſhip may then veer away what cable may be thought neceſſary, and keep clear of the other ſhip's hawſe a-ſtern, or in caſe of driving or caſting, this gives a better chance to keep clear of each other.
A FRIEND told me that he often got a good anchoring birth in the Weſt India road ſteeds, by firſt running down through the middle of the fleet, where he often perceived good births left vacant, by ſome ſhips that had ſailed from the middle of the fleet; then he ſteered out from among the ſhips, and turned to windward of them all, ſo far as to give time to take in and furl all the ſails, and run down before the wind amongſt the ſhips, without any ſail, and let go the [Page 65] anchor at the deſigned birth, which he could not have come at by any other means: The like practice may anſwer the ſame purpoſe at other times and places.
IN places expoſed to waves, from one quarter more than another, and if the ſhip is to lie for ſome time, expoſed to all the various winds that may blow, it ſhould be made a rule to let go the firſt anchor, ſo that the ſhip may be moored with the ſecond anchor, to lay with an open hawſe towards the ſea, or the moſt open or worſt part of the road, or river, where the greateſt waves can come from, to give the ſhip violent pitching motions, which are always very deſtructive to the cables when riding hard with a croſs in the hawſe, for which reaſon the croſs in the cables ſhould always be towards the ſmooth water quarter.
1.38. To let go all the Anchors to beſt Advantage, when that is the only Chance left to keep the Ship off a lee Shore.
THIS deſperate occaſion happens when the anchoring ground lies leſs than two cables length from the lee ſhore, or when the ſhip is only that diſtance from it, with the wind and waves ſo high, right upon the ſhore, that it is found impoſſible for the ſhip to keep off the ſhore, with all the ſail ſhe can carry; ſo that ſafety muſt depend intirely on the management of the ground tackle.
IN ſuch a dangerous ſituation, where, if one anchor or cable ſail, there is not room to bring the ſhip up by another, and it is counted a great diſgrace to let a ſhip go on ſhore with any ground tackle on board, that might have been uſed to help to ride her; therefore the utmoſt endeavours ſhould be uſed to let go all the anchors, a little diſtance from each other, and as much as poſſible in a line along the ſhore, that one anchor may not hurt another cable, and that the cables lead clear of each other, and made to bear a ſtrain in proportion to their ſtrength, to help to ride out the ſtorm.
[Page 66] TO put this difficult performance in practice, I would recommend to get the ſquare ſails handed, with the quickeſt diſpatch poſſible, but to keep the foretopmaſt, main, and mizen ſtayſails ſet, the yards braced full, and the helm put hard a-weather, to keep headway upon the ſhip, ſhooting her along the ſhore as much as poſſible, till all the anchors are let go, contriving to begin with the weathermoſt anchor, or that that has the cable in the weathermoſt hawſe-hole, and ſo on with the next weathermoſt anchor, paying out the cables as faſt as poſſible, that the ſhip may keep ſhooting a-head till the laſt anchor is let go.
IT is allowed to be a maſterly and material branch of ſeamanſhip, to be able to manage a veſſel riding in a tide way, by a ſingle anchor, ſo as to keep it clear from the cable getting foul of the fluke, or ſtock, and ſometime ſoul of both fluke and ſtock, which may be the caſe; and the anchor thus fouled, as it is termed, prevents its holding the ſhip, and may occaſion her to drive on ſhore, or athwart another ſhip's hawſe, which often happens from the want of proper methods being put in practice to keep the anchor clear: This therefore deſerves the utmoſt regard, for in open roadſteeds, when only waiting for a fair wind, it may be better and ſafer to ride by a ſingle anchor, than to be moored when it blows hard, and among many ſhips, which are liable to drive athwart each others hawſe, ſo that to ſave both ſhips, the leewardmoſt may be obliged to cut or ſlip; if riding by a ſingle anchor, they have only one cable to get clear of, but if moored with the two bowers, they have two cables to get clear of, which may be at a time when both ſhips and men may ſeem to be the ſport of wind and waves, and which may make one ſhip to riſe whilſt the other falls, and tear in pieces even our heart of oak, and make our ſeamen's hearts of oak fail, which we boaſt ourſelves ſo much upon; for what chance does feeble men ſtand, to ſend off the blows one ſhip gives to the other, at ſuch times of diſtreſs, when nothing is heard but the craſhing of timber, &c. and crying out for the leewardmoſt ſhip to cut, to relieve them, ſo that if moored, and muſt part with both anchors, ſhe may have only one anchor left to bring her up again, and ride by, and ſafety may ſtill depend on keeping that clear; all which prove [Page 67] the great neceſſity of endeavouring, after fixed rules, to keep a ſingle anchor clear.
IT ſhould be a fixed rule on this occaſion, at the tide firſt ſetting to windward, to ſhoot the ſhip a-head of the anchor, to keep it clear, and not to offer to back her a-ſtern of it, for that is found by experience to be impracticable, not only for the reaſons given page 55, on a ſhip driving broadſide, and on this occaſion, when the cable lying upon the ground, the ſhip ſwinging with the tide, will bring the wind ſo much abaft the beam, that it will be impoſſible to back the ſhip a-ſtern, clear of her anchor; yet I have ſeen this attempted in capital merchant ſhips, and even in his Majeſty's ſervice I have ſeen ſome expoſe their ignorance in this important point of duty.
IT ſhould be another fixed rule, always to endeavour to ſhoot or ſheer a ſhip on the ſame ſide of the anchor each tide, to avoid the riſk of the anchor not turning in the ground, as the ſhip goes round it, as ſhe will do when ſhe is let paſs at random, on one ſide of the anchor one tide, and on the other ſide of it the next, by which bad practice the cable is liable to get foul of the upper fluke of the anchor.
THIS caſe I muſt refer back to the example page 61, where the ſhip figure 4. plate the 3d. is deſcribed to be managed according to the above rules, when ſhe was brought to an anchor, and was ſhot a-head of it upon the ſtarboard tack; ſo that when the windward tide makes again, ſhe ſhould be caſt and ſhot a-head of her anchor upon the ſame tack, as before is repreſented figure 3, plate the 3d. until ſhe ſwings to windward of the anchor, and comes to a proper ſheer, with a tight cable growing on the larboard bow, and the wind on the ſtarboard quarter, keeping her on this ſheer with the helm a-port: then the ſails may be taken in, till the windward tide ſlacks, for there is no danger of a ſhip breaking her ſheer, whilſt the tide runs ſtrong, in proportion to the wind that keeps her a-ſtern of the anchor; but when the tide ſlacks, or the wind becomes ſo ſtrong, that the ſhip ſhoots end on upon the tide, a-head of her [Page 68] anchor; then is the time that ſhe is liable to break her ſheer againſt the helm, and requires aſſiſtance with ſail, and the yards to be braced about, &c. to prevent her from falling over her anchor, and fouling it.
BUT to caſt the ſhip figure 4, on the ſtarboard tack, as above mentioned, when the lee tide is done, the head yards ſhould be braced up ſharp with the ſtarboard braces, the after yards with the larboard braces, the foretopmaſt ſtayſail ſet with the ſtarboard ſheet hauled flat aft, and the helm hard a-port; then the windward tide coming right aft, acts upon the larboard ſide of the rudder, in a direction ſuch as will cant the ſhip's ſtern to ſtarboard, and the wind at the ſame time acts upon the foretopmaſt ſtayſail, and the head yards, to caſt her head to port upon the ſtarboard tack. And ſuppoſe that by the ſetting of the tide, or other accidents, that contrary to your deſign the ſhip ſhould caſt on the larboard tack, in that caſe, every thing is ready trimmed, as it ſhould be, to ware her round on the other tack, the helm being a-port, is now hard a-weather, the head yards and foretopmaſt ſtayſail is flat full, the after yards braced the other way, all act together, and will bring the ſhip round on the ſtarboard tack, before ſhe comes near her anchor; then the mizen may be hauled out, and the foretopmaſt ſtayſail, and head yards ſet drawing full, to ſhoot her a-head, till ſhe drives to windward of the anchor, with a tight cable, as before deſcribed.
BUT to caſt a ſhip the right way at an anchor, with a windward tide, is beſt repreſented plate the 5th, with a ſide view of the ſhip figure 1, to caſt her upon the larboard tack, when the lee tide ſlacks, the helm is put a-port, to ſheer the ſhip, and bring the wind on the larboard bow, then ſet the ſpritſail and ſpritſail topſail, topped up to port, the jib and foretopmaſt ſtayſail with the larboard ſheets flat aft, and the jib ſheet under the ſpritſail yard arm to guy the ſail farther out to port, the head yards braced ſharp up with the larboard braces, the after yards with the mizentopſail ſet braced ſharp up the other way; ſtrict notice ſhould be taken when the lee tide is quite done, to put the helm hard a ſtarboard, ſo that the windward tide acting upon the ſtarboard ſide of the rudder in that direction, and the wind upon the ſails and yards makes them evidently tend to caſt the ſhip the way deſigned, and when ſhe is caſt you have only to fill the head ſails and yards, to ſhoot her a-head with a tight cable, till the tide ſets her to windward of the anchor, or ſwings her near end on to the tide, and brings the wind on the [Page 69] larboard quarter; then the head ſail ſhould be taken in, and the head yards pointed to the wind wi [...] the larboard braces, and if ſhe continues to ride a-head of the anchor, which ſhould be ſtrictly noticed by the buoy, or the growing of the cable more after-ſail ſhould be ſet, the mizen and mizen ſtayſail added to the mizen topſail, to help the ſtarboard helm to keep the ſhip from breaking her ſheer againſt the helm, and bringing the wind on the ſtarboard quarter; when this happens with theſe ſails ſet, the mizen and mizen ſtayſail muſt be immediately taken in, ſhiver or keep drawing full the right way the mizentopſail, ſet the jib or foretopmaſt ſtayſail, the yards and helm being trimmed the right way, as before mentioned, to keep clear of the anchor, and bring the ſhip round on her proper ſheer again, with the wind on the larboard quarter; then down head-ſails, and endeavour to keep her on this ſheer, as before directed, till the windward tide is done.
IN this ſituation, when the tide makes to windward, it will naturally caſt the ſhip with her head towards the weather ſide, and for the reaſons before given, will ſwing her, to bring the wind ſo far abaft the beam, as to prevent backing her a-ſtern of the anchor to keep it clear: therefore I would recommend to ſhoot her a-head of the anchor to the weather ſide, till ſhe comes to her proper ſheer; the wind being on the quarter a little a-croſs the tide, will keep her from breaking her ſheer, whilſt the windward tide runs, and ſhe may be eaſily ſhot a-head on the ſame ſide of the anchor again, as before deſcribed, when the windward tide is done.
I STRONGLY recommend the ſimple and eaſy method of ſetting the foretopmaſt ſtayſail with the weather ſheet flat aft, and the helm a-weather, whereby the ſhip may be ſheered, and kept near the ſame place to leeward clear of her anchor, both ſtood and ebb, as repreſented by the ſhip figure 1, where ſhe naturally muſt be each ſlack tide in the ſituation as repreſented by the ſhip figure 2, plate the 4th. But this method of ſheering a ſhip to leeward, being quite contrary to that bad cuſtom which is practiced in the coal trade, of ſheering ſhips to windward of their anchor, and though I allow them to be the greateſt proficients in managing ſhips in narrow and difficult channels, hope to convince them that their practice in this inſtance is wrong. But Dame Cuſtom, I know from experience, is a powerful adverſary, and a great enemy to improvements, and will ſeldom ſubmit to conviction; notwithſtanding that, I ſhall endeavour to make a fair compariſon, by deſcribing both methods, as they are repreſented in plate the 4th, which was made for this purpoſe only, and then leave the merit of both to the determination of impartial judges. Firſt, then let us ſuppoſe the wind to be off ſhore, and right a-croſs the tide, as is repreſented plate the 4th, and that the ſhip figure 1, is commanded be Capt. Reaſon, and came to an anchor on the larboard tack, fleming againſt the tide, as deſcribed page 62, with her helm a-weather, to ſheer the ſhip to leeward of the anchor, which method not only keeps the ſhip clear of her anchor, but alſo makes her ride ſo near end on to the tide, with the wind rather abaft the beam, that ſhe may be helped with ſail, to ride eaſier in a rapid tide; and when the tide is moderate, ſhe will lie ſheered right to leeward of her anchor, where ſhe muſt be at each ſlack tide, as has been before obſerved. And if we ſuppoſe that ſhe came to an anchor at ſlack tide, as deſcribed page 62, ſhe will then lie with the cable and anchor in the ſame direction, with the wind right a-head; ſo that when either tide makes, ſo as to bring the wind upon the bow, they have only to hoiſt the foretopmaſt ſtayſail, with the ſheet to windward, and put the helm a-weather, [Page 71] to keep her anchor clear, as you ſee repreſented by figure 1, plate the 4th.
Now we will ſuppoſe Dame Cuſtom commanding the ſhip figure 3, in the ſame plate, comes to an anchor on the ſtarboard tack, ſteming againſt the tide, and puts the helm a lee, which ſheers the ſhip, and lays her anchor in a ſlanting direction to windward, as repreſented by figure 3, till the tide begins to ſlack; then ſets the mizentopſail a-back, and in little wind ſometimes adds the maintopſail a-back, to back the ſhip a-ſtern clear of her anchor, which makes her form a ſweep half round her anchor, according to her ſcope of cable, from her being near right to windward to right to leeward of her anchor, as repreſented from figure 3, to figure 2, where the ſhip muſt naturally lie in that ſituation every ſlack tide, with the wind and anchor right a-head, till the other tide makes; then they ſhift the helm a-lee, braces a-back the mizentopſail and yards, &c. and ſheer the ſhip nearly right to windward, to complete almoſt the circle quite round her anchor every tide, as repreſented from figure 3, to figure 4, where it appears plain, the ſhip is made to take up above twice the room of the ſhip figure 1, conſequently in that proportion her cable rubs over twice as much ground, and is more liable to ſweep foul of ſtones, wreck, or loſt anchors, &c. which may greatly hurt it, and it may get under the upper fluke of her own anchor, if the anchor does not turn in the ground as the ſhip is ſheered round it, which probably will be done at the laſt and firſt part of the tide, when it runs eaſy; when if the wind is moderate, and the bottom a tough clay, it is great chance but the anchor lies with the ſtock to windward, by the ſtrain upon it in that direction, as above mentioned, and the cable may go over the ſtock when lying flat upon the ground, as the ſhip was backed to leeward of the anchor, and may ſweep under the upper fluke as ſhe is ſheered to windward again, which makes it evident, that by this practice, Dame Cuſtom is likely to ride with the cable foul of the upper fluke of the anchor, as repreſented figure 4. And to ſuppoſe the wind and tide ſo moderate, that the ſhip does not drive, yet the ſtrain upon the upper fluke may cant it towards the ſhip, and raiſe the farther ſtock arm off the ground, by which in a clay bottom, the anchor may perhaps lie in that poſition, ſo that when the tide ſlacks, and the ſhip is backed from figure 4, to figure 2, it will clear the cable of the anchor ſluke; and as they ſheet to windward again, from figure 2, to figure 3, the cable is likely to ſweep under the anchor ſtock arm, that lies canted off the ground. I defy [Page 72] the adherents of Dame Cuſtom to account for their cables ſo often getting under the anchor ſtock, which naturally lies flat upon the ground, but by this bad practice.
AGAIN ſuppoſe Dame Cuſtom comes to an anchor at ſlack tide, the anchor will naturally lie in the ſame direction with the ſhip and wind right a-head; and when the tide makes, inſtead of keeping the ſhip to leeward, as repreſented figure 1, then old Dame ſheers and lies to windward of the anchor, as above mentioned; and ſuppoſe the wind to change, and come ſo far a-baft the beam that the ſhip cannot be backed a-ſtern of her anchor, but ſhoots a-head as the tide ſlacks, in this caſe, if it is good holding ground, we may reaſonably ſuppoſe that the anchor has not turned in the ground as the ſhip has gone round it; the cable will then naturally ſweep the upper fluke of the anchor, ſo that Dame Cuſtom is likely to be a-drift with the lee tide, if it blows freſh, or the tide runs ſtrong, and may carry other ſhips a-drift with them, which makes it dangerous for Reaſon to lie near Dame Cuſtom, in crowded roadſteeds, which muſt make great confuſion when one ſheers their ſhip to leeward, and the other to windward of their anchor, they may ſheer on board each other, which I have known to be the caſe, and Dame Cuſtom has then abuſed Reaſon, by calling him lubber, for ſheering the ſhip to leeward of her anchor, when Reaſon, who had obſerved their wrong proceedings, wagered in his own defence, that Dame Cuſtom's anchor was then ſoul, which proved to be ſo at heaving up.
THERE is ſo much to be ſaid againſt this bad cuſtom, of ſheering to windward of the anchor, that I am ſurpriſed how it came into pract [...]ce, as nothing reaſonable has appeared to me could be urged in favour of it: even in reſpect to work, to wear, and tear, all are greatly againſt it; ſo that I would adviſe every ſhip, commanded by Reaſon, to reſort and lie together, as far from the adherents of Dame Cuſtom as the room in the place will admit of, as they all ſheer one way to leeward of their anchors, they may lie with much more ſafety clear of each other, in leſs than hall the compaſs of ground that Dame Cuſtom takes up, as is made evident by plate the 4th, which I hope will prove ſufficient to condemn the practice.
IT is but fai [...] that we remark what effect the change of wind might have upon the ſhip figure 1, to leeward of her anchor, when it made Dame Cuſtom ſoul her anchor by being to windward of it, as mentioned above; ſuppoſe then that the wind comes four points a-baft the beam, as long as the foretopmaſt ſtayſail, with the ſheet [Page 73] to windward, will keep drawing the right way, and the helm hard a-weather, Reaſon to leeward of her anchor will never come near to foul it; and to ſuppoſe by the force of the wind the ſhip ranges a-head of the anchor, that ſhe breaks her ſheer, it will be with her head to leeward, clear of the anchor, till the tide drives her a-ſtern of it again; ſo that whilſt a ſhip by this method can be kept to leeward of her anchor, ſhe ſhould never be ſheered to windward of it.
RULES cannot be fixed to ſuit all places and all ſhips, but different methods may be neceſſary, according to the road, the ſize of the ſhip, her draft of water, and how ſhe may be provided with ground tackle, &c. Where the tide runs very ſtrong, and there is water enough, it is certainly beſt to moor water ſhot, the anchors and cables lying in the ſame direction with the tide, which can then have but little effect upon them, in compariſon to what it has when a ſhip is moored a-croſs the tide, where the power of the tide alone upon the moorings, is of itſelf ſometimes enough to bring the anchors home. Therefore great ſhips that have ſheet anchors, and are well manned to clear the hawſe, when obliged to lie where the tide runs ſtrong, moor with the beſt and ſmall bower anchors, water ſhot; but ſmall ſhips, having only two bower anchors, and but few hands to clear hawſe, drawing leſs water, may moor out of the ſtrength of the tide, with the ſmall bower and ſtream anchor, and hawſer a-thwart the tide, and keep the beſt bower anchor in reſerve, as occaſion may require.
WHEN a ſhip is to be moored only to wait for a fair wind, the beſt anchor, and open hawſe, ſhould be towards the foul wind quarter; but when a ſhip is to lie with all winds that may blow, the beſt anchor and open hawſe ſhould be towards the worſt wind that may blow, to raiſe the waves, and give the ſhip a pitching motion, as is mentioned page 65, and muſt leave no more of the ſmalleſt moorings within board, than juſt enough to freſhen the hawſe on occaſion; by which they will hold the longer, by having the longer ſcope, and the hawſe will be the eaſier cleared.
WHERE a ſhip is liable to ground with the ebb, and not to float till the flood tide runs ſtrong, the ſafeſt method is to moor a-croſs [Page 74] the tide, which lays the ſhip clear from getting damage upon her own anchors; then it requires to attend and ſlack the mooring, that her ſtern may ſwing over upon the flood, to prevent her girting. And when moored with a ſmall anchor and hawſer, the helm ſhould be always ſhifted, to ſheer her towards the ſmall anchor, to eaſe the ſtrain upon the ſmall moorings; and to lay the principal ſtreſs upon the bower anchor and cable, to ride the ſhip when the tide runs ſtrong.
I HAVE been mooring a ſhip in a very narrow river, where the ſhore on each ſide was nothing but looſe ſhilly ſtones. We laid the bower anchor cloſe over to one ſide of the river, and made faſt a hawſer with a long bowline knot, to the middle of a twelve feet deal board, buried on the oppoſite ſhore under the ſhilly ſtones, broadſide, and its lower edge a little ſlanting towards the ſhip, which held her better than an anchor would have done in its place. Another remark of this kind, which I think deſerves notice, is what I have known done, where anchors placed one to back another could not be made to hold in ſand, but a bulky bundle, made of ruſhes that grow on ſand hills, buried under the ſand, and trampled upon, has held ſo that it would break a cable made faſt to it; and no doubt but any thing of the ſame bulk would anſwer the ſame purpoſe;
IN roads where ſhips are liable to be put in great motion by waves, which may make dangerous deſtruction of the moorings with a foul hawſe, and the danger and trouble there is in clearing it, when the waves run high, make it highly neceſſary to endeavor to cauſe the ſhip to ſwing the right way each tide, to keep the hawſe clear, which the wind will do when it blows a-croſs the tide, as may be ſuppoſed in plate the 5th, and that the wind was off the ſhore a-croſs the tide, when the ſhip figure 1, was moored with an open hawſe towards the ſhore, to wait for a fair wind; whilſt that wind continues, the ſhip will ſwing with her ſtern from the ſhore, and keep a clear hawſe without any trouble, but when the wind comes to blow right oppoſite to one tide, and in the ſame direction with the other tide running along the ſhore, as repreſented by the ſhip figure 1, plate the 5th, then it requires management to make [Page 75] the ſhip ſwing with her ſtern from the ſhore, to keep the hawſe open on both tides. The method of proceeding the firſt part of the windward tide, when the wind is right a-head, is fully deſcribed page 68, and to ſwing a ſhip the latter part of a windward tide, when the wind is right aft, requires only to put the helm over that way her ſtern is to go, as in this caſe to ſtarboard, which will bring the wind on the larboard quarter; if it is little wind, the mizen, mizen ſtayſail, and mizen topſail braced up ſharp, may be ſet, to aſſiſt the helm as the tide ſlacks, to ſwing her the right way to keep the hawſe clear, without the trouble of towing with a boat, running out a rope, and a ſmall anchor, &c. which a calm, or the ſetting of the tide may ſometimes require to be done.
AS ſafety may often depend upon this, not only when the waves run high, but in ſmooth water where the tide runs ſtrong, and by giving the moorings a trembling motion, may chaif them; therefore care ſhould be taken to have them well ſerved, not only in the way of the hawſe and cut-water, but ſo far as to reach below the gripe; for a ſhip moored water ſhot, or at a ſingle anchor, with a windward tide, when it blows ſo freſh that ſhe ranges about, and lies a-head of her anchor, with a tight cable, which may be hurt under the bows and gripe, if not ſerved low enough. Therefore it is certainly beſt to have the cables properly ſerved, ready for mooring, as the time and place the ſhip is to lie in may require, as our Eaſt India ſhips in the paſſage home, when in a fine weather climate, put the proper ſervice on their mooring cables; and in the coal trade to London, they put on their cables what they call a long and ſhort ſervice, to continue on for the ſummer's work.
THE beſt ſervice that I know to preſerve a cable from chaiſing in a ſtorm, when the waves run high, are ſuch as are uſed in the coal trade to London; it is cut from the beſt part of a tanned horſe hide, big enough to wrap two or three times round the cable, which is readily and eaſily put on and taken off and much better than plats commonly uſed in merchant ſhips, which is long and troubleſome to paſs, and beat about the cable; and after that is liable to become ſlack as the cable ſtretches, and rubs backward and forward in the hawſe; and when the ſhip pitches hard, it ſometimes ſeparates and [Page 76] makes openings between the parts of the plat, ſo that the cable may be chaifed in theſe openings, which a leather ſervice is not ſubject to, being all the length of the hide in one piece. The method of putting it on the cable, is, firſt to wrap two or three fold of old canvaſs, the length of the leather ſervice, which if too ſtiff to put on dry, requires only dipping in water, and beating it againſt any wood, which makes it immediately ſoft and pliable; then let as many hands as can come at it, wrap it as tight as poſſible upon the old canvaſs, round the cable, tying it tight and ſmooth on with ſinnit, or three yarn nettles, made for that purpoſe, greaſing them and the ſervice very well before veering it into the hawſe hole.
I WOULD adviſe to avoid a practice I have ſeen uſed on this occaſion, that is taking a timber hitch with ſome nettles round the cable upon the canvaſs, then wrapping the leather ſervice and the [...]tles round the cable together, which raiſes the leather in the place of thoſe nettles, where it will ſoon chaif through.
IN a dangerous ſituation, all practicable hints, that may contribute any thing towards ſafety, deſerve notice; and it may often happen that the ſmall b [...]wer cable may be too much wore, or the ſmall moorings known to be too weak to bear the ſtrain of the ſhip to ride out a ſtorm, when the anchor at the beſt cable is in danger, or expected to come home; in this caſe, I would recommend endeavouring to make the weak moorings ſerve for a backing to the beſt anchor and cable, contriving a traveller (as it may be properly called) of ſufficient rope, to go ſlack round the beſt cable, without the hawſe, and well ſecured with rolling hitches ſeized, &c. to the weak moorings that may be veered away, or let go as occaſion may require's or if ſhort of rope to make a proper traveller, a ſtopper may be put on without the hawſe, till the end of the ſmall moorings is put round the beſt cable, with overhand hitches, like a garland, and well ſeized, open enough that it may ſlide along the beſt cable, till it comes to the beſt anchor ſtock, which may prove ſuch a ſure backing to it, as to prevent its coming home; ſo that by this means, there is a much better chance to ride out a ſtorm by the beſt cable, ſingly, than to run the riſk of either anchor coming [Page 77] home, to bring them both a-head together, by which one cable is apt to get foul of the other anchor, and to get ſo entangled as to make the anchors come home, or cut that cable which is foul of the anchor, if the ſhip has a pitching motion.—Since the laſt page was printed off I have heard of a long bowline knot being made uſe of on this occaſion, which I think is better than the over-hand hitches mentioned for this Purpoſe.
BUT it muſt be allowed, that this, as well as all other uncommon methods, requires judgment to contrive, and reſolution to put the deſign ſpeedily in practice, as the occaſion and neceſſity may require, to preſerve the whole when ſafety depends upon riding out a ſtorm.
THERE needs little to be ſaid on this ſubject, if the ſhip lies in a clear roomy place, as either anchor may then be taken up firſt, by veering to it, or weighed with a boat, &c. But if ſituated among a crowd of ſhips, or near the ſhore, then it requires to look about, and conſider well to take up that anchor firſt, that gives the cleareſt birth to caſt the ſhip, or get her under way in the moſt advantageous manner, clear of the dangers that may be near. For want of conduct on ſuch occaſions, I have known great damage done.
IT is obſerved in the addreſs, what was ſaid by the celebrated Doctor Halley, that the Syſtem of navigation in his time, depended upon three L's, Lead, Latitude, and Look-out, each of which deſerve particular notice, as ſafety in my opinion will always greatly depend upon them.
THIS method of ſounding the depth of water is peculiar to our ſeamen, and I judge had its riſe in the coaſting and coal trade to London, where their ſucceſs and ſafety depend greatly upon it; and which make them ſo dexterous, by their great practice, ſo [Page 78] that they will heave the lead far enough to reach the bottom, and give true ſoundings in eleven or twelve fathom water, when the ſhip may be going at the rate of four or five knots through the water; and their rules are equal to their dexterity, and which deſerve mentioning, and ſhould in my opinion be followed as ſtandard rules for the hand lead, for want of which being properly uſed, I have known many misfortunes and fatal loſſes, which might have been avoided. I have heard of a commander of a large ſhip, in the above coal trade, who in dangerous places always hove the lead himſelf; and cunned, or ordered the ſhip about, according to the ſoundings, which he ſung, or ſpoke out aloud as the other men.
WHEN firſt ordered to the lead, he takes care that the inward end of the line is made faſt, to prevent looſing it. 2d. That the lead and line may run clear, and come fair to hand, he takes them out before that ſhrowd next to his foremoſt hand where he ſtands to heave. 3d. The firſt caſt of the lead he only heaves out about ſix or ſeven fathom of line, which prevents the lead being over hove, and readily makes known that the ſhip is not in immediate danger, when no ground is found at that depth; and it is an eaſy way to clear the line for a deeper caſt the next heave, if the occaſion requires it. 4th. When ſounding in leſs than five fathom water, or when there happens a ſudden alteration of leſs water, he heaves the lead as faſt as poſſible, and ſpeaks out the ſounding briſkly, with a loud voice, and does not ſing them out, which takes ſo much time that I have known a ſhip to come a-ground before the ſounding was made known.
THIS cuſtom is certainly a benefit to a fleet of ſhips, ſailing near together in difficult channels, where ſafety depends upon the lead, as in the coal trade to London, where I ſuppoſe the practice: began; and finding the advantage of hearing each others ſoundings as a guide to the whole.
[Page 79] ANOTHER advantage attending this practice, is, where a commander is not well acquainted, he may go of the deck, and look at the ſoundings laid down in the chart, or inſtructions for the place, and hear the depth of water ſung out at the ſame time to compare how they agree.
BUT it muſt be allowed that there are riſks attending this practice, by the lead's-man ſtanding ſtill all the time he is ſinging out the ſoundings; for which reaſon the above 4th rule for a good lead's-man, ſhould be ſtrictly obſerved, to avoid the danger there mentioned, to have happened whilſt the lead's-man was ſinging out the ſoundings, with a long tone, thus, bee, thee, mark, three, &c. in which time the ſhip came a-ground, which might have been avoided, had the ſoundings been ſpoke out quick, as above recommended. This makes me think, that it may be a diſputed point whether the ſoundings may not be as well or better heard, when ſpoke out quick with a loud voice, than when they are ſlowly ſung out; if ſo, the advantage muſt be greatly in favour of ſpeaking out the ſoundings, on all occaſions.
I WOULD recommend what I have found from experience to be an advantage, that is, having this lead only fifteen pounds weight, with a ſmaller line than common kept ready upon a reel, made large enough for the purpoſe, like a log reel, and hung up in beckets, where a man can readily take and hold it between his hands, on any ſudden occaſion; and that the lead may ſink the faſter, to have ſmall and few marks, as the hand-lead and line will get ſoundings at any time, in ten fathom water; the deepſea line need only be marked from ten to ſeventeen fathom, as common, and from twenty upwards with knots as ſmall as thoſe in the log-line.
THIS lead requires various methods of heaving it, according to the depth of water expected, and the ſhip's head or lee way at the time the lead is to be hove When a ſhip is ſailing right an end, without much lee way, if ſoundings cannot be got by heaving it from the cat head, or ſpritſail yard, a man muſt carry the bight of the line to the jibboom end, and with a tight line ſwing the lead forward, when a man gives it all the force he can from the ſpritſail [Page 80] yard. This method well managed, will heave the lead the fartheſt it can be done, to get ſoundings, without bringing the ſhip to.
THE difficulty of getting true ſoundings, in a gale of wind, increaſes in proportion to the depth of water, and the violence of the wind and waves. The beſt method that I have experienced, is to paſs the lead from the weather quarter, round the ſtern to leeward, without all to the fore part of the quarter deck; and a man to carry the bight of the line to the lee main yard arm, which is to be laid ſquare when the helm is put a-lee, to bring the ſhip too; and when the ſhip begins to ſhoot to windward by her head way, then the lead is to be ſwung right to leeward from the deck, whilſt the man at the yard arm, with a tight line, ſwings it as far as poſſible to leeward of the ſhip, which gains to windward of the lead whilſt the head way continues, and then runs her ſtern up to the wind by the ſternway, backs near to where the lead was hove, by which means, as mentioned in box hauling page 53, a great deal of line may be run out, nearly up and down; and the lead being armed with tallow, makes it certain whether it has ſtruck the bottom or no, and if it has, ſhews what ſort of a bottom there is.
WHEN and how oft it may be neceſſary to try for ſoundings, muſt be left to the diſcretion of the commanding officer, and will be more or leſs ſo, according to the nature of the coaſt, place, or ſituation of the ſhip; the want of it being done in due time, is well known to have occaſioned many fatal loſſes. Therefore they who neglect heaving the lead, will always be blamed in proportion to the degree of danger, and the loſs the neglect may occaſion.
THE latitude when it can be got by a good obſervation, with a good inſtrument, muſt be allowed to be the only ſure guide we have in navigation; becauſe it not only gives to a certainty, the ſhip's place, North and South, but it likewiſe helps us to form a judgment how far a dependance may be put on our reckoning, [Page 81] Eaſt or Weſt, in proportion as the latitude by the account kept of the ſhip's way, agrees or diſagrees with the latitude obſerved in the paſſage in general; ſo more or leſs dependance accordingly may be put upon the longitude reckoned to be in.
WHERE people are ſtrangers to places that they have not laid down from good authority, in new charts or books of eſtabliſhed good character, but have them only in old books, or general charts on a ſmall ſcale, where the latitudes may be very erroneous, great caution ſhould be uſed to avoid the ill conſequences that may attend ſuch errors, when the ſhip may be drawing near to danger, or in making a land-fall, &c.
I WAS in a ſhip bound from Liſbon to Mazagan, a Portugueſe garriſon on the coaſt of South Barbary, with which in very fine weather and a fair wind, falling in as we thought by the latitude obſerved, we were in a fair way to find the place, the latitude of which we had only laid down in an old general chart, on a ſmall ſcale. Being all of us ſtrangers, we traced the coaſt cloſe along ſhore by day, and laid the ſhip to at night; thus we ſearched for the place ſo long in vain, that we deſpaired of finding it, therefore it was reſolved to try if it was poſſible to turn the ſhip to windward, againſt a lee current then running, and go to Gibralter to get a pilot to find the place, when in our way back, we found it was above a degree of latitude to the northward of where we had ever looked for it, owing to its being wrong laid down in the chart, and to our officers not getting every poſſible information, concerning a place where we were not acquainted before proceeding on the voyage.
AT cloſing this ſubject, I cannot help acknowledging that great ſervice done to all ſeafaring men by Mr. HADLEY, in the invention of his excellent Quadrant, for obſerving the latitude in ſo eaſy and certain a manner, and which I can ſay from experience is moſt excellent, when compared to our old inſtruments for that and the many other uſeful purpoſes it anſwers, in taking angles horizontally in ſurveying, and of the ſun and moon, or moon and ſtars, towards finding the longitude, and equal altitudes to find true time, &c.
A GOOD look out may juſtly be ſaid to contribute more than any thing towards ſafety, not only from ſhores or ſhoals, &c. but from ſhips running on board each other at ſea, which no doubt often has, and may prove fatal to all thoſe who neglect it. Therefore the utmoſt care ſhould be taken, that this duty is not done in a careleſs manner; and the tranſgreſſors ſhould be puniſhed.
I WAS in a ſhip, in company with a fleet of ſhips of war, turning to windward in the night, with a freſh breeze of wind, when our mate of the watch, as walking the weather ſide of the quarter deck, was alarmed with hearing called out from another ſhip, "a good lookout before there," and an anſwer made by ſeveral "aye, aye," —the mate ran to leeward, looked under the mainſail, and ſaw a frigate on the other tack running right on board us; her jibboom run within our lee mizen ſhrouds, and tore them all away; her ſheet anchor fluke took our main chain plates, tore them all away, and plowed away the plank and timbers till it got clear through our ſhip's ſide, before one ſhip ſtopt the others way; and were ſo locked and entangled together, that had it been a ruff, inſtead of a ſmooth ſea, as it happened to be, one or both ſhips muſt have ſunk, before they could have been got clear of each other.
THIS ſhews, notwithſtanding the ſtrict diſcipline uſed on board our King's ſhips, that this important duty is negligently done there, as well as in other ſhips, by careleſs men not conſidering how much depends upon their looking out, when ſculking or diverting themſelves with ſtories upon the forecaſtle; they without looking out at all, will anſwer regularly to the word of command, aye, aye, which occaſioned the above misfortune. For theſe reaſons, as long as the weather permits, the lookers out ſtationed on deck, ſhould be made to walk each man by himſelf, which will prevent them from being diverted, or ſleeping on this duty; for it is well known that a man may ſtand and ſleep, but he cannot walk and ſleep; and to make this duty both eaſy and well done, it ſhould be taken ſpell and ſpell, according to the number of the watch that can be truſted, and as circumſtances may require.
THE wideſt and cleareſt part of the ocean muſt be allowed to require a lookout; for any two ſhips that are croſſing each others [Page 83] track, may meet and deſtroy both; and the worſe the weather, the more occaſion there muſt be for caution. I was croſſing the weſtern ocean, where we had a very narrow eſcape, ſailing with a gale of wind, quartering under mainſail and foreſail, when the lookers out upon the forecaſtle, ſeeing a light right a-head, took it for, and ſaid one to the other, it is a ſtar, for which it paſſed till we came ſo near, before it was perceived to be a ſhip lying to with a light out, that we only juſt got clear of her ſtern, by putting our helm hard a-port, which juſt ſaved both ſhips from deſtruction.
TO prevent being deceived on this occaſion, I think it neceſſary here to remark, that when any light appears in the horrizon, or near the water's edge, that it cannot be a ſtar, for the atmoſphere or air ſo obſcures the ſtars, that they cannot be ſeen to riſe or ſet in the horrizon. When drawing near to any danger, where ſafety may depend entirely on a good look out, if the weather permits, and the ſhip is manageable, and will work under her topſails, with the mainſail and foreſail in the brales, it gives a fair opening for the officer as well as others upon deck, to look round them, to ſee any dangers as may appear. The little difference thus made in the ſhip's ſailing, is not to be compared with the advantage given for ſafety, or preventing damage on ſuch occaſions.
IT is found to be neceſſary in foreign voyages, to propoſe a reward for the man that firſt ſees and calls out land, if it proves to be really ſuch; and if it be not ſuch, I think it is a bad cuſtom to abuſe him, if he happens to give a falſe alarm, by miſtaking a cloud for land; becauſe it is well known, that the land ſometimes appears much like a cloud, or a cloud much like land, at a diſtance, or the land may be covered by a cloud, that often makes it difficult to diſtinguiſh one from the other. For which reaſon a man ſhould not be made a ſufferer for a miſtake of this kind, but ſhould be encouraged, and have liberty to call out from the maſt head, that there is ſomething like land appears; this might prevent the bad conſequences that ſometime happen, from people being afraid to ſpeak in good time, for fear of being miſtaken and meeting with diſcouragement.
THIS duty well done, may prevent a ſhip coming a-ground; therefore the looker out at the maſt head, on this occaſion, ſhould be encouraged, and ſtrongly recommended to make known without fear or reſerve, all alterations or different appearances of the water; a ſeeming change of colour ſhould not be omitted, tho' it may often proceed from the reflection of clouds, yet it may prove ſhoal water, and neglect may be fatal; for which reaſon an officer ſhould always take the trouble to go up to look at what is noticed from the maſt head, on all occaſions; and all riplings, broken water, or the appearing of an extraordinary ſmooth water, when the ſea is rough, ſhould all be ſtrictly noticed, as they may prove to be great dangers.
FOR want of attending to this ſmoothneſs on the water, from the maſt heed, I had a very narrow eſcape from running the ſhip on ſhore, in turning to windward through the Gulph of Florida, when ſtanding towards the Colleradoes, with a deſign to make as bold with them as poſſible, in order to make a longer ſtretch on the other tack. I ordered the man at the maſt head to look out ſharp for broken water, which we expected to ſee at a ſufficient diſtance; but inſtead of meeting with breakers, we fell into an extraordinary ſmooth water, all at once, which was taken no notice of from the maſt head; we tacked the ſhip in a great hurry, and had but four fathom water when the ſhip was got about, and was but juſt clear of the ground.
IN thoſe ſeas where the Water is very clear, and the weather fine, frequently from the maſt head may be ſeen ſhoals that the ſhip might touch upon; and eſpecially if the ſun ſhines a-ſtern, or is abaft the beam when the ſhip goes her courſe. This enlightens and makes more viſible the parts of the ſhoals towards the ſhip, ſo that from the maſt head, I have had the experience of cunning a ſhip in the beſt of the deep, clear of dangerous ſhoals, through channels [Page 85] where we were not acquainted; but a rough ſea, or the ſun happening to ſhine a-head of the ſhip the way ſhe is going, hinders, [Note: The ſun ſhining a-head hinders ſhoals being ſeen that way.] the ſhoals being ſeen under water, though it may be clear and ſmooth. I had this laſt caſe confirmed, by an inſtance in looking out for ſhoals, called the Silver Keys, or Plate Rocks, lying off the N. E. part of Hyſpaniola; the ſun happened to ſhine a-head of the ſhip, when a part of the ſhoals we had paſſed was ſeen a-ſtern, from the quarter deck, before any was ſeen from the maſt head, which made me haſten to the maſt head, very angry with the man looking out, till I was convinced that he was not in fault; for nothing could be ſeen under water a-head, the way he was ordered to look out, owing to the dark or ſhaded parts of the ſhoals being towards the ſhip, and the water reflecting the ſun's rays upon the eyes of the looker out, that prevented us ſeeing the dangers. I ordered the helm a-weather, and brought the ſun aft, and cunned the ſhip out again clear of theſe ſhoals, which we could ſee very plain with the ſun a-ſtern; they ſeemed to be coral rocks, here and there one in a ſtragling manner, with about four fathom water upon them that we had paſſed.
THE great rewards offered, and the encouragement given by our government, has occaſioned many methods to be tried for this uſeful diſcovery; of late a fair trial has been given to Mr. ERWIN'S Marine Chair, to obſerve by Jupiter's moons at ſea; Mr. HARRISON'S famous Time Piece, which performed ſo well in the voyage of trial to the Weſt Indies, as to gain £. 10,000 reward; and now what is recommended and publiſhed by order of the Board of Longitude, MIER'S Tables, and MASKALYNES Nautical Almanack, to obſerve and calculate by the ſun, moon, and ſtars, which I doubt will require too nice obſervations, and too long calculations, to be performed without errors, by the generality of ſuch ſeamen as at this time navigate ſhips at ſea, who will think it too difficult to come near true time of day or night, on this uncertain element; and every [Page 86] minute out in that, makes an error of a quarter of a degree of longitude.
[Note: Except the Longitude can be come at by a certain eaſy method, it may do more harm than good among the vain poſitive part of men.]THEREFORE without this much laboured for diſcovery, can be brought within the reach of common capacities, and learning to perform with ſome certainty, without being liable to many errors, which every man is ſubject to in nice obſervations and long calculations among a multitude of figures, it may be productive of effects contrary to the deſign; eſpecially by putting people off their guard, and giving too much confidence to the vain and poſitive part of men, who cannot bear to be thought wrong in their reckoning. Many inſtances I could give of this diſpoſition, but will only mention one, who, though he was ſteering an eaſterly courſe in the night, and was told that land was ſeen a-head, he replied, "that the devil muſt bring it there if there was any, which he could not believe." —The conſequence of his obſtinacy, was the loſs of a fine large ſhip and a rich cargo.
THE Board of Longitude, in order to facilitate the diſcovery that is expected to be found by this laſt mentioned method, has ordered, that the maſters for the royal navy muſt qualify themſelves, by learning to paſs an examination to ſhew that they underſtand the Nautical Almanack, which is a taſk, in my opinion, that cannot reaſonably be expected from many of our moſt hardy and expert navigators, whoſe education has been moſtly from early youth, through the hard, laborious, and buſy ſcenes of life at ſea, and have never had the opportunity, to get the learning that is neceſſary, to underſtand the true principles of this Almanack.
ON this occaſion, with humble ſubmiſſion to the learned, I ſpeak for myſelf and many maſters of ſhips, who can conduct a ſhip to any part of the world, that hath its latitude and longitude right laid down, without having learned ſo much aſtronomy at ſchool, as to underſtand the characters, ſigns, and terms, &c. that are uſed in thoſe Almanacks, to deſcribe our ſyſtem or ſet of worlds, with their moons and their motions round the ſun; which terms, &c. are in an unknown tongue to one who is but a mere engliſh reader: and our world and moon, with their motions and places, are there ſet forth in a complex myſterious manner, telling us every day where the ſun is in the Ecliptick, where no ſtar is to be ſeen at that time, which makes us ſo little acquainted with the fixed ſtars, as to think that they and the ſun, according to the old notion, go round us every day, as they appear to do by our world's daily motion. And as it is from our knowledge of the fixed ſtars, that lie near the moon's [Page 87] path, that the obſervations for this diſcovery are to be principally made, and which ſhews the great neceſſity, not only on this account, but for many other benefits to ſeamen, [Note: To have our ſuns ſyſtem of worlds and the fixed ſtars more eaſily deſcribed to ſeamen.] for us to endeavour to get the courſe, motion, and place of our world and moon, deſcribed and repreſented in ſuch a plain manner, that ſuch navigators as are above mentioned may form ſome notion how we and the five other worlds called planets, that belong to our ſyſtem, are conſtantly changing places, each in their different orbits, or paths; and going faſter or ſlower according to their diſtance, round the ſun once in their year, in wonderful order, from the fixed ſtars in one part of the firmament, round to the ſame ſtars again, according to the laws given them by the Almighty Creator and conductor of the univerſe, as is illuſtrated, and in a particular maſterly manner ſhewn in FERGUSON'S Aſtronomy, where the names of the twelve ſigns in the Zodiack, and the reſt of the conſtellations are in engliſh, whereby the fixed ſtars are to be known. But the moſt fruitful imagination cannot find the leaſt reſemblance to thoſe figures they are commonly called by, and which require a great while to learn; ſo that notwithſtanding the pains taken by this extraordinary ſelf-taught Philoſopher, to whom I acknowledge myſelf under the greateſt obligations, as what little I have learned in that ſcience is from him, yet I cannot help thinking, that this ancient method of teaching the motions of our ſyſtem, is perplexing, and is a burthen to the memory, for the reaſons given above; and that it might be much better and eaſier taught to ſeamen, by the form of the chart of the Mariner's Compaſs.
IT muſt be allowed that we excel the ancients greatly in ſhipping, and in navigating them, [Note: A compaſs chard ecliptic recommended inſtead of the twelve ſigns.] ſince time has diſcovered and brought into uſe, that noble inſtrument the Mariner's Compaſs, by which a ſeaman knows how to ſteer a ſhip, and to calculate the ſhip's way, he muſt underſtand how to quarter and divide this Compaſs into the 360 degrees, which extended out in ſtraight lines from the ſun's center, might repreſent the 360 degrees of the ecliptick, in a much more familiar manner to ſeamen in general than the 12 ſigns. Therefore to anſwer the above good purpoſe, I would recommend to thoſe in power, to get a ſet of large plates engraved, ſuch as are uſed now to ſtamp handkerchiefs with; the firſt to repreſent our ſolar ſyſtem as it really is, with the ſun in the center and its rays to form the ſea compaſs chard, with the 360 degrees extending outwards, through a large circle divided into the months and days of our year; the North point pointing to the 21ſt. of December, which [Page 88] may properly be called and underſtood to be the northermoſt part of the world's orbit, as we then enter into what is now the northermoſt conſtellation in the ecliptic, called Gemini, which makes our ſhorteſt day, when at the ſame time the South latitudes have their longeſt day; the reaſons for it, and the other ſeaſons of our year will appear evident, by having our world delineated on the eight capital points of this compaſs ecliptic, N. N W. W. S W. &c. round the ſun, as Mr. FERGUSON has done in his 5th plate of Aſtronomy, from which, and a ſcheme he drew for me to make obſervations on the tides, I formed this deſign of what I call the ſeamen's ſyſtem, and had one drawn and put upon a wheel work planetarian, to obſerve whether our neighbouring worlds paſſing near us in their orbits, had any influence on the tides, but found none.
THUS by having our globe repreſented in different parts of her orbit which ſhe moves in, at the rate of near one of the 360 degrees of the ecliptic every day, and in that time turns once round on the center of her daily motion, which is at the poles that lie in a direction of 23½ degrees, inclinable towards the plane of her orbit, and the year round always keeps pointing towards the ſame part of the ſtarry firmament, as is evident to any common obſerver, who may ſee how our North pole always points towards what we call the North pole ſtar, that never goes below our horrizon in North latitudes, by which, and a little thinking, it may be perceived in general, how our nights and days, with their alterations, and the ſun's declination are brought yearly about, by the ſun always enlightening that half part of our globe that is turned directly towards it; and as it is on the 21ſt. of December when our globe is on the North point of the ecliptic, when I would have the year for this ſyſtem to begin, when the ſun ſhines directly upon the South tropick, its light reaches 90 degrees round on our globe, takes in all the South polar circle, where it is all day, by its then pointing moſt towards the ſun, when it is all night in the North polar circle, becauſe it points moſt from the ſun, as repreſented in the figure on the North point of the ecliptic.
BUT by comparing ſmall things that can be ſeen, often helps us to form an idea of what is too big for our ſenſes to diſcern; a bomb ſhell of 12 inches diameter, forced into motion through our air, may be ſeen by its fuſe to keep turning round and round on its center of gravity, as it moves forward; ſo our globe, in round numbers about 8000 miles diameter, inſenſible to us, moves forward in her orbit, as may be ſuppoſed, at the rate of about 1000 miles in every [Page 89] minute of time, whilſt it is known to keep regularly turning on the center of its poles a quarter of a degree of longitude, which makes 15 degrees for every hour of time, that brings about midday and midnight to all the different parts of our globe, between the polar circles in 24 hours, as they are repreſented by the 24 meridians in the figures, which all center or croſs each other at the poles, divides our globe into the 360 degrees of longitude, Eaſt and Weſt, as well as meaſures the 360 degrees of latitude, North and South.
WE then enter into our ſpring, and S W quarter of the ecliptic, [Note: The ſpring quarter.] and move forward every day as above mentioned, from the Weſt to the South point of our orbit, as may be ſeen by the ſcheme how our North latitude days lengthen, and the ſun's North declination increaſes to 23½ degrees on the 21ſt. of June, when the ſun ſhines right upon the North tropic, and reaches over all our North polar circle, which then points moſt towards the ſun, when the South polar circle points the moſt from it that it can do the year round, as repreſented by the figure on the South point of the ecliptic.
WE next go through our ſummer S E quarter of our orbit, [Note: The ſummer quarter.] from the South to the Eaſt point of the ecliptic on the 22d of September, when we are again broadſide, in the center of our daily motion to the ſun, which then ſhines directly upon our equal night line, and reaches both poles, that it riſes and ſets on the true Eaſt and Weſt points of the compaſs, and at the 6th hour morning and evening, the ſame as when we are on the Weſt point of the ecliptic on the 20th of March.
[Page 90] [Note: The harveſt quarter.]TO complete the year, we go through our harveſt or N E quarter of our orbit, from the Eaſt to the North point of the ecliptic, which every day brings the South pole more into the light for its half years day; and the North pole goes as much into the dark for its half years night, until the 21ſt. of December, when we are upon the North point of the ecliptic again; and the ſun having its greateſt South declination, [Note: What occaſions the half years day and night at the poles.] ſhines right upon the South tropic, and enlightens all the South polar circle, when the North polar circle is all in the dark, owing to the South pole then pointing 23½ degrees towards the Sun, when the North pole points as much from the ſun, which is then true South from us; at noon by the compaſs as we are true North from it, which may be perceived by the meridian pointing right to it. [Note: At the begining of the four ſeaſons, when we may ſee the ſun and we, bear true N. and S. E. and W. from each other by the compaſs.] And on the 20th of March, when we are on the Weſt point of the ecliptic, the riſing ſun bears true Eaſt by the compaſs. And on the 21ſt. of June, when we are on the South point of the ecliptic, our North pole then points 23½ degrees towards the ſun, which from between the tropics is as it bears by the compaſs true North from us, as may be obſerved by the noon meridian pointing ſtraight to it. And on the 21ſt. of September, when we are on the Eaſt point of the ecliptic, the ſetting ſun then bears true Weſt by the compaſs, from us, as we are true Eaſt from it. And theſe four compaſs quarters of our orbit, whereby our four ſeaſons and quarters of the year are diſtinguiſhed, contain each 90 degrees, which complete the 360 degrees of the compaſs ecliptic; which drawn out to the extent of a large handkerchief, will give room for all that is neceſſary to anſwer this purpoſe. [Note: Eight different places and faces of our moons and Jupiter with his moons in miniature to be added to the ſcheme.] Our moon with a different face in her orbit, may be put to each figure of our globe; and Jupiter's moons, as Mr. FERGUSON has ingeniouſly done in his 5th plate of aſtronomy, might ſhew how they may be obſerved, going into and coming out of Jupiter's ſhadow, from our different meridians, in the different parts of our orbit. And without Saturn's orbit, may be placed the ſtars to the fourth magnitude of the 12 ſigns of the Zodiac, as the before mentioned neceſſary obſervations for the longitude are to be made.
BY this ſcheme, and as the almanacks give the ſun's place every day at noon, [Note: The Almanacks to give our worlds place at midnight in the degrees of the compaſs ecliptic.] to ſhew our world's place at midnight, in degrees of the compaſs ecliptic, which in this ſcheme goes through the days of the month, and which will point out very plain, what ſtars of the ecliptic will be brought upon, or neareſt to the meridian every midnight in the year; this would ſoon make us ſo acquainted with them, as to know all the principal ſtars of the 12 ſigns, many [Page 91] of which are always viſible in clear nights, where we navigate; ſo that on many important occaſions, excluſive of the longitude, to know them as they appear would be of the greateſt ſervice to ſeamen, and more eſpecially to the thinking part of navigators who never learned aſtronomy, they may hereby form a notion how we are ſituated and move, in our daily and yearly motions round the ſun, conjectured to be from us the diſtance of about a hundred million of miles, among the other worlds that belong to our ſyſtem; and alſo how obſervations for the longitude may be made by Jupiter's moons as above mentioned, [Note: To try to obſerve Jupiters moons at ſea with Dollands improved ſpyglaſſes recommended.] to get the difference of time from Greenwich, as given in the almanacks, allowing four minutes of time for every degree, which will give the longitude in Eaſt or Weſt; and by comparing DOLLAND'S improved ſpying-glaſs with the reflecting teleſcope. I cannot help thinking, that the weather may often permit theſe obſervations to be made at ſea, with DOLLAND'S beſt glaſſes, which certainly deſerve a fair trial, as it is well known, ſome officers are by practice ſo expert with them, that they can ſtand upon their ſea legs, as it is called, and balance themſelves in a ſurpriſing manner, ſo as to counter act the ſhip's waving motion, when they are uſing the ſpying glaſs, or taking obſervations; ſo that by practice it is to be hoped, theſe obſervations will become of great uſe, at leaſt in ſmooth water. And as we paſs Jupiter in his orbit, once nearly every year, it ſhould be noticed, as repreſented in the ſcheme, that when we are coming up with Jupiter, to obſerve his moons going into his ſhadow, and when we have paſt him, to obſerve them coming out of it; and that their motion round him is the ſame as our moon round us againſt the ſun, from the right hand to the left.
I WOULD further recommend to thoſe in power, [Note: To have two large ſtar ſpheres made public.] to have two more large plates engraved and made public, with the Weſt and Eaſt ſpheres of the fixed ſtars, as repreſented on the beſt celeſtial globes; the firſt plate to begin and continue the degrees of the equator and ecliptic, according to the yearly courſe of our globe, from our winter to our ſummer ſolſtice; and the ſecond plate from our ſummer to our winter ſolſtice again, and to have the days of the year added to the degrees of the equator; the meridians of which will point out our ſituation, to know what principal ſtars will be viſible, and come upon, or near the meridian, every midnight in the year; and to have them named, marked, or numbered, ſo as to be better known to an engliſh reader, than the hard names and characters they now bear. And as the equator croſſes the ecliptic that extends to the [Page 92] oppoſite ſides of the North and South tropicks, and the poles of the ecliptic to the oppoſite ſides of the polar circles in each of theſe ſpheres, ſhews by inſpection, from the days of the month at the equator, the declination of the ſtars, that lie in the plain of the ecliptic the year round, occaſioned by the obliquity of our worlds motion to the plain of the ecliptic, as before mentioned.
THESE three ſchemes, thus made publick on handkerchiefs, done by maſterly hands, in my opinion would induce the inquiſitive part of ſeamen, who are ſo much on duty upon deck in the night, to employ their vacant time in comparing theſe repreſentations, and what has been ſaid on the occaſion, to what may be obſerved and learned from the grand ſyſtem of created nature, the general laws given to our ſun's ſyſtem of worlds, to make them and the principal fixed ſtars more eaſily and generally known. [Note: The Eaſt-India trade beſt adapted for theſe improvements.] The Eaſt India trade is beſt adapted for theſe improvements, becauſe they run moſt of their great extent of longitude, out, and home, in pretty high ſouth latitudes; which give them the favourable opportunity of ſeeing and obſerving all the ſtars, as well as the planets, as they appear to the ſouthward a well as the northward of the ecliptic; and can compare any trials or obſervations that may be made for the longitude, with the variation of the compaſs, the curve lines of which lie near north and ſouth, in their long track from the coaſt of Brazil to India; ſo that they correct their longitude by the variation of the compaſs, which they find to great nicety very readily, by their great practice in taking azimouths and amplitudes at all opportunities.
FROM all that I have ſeen, thoſe ſeamen in the Eaſt India trade are the moſt perfect in the open ſeas. And thoſe in the coal trade to London the moſt perfect in difficult narrow channels, and tide ways, where they ſail by the voyage, which makes it their intereſt to be as dexterous and expeditious as poſſible in working and managing their ſhips, which in general are 4 or 500 tons, and which makes this trade the beſt nurſery in the world for hardy, active, and expert ſeamen. And as moſt ſhips muſt be conducted through channels, or narrow waters, in their way to ſea, I will endeavour [Page 93] to remark what I think deſerves notice in making paſſages in this coal trade.
IN the navigation from Newcaſtle to London, two thirds of the way is amongſt dangerous ſhoals, and intricate channels, as may be ſeen by the chart of the coaſt, and the ſhips are as large as the ſh [...] channels will admit them to get through with the flow of the tide, which requires to be known to a great exactneſs to proceed in proper time, and dexterous pilots to navigate through thoſe channels with ſafety and expedition, to make ſo many voyages in the year, that they may be gainers by their ſhips, which are numerous as well as large, and managed by the feweſt men and in a more compleat manner than in any other trade that I know of in the world, conſidering the difficulty of the navigation, and how deep the ſhips are loaded, and how lightly they are balaſted, yet they meet with very few loſſes in proportion to the number of ſhips, which the owners generally run the riſque of, and thereby ſave the expence of inſurance, by which means they can afford to freight their ſhips cheaper than others, ſo that they are become the chief carriers in the timber, iron, hemp, and flax trades.
BLOWING weather and contrary winds, often collect a great many of theſe colliers together, ſo that they ſail in great fleets, ſtriving with the utmoſt dexterity, diligence and care, againſt each other, to got firſt to market with their coals, or for their turn to load at New-caſtle, where at the firſt of a Weſterly wind, after a long Eaſterly one, there are ſometimes two or three hundred ſhips turning to windward in, and ſailing out of that harbour in one tide; the ſight of ſo many ſhips, paſſing and croſſing each other in ſo little time and room, by their dexterous management, is ſaid to have made a travelling French gentleman of rank, to hold up his hands and exclaim, "that it was there France wa conquered;" the entrance into the harbour being ſo very narrow, with dangerous rocks on one ſide, and a ſteep ſand bank on the other, with a hard ſhoal bar a-croſs, where the waves of the ſea frequently run very high, and puts them under the neceſſity of being very briſk and dexterous.
WHAT is moſt worthy remarking here when they are going out with a fair wind in their great deep loaded ſhips, [Note: To prevent ſtriking, drives rolling over the bar.] and the waves running high upon the bar, that they would make the ſhip ſtrike upon it, if ſhe was to ſail out pitching againſt the head waves, to prevent which when they come to the bar, they in a very maſterly [Page 94] manner bring the ſhip to, and ſhe drives over, rolling broad ſide to waves, which management preſerves her from ſtriking.
[Note: A ſhip got to ſea by d [...]iving ſtern foremoſt with the tide.]I HAVE heard of a bold ſingle adventurer getting to ſea out of this harbour, when many ſhips lay windbound with the wind and waves right in, and right upon the ſhore without the harbour; he having a ſmall handy ſhip, and no doubt, materials and men that could be depended upon, made every thing ſnug and ready, as the occaſion required, and got as near the bar as ſhe could ride with ſafety, and had the ſails, that were deſigned to be carried, furled with rope-yarns that would eaſily break; he then took the advantage as may be ſuppoſed, of the firſt of the ebb of a high ſtrong ſpring tide when there was water enough and ſo drove over the bar, ſtern foremoſt, with the ſails all furled and the yards braced ſharp up, (as mentioned page 54) by the ſtrength of the tide out of the harbour, 'till they reached the ſea tide from the ſouthward along the coaſt, then put the helm hard a-ſtarboard, and brought the ſhip by the wind on the larboard tack, and expeditiouſly ſet all the ſails they could carry; the tide checking the ſhip two points on the lee bow helped her to get to windward off the lee ſhore, ſo that they made their courſe good along the coaſt, and got their paſſage.
WHEN it happens that a great fleet of loaded ſhips ſails out in one tide, with the firſt of a weſterly wind, thoſe that draw the leaſt water take the advantage and get over the bar firſt to ſea, where they ſtrive and carry all the ſail poſſible to get and keep a-head of each other, and the faſteſt ſailing and beſt managed ſhips commonly get the advantage whilſt they are in the open and clear part of the ſea, till they come to work out of Yarmouth roads, where for want of water the ſhips of the greateſt draft are often obliged to ſtay far the flowing of the tide, and each ſhip is glad to follow another that they know draws more water than themſelves when going through dangerous channels, [Note: What advantage they make of each other when ſailing in fleets.] this collects many of them near together again for their mutual ſafety, each heaves the lead and makes known aloud the ſoundings which often proves the principal guide to the whole fleet, as by that they find and keep the beſt of the deep in the intricate channels they paſs through▪ and in which they often have a great deal of turning to windward againſt ſtrong weſterly winds. When they are obliged to ſtop the lee tide they do it with the beſt bower anchor and cable to the better end, which makes them ſo expert in heaving up their anchors, and getting under way, as well as working their ſhips to windward (as particularly deſcribed page 50) and eſpecially up the Swin channel, in ſuch [Page 95] weather when they would not venture to proceed with a fair wind, this ſeems a paradox to many people, therefore it may be of ſervice to explain their ſingular conduct on this occaſion.
WHEN they turn to windward up the Swin in dark hazey weather, they know by their ſoundings when they are in a fair way, [Note: Why they chooſe [...] turning wind, rather than a fair one for ſafety.] and what ſide of the channel they are on, and by ſtanding quite acroſs the main channel from ſide to ſide avoid the danger of being hooked in, on the wrong ſide of ſpits of ſand into ſwatches where the tide runs through, and where there is the ſame ſoundings at the entrance as in the right channel, which is the reaſon that with a fair wind and hazey weather, a compaſs courſe is not to be relied upon, therefore each ſhip, very artfully, endeavours to get a leader that they know draws more water than themſelves, and the leading ſhip knowing their danger running no farther than they think is ſafe, [Note: How they ſteer by one another in hazy weather.] commonly lets go her anchor, the next following ſhip apprehending the ſame danger, has their anchors ready and lets it go juſt above the firſt ſhip, and the next ſteers cloſe paſt theſe two ſhips and comes to an anchor juſt above them, and ſo on with the next, till the whole fleet forms a line one above the other, ſo that the ſhip that was firſt becomes laſt, when they commonly again heave up her anchor, and ſteer cloſe by the whole fleet if they are perceived to ride a-float and the next ſhip follows them, and either comes to an anchor again above the uppermoſt ſhip as beſofe, or proceeds forward, according as they find by the ſoundings, by which they know that they have paſt the dangers they were afraid of and gets into a ſafe track, where they can depend upon the compaſs courſe, then they ſet and carry all the ſail poſſible to get or keep a-head of each other.
THEIR management in working theſe large ſhips to windward, [Note: Their dexterous management in London river.] up moſt parts of London river with their main-ſails ſet is likewiſe remarkable, and from their great practice knowing the depth of water according to the time of tide, and how much the ſhip will ſhoot a-head in ſtays; they ſtand upon each tack to the greateſt nicety cloſe from ſide to ſide as far as poſſible things will admit of to keep in a fair way, and where eddies occaſion the true tide to run very narrow, or ſhips &c. lie in the way ſo as not to give room to turn to windward, they very dexterouſly brail up mainſail and ſoreſail, and drives to windward with the tide under their topſails by ſuch rules as has been deſcribed, and in the Pool where there is ſo little room to paſs through ſuch crowds of ſhips, their management has afforded me the greateſt pleaſure, and when they get near their deſigned birth, to what a nicety they let go the anchor, veers out the [Page 96] cable to run freely as the occaſion may require, ſo as to bring the ſhip up exactly in time in ſurpriſing little room, clear of the other ſhips, and lays her eaſily and fairly along ſide of the tier of ſhips where they moor, ſo that as they ſay they can work and lay their ſhips to a boats length as occaſion requires. And there is no doubt but that to ſhorten the voyage by which the men are paid, occaſions this extraordinary induſtry, and dexterous management, every man for his own intereſt here exerts himſelf, encouraging and ſtriving to get before and excel each other, in doing the neceſſary duty. When it happens that the ſhips come a-ground, they readily firſt carry out a catch anchor and towline, and if that is difficient, they haul out a bower anchor by it, to heave the ſhip off. In heaving up their anchors briſkly with a windlaſs, they greatly excel other merchant ſhips, but the difference of men as well as things, can only be known by compariſon; I had a ſhip in the merchant's ſervice, that hove with nine handſpikes double man'd at the windlaſs, to heave up the ſmall bower anchor, which we found ſo difficult and took up ſo much time, that to avoid the riſques we run in getting the ſhip under way in narrow waters, I was going to have this anchor changed for a leſs, till at London, I happened to employ a mate and ſeven men from a Collier, [Note: [...]ff [...]r [...] of [...] up an ancient.] to tranſport the ſhip to the Graving Dock at Deptford, when theſe ſeven men, only, hove up this anchor by two briſk motions, for each ſquare of the windlaſs, in a quarter of the time that it uſed to be done by 18 men, and this difference was intirely owing to their dexterity, learn'd by great practice; they riſe with their handſpikes, and heave exactly all together with a regular briſk motion, which unites their powers into one. And they are equally briſk and clever in warping, or tranſporting a ſhip with ropes, and likewiſe in handing, reefing and ſteering, &c.
IF the ſhip, in her way to ſea, requires a qualified Pilot, who is liable to be called to an account for any misfortune, it is but reaſonable that he ſhould be obeyed, and conſulted by the ſhips officers, and that they ſhould ſee all things neceſſary, both men and materials, be ready to proceed in proper time, otherwiſe the Pilot may juſtly refuſe to take charge of the ſhip; for want of theſe neceſſary preparations I have known many bad accidents happen.
THESE ſhips in general, I can ſay from experience, compared with the colliers juſt mentioned, are under great diſadvantages in [Page 97] the dexterity of their men to work and manage them, in narrow channels and tide-ways, their crews in common being a mixture of good and bad ſeamen, and in heaving up their anchors with a windlaſs, the efforts of the good men are loſt among the bad, who for want of practice or a willing mind, do not keep time to heave altogether with the good men, but heave in a lubberly manner one after another, which occaſions the great difference mentioned in heaving up that anchor, which ſeven men performed, much better than eighteen whoſe ſtrength was ſo divided. Sailing by the month, makes the lazy bad part of a ſhips crew more backward in doing their duty, as being no way intereſted to expedite the voyage.
IF the channels are narrow, with ſwatches joining them, [Note: Why two objects for leading marks ſhould be endeavoured after.] that occaſion croſs tides amongſt ſhoals that are under water, all poſſible pains ſhould be taken to get two objects for leading marks that lie nearly in the ſame direction with the channel, which are much better than any ſingle mark, buoy, or beacon, to which ſingle mark a ſhip may be kept ſteming towards, and may ſeem to go in a fair way to it, yet by the tide or lee way, may be carried inſenſibly out of the channel on ſhore, by which I have known great loſs and damage, for want of being ſtrictly noticed and guarded againſt, by obſerving the true bearings of the compaſs, or the lead and its ſtray line how the ſhip goes over the ground, different to what ſhe ſtems.
GOING with the ebb tide, makes it much more dangerous than proceeding with the flood, and eſpecially where there is a great flow of water, which falls faſt in proportion, ſo that if the ſhip comes a-ground there is little chance of getting off again that tide, therefore it requires the more care and caution, and when it happens that you are obliged to proceed forward in the night, if a boat can be ſent to ſhew a light where the buoys or dangers lie, that you have to paſs, I can ſay from experience, it may often prove a good method to keep clear of the ground.
IF it happens by the ſet of the ebb tide, &c. that the ſhip is found to be out of the proper channel upon a ſhoal, and the wind ſo that you cannot ſhoot her off with the ſails, it ſhould be immediately reſolved what is beſt to be done, whether the time of tide affords water to give the ſhip a chance to drive over the ſhoal, or let go the anchor, and endeavour to warp into the channel again; this has been my caſe, when I ordered the anchor to be let go, and begun to warp, but the tide fell ſo faſt that the ſhip grounded upon the ſhoal, and I perceived afterwards ſhe would have had water enough to have drove over the ſhoal, if we had not let go the anchor.
[Page 98] WHEN a ſhip comes a-ground, that is liable to take a great heald and may ſtrain as the tide leaves her, the topmaſt ſhould be ſtruck that they may come eaſily down while ſhe continues upright, and ſhe ſhould be eaſed from all tophamper, or it ſhould be laid as low down as poſſible, and when ſhe begins to take her heald, the main and fore yards may be uſed for ſhores, [Note: The lower yards may be uſed as ſhores on occaſion.] being laſhed to the chain plates, ſcoppers, &c. by which not only their weight is taken off the ſhip, but they may ſupport her from ſtraining, and when neceſſity requires it, the ſpare booms may be uſed for ſhores, and to laſh iron crows with the ſharp end below the end of each ſhore, may be a means to keep the lower ends faſt to the ground.
NOW we may ſuppoſe a ſhip got to ſea clear of theſe dangers that required a Pilot, who has now left the ſhip to the management of the commander and proper officers. And when the courſe that is to be ſteered is ordered, [Note: The compaſs and courſets be looked after.] the compaſſes ſhould be examined to ſee that they traverſe freely, and ſhould be compared how they agree with each other, both in and out of the binacle. which ſhould be cleared from all iron from about it, and if the commander ſhould be otherwiſe engaged, a proper officer ſhould be appointed to attend to the courſe ſteered, and to the ſoundings of the lead, if it is kept going, to avoid what I have known of late; and many other inſtances, of ſhips being run on ſhore by courſe, when the blame has been laid on the compaſs.
WHILST one officer takes the care of the ſhips courſe, &c. the other officers with the whole crew, according to their ſtations, ſhould be properly employed, in clearing and preparing the ſhip to contend with the turbulent waves of the ſea, to prevent and guard as much as poſſible, [Note: Port and hatches to be ſecured.] againſt the bad and fatal conſequences, which I have known to happen from ſhipping water before things have been properly ſecured, that the people may be properly refreſhed with ſleep, which nature demands, to enable them to do the duty as it ought to be done, as ſoon as things is got to rights to admit of it, the watch ſhould be choſe and ſet.
THE crew as far as they are known to be good and bad, ſhould be equally divided, and they ſhould be told by the commander, that the ſafety, eaſe, and ſucceſs of the whole depends chiefly on every one doing or getting the neceſſary duty done, with watchfulneſs, care, and diligence, according to their different ſtations, [Page 99] which he is in duty bound ſtrictly to look after, and treat each of them, as their merit, or demerit deſerves. [Note: Safety depends chiefly on the watch upon deck] The watch upon deck have upon them the important charge, not only of the ſafety of the ſhip and their own lives, but the lives of the other watch and all that are below, therefore any neglect of duty by the watch upon deck, and eſpecially in keeping a good look out, ſhould be reſented by all the reſt of the crew, the watch below ſhould lie down with ſuch cloaths on, as to be ready to turn out directly, when all hands are called, which may be to ſave the whole from immediate deſtruction. Theſe declarations help greatly to reconcile the crew in general, to that ſtrict diſcipline, which may be abſolutely neceſſary to be eſtabliſhed at the beginning of the voyage, and eſpecially when paſſing through dangerous narrow ſeas.
THE commanding officer of the watch, in my opinion, [Note: The officer on deck to uſe his judgment to avoid danger.] ſhould not be put under that too common reſtriction, of being obliged to wait for the approbation and orders of his captain, when any unexpected great danger appears to be very near, but it ſhould be recommended to him, to give ſuch orders as in his judgment he may think the immediate neceſſity for ſafety require, to avoid the neareſt danger, ſo as to give time, to call on the captain to direct what is beſt to be afterwards done.
1.64. On ſhaping a Courſe, and navigating thro' dangerous narrow Seas or Straits, where Tides or Currents run ſtrong.
IN ſeas where ſhoals lie interſperſed at a diſtance from the land, and where tides or currents run ſo ſtrong as may greatly alter both the intended courſe and diſtance (which has to my knowledge occaſioned many fatal loſſes) no pains ſhould be ſpared in ſhaping the Courſe to calculate how the intended courſe and diſtance is to be made good, [Note: The tides or currents to be noticed.] for it is well known that a ſtrong tide or current has the ſame effect upon a ſhips way at ſea, tho' it may not be ſo viſible, as in a river where it is plain to be ſeen, for which reaſon the ſetting and ſtrength of the tide or current, as near as can be got, ſhould be reckoned in the calculation, and ſet down in the log book as a courſe and diſtance in keeping the ſhips way the ſame as the log, which ought to be hove and remarked every hour, and this is not too often, becauſe in that time there may be great alterations in the ſhips way, as well as the tide.
[Page 100] FOR theſe reaſons as well as on other important occaſions, every prudent diligent officer, ſhould endeavour to get all the helps he can come at from tide tables, books, charts &c, to make himſelf as well acquainted as poſſible with the tides, and ſhould take all favourable opportunities to try and remark their ebbing and flowing, ſetting and ſtrength of the tides as well as of the currents, that may be found in their track of navigation, in order to form a judgment how to allow and reckon them as a courſe and diſtance, in the account of the ſhips way, as above recommended, by this it will certainly help him to come much nearer the deſigned courſe and diſtance than if no notice was taken of them, but the velocity of the tide varies with its height, which will be mentioned from obſervations that cannot be aſcertained by theory, [Note: The uncertainty of practical navigation at ſea.] and the many other unavoidable errors that occurs in practical Navigation, which makes it ſo uncertain, and differ ſo much from the theory that makes the ſhips reckoning anſwer to the greateſt nicety upon paper, when in reality ſhe is often ſound at a great diſtance from what was expected
THEREFORE as ſo little dependance is to be put in reckoning the ſhips way or place, it ſhould not be thought wonderful in the courſe of a long winters night, that inſtead of ſtearing clear, or falling in with a place as expected, the ſhip is often found in another place, or from being on one ſide of the channel, ſhe is found unexpectedly on the other, which makes it abſolutely neceſſary and eſpecially in the night or thick weather to proceed with the utmoſt care and caution under ſuch ſail as the weather and ſituation will admit ſo as to make the ſhip eaſily managed, [Note: Care and caution, and means uſed to avoid dangers when they appear.] a good look out being always properly kept, whenever it happens that real danger unexpectedly appears, let not perverſe obſtinancy take place ſo as to looſe time in doubting and diſputing, but immediately uſe the beſt means to avoid the danger.
THE anchors and cables ſhould be kept as ready as poſſible on theſe occaſions. [Note: To find out your ſituation.] If the place you have fallen in with cannot be known by the appearance it makes, take the bearings and extending of it each way by the compaſs, the depth of water, &c. and compare them with the chart of the place, this is the readieſt and moſt likely means to find where you are, which may be of the utmoſt conſequence in proceeding forward or retreating by this freſh departure being right, for I have known many loſſes occaſioned by taking one place for another.
HOW far it may be right or wrong in bad weather, to keep beating againſt contrary winds in dangerous narrow ſeas, may be a diſputed point, and it muſt be left to the diſcretion of the prudent and diſcerning officer, who will conſider his riſk, wear, and tear, with all the advantages or diſadvantages, that may attend beating at ſea, and that if obliged to bear away for a road ſtead, even there, the wear, and ſometimes loſs of the ground tackle muſt be conſidered, and alſo that the ſhip is liable to drive, or be drove on board of by other ſhips. So that when a ſhip can be kept at ſea with any prudent degree of ſafety, though ſhe cannot get, but may looſe ground, yet the chance it gives of being in a fair way for a change of wind, and that by its varying but a little, it may give an opportunity of making ſlants to get round a point or head land, or through the narrow ſeas into the clear open ocean, by which bravery there has been many inſtances of ſhips making a voyage, and one did ſo to the Weſt Indies and back again from Liverpool, whilſt others were waiting there all that time for a fair wind.
BUT in a tide way, when the wind and weather, and the navigation is ſuch, that admits a ſhip to ſtop tide, this gives ſo great an advantage to gain ground to windward, that it may be deemed wrong to lie waiting for a fair wind, for it may be ſaid, that the ſhip not only gains all that the tide runs her to windward, but it makes her hold a better wind, to make her ſail faſter a-head, than ſhe would do with the ſame breeze of wind in ſtill water, conſequently ſhe makes leſs lee-way, ſo that in ſmooth water it may be reckoned that the ſhip gains about one third to windward of what ſhe ſails by the log, as mentioned page 44; this added to what the tide runs may gain a great way to windward in a tide's working. When a ſhip comes to an anchor at ſlack tide, [Note: Remarks when ſtopping tide.] and the cable is veered out to ride by all the lee tide, then heaving the lead, and the log every hour after, till the next ſlack tide, will give a favourable opportunity to obſerve the ſetting and ſtrength, or velocity of it, and what it ebbs or flows in every hour the whole tide, alſo the time of each ſlack tide, with the moon's age, and her diſtance from the earth if it can be got, all which deſerve to be particularly remarked in the journal.
WHEN the wind happens to blow ſo that the ſhip will lie up aſlant upon one tack, nearly to ſtem the lee tide, then the beſt management [Page 102] is to ſtand on the other tack, with the windward tide, as far as the ſituation will admit with ſafety, to get and keep to windward, that may give the opportunity to ſtand upon the ſlant tack the whole lee-tide, ſo as to looſe little ground, and ſave the riſk of ſtopping the lee-tide by coming to an anchor.
[Note: To ſail in ſhore the firſt to the tide and off the latter part of it.]IT deſerves to be noticed, that in narrow ſeas or wide channels, where the tides run ſtrong, both flood and ebb, they begin firſt to run in ſhore, and run a great deal longer in the offing, therefore the advantage ſhould be taken to ſtand as cloſe in ſhore as ſafety will permit at the firſt making of the windward tide, and ſtand to the offing the latter part of it, by which management our coaſting ſhips being well acquainted often beat through the King's channel againſt freſh contrary winds that keep other ſhips wind-bound.
NOW let it be ſuppoſed that a ſhip has got far enough to ſea to take her departure from the land, and is going to be navigated in the open ocean. The departure ſhould, if poſſible, be taken from ſome remarkable head land or place that has its latitude and longitude [...]ell laid down in your books and charts, and if it [...] in a fair way for a land-fall homeward bound, the more pain; ſhould be taken, to get an obſervation with all the quadrants on board well adjuſted according to rule, and to examine how they agree with each other, and how they anſwer to the bearing and diſtance of the land of departure in ſight as laid down, and a rough ſketch of the appearance it makes ſhould be taken, and alſo the ſoundings at the ſame time, if they are a guide to the coaſt, all which ſhould be fully remarked in the journals, not only for the reckoning outwards, but for ſafety in making a good land-fall homeward, which depends much more on your own obſervations and remarks, than what can be found in any books or charts.
AFTER the d [...]pa [...] from the land is taken, then begins what we call the art of navigation, which by mathematical rules gives the true [...] and diſtance from one place of port to another, [Page 103] only by their latitudes and longitudes being given, to reduce the various traverſes a ſhip often makes in twenty-four hours into one courſe and diſtance, and find the latitude and longitude the ſhip is in by account every day at noon, which by theory can be made to anſwer to the greateſt nicety, ſo that a learner at ſchool, can keep a reckoning of a long run, and make the deſigned land-fall agree to a mile with his account of the ſhip's way, but in practice it is found from experience, that it cannot be done to be ſolely relied upon, even by ſeamen of the greateſt capacites, whoſe chief dependence, as before noticed, muſt be therefore on lead, latitude and a good look out.
THE difference between the Theory and Practice of navigation, ariſes from defects in the methods and inſtruments which we are in ſteering and in the meaſuring, and marking down the ſhip's way, and alſo in not making proper allowances for bad ſteering, lee way, ſhip's drift, or bearing away from the true courſe in ſquales, variation of the compaſs, and tides, or currents, all which cannot be brought exactly to a regular account, but are liable to errors, which depend much upon mens different judgments in correcting them: therefore each of theſe articles deſerve to be particularly noticed, as they occaſion not only the above difference, but the difference of one ſhip's reckoning to another on the ſame paſſage, and alſo one man's reckoning to another in the ſame ſhip.
THE difference between good and bad ſteering is of ſuch conſequence to navigation, that it deſerves particular regard, becauſe good ſteering not only gives nearly the true courſe as ſteered by the compaſs, but the ſhip ſails much faſter and farther in the ſame time, and with much more caſe both to the helm's man and the ſhip in a gale of wind with turbulent waves, for whatever a ſhip goes from her ſtraight courſe, the ſhortens her diſtance ſo much, and requires more helm, which works and makes both ſhip and helm's man very uneaſy, and when carrying a preſſing ſail there is great danger of the ſhip being broached to, which may prove fatal to the whole: therefore all hints or helps, and every thing that good ſteering depends upon, ſhould be made as eaſy and plain as poſſible, for the helm's man in a dark night, when he has nothing, [Page 104] but the compaſs to ſteer by, on the goodneſs of which he entirely depends, therefore this moſt noble inſtrument ſhould be firſt ſpoken of.
WHERE there is ſo many lives, and ſo much property depending on good Compaſſes, I have been ſurprized and vexed to hear ſome people begrudge the price of Dr. Knight's improved ſteering and azimuth Compaſſes, which I thought, when I bought one of each, not only deſerved the price, but the inventor the thanks of the public, as a trading nation and a maritime power for ſo great an improvement in that important inſtrument; the needle which governs the chard in this, is a ſtrong artificial magnet of itſelf, and having an agit ſocket traverſes upon a poliſhed ſteel center pin, that the ſhip's head cannot move the leaſt degree to one ſide or the other, but theſe compaſſes inſtantaneouſly ſhew the motion, by which much better and ſafer ſteerage may be made, than with our common campaſſes, which are made very ſlight and imperfect, with needles that contain very little magnetic power, and have only rough, ſoft, braſs ſockets and center pins, which ſoon blunts, and are liable to be out of order, ſo as to prevent the chard from traverſing freely. A ſhip may move a great way from her courſe before it can be perceived by a bad compaſs, which may occaſion dangerous ſteerage in ſpite of the beſt helm's man. Therefore the beſt of compaſſes ſhould always be allowed, as the difference between good and bad will be but a little in the expence of a ſhip's out-fit.
THE great advantages experienced from ſteering a ſhip with this excellent machine, has occaſioned it to become more and more in uſe, even ſmall ſhips that have their tillers upon deck, frequently now ſteer with a wheel, which gives the helmſman an additional power to command, and move the helm at pleaſure from ſide to ſide whilſt he ſtands firm on one ſpot, that he may keep his eyes fixed on any mark a-head, or on the compaſs, and obſerve to a [Page 105] great nicety the ſhip's motions or tendency to go from her courſe, ſo that ſhe may be ſteered ſteadier, and confined nearer to her true courſe by the wheel, than by the tiller, which the helmſman muſt go along with from ſide to ſide as the ſhip requires, that he cannot diſcern her motions ſo nicely, nor has he equal power to move the helm as occaſion requires.
AS the advantages of the wheel are ſo great, they deſerve the more pains taken to have them made as perfect as poſſible, the barrel of the wheel ſhould be exactly proportioned to the ſize of the ſhip, that either three or five turns of the wheel rope, may be juſt long enough ſo as to loſe neither power nor time, in moving the helm three points of the compaſs each way from the direction of the keel, as mentioned in page 38. And as moſt of our wheels have eight ſpokes, [Note: To have the ſpokes of the wheel marked.] (and ſome large ſhips have nine or ten) the handle part of each ſpoke ſhould be marked, ſo as they may be diſtinctly known by feeling, as they paſs through the helmſmans hands, the midſhip ſpoke where the wheel rope is nailed, marked with a rope yarn, as in common, and the three or four ſpokes on each ſide I, II, III or IIII notches cut with a knife, ſuppoſe on the foreſide of the wheel, on the ſtarboard ſide, and on the after ſide of the wheel on the larboard ſide, the half turn ſpoke if there is one to be plain without any mark, by which marks it may be readily known where, or how far the helm is on either ſide, tho' the tiller is below out of ſight, this gives the helmſman, the liberty to uſe his eyes intirely in obſerving the ſhip's motions, to ſteer her to the greateſt advantage.
IT is certainly the duty of the officer of the watch, to uſe his utmoſt endeavours, to get the ſhip ſteered as near the courſe that is ordered as poſſible and when the ſhip is perceived to be going exactly her courſe by the compaſs, the helmſman ſhould be adviſed to look and find a mark a-head that will not alter faſt to ſteer by, and only to look at the compaſs now and then, as occaſion may require, to obſerve whether the mark alters ſo as to make it neceſſary to find out another that will anſwer nearer to the courſe; for it is well known that a learner will ſteer a ſhip to a greater nicety by a [Page 106] mark a-head, than a good helmſman can do without a mark by the compaſs.
A Good helmſman, when a ſhip is difficult to be ſteered, at taking the helm, he firſt obſerves how it lies, then looks with a ſharp eye which way the ſhip is inclined to go from her courſe, and moves the helm with a briſk motion far enough to ſtop her that way, and feels by the ſtreſs upon the rudder ceaſing, (which feel ought always to be noticed, as well as any alteration to the eye) when it is a proper time to eaſe the helm to prevent her from going on the other ſide of her courſe, for a ſhip is no ſooner ſtopt by the helm from going to one hand, than ſhe will be inclinable to go to the other hand, if the helm is let lie in that place, therefore he keeps moving the helm with a briſk motion, as far as is found neceſſary, to confine her to the courſe, and by feeling the marked ſpokes of the wheel, as they come into his hands, ſoon perceives how much helm, and how far ſhe requires it each way, to command and ſteer her ſteadily along, with the leaſt helm, and trouble to himſelf.
A BAD helmſman inſtead of endeavouring to confine the ſhip to her courſe, by moving the helm each way as above-mentioned, commonly lets the helm lie until he ſees the ſhip is got on one ſide of her courſe, then moves it ſo far as to bring her to her courſe again before he offers to ſtop or meet her with it, and then ſhe gets on the other ſide of her courſe, ſo as to require a great deal of helm both ways, by that the ſhip is ſteered but little right forward, but kept yawing about from one ſide of her courſe to the other, which ſhortens the diſtance gone, and makes both courſe and diſtance very uncertain, and works the bad helmſman as he works the ſhip from ſide to ſide, which makes both very uneaſy, and if the waves run high, when carrying a preſſing ſail large, by bad ſteering there is great danger of broaching the ſhip to, therefore none but the beſt helmſmen ſhould be permitted to ſteer at ſuch times.
WHEN it is difficult to ſteer a ſhip, her officers ſhould take care that her ſails are kept properly trimmed, and that ſhe is not over preſſed with ſail, and eſpecially after ſail, which may make her ſo ungovernable, as to put it out of the power of the beſt helmſman to ſteer her, with all the helm that can be given her, therefore the helmſman ſhould always be told to acquaint the officer of the watch, when the ſhip gripes ſo hard, that the helm hard a weather, or hard over each way, will not command her, that the ſails may be better trimmed, or after ſail taken in, or more head ſail ſet, as the occaſion may require.
IN a variable wind's way, when a ſhip has got ſea room, clear of the land, I have thought it a wrong practice, to ſteer upon a wind, by the vanes, and ſails juſt touching full, which ſeldom gives a direct courſe, but varies as the ſhip comes to, and falls off, which makes both courſe and diſtance the more uncertain; therefore a courſe ſhould be ordered to a point, or half a point of the compaſs, as the wind will admit, to ſteer the ſhip with a full ſail, and only look at the vanes to ſee if the wind alters, that the courſe may be altered accordingly, by this means, a truer courſe as well as diſtance, and more diſtance may be got, eſpecially if the ſhip lies a ſlant towards her true courſe, which makes it the more neceſſary as the ſhip will ſail the faſter, and make leſs lee-way, and this laſt ſhould be well conſidered, becauſe the ſhip's real courſe by the compaſs, depends much upon making a proper allowance for her lee-way.
THIS, in a moſt inconſiſtent manner, is generally left for 24 hours, to the judgment and memories of the different navigators, [Page 108] who probably are below, aſleep, or their attention taken up with other things great part of the time, this therefore muſt make the allowance for lee-way very uncertain, as it is liable to vary, and be more or leſs every hour, as the wind happens to vary, blow leſs or more, or the waves run higher or lower, more a-head or a-ſtern of the ſhip, and as ſhe has been ſteered upon a wind, though under the ſame ſail, and differs greatly from any ſchool boys rules, that can be propoſed of allowing more or leſs lee-way, according to the ſail a ſhip can carry; for it is well known that two ſhips may be in company with equal ſail ſet, when one, by her conſtruction and trim, may not make half ſo much lee-way as the other.
THIS defective and uncertain manner of making allowance for lee-way, in my opinion is one of the principal cauſes and reaſons that can be given, why the reckonings in the ſame ſhip ſhould differ ſo much from each other, when the courſes and diſtances that the ſhips way is reckoned from, are all taken from the ſame log-book, which, if no miſtake be in the calculations, ſhould make them all nearly agree.
WHAT in my opinion would contribute greatly to leſſen this defective part of navigation, is to have a quarter of a circle of ſheet lead, divided ſo as to make the eight points of the compaſs, nailed upon each quarter, with one ſide parallel to the keel, and the other to the beam, as they have in moſt capital ſhips, by which the ſhip's wake, or drift, that ſhe goes to leeward of what ſhe ſtems by the compaſs, may be ſet to a ſufficient nicety upon both tacks by the officer of the watch, who ſhould make the allowance, and ſet down the real courſe or drift, made by the compaſs every hour, which by this means will certainly come much nearer the true courſe, than when left without any rule, to different peoples memories, and judgment as abovementioned.
[Note: To have 4 quarter circles pointing to each quarter and bow.]HERE I think it proper to remark, as theſe quarter circles of lead, are commonly made and cut from a whole circle about ſix inches diameter, with the thirty two points of the compaſs ſcratched out in ſtraight lines from the center, the other two quarters ſhould be nailed on each ſide of the baracado, or fore part of the quarter deck, pointing on each bow before the beam, as thoſe a-baft points a-baft the beam, ſo that any objects, ſuch as ſhips, points of land, ſhoals, buoys, or beacons, may be readily ſet by theſe quarter circles, to know how far they are before, or a-baft the beam, and by obſerving how the ſhip ſtems by the compaſs at the ſame time, the bearing and [Page 109] alteration of bearings, may be eaſily and readily taken, which I can ſay from experience will often prove of great ſervice.
THE many errors that are known to attend the Log has occaſioned many laudable attempts, to bring in to practice more certain methods, to aſcertain a ſhip's way through the water. The moſt promiſing methods that I have met with, were Smeaton's and Burdet's, ſea way meaſurers, I had a trial of Smeaton's, in a voyage to Leghorn, which ſeemed to anſwer much better than the log, whilſt the ſhip went leſs than ſix miles an hour, but when ſhe exceeded that rate, the friction increaſed that hindered the firſt mover of the wheel work, turning round proportionally free as the ſhip went faſter, which Mr. Smeaton ſaid he could eaſily do, if he could find ſuitable encouragement. And Mr. Burdet's contrivance ſeems to me a further improvement, which I think deſerves more trials and encouragement from thoſe in power.
The Learned have, with much ſeeming reaſon, recommended to us to have our log-lines marked 50 feet to a knot, and the glaſs to meaſure 30 ſeconds of time, which are exactly 120th part of a geographical mile, and of an hour, and muſt be allowed to agree better with exact calculation than our common practice of having but 42 feet of line, to a glaſs of 28 ſeconds of time, which line is four feet eight inches, or about a ninth part ſhort of the above proportions, yet in our practice this is found from long experience to meaſure very well a geographical or ſea mile of 60 to a degree, which mile in my opinion ſhould become general, and be uſed in the ſcale of all our ſea maps, inſtead of our Engliſh ſtatute mile, which is about a 7th part leſs, by which difference the unlearned may be deceived.
[Page 110] COMMON practice can only be proved to be right, by frequent fair trials, I was mate of a ſhip in the Jamaica trade from London, outward bound, and we marked the log-line ſeven fathom to a knot, to a 28 ſecond glaſs as uſual, till we were diſappointed of ſeeing our expected land-fall according to our reckonings; our commander then aſked how we had marked the log-line, he was anſwered ſeven fathom to a knot, he then ordered the line immediately to be new marked eight fathom to a knot, and ſaid that the ſhip was one eighth part ſhort of her longitude, by the line being marked ſeven fathoms inſtead of eight to a knot, and ſo it proved, for we made the land as he ſaid. But in our paſſage home by this rule, we found the ſhip a great deal above an eighth part of the longitude a-head of all our reckonings, which nearly proved of fatal conſequence, as we were carrying all the ſail poſſible with a weſterly gail of wind and hazy weather, when we luckily perceived by the colour of the water that we muſt be in ſoundings, and it proved ſo, and found ourſelves far up the King's channel in a fair way, and we had eſcaped a great riſk of running the ſhip on ſhore unexpectedly with all ſails ſet. This convinced me that it was not the fault of the log-line being marked ſeven fathom, but another cauſe that may be mentioned hereafter, and that is known always to have this effect upon ſhips in their voyages to and from the Weſt Indies, ſo as to make more difference of longitude out than they do home.
[Note: Proportions for the line and glaſs.]THE proportion of ſeven fathom of line, to a glaſs of 28 ſeconds being right, is confirmed by the general practice in the Eaſt India trade, as well as all other trades that I have been in, my opinion is, that it will ſtand the teſt of any fair trial. In a voyage to Leghorn, the ingenious Mr. Smeaton ſent with me for trial his above-mentioned ſea-way meaſurer, and ſome other now marine inſtruments, which made me take extraordinary pains to have our log kept nicely marked as above, and to be hove regularly every hour, in order to find out by experience how many turns of this way meaſurer anſwered to a mile; to fix this to a greater certainty I took an opportunity that then offered, and ſteered to the weſtward, till we could ſteer croſs the bay of Biſcay, and a [...]ong the coaſt of Portugal, as near upon the true meridian to the ſouthward as poſſible, where we reckoned there was neither tide nor current to effect a ſhip's way, and had the favourable opportunity of fair wind and weather, to compare our diſtance run by the log to what was made by good obſervations for ſeveral days, and I ſound that they nearly agreed, which I think makes it evident [Page 111] that theſe proportions for the log anſwer very well if properly attended to, and therefore cannot be the cauſe which occaſions bad reckonings, and if it is an error, it muſt be allowed to be on the beſt and ſafeſt ſide, that the reckoning ſhould be rather a-head than a-ſtern of the ſhip, to put people upon their guard in proper time, to prevent the fatal conſequence that may attend an unexpected land-fall.
THE readieſt and ſureſt way to mark and try the log-line, is, [Note: To mark the [...]ne and try the glaſs.] to have the whole length of the half knot (21 feet) meaſured and marked ſtraight along the deck, and to have the knots put into the line ſo as they may be eaſily ſhifted backwards or forwards, as the ſtretching and ſhrinking of the line often requires. But before this is done, the half minute glaſs ſhould be tried, whether it runs exactly 28 ſeconds, that if it is found to run more or leſs, the line ſhould be marked longer or ſhorter according to theſe porportions, as 28 gives 42, what will a ſecond or two more or leſs give? and this may be done ſufficiently near by the ſcale and compaſs. And the glaſſes may be tried by a muſket ball faſtened to a thread held ſteady in one hand between the finger and thumb exactly 29 inches from the ball, which muſt be ſwung by the other hand, and continued ſwinging more than thirty times, by which I have found from frequent experience each ſwing then meaſured a ſecond of time ſufficiently near for this purpoſe, even when the ſhip had ſome motion from the waves. But the beſt inſtrument for this purpoſe, as well as many other uſeful and curious purpoſes at ſea, is a good watch, or time keeper, that ſhews ſeconds, which will anſwer equally well in a ſtorm when the waves run high, as in ſmooth water, therefore every officer that has the charge of navigating a ſhip, ſhould have one of the beſt he can afford to buy.
IT is a ſufficient trial for the quarter minute glaſs, if it runs cut exactly twice, for the half minute glaſs once. But after all one's care in finding out exact proportions, by which to get the true diſtance run, the whole depends chiefly on thoſe who heave the log, and hold the glaſs, neither of which ſhould be done by careleſs people, eſpecially when the ſhip ſails ſo faſt as to require to uſe the quarter minute glaſs which will double all errors, therefore this glaſs ſhould be as ſeldom uſed as poſſible.
THE Learned as before mentioned, have very juſtly recommended to have the line that is run out above the knots, ſet down in [...] thoms of 5 feet each, being the tenth part of their 50 feet knots. [Page 112] The ſame exact rule may be eaſily uſed, only by having a meaſure of four feet, two inches and a half, marked on the rail, on each quarter where the log is hove, that will meaſure tenths of a mile from our 42 feet knots, which muſt be allowed will come much nearer the true diſtance, and agree much better to the tenths of miles in the traverſe tables, than that old and bad practice, of ſetting down nothing leſs than the half knots, or that more exact method of marking down to fathoms of ſix feet, and theſe tenths of a knot above or under the knot or half knot, might be very eaſily meaſured by the officer that heaves the log.
BUT after all the exacteſt rules, the moſt effectual method in my opinion to try what dependance can be put upon the log, and thoſe that heave it, is that I have before mentioned, if opportunity permits, clear of tides or currents, after a good obſervation had for the latitude, that is, to allow for the variation and ſteer due north or ſouth, till a ſecond obſervation, if it can be done in a favourable time, which will give the trueſt real diſtance that can be got at Sea to compare with the Log.
IT ſurpriſes me to find this old bad practice, ſtill continued in many capital merchant ſhips, becauſe it makes the unavoidable errors in getting the true courſe and diſtance, not only greater but doubles them in working the day's work, and marks down not nearer than half knots of the odd line, which muſt ſtill increaſe the errors of the diſtance, for if we ſuppoſe two fathom of odd line is omitted to be ſet down every time the log is hove, this makes a difference of near ſeven miles in the 24 hours.
THIS practice lies under another great diſadvantage, which is that of not affording ſufficient room to ſet down and explain the neceſſary remarks and occurrences, that often happen in the twenty-four hours.
THIS practice, compared with that above, has many advantages attending it, thoſe unavoidable errors ariſing from the wind and weather varying, and the ſhip ſailing faſter or ſlower than when the log is hove, muſt be leſſened one half, and the odd line that is run out, marked down in fathoms, or tenths of a knot, every hour muſt certainly come much nearer the true courſe and diſtance than the above old method.
BUT it muſt be allowed, that they who have been accuſtomed to the old method, may be a little perplexed in working the day's work, and reckoning thoſe odd fathoms, or tenths of a knot, that is left over above the miles the ſhip has gone on any one courſe, and which is under no fixed rule, but when they amount to above half a knot let them allow a mile, and when under half a knot omit them, as fractions to be left, as many other material things muſt be, to the judgment and induſtry of the navigator, on which depends chiefly all comparative good reckonings.
AS to the difference of trouble in this method, it ſhould not be mentioned, if it is allowed to contribute to leſſen the defects of Navigation, which it certainly does, and therefore ſhould become general. I will then take the liberty to ſhew in a day's work my manner of keeping a ſhip's way at ſea, which I learned firſt in the Eaſt India Trade, ſo that they who have been uſed to the other method, may compare and judge for themſelves.
[Page 115] BY this method the remarks of each watch may be briefly ſet down in the margin, ſo that all that is moſt material may be fully deſcribed at filling up the log book, or Journal for the day, only leaving room at bottom for the ſhip's courſe and diſtance, and the latitude and longitude ſhe is reckoned to be in at noon, which will prove much better for many reaſons than that method of ſeting down the difference of longitude, to avoid expoſing how much the longitude reckoned to be in may be wrong, which by the by can be no diſgrace to a man when he does his beſt. It is likewiſe neceſſary to draw the track of each day from one latitude and longitude to the other with a black lead pencil, on the general chart, to compare the ſhip's ſituation with the neareſt land, or ſhoals, to prevent as much as poſſible being ſurpriſed by unexpected dangers.
AFTER a good look out, as mentioned in page 82, the principal dangers now to contend with, are violent winds, and waves, for which the ſhip ſhould be prepared, and every thing ſecured and made as ſnug as poſſible, according to the weather that may be expected, and as the length of the run may require, the cables may be unbent, the hauſe holes plugged up, if they lie low, and the bower anchors ſtowed ſomewhere within board, which is not only a great eaſe to a ſhip, but may make her ſail faſter, as mentioned in page 25, and may prevent the foot of the foreſail from chafing againſt the upper arms of the ſtocks, and the lower arms from plunging in the water, which may affect both the ſhip's way and the ſteerage. All top-hamper that is now unneceſſary aloft ſhould be got down and ſtowed below, ſuch as top ropes, top blocks, mauls, runners and tackles, that can be ſpared, which may eaſe the maſts, and prevent a great deal of chafing amongſt the rigging.
IN variable winds, when a ſhip will ſail a-ſlant ſtemming near her intended courſe, it is natural to ſtand upon that tack [Page 116] as long as circumſtances will admit, becauſe the wind may vary to make a ſlant on the other tack, by which a ſhip may be got ſlanting forward on her way, then it may be worth while to carry a preſſing ſail if it blows freſh, and ſteer by the compaſs a little from the wind, as recommended in page 107, which may contribute greatly to ſhorten a paſſage.
BUT when the wind blows ſtrong, and the waves run high, near to the point of the intended courſe, that nothing of a ſlant can be made on either tack, then it may be deemed very wrong, to preſs and ſtrain a ſhip, with any more ſail than to make her riſe and fall eaſy with the waves, for a little time with a favourable wind, will fetch up what may be loſt by taking in ſail in good time, to give eaſe to the ſhip, maſts, and rigging &c.
ON theſe occaſions, the climate, ſeaſon of the year, frequency of the wind blowing ſtrong in one quarter, and the appearance of the good or bad weather that may be then expected, with all other circumſtances of the ſhip, men and materials ſhould be conſidered, to form a Judgment how to act when it comes to blow ſo freſh that the topſails cannot be carried without being [...]eeſed; and then if the top-gallant yards are up, whether it may not be neceſſary to get them down, and ſtrike the top-gallant maſts, if they go a-baft the top-maſts, as mentioned in page 18, and eſpecially if it is at the beginning of a long winter's night, in which time both wind and waves may be increaſed to a violent degree before morning, and which may make the ſhip pitch, roll, and labour, ſo as greatly to ſtrain every thing, and make it dangerous for the people to got them down at ſuch times, and if the wind and weather ſhould prove favourable, they may be eaſily got up again in the morning, and by this practice at the firſt of the voyage in ſmooth water, the people will learn to be expert in getting them down or up as occaſion may require.
[Page 117] AS the wind and waves increaſe, a faſt ſailing ſhip upon a wind, when preſſed with ſail (eſpecially head ſail) will be plunged deep into the ſea, ſo as to increaſe her pitching motion to a dangerous degree, this I have experienced in chaſing upon a wind, when both the pumps, and bailling at three hatchways could not keep the ſhip free from water, till the chaſe bore away before the wind, by which movement ſhe ſoon became our prize, for we could not have chaſed her much longer upon a wind, owing to the ſharpneſs and weakneſs of our ſhip's bows, as mentioned in page thirteen.
LET us now ſuppoſe a ſhip brought to her cloſe reefed topſails, the top gallant yards and maſts down, and every thing made ſnug according to the appearance of ſuch wind and weather as may be expected. I have been at getting the ſpritſail yard and jib boom in upon deck to beat againſt weſterly ſtorms, and it is certainly a help, and gives great eaſe to a ſhip on ſuch occaſions. Let us alſo ſuppoſe the gale to encreaſe, ſo that the topſails muſt be taken in, in doing of which they are very liable to be ſplit and blown to pieces, if proper management is not uſed to preſerve them.
THE beſt method is, firſt to ſtation the people to advantage, according to their ſtrength and the dependence that may be put on them; man well and haul tight the lee clew and bunt lines, then let go the bowline and lee brace, man the weather brace, and when all is ready, let fly the leeſheet, and brace the ſail a-back to the weather ſhrouds whilſt clewing up, which will keep it quiet from flapping till it is handed.
WHEN the mainſail or foreſail is to be either reefed or handed, it is certainly the beſt method for the ſafety and eaſe of the men, the ſail and the ſhip, firſt to lower down the yard, keeping it level with the lee lift, to prevent the lee yard-arm from plunging [Page 118] into the ſea, and if but weakly mann'd haul up the weather clew garnet firſt with the ſail full, then ſtation the people to the beſt advantage, as abovementioned, let go the weather bow-line and lee brace, that as ſoon as the lee ſheet is let fly the ſail may be braced a-back to keep it from flapping, that it may be hauled up with ſafety at more leaſure, and the yard being down muſt contribute greatly to prevent thoſe fatal accidents that have often happened from a weight of men reefing or handing theſe ſails with the yards aloft, when the ſhip may be labouring with ſuch violent and quick motions, that it may be difficult for men to hold themſelves faſt. And the yard being down, gives equal advantage in ſetting the ſails again after being reefed, &c. for the tacks may be ſafer and eaſier got down, and the ſheets hauled cloſe aft, and the yards ſwayed up afterwards.
EVEN this requires management at times, when the only method to ſtill the ſail, and prevent its flapping, that it may be furl'd eaſily, is to man well and haul upon the lee brails only, and only take in the ſlack of the weather brails till the lee ones are [...]loſe up. For if the weather brails are too much haul'd upon it will till the ſail ſo full of wind, as to prevent its being furled.
1.87. On taking in the Topſails, Mainſail, or Foreſail, when ſailing large or before the Wind in a Storm.
WHEN the wind is on either quarter, the lee ſheet ſhould be firſt clewed up, then the yard pointed to the wind, and the bunt-lines, &c. [...]ed as much as poſſible before the weather-ſheet [Page 119] is let go, if the ſail cannot be backed, the wind blowing nearly along the yard will preſerve the ſail greatly from flapping, ſo as it would do if the yard is let lie ſquare to the wind.
WHEN the wind is right aft, one ſheet ſhould be clewed up firſt, then with the brace on the other ſide, the yard ſhould be braced as ſharp up as poſſible, haul up the bunt and leach lines as much as they can be, before the other ſheet is let go, and if to ſave the ſail it be required, and things will admit, that the ſhip could be ſteered with the yard pointing to the wind for a little while, it may contribute greatly to ſave and get the ſail ſecured.
BUT on all ſuch occaſions as theſe, and eſpecially in the night, when the word of command cannot be heard, nor can the people ſee, or be ſeen by their officers, ſo as to be directed by any means, to get the duty done as it ought to be, the only method is to muſter the people altogether firſt, and make known what, and how the thing is intended to be done, and ſtation them accordingly, that none may plead ignorance in excuſe for any miſmanagement that may happen.
WHEN a ſhip will not bear to carry her courſes, it is certainly the beſt practice firſt to ſecure and hand the mainſail, as the foreſail may be carried a great deal longer, and with the mizen, main, and ſtay-ſails, a ſhip may be ſteered cloſe to the wind, ſo as to make her tolerably eaſy and lively in the ſea, and eſpecially when beating to windward in narrow ſeas, theſe are the moſt ſuitable ſails a ſhip can be under at ſuch times, becauſe ſhe may be the eaſier and readier wared, and when the ſtorm increaſes, that the ſhip will not bear to carry the foreſail, it may be taken in with great advantage in the time of waring by the abovementioned rules. After the people are got together, and the intended method of proceeding made known to them all, as ſoon as the ſhip is perceived to begin to ware, the yard being kept braced ſharp up, the tack and bowl [...]e may be let go, and the weather-clew garnet hauled up, and when the ſhip is near before the wind, the bunt and leach lines, and the other clew garnet, may be hauled up, and if th [...] ſituation admits, and the occaſion requires it, the ſhip may be [...] with the wind on the quarter till the ſail is ſecured.
THIS is intended as much as poſſible, to preſerve a ſhip from the dangerous effects of violent wind and waves, by endeavouring to ſteady her from labouring, and make her riſe and fall with the waves as lively, and eaſy in the ſea as poſſible; and the beſt method for doing this, I can recommend from long experience, is for the ſhip to be under her lower-ſtayſails, with the mizen reefed, and ballanced, &c. and the yards braced full, as repreſented, in plate 6, fig. 2. and not by the common method of laying a ſhip to, under a reefed or a whole mainſail, with the foreſail a-back in the brails, as repreſented in figure 1 of the ſame plate.
THAT this method is far from being the beſt to anſwer the abovementioned purpoſes, may be proved from reaſon as well as experience, for a ſhip laid to in this manner, with ſome ſails full and ſome a-back, and the helm made faſt a-lee as cuſtomary, inſtead of keeping her bow to the wind and waves, which only can keep her eaſy in the ſea, ſhe will be conſtantly coming to the wind, ſo as to ſhake the weather leach of the mainſail by her head-way, the foreſail being a back, and the power of the waves ſo much a-head, ſoon give the ſhip great ſtern-way, and the helm being a-lee as beforementioned, makes her fall round off four or five points from the wind, which cauſes the ſhip to labour and ſtrain in proportion as ſhe comes to, and falls off from the wind, and alſo expoſes thoſe flat and weakeſt parts, the counter, ſtern, quarter, and broadſide, to bear the ſhock of a violent and dangerous ſea, that ſometimes breaks in and does great damage, and the mainſail is often ſplit at ſuch times, as well as by the power of the wind; and the quickneſs of the ſhip's rolling motion, from the aſcending to the d [...]ſcending ſide of a high wave, acts with more or leſs force in proportion to the bigneſs of the ſails to ſplit them.
[Page 121] FACTS from experience are the only confirmation of a practice being right or wrong. I was in one of our Eaſt-India ſhips bound home late in the ſeaſon, was five weeks beating round the Cape of Good Hope againſt weſterly ſtorms, when to preſerve and keep the ſhip from rolling too much, we often laid her to, under a whole mainſail, with the foreſail a-back in the brails, as repreſented figure 1, plate the 6th, when the abovementioned bad cuſtom ſplit our mainſails faſter than we could repair them, till we had none to bring to the yard, but were obliged to wait till they were mended and they ſplit again in leſs time than was taken up in mending them; during which time we commonly laid to under the mizen, when for want of a little more ſail to ſteady her amongſt the waves, ſhe became more expoſed to thoſe dangers abovementioned, labouring with a more quick jerking and deeper r [...]lling motion in the ſea: and we found the want of the mainſail, which is the moſt material ſail upon a wind, to take the advantage at ſuch times, when the wind varied ſo as to make ſlants, by which only we got round the Cape, after the time that is ſaid to be limited by the Company, to prevent damage to their ſhips and cargoes.
FOR the reaſons now mentioned, after long experience, my practice has been (inſtead of laying the ſhip to in this manner) firſt to ſecure and hand the mainſail, and if the gale increaſed▪ I handed the foreſail, reefed and ballanced the mizen, the mizen main, fore, and foretopmaſt ſtay-ſails kept ſet, as we might have done with the abovementioned ſhip, or ſuch another as is repreſented figure 2 in the ſame plate, were both methods may be ſeen, in order to make a fair compariſon of the two from practicable facts.
1.92. On the Advantages of a Ship being kept under lower Stay-ſails and Mizen, inſtead of lying to in a Storm.
FROM what has been ſaid it may with juſtice be concluded, that a ſhip laid to with the helm a-lee, muſt be conſtantly coming [Page 122] to, and falling off from the wind, more or leſs, in proportion to her head and ſtern-way; ſo that when a ſhip is laid to, in a ſtorm, a repreſented figure 1, plate the 6th, that the power of high waves are added to the wind, ſhe muſt naturally run up too near the wind by her head-way, and then both wind and waves unite to give her ſtern-way, which makes her fall round off, and throws her ſtern up againſt the wind and waves, which then act very powerfully againſt thoſe tender parts, till ſhe gets head way again, and makes the ſhip uneaſy, and labour ſome to a dangerous degree as abovementioned; to avoid which I ſtrongly recommend to keep the ſhip under way, as it may be called, with the lower ſtay-ſails, with the reefed and balanced mizen ſet, and the yards braced ſharp full, as repreſenten by figure 2, plate the 6th, which will certainly contribute greatly towards producing the following advantages:
BY this method a ſhip may be kept with ſo much head-way upon her, as to be under the command of the helm, to ſteer her nearly to a courſe, ſix points from the wind, which ought by all means to be endeavoured after, to keep her bow (that bold and ſtrongeſt part) pointing to the waves, where they can do her the leaſt damage, and makes the ſhip at the ſame time much eaſier and livelier in the ſea, than being laid to as abovementioned. And theſe ſmall ſails are handy and ſtrong compared with the mainſail, being commonly made of equally ſtrong canvaſs, and proportionably leſs liable to be ſplit, either by the wind or waves, and can be ſet, or taken in eaſily with ſafety, and ſtand ſo flat, and fairly divided from the bowſprit end to the ſtern, that tend greatly to ſteady the ſhip, as well as eaſe all the maſts, yards, and rigging, from jerking and chafing in her rolling, and preſerve the mainſail and foreſail, the two moſt material ſails that are to be depended upon, on ſome extraordinary occaſion that may require their being ſet and carried upon a wind in bad weather.
FOR theſe reaſons, where ſhips do not wear and uſe a main and fore ſtayſail in common, I would recommend to have them as ready to be b [...]nt and ſet as poſſible on theſe occaſions, having hanks upon the ſtays, and gro [...] upon the ſails for this purpoſe.
WHEN the waves run high, and ſudden neceſſity requires to bear away, it ſhould be conſidered that the low headſails which the ſhip may be wared under, when ſhe comes before the wind, may be becalmed by the height of the waves, which may break violently againſt the ſtern, and fill the deck with water, but that loftier ſails being ſet would give the ſhip more way through the water.
I HAD an inſtance of this in a cruiſing ſhip under low ſails upon a wind in a ſtorm, when the ſhip and all things forward gave way ſo much, that obliged us to bear away before the wind, and the low ſails we had wared under were becalmed by the height of the waves when the ſhip was in the hollow part of the ſea, they came running againſt the ſtern with great violence and filled the deck with water, which frightend the people ſo, that ſeveral of them called out with tears in their eyes that the ſhip would founder: we got the cloſe reefed maintopſail ſet, which had the deſigned good effect to catch the wind, and always kept drawing full above the waves; this increaſed the ſhip's way ſo much, that the waves did not reach her with above half the velocity and power as before, and gave the ſhip time to riſe and fall gently with them without ſhipping much water, for the waves I ſuppoſe might run at the rate of about 20 miles an hour, the wind going at about 50, and the ſhip above 10 miles by the log, which naturally leſſened the power and violence of the waves above one half upon the ſhip; this proves the advantage, and even the neceſſity there is for having a cloſe reefed maintopſail ready to ſet when going to ſcud before high waves.
PRoceeding in ſqually weather muſt be left to the judgment and prudence of the officer that has the command, to act as the circumſtance and the ſituation of the ſhip and crow will admit, to run more or leſs risk in carrying more or leſs ſail accordingly. But [Page 124] this I can ſay from experience, that it is not ſufficient that a ſhip can be got before the wind at the time of a heavy ſquall with a great deal of ſail ſet, which may endanger not only the maſts and ſails, but the ſhip may be ſo over preſſed with ſail as to put it out of the power of the helm and the beſt helmſman to ſteer her from broaching to, which may prove fatal to the whole.
WHERE rules cannot be fixed, the reſult of facts from experience muſt be our only guide. I was in a ſhip in the Jamaica trade from London, where our commander would not permit any ſail to be ſhortened or taken in, without his order or conſent, when carrying a preſſing ſail large with a weſterly gale, at the coming on of a ſquall of wind he was called upon, and when he came upon deck he took the command and cunned the helmſman to endeavour to keep and ſteer the ſhip right before the wind without being obliged to ſhorten ſail, but the ſhip was ſo overpreſſed with ſail as to loſe the command of the helm to ſteer her, which almoſt proved fatal to us all.
ALL unneceſſary dating risks of every kind, when there is no preſſing occaſion to require ſuch, ſhould be avoided and condemned as the greateſt folly, for there can be but little loſt, and a great deal may be ſaved, by lowering or taking in ſail in good time, when a ſhip is ſailing large or before the wind in the time of a ſquall, as ſails may be ſoon and eaſily ſet again when the ſquall is over, which may be the means to prevent great loſs or damage.
AMONG many inſtances of this kind that I have known I met with one, by the foolhardineſs of a London pilot, who would not let our ſails be lowered, when ſailing before the wind in a ſquall, which made the maſts bend ſo much, that when we wanted to clew down the topgallant ſails and topſails, we could not get them down, which ſhews the neceſſity there is of clewing theſe ſails down, and ſecuring them down from flying up again before a ſquall comes on, for had this ſquall proved any ſtronger, or continued any longer, we muſt have loſt our maſts, in ſpite of our utmoſt endeavours.
THIS ſhews the folly of running ſuch imprudent riſks, when little or no advantage can be gained by it, for it may be a diſputed point whether a ſhip ſails any faſter for being thus overpreſſed with ſail to ſuch a dangerous degree, when ſailing large or before the wind. But a ſhip ſailing upon a wind in ſqually weather, may often be under a neceſſity to carry a preſſing ſail, yet then it ſhould be conſidered, that if the topſails, &c. are not clewed down in good time, that the heeling of the ſhip added to the bending of the maſts, may [Page 125] hinder the topſails, &c. from being got down in the time of a ſquall, which may prove of bad conſequence.
MANY precautions are neceſſary on this occaſion, every thing abaft, and about the mizen maſt, ſhould be taken in, and ſtowed away as ſnug as poſſible; and I have known the mizen gaff lowered cloſe down on the occaſion.
But when carrying a preſſing ſail to make the moſt of a ſtorm, great care ſhould be taken that ſuitable ſails are only ſet, and they ſhould be trimmed to the beſt advantage, ſo that the ſhip may be kept under the command of the helm to ſteer her, which ſhould be ſtrictly noticed by the commanding officer of the watch; [Note: To [...] againſt broaching to.] for it ſhould be conſidered, that a ſhip at ſuch times may be ſo overpreſſed and plunged ſo deep into the ſea forward with ſail, that inſtead of dividing the particles of water on each ſide in an eaſy manner to open a paſſage through it, the full pa [...]s of the bow, and other ſtops not deſigned to be in the water, drive a great body of water above its natural level before her bows, which may increaſe the reſiſtance ahead to ſuch a degree, that will rather decreaſe than increaſe the ſhip's head way, in proportion to this riſe of water, and the ſtern being lifted up as much as the head is preſſed down, the helm muſt then naturally loſe ſo much of its power at the ſame time, ſo that when the wind may be going four times as faſt as the ſhip, and the waves as faſt again, it is not to be wondered at, that ſhips are ſometimes broached to, againſt the power of the helm. The remarkable loſs of the Suſſex Eaſt-India ſhip homeward bound from China, firſt aroſe from her being broached to when ſailing before the wind.
What has been ſaid on this occaſion, ſhews the neceſſity for much care and pains to be taken, both by the officer and helmſman, as before recommended, and none but the beſt helmſmen ſhould be admitted to ſteer at ſuch times; and whenever danger [Page 126] appears from one man's ſteering others ſhould be tried, and the ſails altered and trimmed to the beſt advantage, that if poſſible the ſhip may be ſteered without the danger of being broached to. A great riſk attends relieving the helmſman, [Note: On relieving the helmſman] eſpecially in the night, when he that is to take the helm, often comes but half awake from ſleep, and takes the helm without examining where it lies at the time, and how far the ſhip requires it each way to confine her to the courſe; thus not conſidering the danger he at firſt lets the ſhip get ſuch a ſheer, that his beſt endeavours cannot ſtop her from being broached to, or brought by the lee. To prevent which, the helmſman that is to be relieved if he has ſteered well, ſhould not quit the helm before he has ſhewed and made known to him that is to relieve the particulars of her trim, how ſhe may be beſt ſteered at that time.
It is well known that there is great difference in ſhips ſteering according to their built and trim, full built ſhips when deep loaded are often difficult to be ſteered when ſailing large in a gale of wind. I have been told of ſome that could not be ſteered their intended courſe before the wind, but would broach to each way in ſpite of their utmoſt endeavours, but have been obliged to lie to with a fair wind, which has often been the caſe of an expert diligent officer of my acquaintance: therefore every hint that has the leaſt reaſonable appearance to remedy this evil, deſerves attention and ſhould be tried. [Note: Hints to prevent broaching to.] On this occaſion, when a ſhip cannot be ſteered right before the wind without broaching to, ſuppoſe a trial ſhould be made to ſteer her with the wind two or three points, firſt on one quarter, then upon the other, for a little time each way, this reduces the danger to only being liable of broaching to one way, that is to windward, which may be much eaſier guarded againſt by the weather helm this one way than both; and to ſuppoſe the ſhip to be ſteered with the wind on the larboard quarter, with the cloſe-reefed maintopſail ſet and braced up with the larboard braces, and the head ſail trimmed ſharp the other way, with the ſtarboard braces and the helm a weather, as repreſented in the plane of the ſhip, fig. 1. plate 7. which evidently tends greatly to counteract and get the better of thoſe cauſes before-mentioned, which occaſion a ſhip to broach to, and may keep her under the command of the helm. But if this method ſhould not anſwer, there is another which I think could not fail of ſucceſs; that is, to veer out and tow right over the [Page 127] ſtern, a towline, or hawſer, or as much of a cable end, as may be found ſufficient to keep the ſhip before the wind, and prevent her broaching to.
At ſuch times as theſe, [Note: To allow for bad ſtee [...]age.] when a ſhip cannot be ſteered to the courſe that is ordered, it ſhould be recommended to the officer of the watch to take particular notice which way ſhe goes moſt from her courſe, to make an allowance and mark it down accordingly.
THIS cuſtom is uſeful in general, even when done by a quarter-maſter; it anſwers the good purpoſe to confine the thoughts and attention of the helmſman to his duty, as he is obliged to repeat the cun, tho' he with reaſon, as I have often done, moves the helm contrary to the cun, in order to confine the ſhip to her courſe, by ſuch management as before mentioned, the good helmſman, after a little experience of the ſhip's trim, muſt be allowed to know beſt what helm is required to ſteer a direct courſe.
But when ſailing is dangerous, by bad weather, ſqualls, high waves, or other dangers that may ſuddenly appear, then cunning becomes a matter of great importance, and the cun of the ſuperior officer, or who he may appoint, ſhould only be attended to, and anſwered briſkly by the movement of the helm as well as by words, to avoid the danger, or to help to eaſe the ſhip to riſe and fall gently with the waves, as it is well known much to eaſe a ſhip in her labouring motion, to luff her up with the helm a lee at the approach of a high ſteep wave when ſailing cloſe by the wind. But to ſuppoſe a ſhip at the ſame time ſailing two points from the wind, it is diſputed whether it is beſt that ſhe ſhould be luffed to, or ſhould bear a way from a dangerous wave.
THIS way of ſailing, in my opinion, deſerves particular notion, becauſe it is more expoſed to danger and damage than any other way of ſailing; for a ſhip upon a wind, in high waves, is [...] accordingly, and with ſo little head way upon her that ſhe may be luffed up to a dangerous wave, and by that made much eaſe. And when ſailing large, a ſhip runs from the wave and w [...]kens is force. A ſhip lying to and driving to leeward, yields and gives [...]ome way to a high wave when it ſtrikes her, which may a little abate its bad effect; but when carrying a preſſing ſail with the wind upon the beam, which is common becauſe counting it a fair wind, a faſt ſailing ſhip is reckoned then to ſail faſter through the water than any other way with the ſame wind, as ſhe does not recede from the wind or waves, and makes little or no lee way, [Note: On the danger of this way of ſailing.] but this expoſes a ſhip to all the violent effects of dangerous high ſteep waves, which may ſtrike and break with their utmoſt velocity upon the broadſide to windward, whilſt the ſhip's great head way through the water makes the greateſt reſiſtance to prevent her from yielding or giving the leaſt way to leeward, and thoſe other cauſes mentioned pages 33 and 35, when a ſhip is lifted up broadſide with ſo quick a motion, from the bottom to the top of a high ſteep mountainous wave, it is not to be wondered at, that the ſhip, men, or materials, may receive great damage at ſuch times. And the greater the ſhip, and the more water ſhe draws, the more liable ſhe is to damage, ſmaller veſſels give more way to the waves when ſ [...]uck. I have been in a ſmall veſſel, in company with a fifty-gun ſhip that had her mainſail ſplit and other damage done by the waves breaking on board them, whilſt we received none in the ſmall veſſel. At another time croſſing the weſtern ocean in a light merchant ſhip with our guns, which were ſix pounders, ſtowed down in the hold upon the ballaſt, for the eaſe of the ſhip when ſailing this way, a ſtroke of a wave canted our ballaſt and guns from the weather to the lee ſide of the hold, and broke the ſtantions that ſupported the lower-deck beams: theſe and many other inſtances [Page 129] confirm my opinion of the great danger attending this way of ſailing.
On cunning and ſteering a ſhip when ſailing in this way, [Note: On luffing up to, or bear away from a dangerous wave.] it may be diſputed whether ſhe ſhould be luffed up to, or bear away from a dangerous wave approaching upon the beam. Reaſon as well as experience teaches us that the helm ſhould be put hard a weather, to bring the approaching wave as far aft as poſſible, to leſſen its force, by the ſhip's running forward and giving the mere way from it, rather than to luff up with the helm a-lee to meet it with ſo much fail and head-way upon the ſhip, that muſt increaſe the ſtroke of the wave, and may produce a violent and dangerous pitching motion. I had an inſtance of this when I was mate of a ſhip, and it was my watch upon deck, when ſailing in this way, at the approach of a dangerous wave coming right upon the beam. I ordered the helm hard a weather, but my commander ordered the helm a-lee, which occaſioned the wave to have the abovementioned bad effect, tho' we received no material damage, yet, in my opinion it would have been leſs hazardous to have bore away with the helm a-weather.
But to do juſtice on this occaſion, it muſt be allowed that ſhips in general commonly carry a preſſing ſail in this way, and are apt to gripe and carry the helm nearly hard a-weather, to ſteer the intended courſe; ſo that without this is noticed and guarded againſt by the officer of the watch, by having only a ſuitable ſail ſet, and properly trimmed, it may be out of the power of the helm when hard a-weather, to make the ſhip ware faſt enough to avoid the bad effects of a dangerous wave when perceived to be coming upon the beam.
After all that can be ſaid on this way of ſailing, [Note: To avoid the danger ſailing in this way.] when the waves run high, I look upon the danger ſo great, that it ought to be avoided as much as poſſible, and it may be commendable to alter the courſe ſo as to ſteer with the wind and waves, either a point before, or abaft the beam, or for a time each way, if the occaſion required that nicety.
GREAT caution is neceſſary on this occaſion, to prevent the damage that may be done by it, ſometimes even to pitching away the bowſptit, maſts, &c. And as the waves in the open ſea, do not immediately ceaſe with the wind that raiſed them, but often continue to run the ſame way for a great while after the wind is changed, even to the oppoſite point of the compaſs, therefore when a ſudden change of wind happens, care ſhould be taken not to be too forward in ſetting or carrying ſail, ſo as to give the ſhip too much head-way againſt the old waves before they are fallen, for it may pitch the bowſprit under water, which I have ſeen done to a dangerous degree. Sometimes head-waves will riſe againſt and reach a ſhip a long time before the wind that raiſed them, which may make it equally dangerous to preſs the ſhip with too much ſail againſt them.
IN loofing ſquare ſails when it blows freſh, it ſhould be a conſtant rule to looſe the lee-yard arm before the weather-yard arm, to prevent the danger that the people to leeward are often expoſed to, of being thrown from the yard by the ſail flying up over their heads. In ſetting the topſails or topgallant ſails upon a wind, when it blows freſh, it is an approved method to haul home the lee ſhoot fi [...]ſt, and if the ſail be kept ſhaking by the weather-brace, the weather ſheet may be eaſily got home, but when ſailing large, the weather ſheet of theſe ſails are moſt commonly hauled home firſt. In ſetting the mainſail and foreſail, if the wind requires it, the tacks are hauled down firſt, but in box hauling, or waring, the ſheets may be hauled nearly aft, whilſt the ſails ſhake with the wind upon the quarter, and the tacks may then be got down.
ON theſe occaſions, it ſhould be conſidered before-hand, what it moſt depends upon, to keep clear of the danger, or to make a good landfall; if they have regular ſoundings to it at a great diſtance, then the lead may be the ſureſt guide, but if it be ſteep to without ſoundings, then the latitude if it is known, and a good look out, with the ſhip properly prepared for it, as mentioned page 83, may contribute greatly towards ſafety.
When going to croſs dangerous latitudes where projecting points of land or ſhoals may lie in the way, or in making ſmall iſlands, ſuch as Cape de Verd and Canary iſlands, it is certainly very wrong to run without much caution in the night, or in thick weather, with a erowd of ſail, on preſumption that the ſhip is far enough to the weſtward, to go clear of them, which has occaſioned many fatal loſſes, being deceived by the conſtant eaſterly current that runs in this track, which in my opinion is the principal cauſe that ſhips ſo often make more longitude out than they do home, in Weſt-India voyages, as before mentioned, page 110.
It is the latitude only when known by obſervation, and not the longitude that can be depended upon for the ſhips being near, or clear of danger. I was in an Eaſt-India ſhip outward bound, the captain of which rather than run the riſk of croſſing the latitude of one of the Cape de Verd iſlands in the night, tack'd ſhip and ſtood back to the northward under an eaſy ſail till day light, when it plainly appeared that if we had continued our courſe to the ſouthward, we muſt have run upon the iſland before day-light.
To make a good landfall, if the ſituation and circumſtances of wind and weather permit, that a ſhip can ſail with a leading wind true eaſt, or weſt, to the place of the deſigned landfall, it is an approved method to get into that latitude in good time, and eſpecially homeward bound from the Weſtern ocean, and to endeavour by all poſſible means to get obſervations, to make proper allowance for the variation of the compaſs, leeway, bad ſteerage, currents, or tides, if known, to keep the ſhip as near as poſſible in this deſigned latitude. When got into the deſigned latitude, the uncertainty of the longitude makes the diſtance to be run as uncertain, therefore [Page 132] in the day and clear weather, all the ſail that is poſſible with ſafety ſhould be carried, but in the night or thick weather, if it is thought prudent to run, it ſhould only be with ſuch ſails, as the officer and people on deck can look round them, and work the ſhip to avoid the danger in whatever manner it may appear.
Notwithſtanding theſe rules and precautions in landfalls, I have experienced very narrow eſcapes, both in America, and on our own coaſt, where we are very liable to be deceived by the tides, and in cloudy weather, by taking one place for another. Among many inſtances, it was my caſe in a ſhip from Leghorn to London, when in a cloudy afternoon we fell in with, and juſt got a glimpſe of the ſouth ſide of St. Mary's Scilly iſland, which by our reckonings, and an account we had from an outer bound ſhip, we took it for, and concluded it to be the lizard point which we had ſeen. Therefore ordered, as I thought we might with confidence ſteer, a channel courſe for the night, but our miſtaken ſituation, tho' in a fair line of direction with our channel courſe, occaſioned the ebb tide that ſets N. W. between Scilly and the lands end, to take the ſhip on the ſtarboard bow, which ſheered us inſenſibly into the bottom of Mount's Bay: about midnight we were ſurpriſed with broken water and land extending as far as we could ſee on our ſtarboard bow, when carrying topgallant ſails with a freſh gale quartering at S. W. and large ſwelling waves from the main ocean right into the bay.
The hurry we were in to exert our utmoſt endeavours at this critical moment may be judged from our dangerous ſituation; we had our ſmall ſails to take in, and our topſails to get down, before we could bring the ſhip by the wind to lay her head from the neareſt breakers, and we had the main and foretopſails to cloſe roof, and the topgallant yards, &c. to get down, when we had not room to ſtand above a quarter of an hour upon a tack clear of the breakers. This ſo alarmed ſome Engliſh paſſengers (and even one of them who had been brought up to ſea) that they all aſſembled in the great cabin to prayers, which they thought was their only refuge for ſafety; but putting the ſhip in ſtays which ſhe refuſed, and then wating her round, [Note: On turning out of Mount's Bay, and our management in box hauling.] by box hauling, as repreſented in the two figures, plate the 7th, frightened them from prayer, and they all came upon deck thinking we were running the ſhip on ſhore. We thus managed her by box hauling, as ſoon as we perceived the ſhip ceaſed from coming about in ſtays, we hauled the fore ſheet [Page 133] cloſe aft again, trimmed the head-ſails flat whilſt the ſails were ſhaking, and hauled about the main and main top ſail the ſame as if the ſhip had ſtayed, hauled up the mizen and kept the helm hard a lee, as repreſented by figure 2 in the ſame plate, by which the ſhip getting great ſtern-way turned ſhort round upon her heel, till ſhe filled the main and main top ſails the right way, we then ſhifted the helm hard a-weather, when the ſhip got head way with the ſails trimm'd, as repreſented by figure 1, which brought her readily round, with little loſs of ground, by theſe means in about twelve hours we turned to windward ſo far off the lee ſhore, as repreſented at figure 3, ſo as to weather the lizard, where, to prevent ſuch dangers at this place as we narrowly eſcaped, they have ſince erected light houſes, for which they have my thanks, and in my opinion deſerve the thanks of the public. The like public thanks will be due to whoever may be inſtrumental in getting a diſtinguiſhable light or lights on Holyhead, to prevent as much as poſſible ſuch fatal loſſes as have often happened in Carnarvon bay, occaſioned principally by the ebb tide taking ſhips on the larboard bow, in St. George's channel, when ſteering from Tuſker for Holyhead which ſheers them inſenſibly into Carnarvon bay if the tide is not properly allowed for as beforementioned.
THAT a ſhip ſailing againſt a tide or current, [Note: Neceſſary cautions in ſtrong tide channels.] which takes her on either bow, is the cauſe that alters her courſe, muſt be evident to every one who knows that when a ſhip is ſailing with a leading wind in a narrow river or channel againſt a ſtrong tide or current, it requires nice ſteerage right againſt the ſtream to keep her in a fair way, for if the ſtream is let to take her on the ſtarboard bow, ſhe will ſoon ſheer upon the larboard ſhore, if on the larboard bow upon the ſtarboard ſhore, &c. ſo that the ſame cauſe will have the ſame effect in all narrow ſeas, or channels in proportion to their breadth. Where the tide or current runs ſtrong, it may be highly neceſſary in the night or thick weather, to endeavour to ſteer right againſt the ſtream whilſt it runs againſt the ſhip, as circumſtances may require, to keep the ſhip in mid channel, or in a fair way till day-light, or until the weather is ſo clear as to permit to ſee the danger at a ſufficient diſtance to run a-croſs the ſtream boldly for the land to know the ſhip's real ſituation, which may be a means to avoid ſuch dangers as abovementioned, and to proceed forward with more ſafety. Proceeding in this cautious manner, is eſpecially neceſſary in St. George's channel, where the tides run ſo ſtrong, that when a ſhip happens to enter it, at the firſt part of either flood [Page 134] or ebb, if the land cannot be ſeen clear enough to make proper remarks, the tide may make vaſt alteration in the intended diſtance to be run, [Note: Not to miſtake the land.] as well as in the courſe, by which people's judgment is apt to be miſled, and they take one place for another, which has occaſioned great loſs and damage to my knowledge.
THEREFORE after a night's run in St. George's channel, if the land you happen to fall in with appears dubious, to avoid any bad conſequence that may attend a miſtake, no pains ſhould be ſpared to get a certain knowledge of it; at the clearing up of a fog, I have been obliged to ſend a boat on ſhore to enquire what land it was that we found ourſelves ſo near to, and which ſurprized us afterwards to find it was a part of the Iſle of Man, and we ſhould not have known it without this trouble, ſuch great alteration does the different ſtate of the atmoſphere ſometimes make in the appearance of land.
Now let us ſuppoſe a ſhip arrived ſafe to where ſhe is obliged to take in a pilot, if he is to be boarded from a ſloop, ſchooner, or hoy rigged veſſel, under ſail at ſea, in bad weather it may be dangerous, and is often attended with damage, if not properly managed, therefore it deſerves notice.
THIS is ſometimes attended with ſo much danger, that the Pilot ſloops belonging to Leverpool, rather than run the riſk of boarding a ſhip from their own ſloop, ſometimes go no nearer to the ſhip than to have a ſmall rope thrown to or veered a-ſtern to them, which they make faſt about the pilot's body under his armpits, he then goes overboard into the ſea when as near the ſhip as they dare venture, and he is hauled on board the ſhip by the rope.
IT is a bad and common practice, in many ſhips, when the pilot veſſel has got near them, to lay the ſhip to, with the helm a-lee, and to let her drive with the main or fore-top-ſail a-back, thinking they may be boarded by the pilot's veſſel without danger. But no ſenſible pilot, that knows what would be the conſequence, will offer to board at ſuch time, whilſt the ſhip lies to. But if an unexperienced pilot boards a ſhip upon the weather quarter, which ſeems much the beſt for the purpoſe, the ſhip then heelding to leeward, [Page 135] keeps the yards, maſts and rigging clear from getting entangled. Yet it is well known from experience, that it is more difficult to board to windward than to leeward, and that a ſtroke by a wave from a ſmall veſſel againſt a large one, will do much more damage, than a ſtroke by a large veſſel againſt a ſmall one, becauſe the large veſſel reſiſts and does not give way to the blow of the ſmall one, which would yield and give way to a ſtroke from the large one, in proportion to the difference of their weight, for which reaſon a ſhip ſhould always be boarded on the lee ſide, but to do it whilſt ſhe lies to is attended with too much danger to riſk, when the ſhip has any motion from the waves, for the helm being a lee the ſhip may get ſternway, and fall round off from the wind, whilſt the pilot's veſſel is boarding, which may occaſion great damage, and for want of a ſtern rope I have known rowing boats, when boarding get athwart the hauſe and ſink at ſuch times.
THE beſt method for this purpoſe in my opinion is, when the pilot veſſel is got near, but ſtill far enough to windward; for the ſhip to ſail right forward about a point from the wind, with the after-yards braced ſharp up, the main yard a-back out of the way, and ſail enough, eſpecially ſtay ſails, to keep good head way upon the ſhip, the more the better ſo that ſhe has only a little leſs way than the pilot veſſel, which may ſhoot up under the ſhip's lee quarter, where a ſtern rope, and one paſſed aft from forward ſhould be ready and thrown them, by which they may tow and ſteer their veſſel clear from damage under the lee quarter, ſheltered by the ſhip from the waves, and may watch for a ſmooth ſea, and ſheer to the ſhip at pleaſure to board the pilot, and ſheer clear again with the leaſt riſk poſſible.
A Pilot's qualifications ſhould as much as poſſible be every way equal to the dangers and difficulties that attend his navigation, and ſhould know where the ſhoals extend to a great diſtance, and where the channels are narrow, intricate, and ſhallow, where and when expoſed to dangerous waves, where life as well as property being at riſk. None ſhould be admitted to take upon them this important charge, but ſuch as from experience and practice, [Page 136] can give a ready verbal account of the courſe and diſtance from one place to another, the flowing and ſetting of the tides, depth of water, land marks, buoys, beacons, lights, &c. And ſhould not only be ſeaman enough to work and manage a ſhip to the beſt advantage in fine weather, but capable when in difficult ſituations to form a right judgment what is beſt to be done for ſafety, and what can reaſonably be expected for the people and the ſhip to do on every occaſion.
THE beſt and moſt dexterous pilots for working and managing ſhips in crowded, narrow, or dangerous channels are thoſe at Tinmouth haven, who from much practice by having many large collier ſhips to pilot in and out, as mentioned page 93, are more expert than any other people that I have ſeen, and they take remarkable pains to get the ſhip ſteered to their mind, they look out ſharp, and cun the helms-man loud and quick, and make him anſwer and move the helm as the occaſion may require, to counteract as much as poſſible the motion of the waves that may make the ſhip deviate either way from her intended tract. And when they turn to windward into the harbour, they likewiſe obſerve with great attention, and cun quick to keep the ſhip fairly full and by the wind, with good way upon her, under the command of the helm to make her work the better, and when they come to, where there is not room to turn to windward they take care to lay her head the right way, brail up the courſes and drive to windward with the tide, where they have only little more room than the ſhip's length.
BUT when or where a pilot is found defective in ſeamanſhip, or capacity to judge and act with ſkill and prudence, on difficult or dangerous occaſions, it is certainly the duty of the commander and proper officers to be upon their guard, and not to give up their judgment and themſelves implicitly to a pilot, of whoſe conduct they have no aſſurance, which has to my knowledge occaſioned great damage and fatal loſſes.
THEREFORE when a pilot's capacity is not known, his behaviour in management and deſign of proceeding ſhould be noticed, and treated with more or leſs confidence as his conduct ſeems to deſerve, and when it plainly appears that his conduct cannot be depended upon, then ſelf preſervation, the firſt law of nature, makes it a caſe of neceſſity and point of duty for the commander to interfere with the pilot, and truſt to his conduct no farther than is [Page 137] conſiſtent with ſafety. And not to be afraid of that falſe common notion, that if a commander of a ſhip interferes in the pilot's duty, he makes himſelf anſwerable for the conſequence to the enſurers, but it is quite otherwiſe, for the enſurers enſure the commander's conduct, therefore inſtead of being blamed by the enſurers, he certainly deſerves their thanks for endeavouring to prevent loſs or damage that is likely to be the conſequence of a thoughtleſs blundering pilot that has fallen to his lot, which has been my caſe when we had a very narrow eſcape.
BUT pilots, like other ranks of men, muſt be allowed to have different capacities and diſpoſitions, and according to their practice muſt be more or leſs capable of their duty, conſequently among the many there muſt be a variety of good, bad, and indifferent, yet the reſpectable character of a pilot on the whole, entitles them to be treated with all the reſpect and encouragement their uſefulneſs deſerves, ſo that when a pilot proves deficient in his duty, and a better is not to be had, to make the moſt of him, it is certainly beſt to endeavour by all poſſible means to help and adviſe him with candour what may be thought beſt to be done according to circumſtances, and if his ſpirits appear to fail him in a dangerous paſſage or ſituation, and no remedy leſt but to go forward, he ſhould then be cheered and encouraged to keep up his heart, and not to let fear nor intoxication with liquor, get the better of him, which may be of equal bad conſequence
BUT the moſt danger is from thoſe inconſiderate and unexperienced pilots, who think a ſhip may be managed and conducted with equal eaſe and ſafety among ſhoals, as their own ſmall veſſels to which they have been accuſtomed, therefore they think there is no occaſion to wait for the tide, the day-light, or clear weather but to puſh forward at all hazard, though it may be ſuch weather that no lights, marks, buoys, beacons, nor the dangerous ſhoals in the way can be ſeen, nor guarded againſt by a compaſs courſe, nor by the lead, at a ſufficient diſtance to keep clear of them.
I HAD the experience of a pilot of this ſort, who wanted to run in the night amongſt the ſhoals, when nothing could be ſeen for a guide to keep clear of them, therefore I oppoſed him till day-light, when it blew freſh right upon the ſhore, with drizzling hazy weather that we could not ſee a mile before us, he preſſed me very hard to bear away and ſet ſail, I reaſoned with him of the danger, and would not conſent till we had a conſultation of the officers, [Page 138] when he was told of the great riſk there was in running upon a lee ſhore in ſuch bad weather, that if we fell in at any great diſtance from a fair way, he was to conſider that the ſhip was not to be worked and managed in little room among ſhoals, like the ſmall veſſel we had taken him from, &c. he anſwered that the greateſt danger was from our not running to get into ſafety when we might, and that his life was as dear to him, having a family depending upon it, as any of ours could be to us, and that if he could but ſee any part of the land, or even the breakers he could ſteer in by them, to get into ſafety.
BY the pilot's perſuaſion we bore away for our port, but with all the neceſſary precaution poſſible, to guard againſt the apprehended dangers above-mentioned; we run before the wind under cloſe reefed main and foretop ſails, thinking we ſhould be obliged to carry them by the wind, if occaſion required to make the ſhip work, or to keep clear of the lee ſhore, the lower ſails in the brails ready to ſet on either tack by the wind, the anchors and cables all clear, all hands at their ſtations looking ſharp out, and the deep ſea lead going; in 15 fathom water, we ſaw land and ſhoal broken water near a-head, which was ſhewn to the pilot, aſking him which way we ſhould go now, he pointed from the danger we were neareſt to, but looking the way he pointed, nothing could be ſeen but broken raging waves, we aſked him what was then to be done, being in five fathom water, I perceived he was overcome with fear, and had nothing to ſay, but left us to ſave ourſelves as we could; we then brought the ſhip round to by the wind, and notwithſtanding we were well mann'd, was obliged to get the main and fore ſheets aft with the tacks, not above two thirds down, by which, under Providence, and the ſhip's faſt ſailing, we but juſt cleared the breakers on the lee-ſhore, which would by all appearance have proved our total deſtruction, if the ſhip had been left to the conduct of the pilot, who after this, as it is common with all ſuch unthinking men, went from a raſh confidence to ſuch extreme fearfulneſs, that he thought we could not poſſibly get far enough from the danger we had ſo narrowly eſcaped; when the weather cleared up with a ſudden change, and a gail of wind right off ſhore, that put us under reefed courſes, we could but juſt ſee the land from the maſt head.
THIS pilot's conduct, and the many inſtances of damage, and fatal loſſes, that have been occaſioned by raſh, imprudent, and defective pilots, prove the neceſſity that a commander may be often [Page 139] under to interfere with the pilot, but it ſhould always be done in a calm friendly manner to adviſe or aſſiſt him in whatever he may ſeem deficient, for it is but natural to ſuppoſe that a commander ſhould know the trim and properties of his ſhip from experience, and what dependence may be put on her for ſailing, ſteering, ſtaying, waring, or to ride at an anchor, and how they can work and manage her on extraordinary occaſions, in narrow and dangerous channels, and ſhould form a better judgment what the ſhip and crew can do, than a ſtrange pilot who may be a brave man, and know his way very well, yet, for want of experience, may be much inferior to the commander in working and managing the ſhip, and when this is the caſe, it ſhould be agreed for the pilot to ſhew the way and point out the dangers, whilſt the commander works and manages the ſhip to keep clear of them, which in my opinion may often contribute greatly to prevent misfortunes. But when pilots are known to be thoroughly qualified to work and manage a ſhip as their navigation requires, then the commander has only to ſee that the pilot's orders are obeyed.
BUT when ſhips are going for ſhoal flats, bar or tide harbour, where ſafety depends upon the height and time of tide which makes all hints or remarks from obſervations on the tides deſerve notice, therefore, ſailor like, I venture to give ſome obſervations upon them.
THE tides, and the knowledge of them, are of ſuch great and important advantages to our navigation, and eſpecially among our many ſhoals, flatts, bar and tide harbours, where it depends entirely upon the certainty of the flow and time of the tide to proceed with ſafety. Therefore our utmoſt endeavours ſhould be uſed to get the greateſt knowledge of the tides that is poſſible in all our tide and bar harbours that lie near the ſea, by obſerving and remarking the time, and how much they flow on an average, not only at full and change, but at the quarters of the moon, which is the time that the tides are at their greateſt deviation, from the mean and common way of reckoning them, which, if it was made public, might contribute greatly to come at a more perfect theory of the tides, as well as prevent the loſs and damage that may be [Page 140] occaſioned by ſhips running for our ſhoal water harbours at a wrong time of tide, being deceived by the old common method of reckoning the tides, which is very erroneous, eſpecially at the quarters of the moon, and marking the time of flowing at full and change always to a point of the compaſs, adds to the uncertainty of a ſhip from ſea to find the time of high water, which from experience I can ſay has occaſioned great loſs and damage. [Note: Damage done by running at a wrong time of tide.] I was in a Weſt India ſhip running for a bar harbour in Ireland by this erroneous rule, when we beat off our gripe, rudder, and a great deal of the ſtern poſt, and after part of the keel upon the bar, and had ſeven feet water in the hold when we got into the harbour, and was obliged to run on ſhore to prevent ſinking. At Leverpool I have obſerved ſhips coming in at neap tides about the quarters of the moon, when inſtead of meeting with high water, as expected by the common way of reckoning, they have found it about a quarter ebb, that for want of water enough they have often ſtruck or come a-ground and laid upon the bar, when loſs or great damage has often been the conſequence.
FOR theſe reaſons, and being requeſted by my friend Mr. Ferguſon, the aſtronomer, who with great labour and pains furniſhed me with large ſchemes, tables, plans, &c. relating to the tides in the year 1764, when I began, and have continued to make obſervations on the time and height of the tides flowing at the old dock gates in Leverpool, which is about three miles from the mouth of the river, that is ſo broad and extenſive, that as a branch of the ſea no land floods or freſhes has any effect on the tides in the river oppoſite to the town, where the leaſt flow of water that I have obſerved in neap tides, was nine feet at the dock gates when low water was juſt even with the ſill of the gates, from whence is marks in the ſtone work upward to twenty-two feet and a half, from which the heights of the tides are taken, but having no marks below the ſill of the gates towards the river, where from obſervations made on the whole riſe of ſome tides, I have reaſon to conclude in moderate weather, that in proportion as the tides commonly riſe above the nine feet mark at the gates, they fall the ſame below the ſill of the gates, and that the four feet and a half mark is near the half flood mark let the riſe be what it will, though it does not agree with half the time of flowing nor ebbing of the tides.
BUT to obſerve more exactly the whole riſe of one of our middling tides, I had a board fixed upright at low water in the river, [Page 141] marked with ſix inch marks each foot, high enough to obſerve by, [Note: A middling tide nicely obſerved.] till the tide reached the dock gates, and remarked the time it flowed to each foot the riſe of the whole tide, which was twenty-two feet and an half, from ſeven feet below the dock gates to the fifteen feet and an half mark at the gates in five hours fifty minutes, the firſt half tide roſe in two hours forty minutes, but the next to high water was three hours ten minutes, ſo that the firſt half tide roſe in fifteen minutes leſs time than the laſt, and it fell again to the half flood mark about fifteen minutes leſs time than it was in riſing. But the ſlack tide at low and high water muſt be allowed to account for part of theſe irregularities, it ebbed the tide before, as I judge it does moſt commonly in moderate weather ſix hours thirty minutes, added to the flood five hours fifty minutes, makes twelve hours twenty minutes, the twenty minutes difference in time between theſe two high waters, agree with a tide table that is calculated and publiſhed here yearly by Meſſrs. Holdens, the benefit of which to be mentioned hereafter.
I HAD the above tide drawn into a ſcheme, [Note: Si [...]e of the wave of the tide] dividing the feet as the water roſe and fell by the minutes of time, the wave of the tide, as it may be called, formed a curve near the parabolic, or the range of a bomb ſhell, only ſpread out at the bottom, as the firſt and laſt half foot in flowing took about thirty minutes, varying by degrees faſter and ſlower to half tide when it flowed the faſteſt a foot in about ten minutes of time.
THE old method of reckoning the tides by mean or equal difference of time, or the bearing of the moon by the compaſs, [Note: The tides flowing compared with a tide clock.] from full to change has been found very defective. I had a tide clock made, that was planned by Mr. Ferguſon, to ſhew the time of tide by this rule. I kept the clock going as near as I could to ſol [...] time, and what proved very remarkable, that at the quarters of the moon, when it was really high water by the tide, the clock commonly ſhewed only three quarters flood, ſo that from the full and change to the quarters of the moon, the time of high water commonly loſt near a quarter of a flood, or above an hour from regular time.
MANY laudable attempts have been made to fix eaſy rules to agree with theſe deviations above-mentioned, which [...] be allowed a great improvement in reckoning the tides, yet I have learned from experience and obſervation, that to come near the truth nothing leſs than calculating the attractive powers of the moon and [Page 142] ſun, [Note: Tides higher and lower in proportion to the moon's diſtance.] according to their diſtance and ſituation from us, which makes a great difference, and brings on both ſpring and neap tides ſooner or later, and alters their height as well as the time of high water. Even at full and change of the moon (the only ſtated time) they will vary fifteen minutes, though all proper allowances may be made of two minutes of time for every hour the full or change happens to differ from the ſtated time of high water.
As we move round the ſun, and the moon round us in eleptical orbits, and the moon's motion is faſter or ſlower as ſhe is nearer or farther from us, which is reckoned to be about 34,000 miles nearer to us when in her perigee, than when in her apogee, and thirteen days and a half in going from one to the other, that makes the high and low tides conſtantly vary accordingly, and which ſeems to me to make about a ſixth part difference in the height of the tides from whatever they may flow in common, which I reckon about twenty-eight feet to be the whole flow of our common ſpring tides when we have about eighteen feet at the above-mentioned dock gates, but when the moon happens to be in her perigee at full or change, then we have about twenty-one feet at the gates, and when this happens at the quarters of the moon inſtead of 12 feet, as in common at neap tides, we have about fourteen feet at the gates. And when this happens at equal night ſpring tides, we have about twenty-two feet at the gates, and the neap tides low in proportion if the moon happens to be in her apogee. And what is very remarkable, [Note: When the day and night tides run higheſt.] that from about the tenth of May to the tenth of November the night tides that flow from ſix in the evening to ſix in the morning run the higheſt; and from the tenth of November to about the tenth of May, the day tides run the higheſt, and this difference often amounts to eighteen inches.
[Note: Why the ſpring and neep tides come ſooner or later.]WHEN the moon happens to be in her perigee at the quarters makes high neap tides as before obſerved, the ſpring tides following puts up early, and the higheſt tide is often on the full or change day, but when the moon happens to be in her apogee at the quarters, the following ſpring tides are late in putting up, and not at the height till the third or fourth day after the full or change, and all the other intermediate tides are influenced in the ſame manner, according to the moon's diſtance and ſituation, and as ſhe is going farther from, or coming nearer to us in her orbit, all which deſerves notice on many occaſions, eſpecially when it may be doubtful of a ſhip's havin water enough to anſwer her purpoſe.
[Page 143] THE times of the tides flowing, [Note: The progreſſive difference of the time of the tide's flowing.] and the progreſſive difference of time between one high water and another are likewiſe obedient to the laws of the ſame powers. For when the moon happens to be in her apogee at the full or change, then her motion in her orbit is ſloweſt, that for five or ſix tides afterwards the progreſſive difference of time between one tide and another is only about fifteen minutes, till they loſe about an hour from equal time, then they alter nearly to equal progreſſive time of twenty-five minutes each tide to the quarters, when they flow about four o'clock, whether the quarters are long or ſhort, almoſt as near a ſtated time as they flow about eleven o'clock at full and change, and after the quarters of the moon, the progreſſive time of flowing begins to increaſe often to forty-five minutes each tide, till they fetch up the loſt hour, and comes up to equal time about ſix tides before the full or change, which ſix tides only agrees near with the above-mentioned tide clock, differing each tide about twenty-five minutes till the full or change, when they begin to make their deviations again as above deſcribed.
BUT the ingenious mathematicians Meſſrs. Richard and George Holdens, from obſervations here, and ſome from Briſtol, [Note: Tables for the time and height of the tide's flowing.] have formed a theory and an accurate method, whereby they calculate and publiſh yearly tide tables to ſhew not only the time, but the height of the tides flowing at Liverpool old dock gates, which I can ſay from experience agrees ſurprizingly near to obſervations. Therefore I take the liberty to give the principal part of the preface to the tide table for 1773.
A 'Perfect theory of the tides, and an accurate method of calculating them, has been greatly wanted in every age ſince navigation was firſt practiſed; and, though induſtriouſly ſought after, has hitherto baffled the reſearches of the moſt learned. And as their theory has hitherto remained defective, ſo their methods of calculation, founded thereupon, have ſucceeded no better; for, (as I am now furniſhed with about three thouſand obſervations made upon the tides at Liverpool, and three hundred and ſixty at Briſtol, with which I can compare my own, and all other methods of calculation) I think I may venture to aſſert, that all the methods given us in books of navigation, and all the tide tables inſerted in [Page 144] our almanacks, [Note: Preface to the [...]ide [...]le.] are very frequently ſubject to the error of an hour, and many times of much more; except that of Monſieur de la Caille, which yet is often liable to an error of forty minutes, as any perſon will find who takes the trouble of making a ſufficient number of obſervations.
INDEED no perſon can expect that it ſhould be otherwiſe, who conſiders that Monſieur de la Caille's, and all other Methods (except that of Monſieur Caſſini, which in truth is no better depend entirely upon the moon's age, or her diſtance from the ſun; without regarding the different diſtances of either the ſun or moon from the earth, their declinations, the latitudes of places, or any thing elſe that affects the tides.
THUS deficient are all former methods in computing only the times of high water; as for the heights, the calculation thereof has never before been attempted by any one, that I know of; though they are, as I apprehend, equally neceſſary; for of what advantage can it be to the ſeaman, to know when the tide will be at the higheſt, if there will not be, at that time, depth of water ſufficient for his purpoſe? Indeed it would be of no more ſervice to know that there would be depth enough of water, unleſs he knew at the ſame time, when to expect it. But to know what height the tide will riſe to, and at what time, muſt contribute greatly to his ſecurity: and is it not abſolutely requiſite, that a tide table ſhould inform him of both theſe?
IF any perſon ſhall think proper to compare this table with his own obſervations, he ought always to ſet his watch right immediately before, by ſome good ſun▪ dial; for theſe calculations are made according to ſolar time.
AND if the watch be thus truly regulated, I doubt not but that they will be ſound to correſpond very nea [...]ly with the obſervation, as this table is compoſed with the ſame care and exactneſs as the laſt, I having had the aſſiſtance of Mr. Bryan Waller through the whole work.
INDEED it cannot rationally be expected that any method of computation can perfectly agree with the tides, becauſe they are ſubject to various alterations from the wind. Yet notwithſtanding all the irregularities cauſed thereby, the heights given in the laſt tide table, have agreed with the obſervations (upon an average) within ſeven inches; and the times within five minutes.'
[Page 145] NOTWITHSTANDING gales of wind affect the tides, [Note: Advantages of theſe tide tables.] I obſerve it is more in the height than in the time, that they are made to differ from theſe tide tables, and then an allowance may be judged according to the ſtrength or velocity of the wind blowing for or againſt the courſe of the flood tide, which here comes from the ſouth weſt quarter, which to ſuppoſe may increaſe the height of the tide above this theory, at the rate of about an inch for every mile of the wind's velocity, above a freſh breeze of about ten miles an hour; and decreaſes the height in proportion as the wind blows from the North Eaſt quarter.
SO that theſe tide tables muſt certainly be of great utility to all that are concerned in the time and height of the tides flowing, and from their height may judge of their velocity, which I reckon oppoſite to the town is at the rate of about a mile an hour for every fathom it flows up and down, and that is about two and a half at common neap, and about four and a half at common ſpring tides; and there is ſeven feet more water on the bar of the common channel, than at the old dock gates, ſo that by the tide table, it may be judged when a ſhip will have water enough to get into the river, and into the docks with ſafety. And how to birth them according to their drafts of water not only in the wet docks, but in the graving or repairing docks, which are of different depths, that they may have water enough to get out as well as in. And they are thought to be of that importance to our pilots, that the laws for regulating the pilots make it a penalty of five pounds for a pilot being without a tide table, and a watch kept to ſolar time.
THEREFORE I hope theſe tide tables will meet with all the encouragement that the ingenuity and labour deſerves to continue their publication, [Note: The moon's diſtance to be attended to for the height and ſtrength of the tides.] till time gives them a fair trial how near their theory agrees, with other ſhoal dangerous ports or places, that depends upon knowing the certainty of the time, and height of the tides flowing to proceed with ſafety, which may be a means to recommend ſuch tide tables to be tried and uſed in proportion to the advantages that may be experienced from them. But till time brings this about, the only method to judge when the tides will be higher or lower than common is to attend to the moon's diſtance, being near her perigee or apogee as before-mentioned) which are remarked in the nautical or White's almanacks, and ſhould be in all our navigation books, where the flowing of the tides are remarked; and to make an allowance, as a ſtorm of wind happens [Page 146] to blow near or againſt the direction of the flood tide, [Note: To make allowance for the wind being for or againſt the flood tide.] which I have obſerved to make an alteration of about three feet in the height of the tides, when I judged the wind blowing at the rate of about forty-five miles an hour. I cannot perceive, as has been imagined, that the tides are affected when our neighbouring worlds are paſſing near us in the ſame ſide of our orbits, as mentioned in page 88, or by the different weight of our atmoſphere, as ſhewn by the barometer. And as I live fronting and but fourteen yards from the dock gates abovementioned, which opens with the flood and ſhuts at high water, whilſt I am able and willing would be glad of any directions, rules, or hints, that might improve obſervations on the tides, to make them more uſeful to ſeamen, pilots, mathematicians, aſtronomers, or philoſophers.
THESE waves riſe perpendicular very quick, and run in a confuſed manner in all directions, and fall with ſo ſwift a motion up and down, which makes in ſome meaſure temporary vacuums in the air, that interrupt the natural courſe of the wind, which keeps a ſhip the longer among theſe tumultuous waves that toſs her about with ſuch violent, confuſed, diſtreſsful motions, that immediately ſtops her way through the water, and the power of the helm to command her [...] and though there may be a freſh of wind make the ſails [...]p to the maſts, that they do little more than drive along with the race of the tide; therefore as much as poſſible ſhould be avoided as dangerous, eſpecially to open veſſels, as I have experienced in paſſing one in a ſchooner rigg'd veſſel, when we ſhipped ſo much water as nearly to ſink us before we got through it. But when a veſſel muſt paſs them, it is beſt to do it with the wind large to get the ſooner through. And of late I have known a ſhip of 300 tons that fell into one off the iſland of Uſhant, by which they had their two boats waſhed off the deck and loſt, and did a great deal of other material damage.
A Ship lying near the ſhoals ſhe is to paſs or go over, I have known great advantages in obſerving the ſhoals at low water, and the flowing of the tide by the lead, and comparing it by the ſhip's draught of water, a great help to form a judgment when a ſhip will have water enough.
WHERE different remarkable places can be ſeen and diſtinguiſhed, as the tide flows up to them, that continues nearly the ſame difference with the bar or ſhoal that the ſhip is to go over, theſe ſhould be remarked in the draught of the place, what water there is when the tide is up to them, as may be ſeen in the inſtructions at the bottom of the chart of the bay and harbour of Liverpool, where there is eight different remarks for that purpoſe, but the beſt method is, where diſtinct ſignals can be made by colours or lights on ſhore.
WHEN theſe are to be erected for this purpoſe only, they ſhould be made ſingular to differ in appearance as much as poſſible from other common buildings, and their likeneſs laid down not only in miniature in their real ſituations, with the compaſs lines of direction leading to them, but in larger figures with their height in feet in ſome vacant part of the chart of the place, as the principal leading marks, and light houſes are in the laſt plate of the chart of Liverpool, by which they may be known and diſtinguiſhed from other objects, and from each other to prevent miſtakes. And as buoys may be much better diſtinguiſhed from one another by their ſhape than different colours, we have for ſome years paſt laid caſk buoys to be left on the larboard hand, [Note: To obſerve marks, buoys, &c. with a ſpying glaſs recommended.] and can buoys on the ſtarboard hand in coming in through our channels, as may be ſeen in the chart abovementioned, which muſt certainly be a great help and guide to lead a ſhip in a fair way into a harbour; and when the time and weather permit, I would recommend to obſerve them with the ſpying glaſs at a diſtance as they [Page 148] appear above the horizon to compare their likeneſs, ſituation, and bearings with the chart.
[Note: Beſt colours for marks, b [...]ys, &c.]FROM all my obſervations, red ſeems to be the beſt and moſt ſtriking colour, to make theſe objects conſpicuous at a diſtance in all weathers and ſituations, though it muſt be allowed, that when white happens to reflect the ſun rays towards the eye, or ſituated in a ſhade, makes it ſome times very conſpicuous, yet to take all weathers and ſituations it is often very bad to be ſeen, and a white buoy is bad to be diſtinguiſhed among broken waves, but a mark coloured in thirds with black, white, and red, will anſwer beſt in all weathers and ſituations.
WOOD marks that are made to be ſhifted as the channels alter, to prevent their being blown down, it is common to leave an open ſpace between each board that is nailed to make them conſpicuous, the light paſſing through theſe open ſpaces I have obſerved to obſcure the marks to a great degree, eſpecially when the ſun was any way behind them, and by having them boarded cloſe proved a great improvement to make them be ſeen much better. There is a curious obſervation that may be made, when a ſhip's maſt, or any other ſmall object that comes in the way of the ſun, when it is near the horizon, that it can be looked at with the naked eye, how the ſun obſcures and makes a deep dint to appear in the ſides of theſe objects, which deſerves the notice of aſtronomical obſervers.
THEREFORE no pains of expence ſhould be ſpared to make them as perfect as poſſible, to anſwer their deſigned purpoſe, eſpecially where there is a ſufficient fund allowed to ſupport them, or where the increaſe of trade and ſhipping are taxed ſo as to make large profits ariſe from them, which deſerves the attention of all the public that is concerned to get our light-houſes improved upon the beſt plan for the greater ſafety and advantage to ſhipping.
IT is well known from reaſon as well as experience, that open coal fire light, expoſed to all winds and weathers, cannot be made [Page 149] to burn and ſhow a conſtant ſteady blaze to be ſeen at a ſufficient diſtance with any certainty, for in ſtorms of wind, [Note: Uncertainty of open fire lights.] when lights are moſt wanted, theſe open fires are made to burn furiouſly, and very ſoon away, ſo as to melt the very iron work about the grate, and in cold weather, when it ſnows, hails, or rains hard, the keepers of the lights do not care to expoſe themſelves to the bad weather are apt to neglect till the fire is too low, then throws on a large quantity of coals at a time, which darkens the light for a time till the fire burns up again, and in ſome weathers it muſt be difficult to make them burn with any brightneſs. And when they are incloſed in a glaſed cloſe light-houſe, they are apt to ſmoke the windows greatly, nor affords ſo much conſtant blaze (that gives the moſt light) as oil lamps, or tallow candles of two pounds each, but theſe laſt require often ſnuſſing to prevent their light from being dull, ſo that after trial of theſe different ſorts of lights, we have fixed upon lamp lights, with proper reflectors behind them to anſwer beſt here at Liverpool.
IT is well known from experience that our common ſtreet lamps, [Note: Advantages of lamp lights.] when the oil is good, will burn a long winter's night of ſixteen hours, without any attendance, and conſume but very little wick which plainly proves them the moſt certain, conſtant, and ſteady uniform lights, that can be uſed in light-houſes, where ſhipping has to paſs through dangerous and narrow channels by them, as they have here at Liverpool ſituated in a deep dangerous bay, with ſhoal ſand banks at a great diſtance from the ſhore, as may be ſeen by the chart, lies open and expoſed to the moſt current ſtorms of weſterly winds, and ſtrong tides, which raiſes high and dangerous waves that occaſioned many great and fatal loſſes before 1763, when four light-houſes were erected, two large ones called the ſea-lights, leading through the channel out to, and in from ſea, till the two Hoylake lights are brought in a line, that leads into a very good road ſteed to lie, till it is a proper time and tide to proceed to Liverpool, as may be ſeen by the chart. And the loſſes have been very few, in compariſon to what they were before theſe light-houſes were built, which proves their great uſe to the trade of this place for [Page 150] ſafety as well as expedition in getting out and in by them; [Note: Liverpool light houſes.] they are built from twenty-five to one hundred and one feet high, as the ſituation and neceſſity requires two of them a great height above the level of the ſea, as the curvature of our globe requires, according to the rules laid down in ſeveral of our navigation books, which ſhould always be conſidered in proportion to the diſtance of the ſhoals from the light-houſes, which ſhould be ſo high as to appear and be ſeen above the horizon at a ſufficient diſtance without the ſhoals from a ſhip's deck, that her ſituation may be known by the lights being open or near in a line, either to run, or get and keep the ſhip off by them in a fair way, as the occaſion of time or tide may require.
[Note: Lamps & reflectors how made and fixed.]THESE lamps and reflectors, as repreſented in plate 10, fig. 1 and 2, are fixed in the light room, right fronting the channel or line of direction for a fair way, and oppoſite the middle of the window, which ſhould be high enough in proportion to the reflector, and extend in width each way as far as neceſſary the light can, or may require to be ſeen.
THESE reflectors are made as near as they can be to the parabolic curve by drawing a ſet of parallel lines right acroſs the focus or center line; and mark the focal diſtance above the parallel lines, and take an extent from the focal diſtance, to each parallel line one after the other, with theſe extents mark each parallel line in its turn from the focus or burning point with dots on each ſide of the focus line, to the extent of the deſigned diameter, and making a regular ſweep from dot to dot, as repreſented in plate 10, fig. 3, by which method a form may be made, for the curve of a parabolic reflector of any focus or diameter, to have the property, when the ſun's, or any other rays of light or fire comes upon them in parallel lines they are reflected to, and croſs each other at the focus, which makes the focus the burning point; and juſt the contrary effect, when a burning blaze of fire or light is fixed in their focus all the rays of light that falls upon them are reflected right forward in parallel lines, with more or leſs power in proportion to the luſtre or brightneſs of the reflectors, which are illuminated ſo as to look like a blaze as big as the reflectors themſelves, to people in that quarter nearly facing them by the angle of reflection being equal to the angle of incident.
WE have made and had in uſe here at Liverpool, reflectors of one, two, and three feet focus, and three, five and a half, ſeven [Page 151] and a half, and twelve feet diameter, the three ſmalleſt made of tin plates ſodered together, and the largeſt of wood, covered with plates of looking glaſs, ſhaped as repreſented by fig. one and two, plate 10, and fixed as near as can be to the above-mentioned rules, and a copper lamp, the ciſtern part for the oil and wick ſtands behind the reflectors, ſo that nothing ſtands before the reflector to intercept the blaze from acting upon it, but the tube that goes through it, with a ſpreading burning mouth-piece, to ſpread the blaze of the lamp parallel to, and with the middle of it, juſt in the focus or burning point of the reflector, as may be ſeen by the figures above-mentioned.
WE have a feeding can with oil to ſtand upon the ciſtern of each lamp, with a ſmall braſs cock that is turned to drop or run a little according to the conſumption of oil, that it may be kept near to the level of the mouth of the lamp, near which is a little rim to prevent any drains of oil along the tube to the reflector (as may be ſeen in fig. 2.) which drops from the rim, to a dripping-pan that ſtands below the reflector, and if the cock of the feeding can ſhould be turned to run too faſt, to prevent an over-flow of oil there is a ſmall hole and a tube in the ciſtern that lets the oil into a tin can ſtanding below it. The lamps like the reflectors are proportional in their bigneſs to make a greater or leſs blaze as their diſtance to be ſeen requires, their ſpreading burning parts are from three to twelve, and fourteen inches, which makes the blaze the ſame breadth, and burns higher or lower, according to the quality of the oil, on which the goodneſs of the lights greatly depends. And as the wick is common cotton thread, ſpun for the purpoſe of lamps, and wound in lengths to fill the mouth of the lamps about a quarter of an inch thick, and as it conſumes there is long mouth pincers, the lengths as above, to haul out the wick altogether through the tubes, as the occaſion requires, and are ſnuffed with a pair of ſheers in one hand, and a tin box with a little water in it in the other, for the ſnuffings, to prevent the danger of fire, and is only required to be attended and trimm'd by their keepers every four hours.
THUS are theſe Light-houſes conſtructed, kept, and ſituated as above-mentioned, and has ſtood the teſt of fair trial, and the preference and advantages given to them, even by their oppoſers, as there always will be to new things, commonly calling them new whims, till time and trial confirm them uſeful improvements, which [Page 152] theſe are allowed to be by all that have ſeen them, for in a dark clear night the two ſea lights (notwithſtanding their height, and the curvature or roundneſs of the ſea, as before mentioned) may be plainly ſeen when they are in a line with the horizon, not only from the deck, but from the maſt head of a ſhip, which gives the advantage to ſee which way they are open, to bring them in a line in good time, either to keep the ſhip off, or run in by them in a fair way, as the circumſtance of the time and tide prudently conſidered may require.
BUT it may be ſaid that theſe reflecting lights only ſuit ſuch places as require them to be ſeen only from one quarter of the compaſs, which muſt be acknowledged, though two of our lamps give a blaze twelve and fourteen inches ſquare, yet there is but little reflected light above three points of the compaſs each way, but then it muſt be allowed that the blaze of the lamps can be ſeen as in common with other lights above half the compaſs clear of the edge of the reflectors, which illuminate greatly the atmoſphere fronting them, that adds greatly to the light even in that ſituation.
[Note: Light-houſes requiring to be ſeen more than half round.]A LIGHT houſe that may require to be ſeen above a half, or 3-4th of the compaſs may be fixed upon this plan with two or three reflectors, one to face each quarter, and have the tubes for the lamps from one ciſtern; or to have a parcel of ſmall lamps, with reflectors of four inch focus, and eleven inch diameters, as repreſented in plate 10, fig. 4 and 5, which may be ſet upon ſhelves in rows very near the window, the upper row neareſt, and thoſe below a little behind, [Note: On hand lamps and reflectors.] to prevent thoſe below from ſmoaking thoſe above them, by ſuch means the rays of light that would go towards the land or againſt a dead wall, where they are not wanted, are reflected forward to add to the light that goes towards the ſhipping for which they are deſigned.
BUT where a light-houſe requires to be ſeen equally from all quarters quite round the compaſs, and lighted with a number of candles, or common lamps, as it is known from experience, that their rays of light paſs and croſs each other freely in all directions, without any viſible interruption, which makes it a diſputed point, whether reflectors would be of any ſervice; which in my opinion a number of thoſe hand lamps with their reflectors ſet round upon ſhelves near the windows as above-mentioned, would reflect many rays of light in an horizontal direction clear of the ſmoke, that would fall above and below the windows, and throw more light [Page 153] through the windows, with, than without the reflectors, from an equal quantity of lights, but the advantage that would be gained wants to be confirmed by experiment.
THESE hand lamps and reflectors were contrived to make night ſignals by lights, [Note: Signals for ſhips ſeen off, and in diſtreſs.] to be ſet in the ſtair caſe windows of our upper ſea light-houſe, that fronts towards the town, in caſe of any veſſel being perceived in diſtreſs in the night, or when it is too dark to ſee the day ſignals, which are repreſented with the light-houſe, fig. 6, plate 10, as they were publiſhed upon a chard to make them known; and as they have given general ſatisfaction ſince they have been in uſe, and afford a greater number and variety of different veſſels than any other ſet of ſignals I have ſeen I thought deſerved this notice. Beſides theſe public ſignals, ſeveral merchants have flag-ſtaffs erected at a little diſtance from the light-houſe, that when their ſhips appear with their particular ſignal their colours are hoiſted on their flagſtaff for their information.
IT is further propoſed to have at this light-houſe, a ſet of gun chambers charged with a compoſition of fire balls next the powder, then filled with ſaw-duſt, and a ſur plug drove hard in with a wooden mall, that when any veſſel is perceived to make ſignals of diſtreſs for help, either by day or night, they are to be anſwered by firing one of theſe chambers, which ſtands with its breech upon the ground, that prevents any recoil, therefore diſcharges its contents right up in the air with a loud exploſion, which will not only alarm the town to ſend help, but the fire ball ſparkling in the air will give the diſtreſſed a great ſatisfaction to ſee that their ſignals are noticed to expect help. The ſituation of this light-houſe is well adapted to anſwer all theſe purpoſes, ſtanding fronting the town and docks at three miles diſtance upon a ſtone hill about forty yards high above the level of the ſea at high water, which makes it very conſpicuous, both from the town and at ſea, it being the firſt object that appears on ſhore above the horizon, in a fair direction for its channel as may be ſeen by the chart.
BUT to return to the hand lamps and reflectors, as before-mentioned, I tried one of them with our reflectors of three feet diameter, and one foot focus, made and glaſſed as repreſented in fig 1, 2, but it proved greatly inferior, though it might be ſeen at nine or ten miles diſtance, and in trying them with a common ſhop lamp with equal wicks, and ſet in different windows of the ſtair caſe of the light-houſe that faces the town as above-mentioned, when the [Page 154] reflected lamp eclipſed the common lamp to ſuch a degree that I could not ſee it without uſing a ſpy glaſs at three miles diſtance, and theſe ſmall reflectors being only beat out of common tin, that if they were improved and made of blown quick-ſilvered glaſs, ſilver plated copper, or reflecting teleſcope metal as concave mirrors, and ſodered all together with the lamp in a tin pan like a dripping pan, as repreſented in fig. 4 and 5, only with the addition of tin ſtays behind the reflectors to keep altogether in handling them about, it is a doubt with me, whether a number ſet as before mentioned, would not be preferable to our large reflectors, for I have perceived from experience, that our large reflectors of one foot focus, and three feet diameter, reflects a ſtronger light in proportion than our large reflector of twelve feet diameter and three feet focus.
ANOTHER great benefit I thought might ariſe from theſe hand reflectors if they were brought to perfection, ſingle light houſes might be diſtinguiſhed from one another by having different numbers of windows luminated by them, but in trying experiments with two of them, ſet in the firſt and ſecond ſtair-caſe windows of the light-houſe already mentioned, [Note: Experiment of the diſtance of a [...]gn [...]s not to appear as one.] fig. 6, they appeared at three miles diſtance only as one light, though they were above ten feet aſunder, and required to be ſet in the firſt and third windows, which is above nineteen feet aſunder to appear as two diſtinct lights at three miles diſtance, which ſhews how much theſe imperfect hand reflectors, illuminated the atmoſphere, and how neceſſary are experiments before new deſigns of this kind are put in execution.
IN light-houſes, where reflectors are deſigned to be uſed, and the lights require to be ſeen at the greateſt diſtance poſſible, according to their high or low ſituation above the level of the ſea, the reflectors ſhould be made to ſtand with their axes or centre pointing to the horizon; but where they are only required to be ſeen at a ſmall diſtance to lead over a bar, or through a channel near them, then the reflectors ſhould be pointed to the moſt neceſſary or moſt dangerous place, by which means the moſt rays of light are reflected to where they are moſt wanted. And from experience we find, that plate ground glaſs anſwers much beſt, [Note: Round and window, with the beſt glaſs recommended.] both for reflectors, and the light room windows, and the larger the panes, and the leſs wood in the window frames to obſtruct the light, the better, and the windows that are framed round or circular, as well as the light-houſes, ſtand and reſiſt the wind much better than thoſe that are [Page 155] made flat by the octagon or eight ſided form. And to keep the light rooms as clear of ſmoke as poſſible, I would recommend a large opening in the centre of the roof with a nice cover, and a large vane to make it traverſe freely with the wind, and to with-hold whatever contrivance, or the beſt materials that can make them the moſt perfect, as far as the fund which is to ſupport them will afford, ſhould be looked upon as an act of great villainy for the reaſons given.
CIRCUMSTANCES of times and places are ſo variable, that no rule can be laid down for this purpoſe; yet ſomething ſhould be ſaid to endeavour to prevent as much as poſſible running imprudent riſks at improper times, which has to my knowledge occaſioned great damage, and many total and fatal loſſes. When both time and tide prove favourable to a ſhip's ſituation, it is then a point of duty, and highly commendable to puſh forward with all poſſible expedition to get into port.
BUT when either the time, or the tide proves unfavourable to a ſhip's ſituation, then it is the duty of the commander to be upon his guard, and act with prudent caution as the occaſion may require, to conſider and conſult what ought to be done, and not to be perſuaded even by a pilot to run at an improper time of tide, or in the night, or when it rains, ſnows, hails, or in hazey or foggy weather, it is well known that lights nor any other objects can be ſeen at a ſufficient diſtance to keep clear of dangers; and where the lead cannot be depended upon for a guide. At ſuch times and under ſuch circumſtances, and eſpecially when the waves run dangerouſly high upon the ſhoals, the utmoſt endeavours ſhould be uſed to keep clear of them till a favourable time and tide offers to get into ſafety, and nothing but to ſave a ſhip from ſinking or foundering in deep water, ſhould be a ſufficient reaſon for running farther among dangers than there is a proſpect of ſafety, whilſt there is any poſſibility to keep a ſhip off from them.
FOR want of ſuch prudent precautions and endeavours, as abovementioned, has occaſioned great damage, and many fatal loſſes in attempting at improper times to get into the port of Liverpool, where the dangers are ſo many and great as to require not only a proper time of tide, but clear weather and day-light to proceed with a common chance for ſafety. Yet ſuch has been the imprudence and folly of pilots and commanders of ſhips to run for our dangerous crooked bar channels, when no guides could be ſeen, and no compaſs courſes, nor the lead to be relied on, by which they have loſt their ſhips and lives. And ſome fatal loſſes have been [...]ſioned by ſubverting the very advantageous deſigned uſe of our light-houſes, which are to ſhow ſhips the way into H [...]ylake, a good [...]ad-ſte [...]d to wait for a ſuitable time and tide to get through the dangerous channels into the river or to get and keep a ſhip in a [...] way, to be ready to proceed through the dangerous parts of the channels, as the circumſtances of the wind, time, and the tide flowing but a little after daylight, may require.
BUT the great abuſe and i [...]l uſe made of thoſe lights, have been in running in by the two ſea lights with gales of wind right upon the ſhore in the night, and inſtead of running into Hoylake by the two Hoylake lights, as before mentioned, they have attempted to run through our dangerous rock channel, where their veſſel has been beat all to pieces, when nothing but the floating wreck has made known the misfortune, but no people ſaved to tell their melancholy tales, [Note: R [...]mmended [...] tall a proper [...]me and [...]e o [...].] which might have been avoided by running into Hoylake, or to have kept off under ſail to windwards off the ſand banks, till the next day's tide, as a pilot of one of theſe unfortunate veſſels was adviſed to do (when they boarded him) and which ſhould be the practice of all ſhips trading to the port of Liverpool, whilſt it is poſſible to be done, it is certainly better in a gale of wind to keep a ſhip under ſail to windward, though it may be troubleſome, than to riſk riding upon a lee-ſhore to wait for a proper time and tide, and eſpecially at the N. E. buoy of Hoyle, where they lie openly expoſed to ſuch high waves from the ſea, that often breaks the cables that have been long foreign voyages, but if they hold, prevents their heaving a head againſt the flood, and to ſave tide, it is very common to cut of [...]p their cables, and [...]ns a great riſk in [Page 157] caſting and getting the ſhip fairly under way at ſuch times in ſo little room, without anchors to bring them up as the occaſion afterwards may require, which has often been the occaſion of great damage, and always a certain expence and riſk in getting the anchors again.
ALL poſſible pains ſhould likewiſe be taken by obſerving the marks on ſhore, as mentioned in the inſtructions of the chart, [Note: To obſerve the height of the tide by the marks on ſhore.] to hit the proper time of tide according to the ſhip's draft of water, for when the waves run high there may be as much danger in running too early as too late on the tide, for when the tide falls faſt, a ſhip ſoon ceaſes from ſtriking hard, which ſhe continues to do all the time it flows, and may be drove out of the beſt of the channel, [Note: Danger of running too ſoon in the tide.] for it a ſhip ſtrikes till ſhe looſes her head way through the water, ſhe is then left in a manner intirely to the power of the tide, wind, and waves, which may prove of fatal conſequence at ſuch times, by driving her quite out of the channel as the water ſlows, as we have ſand banks detached from the main, that has very little water upon them at common tides, that a ſhip ſtands but a little chance of beating over them, or the people get to the main to ſave their lives if they are obliged to quit her.
IN the fineſt weather and ſmooth water, [Note: To guard againſt croſs tides.] it requires great care to obſerve and manage ſo as to fall in with the ſhoal parts of theſe channels at the proper time of tide, and a breaſe of wind to have the command of the ſhip to keep her in a fair way from being carried by the croſs tides, that run over the ſands, thro' the ſwatches, and falſe deeps, out of the proper channels, in ſpite of a boat towing a-head, which makes it too dangerous to attempt paſſing theſe channels in a calm. But when a calm, or baſſling winds are likely to happen when paſſing them, boats to tow, or the anchor ready to let go as the occaſion may require, ſhould be made as ready as poſſible, to prevent the ſhip being carried on ſhore by theſe croſs tides; which has often happened, and loſs and great damage been the conſequence; by the tide waſhing the ſand from under them, more in one place than another, that occaſions their ſtraining to do much more damage than if a ſhip laid on firm ground. [Note: On grounding on a ſand [...]ank when the ſtood tide runs ſtrong over it.]
WHAT I think farther deſerves particular notice on theſe occaſions, I have ſeen many inſtances of ſhips, by running too early in the tide have come a-ground upon a ſand bank, with the ſtood tide running very ſtrong over it, when they have let go the anchor to prevent the ſhip driving farther on, and though they have veered [Page 158] out a long ſcope of cable, have been much deceived in their expectation, to bring the ſhip round with her head upon the tide to ride her, becauſe ſhe drawing moſt water aft, hangs her by the ſtern on the ground nearly end on to the tide, ſo that the anchor ſeldom holds to bring her more than broad ſide to the tide, which increaſes the ſtrain to bring the anchor home, that ſhe ſwings and lies with her ſtern nearly, end on to the tide as at firſt, and drives farther and farther on with the flood as the anchor comes home, which may prove of bad conſequence in many ſituations. Therefore I have often thought how this might be prevented, by putting a ſpring or two upon the cable with a rolling hitch, [Note: A hint to [...]de a ſhip by the ſtern.] &c. ſo as to have two parts, to take one on each quarter ſo as to ride the ſhip by the ſtern, till the tide flowed enough to give room to ſwing clear of the ground, and as the ſituation may require to ſheer or caſt her ſtern towards the deepeſt water, by ſlacking or letting the ſpring go on that ſide deſigned to caſt her, to lay the ſtrain on the ſpring, and the helm on the other quarter, taking care that the cable is clear of the heel, by which means a ſhip may be ſwung, or ride by the ſtern clear of the ground, till the tide is done, as the occaſion may require.
[Note: A hint on fogs.]I HAVE known ſhips get a-ground and receive great damage by being catched in the narrow and ſhoal parts of channels in a fog; and as fogs are allowed to be only low clouds, or moiſt denſe vapours near the ſurface of the earth, I have heard of inſtances, that by going to the maſt head they have got ſight of objects for their guide, when nothing was to be ſeen from the decks. I recommend theſe expedients as worth a trial when there is occaſion for them.
HERE I hope I may be allowed, for the preſent, to conclude the voyage of Practical Seamanſhip, by ſuppoſing, after a ſucceſsful voyage, the ſhip to have arrived ſafe by good management under Providence, clear of all thoſe difficulties and dangers that has been, or may be mentioned hereafter.
THIS is a trade that has and moſt likely always will be carried on in time of war with other trading nations. And ſhips as well as armies are well known to be more or leſs powerful, according to thei [...] force, in proportion as the people are diſciplined and exerciſed in their duty, but for want of inſtructions how this is to be done I have known our people vaſtly at a loſs, both in privateers and merchant ſhips, when a war happens after a long peace; as in the firſt part of the war before the laſt, I was in an Eaſt India ſhip of 32 guns, and a letter of mart ſhip in the Jamaica trade, where our great guns and ſmall arms were never exerciſed, becauſe none on board either ſhip knew how it was to be done, which might have been the occaſion of the loſs of ourſelves and ſhips, if we had happened to have fallen in with, and engaged diſciplined ſhips of equal force, which muſt be allowed will always have greatly the advantage over ſhips where their crews are not diſciplined, the more daring and brave they are, the ſooner they fall into confuſion, which our people are the more liable to, by being in general too eager to fight, regardleſs of dangers from ſuperior diſcipline or force, or any other diſadvantages that may attend their ſituation, which proves the neceſſity that ſome inſtructions ſhould be attempted for our letter of mart ſhips and privateers, to prevent as much as poſſible their falling by their own extraordinary courage and bravery. Therefore from the experience of two wars, I ſhall endeavour to point out what I think may be of ſome ſervice in the firſt of a war, to fit them the better to attack an enemy, or being attacked to defend themſelves in the courſe of a voyage, or on a cruiſe againſt the enemy.
BUT I muſt own this is a taſk much more fit for thoſe gentlemen that have had the experience of the late brave actions, and improved diſcipline of our incomparable Royal Navy. And as I never had that advantage, I hope my defects will be thought the more excuſable.
SAFETY, as well as ſucceſs, in my opinion, depends greatly on the manner theſe ſhips are fitted out. Trading ſhips deſigned more for defence than offence, I would recommend to be made to look as big, powerful, and warlike as poſſible in order to intimidate; but privateers the contrary, to look as little and defenceleſs, and conceal their power as much as poſſible, till there is a real occaſion for it, then as ſuddenly as poſſible to make it known, as the occaſion may require to give the greater ſurpriſe, which I can ſay from experience may often give great advantages.
AS to the ſize and number of great guns, the dimenſions, ſtrength, and properties of the ſhip, as mentioned in pages 25, 26, 27, &c. ſhould point out what ſhe will be able to bear without being too crank for a ſailing and a fighting ſhip, though it muſt be allowed that the advantages in a ſea fight are greatly in favour of the heavieſt ſhot, but the many ſtorms a ſhip may have to contend with, in a winter's paſſage, or cruiſe in a turbulent ocean, where the great guns may be often rendered a uſeleſs and dangerous incumbrance, by the waves running ſo high, that nothing but ſmall arms can be uſed againſt the enemy, for which reaſons a ſhip ſhould not be over-crowded, or over-burdened with too heavy cannon.
[Note: Short and light guns recommended.]OUR late improvement, in the metal, caſting, and boring of iron cannon, makes me recommend that they may be made ſhort, and as light of metal as poſſible to bear a ſufficient proof, which not only gives proportional ſafety and eaſe to a ſhip, in the times above-mentioned, but are managed and fought with greater ſafety, eaſe, and expedition, and will do ſufficient execution at the ſmall diſtance; the bravery of our people makes it neceſſary to fight our ſhips to the greateſt advantage. And inſtead of mounting them on the common gun carriage, I take the liberty to recommend what I call the ſwivel carriage, not only as a great advantage to the ſhip in carrying them with more ſafety and eaſe all weathers, but likewiſe to the people in exerciſing or fighting them, which I ſhall endeavour to prove from reaſon as well as experience.
GREAT guns, mounted on theſe carriages to be ready at ſea in time of war, are commonly carried either run out of the ports, or kept houſed with their muzzles againſt the ſhip's ſide at the upper parts of the ports, as repreſented by one in letter D, plate 9, but is much more maſterly delineated in Falconer's famous Marine Dictionary (which came out a good while after my plates were ſtruck off) in his 7th plate the guns are repreſented, both run out, and ſtowed as laſt mentioned, fig. 19, with the muzzle againſt the ſide of the ſhip above the port, and he very judiciouſly remarks, at the ſecuring the guns, to hook the takles ſo that a ſecond breeching may be added, laſhed and bowſed as tight as poſſible, to prevent the guns from breaking looſe, which may be productive of dangerous conſequences: and this by report has ſo often happened in our Royal Navy, that it was conjectured, that the Victory, a firſt rate ſhip of war, was loſt by it. Therefore this method of carrying great guns deſerve more particular notice.
I OWN on this occaſion to ſpeak principally from the experience of only one ſhip that had only been three voyages to the Eaſt Indies, when ſhe was fitted out firſt to cruiſe three months off the Weſtern Iſlands, we carried thirty-two guns, and eight of them 12 pounders on the lower deck, houſed as laſt mentioned, with their muzzles againſt the ſhip's ſide above the ports, which, when the waves ran high, did ſo work the ſhip, and the ſhip them with all their tackle about them, to ſuch dangerous degrees, that for the ſafety of the whole, we were obliged at different times to put theſe guns down the hold, and leave our ſtations, to run for ſafety to a port to get our leaks ſtopped.
NOTWITHSTANDING this method is general, in all large ſhips of war that carries lower deck guns, yet I appeal to reaſon, and all who have obſerved, or conſidered, what occaſions theſe guns to [Page 162] make ſo much noiſe, and fetch ſo much way in and out, as the ſhip rolls, works, and labours hard at ſea, as has been mentioned, ſo muſt theſe guns be an additional power according to their weight and number added to the weight above them, with the maſts, yards, rigging, and ſails, all combine with high waves to ſtrain and make the ſhip's ſides bend, and fetch the more way as ſhe rolls, and eſpecially in that part made weak by the tier of lower deck ports, a little above the water's edge, where theſe guns are ſecured in the manner above-mentioned by their breechings at the lower part of the ports, and their muzzles confined to the ſide above the ports, which part muſt naturally bend and give more way when the ſhip rolls, than the lower part of the ports, where the breechings are made faſt (as may be ſeen by the figures above-mentioned) by which it muſt appear evident to reaſon, [Note: The cauſe of lower deck guns breaking looſe.] that this tier of guns in every violent low roll the ſhip makes, thoſe on the lower lee ſide, as it may be called, muſt move altogether and preſs their muzzles with great power againſt this lee ſide to ſtrain it outwards ſo as to ſlack their takles and breechings greatly, when at the ſame time the weather, or upper ſide bends in proportion againſt the muzzles of the weather guns, to force them inwards farther than the ſtretching and ſtraining of the breechings, can, with ſafety, be expected to allow, ſo that I rather wonder that they do not break looſe oftener, eſpecially in old week labourſome ſhips, and more liable in three deck ſhips than in two deckers, becauſe they have ſo much more weight and two tier of guns above them, to ſtrain and work the ſhip the more in proportion at the lower deck ports, as above-mentioned.
BY this method it muſt be allowed that they are carried with more eaſe and ſafety from the damage and danger above-mentioned, ſecured only with their two takles that confines the breaſt of the carriage cloſe to the ſide at the cill of the port, where the ſtraining of the ſhip can have little effect between that and the deck, to make the guns fetch any way worth notice. But they [Page 163] projecting ſo far without board, expoſes them at all times, and to all weathers, and each gun muſt have what is called a half port, which are both troubleſome and cumberſome, and the gun ports muſt be kept hauled up, that makes what may be called a rough and incumbered outſide, which in ſmall and deep loaded ſhips, when carrying a ſtiff ſail upon a wind, are plunged into the ſea, and ſtops water to leeward, whilſt thoſe to windward hold wind, which muſt naturally be a great hindrance to a ſhip ſailing upon a wind, and liable to wet the charge in the guns. Therefore to remedy theſe defects, and other inconveniences that attend the great guns being mounted on the common carriage, is the reaſon why I take the liberty to ſpeak and recommend a fair trial to be made of ſwivel carriages for great guns.
THIS carriage muſt be allowed to be ſomewhat more complex than the common one, becauſe it conſiſts of two parts, the carriage part with the iron work for the gun, takles, and breechings, as in common with other carriages, and the ſole of the carriage on which it ſwivels or turns, as occaſion requires, repreſented by the figures E and F, plate 9. We had a ſet of them made for the Liverpool privateer's guns, that carried twelve pound ſhot, The ſole parts, as repreſented by the figure F, were made about three inches thick, with iron axes, and lignum vitae ſix inch trucks, ſo that the gun could be juſt ſwivelled about over them on the ſhort bolt, figure 5, that was drove upwards with a ſquare head below, that had holes in the corners for four nails, and a ſquare plate above a little rounding upwards, with holes at the corners, fitting the bolt, and let in even with the ſole, at the inner part of which is fixed a dove-tail plate, with an eye for the train takle, and two iron pall that turns in grooves in and out with the direction of the ſole on the ends of eye bolts, exactly to confine the gun and carriage in a ſtraight direction with the ſole, as ſhewn by the figures 6, in the train part of the ſole.
[Page 164] THE carriage part E, made as in common with other carriages to fit the ſize of the gun, and when upon the ſole the height of the port, and to unite it to the ſole part, right under the trunnions of the gun was fixed a three inch plank, with the four bolts of the trunnion irons clinched through it even with the wood, and likewiſe faſtened to the croſs breaſt-piece of the carriage, with a hole and two ſquare plates, one above and another below in the middle, as repreſented figure 4 at E, juſt to fit and turn eaſily round the centre bolt in the ſole figure 5, where a double forelock goes through the upper end to ſecure together the ſole and carriage part; at the in or train part is fixed an inch plank faſtened with the eye bolts for the gun takles clinched through it, for the bed and quoins of the gun to reſt upon, and all this lower part of the carriages, as well as the upper part of the ſoles, was made as plain and ſmooth as poſſible, and the ſtreſs or friction lay chiefly on the two iron plates under the body of the piece, ſo that when the two palls were turned back the guns could be eaſily ſwivelled round by hand any way the occaſion required.
1.118. On thoſe Carriages carrying the Guns with more Convenience, Eaſe, and Safety to the Ship than the common Carriage.
THIS muſt be allowed to deſerve ſome notice and attention, for on a winter's cruiſe or paſſage in a turbulent ocean, there may be more danger from the violence of the waves to be contended with, than from the enemies ſhips; and the guns mounted on theſe carriages, after exerciſe or action, at the word of command to houſe and ſecure the guns, they are ſwivelled round upon the ſoles fore and aft, with their muzzles forward, then the takles hooked to the two eye bolts at the train of the ſole which is bowſed with the gun cloſe to the ſide, and there ſecured by hooking the takles to the eye and ring bolts of the carriage part, and to thoſe in the ſide where the takle falls are expended in laſhings round and about the guns, by which they may be ſecured and ſtowed ſnug, and moſt out of the way that is poſſible, either on the upper [Page 165] or lower deck cloſe to the ſhip ſide, without preſſing hard againſt it, and with all their weight within board reſting on the ends of the beams, and the lodging and hanging knees, where the decks and the ſhip's ſides are ſtrongeſt to ſupport and carry them, not only with more eaſe and ſafety, but afford more room within board to work and manage the ſhip, than when they are carried run out, and gives the advantage of keeping all the ports cloſe ſhut to keep the guns dry in ſmall or deep loaded ſhips, and c [...]nceals them till it is neceſſary to ſhew them, and avoids all the other diſadvantages that has been mentioned to attend their being carried conſtantly run out. Theſe reaſons, and other advantages, that I have experienced attends the ſ [...]ivel carriages, I hope will be thought ſufficient to recommend them to anſwer the purpoſe of carrying the guns with more eaſe and ſafety to the ſhip, than the common carriage, either on the upper or lower deck, where the difference is repreſented by the two guns in figure D, plate 9.
COMPARATIVE difference can only be known by fair trials in practice. In the above-mentioned ſhip Liverpool, our ſpare carriages were of the common ſort, when we were going to exerciſe our great guns, I ordered, and had one of them near the midſhip's, mounted on a common carriage, and had it exerciſed with the ſame men, along with the other guns as they had done before, and gave the word of command proportionally ſlow as this gun required, till the people had got expert in working it, then had an empty caſk put out for the guns to be pointed at, and ordered to go through all the motions of charging and ſtring as faſt as they could, and obſerved the difference of time between this gun on the common carriage, and the other next it on the ſwivel carriage, at which the people performed regularly all the motions five times, for thoſe with the common carriage thrice, which muſt be allowed to be a great difference, and theſe five men quartered at this g [...]n were ſo tired with their hard labour, in proportion to thoſe five at [Page 166] the other guns, which beat them ſo much, that they begged to have their gun mounted on their ſwivel carriage again, which I conſented to, being ſufficiently convinced of this difference of five times to three with leſs labour and fatigue.
[Note: On pointing the gun to the object.]IN action they have likewiſe not only the advantage of being fired ſo much oftener, but pointed with more eaſe and certainty to do execution by the captain of the gun only, ſwivelling and breeching it about by hand, and makes the ſignal to fire, when it points directly to the enemy, independent of the other people; which the common carriage requires to be done by the other men with their gun hand-ſpikes to breech about the gun as their captain looks along it, and makes motions, by tapping on each ſide of the breech with his hands, as his orders cannot be heard, makes it very uncertain to got the gun pointed right to his mind, for the people are liable to breech the gun too far each way, or not far enough, that tires his patience, eſpecially when he hears other guns fired ſo long before his, may be aggravated contrary to his inclination, to make the ſignal, and fire the gun wide of the enemy, rather than be thought ſo much tardier than the other people, who may only, to ſhew themſelves briſk, be induced to fire at random, if not ſtrictly attended to by their officers, and it cannot be expected that they can attend every gun. And when the ſituation of the enemy requires the guns pointed as much forward or aft as the ports will allow, as repreſented by the two guns on the different carriages, figure C, plate 9, it may be perceived that the ſole of the ſwivel carriage ſtands in a direction right in and out, that when the gun is fired it recoils right back oppoſite to the port, ready and eaſily run [...]ut again after charged, when that on the common carriage recoils back in the ſame direction, that the gun points a great way from the port, that makes it troubleſome to get it to the port again, and eſpecially if they happen to be the lee guns, and the ſhip heels. The difference for the people's ſafety in the time of charging the guns likewiſe deſerves notice, as may be perceived by the poſition of the two guns, ſign [...] D, as abovementioned, that on the ſwivel carriage is ſwi [...]ell [...]bout, ſo that the people at the muzzle and breech ſtand ſheltered from the ſmall ſhot that may be fired in at the port, when thoſe at the common carriage are expoſed to it.
[Page 167] BUT it muſt be acknowledged that theſe ſwivel carriages require a little extraordinary trouble to keep the upper part of the ſoles clean, and greaſed a little at times, to make the guns ſwivel eaſy upon them. And as it is common to hear objections againſt new things, the only one I heard againſt theſe, that they would not ſtand a long and conteſted fight, which I own we had not the trial of, having learned from experience, that to make the conteſt ſhort in our favour, was to get ſo near the enemy that our people could not well miſs their object. And as the takles and breechings are all upon the carriage part, I could not perceive, from all my experience, that they would not bear as long firing as the common carriage, for the centre bolt, &c. has nothing to move but the weight of the ſole. After this I was induced to think this carriage worthy the notice of the managers of our Royal Navy, therefore I got a nice model with a gilt gun, &c. made, and a friend to preſent it to Lord Anſon, then at the head of the admiral [...]y, and was ready to give a report of it, but my well meant endeavours were diſregarded, for I never heard or ſaw any thing further of my gun and carriage afterwards.
IF time, after trials, ſhould bring theſe ſwivel carriages into practice, I would recommend what I thought would be a further improvement to enable the captain of the gun to point it to the object with ſtill more eaſe, by having a hole bored tapering in the centre of the caſcabel of each gun, and to have light round handy crows made to fit the holes, which, in my opinion, would give power to a ſingle man to point the gun in any direction from its higheſt elevation to its loweſt depreſſion, and without injuring the caſcable from anſwering all its neceſſary purpoſes.
BUT in either ſort of carriages care ſhould be taken, that they are of a proper height, for the ports, for I have often ſeen guns mounted ſo low, that when the breech was raiſed they could not recoil clear of the cill of the ports, which is a great fault.
WHATEVER may contribute to ſhelter and ſave the people muſt be allowed to deſerve notice. Various methods and things have been tried for this purpoſe. I was in a ſhip that had bags of ox hair, that was ſaid would reſiſt even cannon ſhot, but in fighting with a French frigate I ſaw one of her ſhot go through eighteen inch of hair, and through the middle of an eighteen inch maſt, and a long way over our ſhip afterwards, which proves no fence can be made about a ſhip againſt cannot ſhot, but only againſt ſmall and muſket ſhot, a fence may be made many ways.
HOWEVER this fence or breaſt-work may be made to ſhelter the people from ſmall ſhot, in common they are no more than breaſt high, ſo that the muſketeers can fire fairly over it upon the enemy, but from experience in fighting, I have obſerved among new fighting men there will always be ſome of them apt to ſhew that natural inſtinct of ſelf-preſervation, and in order to keep their heads under ſhelter of the breaſt work from the enemies ſhot, fire their muſkets at random up in the air. In ſeeing this, and to prevent the bad effect of ſuch examples, in fighting, I have made a faint lunge at a man's breaſt with my drawn ſword, and obliged to threaten death to any man that ſhould ſhew ſuch a bad example, though it muſt be allowed only a failing, and not a fault among new undiſciplined landſmen, firſt coming to action, eſpecially at ſeeing a man ſhot through the head above the breaſt-work, may ſhew a little fear, but by practice prove brave afterwards.
THEREFORE to remedy this defect which I perceived in fighting the ſmall arms, in fitting out a privateer afterwards we had a rail, as in common, breaſt high on each ſide the quarter deck, and on the rails were fixed light iron crutches with the arms about a foot ſquare, and a ſhoulder to keep the bottom of the crutches about ſix inches above the rails, and thin boards about ſix inches broad laid upon the bottom of the crutches, and netting with large ſquare matches were ſo med juſt to hold a hammoc with its bedding long-ways, and from the gunnel to the rail was boarded up on each ſide of the ſtantions, and filled up with rope ſhakens, cork ſhavens, &c. which is found ſufficient proof againſt muſket ball; which made ſo ready and good a fence for the quarter deck muſketeers, that [Page 169] the moſt timorous could point his piece with the utmoſt confidence between the rail and the netting, and fire right upon the enemy, by having his head, as well as his body, under ſuch ſecure ſhelter.
FOR the ſame reaſons in clearing and preparing the ſhip for fighting, I uſed to make the forecaſtle and top men, laſh the hammocs to ſhelter them, horizontally on the outſide of the fore and top-maſt ſhrouds, cloſe to one another breaſt-high, then a ſingle hammoc above leaving a little vacancy to point and fire their muſkets thro', which guards that tender and moſt important ſeat of knowledge, the brain part of the head, as well as the other parts of the body which it governs, from the enemies ſmall ſhot.
THE high ſituation of theſe guns promiſes a great advantage to do great execution in cloſe fighting, but I have learned from experience, that there is not room in a ſmall ſhip's top to fight thoſe guns without great danger of fire, and blowing up the ammunition cheſt, which we had the misfortune to do, that killed one of our top-men, for which reaſons, and the great weight and incumbrance of them and their ammunition at ſo great a height, makes me recommend muſkets only to be carried in the tops of ſmall ſhips, as they can be pointed and fired in all directions as occaſion may require, and ſo eaſily and readily charged, that they are to be preferred to all combined pieces, called organs, &c. which are alſo under the diſadvantage of taking up more time in proportion to the muſket in charging them again.
AS the execution of the ſhot to conquer an enemy depends intirely on the goodneſs and ſtrength of the powder, which differs ſo much, that the greateſt care and caution is abſolutely neceſſary to guard againſt being cheated in the quality of the powder, [Page 170] for I have experienced ſome that looked very fine and good made for the uſe or rather ſhameful abuſe of the African trade, that inſtead of firing ſhot with ſufficient velocity, it would hardly fire itſelf, but ſpent itſelf in phizzing one phiz after another out at the touch-hole, and taken up ſo much time in burning, that it could not be uſed as priming for great guns.
THIS baſe practice of making ſo very weak powder ſhould by ſome means be put a ſtop to, becauſe it not only hurts the merchant adventurer, but the intention of government in giving ſo large a bounty on exportation for the encouragement of the trade of making good gun-powder. Therefore it ſhould be either under the inſpection of proper eſſay maſters, or bring into practice proper methods to try its ſtrength; and I can ſay from experience, that the common ſmall piſtol powder provers that drives a circular graduated plate round, does not anſwer the purpoſe, for they will differ greatly with the ſame powder.
[Note: To prove the powder.]THEREFORE I would recommend for this purpoſe of trying powder, to have a gun of a half pound ſhot, fixed in a convenient place, mounted firm on a wood block or bed, elevated exactly at 45 degrees, and the powder to be tried by an ounce charge how far it will throw the half pound ſhot without any wad, and in proportion for every foot or yard's diſtance under or over a ſtandard diſtance that might be fixed by government's powder, to aſcertain its ſtrength and value under or over proof, according to the different trade or purpoſe it is deſigned for, as well as for privateers or letter of mart ſhips, which ſhould be of equal goodneſs with that for the Royal navy.
ON ſhot, the firſt and principal, both for quantity and quality, is the round iron cannon ball, becauſe it will go and penetrate farther with a greater velocity than any other to do execution, when engaging with a ſuperior force, but when come to a cloſe fight with a ſhip of inferior force, expecting to make her a prize, then the endeavours ſhould be not to deſtroy the ſhip if it can poſſibly be avoided, but to diſtreſs them to make a ſubmiſſion, therefore ſome ſuitable ſhot that will anſwer that purpoſe beſt ſhould be provided. And I would recommend round tin caſes to fit the bore of the guns, and filled with muſket ball, and ſquare bar iron cut about 14 inches long, tied in bundles with rope-yarns juſt to fit the guns, or caſt iron bars about the ſame length, a ſquare one about an inch diameter [Page 171] in the middle, and four others quartering rounded on the outſide to fit the bore of the guns when tied with rope yarns.
THE great difference this makes in a ſhip ſteering, working, and ſailing, makes it a matter of ſuch importance, that all poſſible means ſhould be uſed to prevent the ſhip's bottom from growing foul, and the beſt method that I have experienced for this purpoſe is to be provided with what I call a cask ſcrubber, as repreſented in plate 9, fig. A, which I have often uſed in different ſhips with ſucceſs when at an anchor, and in calm weather on the open ocean. I had theſe ſcrubbers made of elm board about an inch thick and twelve broad, the middle part of the frame juſt to fit a ten gallon cask, that was laſhed to the battens at each end, and the long ſquare ſpaces on each ſide of the cask filled with birch broom ſtuff projecting about ſix inches without the frame, and wedged faſt towards the ends with long wedges againſt boards that ſlides with ſmall tenants at each end in a groove to keep the birch faſt and firm, for ſcrubbing the bottom, even cloſe down to the keel, and the iron work which unites the two parts by a joint that they may the more naturally ply to the curved or rounding parts of the ſhip's bottom, with the ſlings and the ropes faſtened to the eye bolts, may all be perceived and underſtood by looking with attention at the figure that repreſents that ſide of the ſcrubber that is hauled next to the ſhip's bottom.
IN uſing this cask-ſcrubber we bad a block laſhed under the bowſprit end, and another on the driver boom rigged out right aft, and a ſingle rope reeved in theſe blocks, and made faſt to the ſlings marked 1, 2, in the figure, and juſt long enough to veer and haul the ſcrubber along the bottom fore and aft cloſe to the keel, another rope bent to the lower part of the ſcrubber, as marked 3, and hauled tight under the bottom, and made faſt to the inſide of the boat's main thoft, when the upper part of the ſcrubber is even with the water's edge a midſhips on the other ſide, then the people was ordered to walk fore and aft with the rope to the ſcrubber, till it came up to the water's edge each way, the boat moving the ſame way with the ſcrubber, the people in her helping by puſhing [Page 172] their hands againſt the ſhip's ſide, till the firſt depth is thought to be clean enough, then the people in the boat hauls by their rope the ſcrubber a depth lower, by which, and the empty casks, it is confined and preſſed to the bottom at the different depths, till it is ſcrubbed clean down to and even the keel itſelf, by the rope going fore and aft under it.
WHEN a ſhip's bottom can be kept clean by ſuch eaſy means, I think it ſhould be reckoned a great reproach to thoſe who neglect it, becauſe ſucceſs may depend upon it, not only in time of war, but in peace on ſouthern voyages, eſpecially in the African ſlave trade, where I have known a ſhip that l [...]ſt the whole adventure of her voyage, and come home with her b [...]t [...]m covered all over with cluſters of mixed ſhell-fiſh, projecting [...]m the bottom, and in diameter about ſix inches each, made up of large barnicles, muſſels, and oiſters, as repreſented fig. B. plate 9, which naturally increaſed greatly the ſurface and ſtop-waters of the bottom to hinder the ſhip from ſailing one half the diſtance more than ſhe might have done, had her bottom been kept clean as abovementioned, conſequently made her paſſages in half the time, which might have made a gaining inſtead of ſo great a looſing voyage; for which reaſons, rather than ſuch a neceſſary work ſhould be neglected, I think it ſhould be made a part of the commanders inſtructions to do it when it cannot be done by other more effectual means. And where iron work is not provided to make a ſcrubber of this ſort of two parts as above mentioned. I have thought that one part might be made to anſwer the purpoſe, and ſlung with ropes without any iron work.
It is a common ſaying among commanders of ſhips, that it is better to [...]k their [...]wre [...]s than their orders, which are common on theſe occaſions, to proceed with all poſſible expedition to the [Page 173] deſigned ſtations or tracks of the enemies trading ſhips, to take prizes, &c. But it ſhould be conſidered, for the ſame reaſons, that their cruizing and armed trading ſhips, may be expected to be met with in the track of our trading Ships, that may require to come to immediate action, and if the ſhip and people are unprepared for it, for want of being properly ſtationed, and not having had ſome exerciſe in their duty of fighting, as before mentioned, page 159, it may prove the loſs of the whole. And, as a further inducement, to get the ſhip and people prepared as ſoon as poſſible for action, I can ſay, from fortunate experience, that the richeſt prize I have been at taking, in the courſe of the two laſt wars, was upon the ſouth coaſt of Ireland, which track they had made choice of, to avoid our cruſing ſhips on the French coaſt, and to meet with ſome of our merchant ſhips in their way, one of which they had taken.
FOR the above reaſons, the people ſhould, as ſoon as poſſible, be all ſtationed or quartered to the beſt advantage, according to their capacities; the oldeſt and beſt ſeamen to be captains of the great guns, the young, nimble, and expert, to the rigging and tops, the landmen to the ſmall arms, and the boys to be powder carriers for the great guns, &c. and as they come on board, if it is poſſible that it can be done, they ſhould be exerciſed accordingly; and to encourage and make them willing they ſhould be told, that not only their ſucceſs but their ſafety as well as liberty depends upon their being expert in their exerciſe, which ſhould be with as few, eaſy, ſimple words and motions, as poſſible, both for the great guns and ſmall arms, that they may the ſooner be fit for action.
THE exerciſe of the great guns, as reduced from 40 words of command, (as they uſed to be,) to 14, are very well deſcribed in Falconer's marine dictionary. But this being for the guns on the common carriages, I take the liberty to mention the difference we uſed for the ſwivel carriages. At the word of command, caſt looſe the gun, the train or one of the gun tackles is hooked from an eye bolt amid-ſhips, to the train of the ſole of the carriage, and the gun bowſed in, till it has room to be breeched about to the foremoſt pall, turned down for [Page 174] that purpoſe; then turn down the after pall, which done, the guns are then ready to be run out either for exerciſe or action. And when the gun is run out, the two palls are to be turned back, with one motion, then the gun may be breeched about, and pointed by hand, fore or aft, on the object, or enemy, as much as the width of the port will allow. And when the object, or enemy, is much before the beam, let the guns be run out cloſe to the after part of the ports, and when abaft the beam cloſe to the fore part of the ports, that they may be pointed more fore or aft, as the occaſion may require, and the breechings not being ſeized, but rendered through the thimble at the breech, make both parts tight alike to bring the guns up in any direction they may be fired in, either foreward or aft. And when the guns are run in, breech about their muzzles forward, to load, then turn down the foremoſt pall, and breech the gun to it, and then down after pall, to run out the gun again, as before mentioned.
THE exerciſe of ſmall arms I would recommend that it ſhould be done with as few motions as poſſible (and as is done in the front rank of our army) kneeling upon the right knee, and only riſing up to fire, as the place and occaſion may require; which not only keeps the people under ſhelter, but firm in their place, to do their duty without being toſted about by the ſhips motion in the ſea, eſpecially the landmen who cannot be expected to have got their ſea legs, as it is called, ſo as to ſtand firm to load their guns, when the ſhip has much motion.
AS ſoon as the ſhip has got to ſea, I would recommend what was my practice, that is, to take the firſt poſſible opportunity to have all hands called to quarters; the officers, in their ſtations, to have every thing made properly ready and fit for action; to have a general exerciſe, not only of the great guns and ſmall arms, as before mentioned, but the method of working and managing the ſhip, to take the advantage of the openings, that I know, from experience, often occur, in attacking, or being attacked by another ſingle ſhip, which ſhould be ſtudied by every commander, and the deſigned manoeuvers ſhould be taught the people in their general exerciſe, that they may know how to act, [Page 175] and move regularly from one place and ſide to the other, as the occaſion may require, without confuſion, which is always the conſequence, when the intention and management of the manoeuveres are not made known to the people in general.
FOR theſe reaſon, as ſoon as poſſible, I uſed to make known to the people in general, that when a ſhip, of near equal force, brought to with a deſign to fight us, my intention was not to run directly along ſide, and lie to like a log, and depend upon meer battering, with one ſide only; nor upon the ſtern chace guns. When it is found that there is no chance of running from a ſhip of much ſuperior force chacing us, and when their beſt ſailing is upon a wind, it is a common practice for them to run up and bring to under the lee, in a trumphant manner, depending on their ſuperior power, commonly demanding immediate ſubmiſſion, without expecting any reſiſtance. The deſigned manner of reſiſting or attacking, I always endeavoured to conceal as long as poſſible, as mentioned page 160; and theſe two caſes give all the advantages deſired by my method. Begining the attack upon the weather quarter, ſhooting the ſhip up in the wind, with the helm a lee, till the after lee gun, which we begin with, can be pointed upon the enemy's ſtern, then fire the lee-broad ſide, as it may be called, as repreſented in plate the 8th. The ſhip (figure 1) begins the attack upon the ſhip (figure 2) when the topſails are thrown a back, with the helm a lee, boxes the ſhip ſhort round on her heels, as mentioned in box hauling, page 52, ſo as to bring the wind ſo far aft, that the ſhip may immediately be ſteered cloſe under the enemy's ſtern, as the ſhip (figure 3) is repreſented, running under the ſtern of the ſhip (figure 4) with particular orders to begin with the foremoſt gun, to rake them right fore and aft with the great guns, as they paſs in that line of direction, all aiming and ſiring to break the neck or cheeks of the rudder head, the tiller, ropes, blocks, &c. that, if poſſible, to deſtroy the ſteerage tackle; which deſign, if it proves ſucceſsful, takes the management of their ſhip from them, ſo that ſhe muſt lie helpleſs, for a time in ſpite of their endeavours; and when the aftermoſt gun is fired, put the helm hard a weather to bring the ſhip by the wind, and then ſtand off on the other tack, to keep clear of their lee broad ſide, and act according to their motions, and the experience of the effect your attack has had upon them. If they continue to lie to, either to renew the attack again, in the ſame manner, as ſoon as the ſhip will fetch their weather quarter again, or to [Page 176] make ſail off to eſcape, if it has been found that the great inequality of their ſuperior force admits of no poſſible chance of conquering them; though this manoeuvere may have given this advantage, which, in my opinion, ought always to be attempted, and not to ſubmit tamely, tho' a ſhip is above double the force, becauſe by this manoeuvere the power of their broad ſides may be chiefly avoided.
But when the inequality of force is not ſo great, but there is a poſſibility of conquering; and if the ſucceſs of the firſt attack is perceived to oblige the enemy to continue lying to, in order to repair the damage done their rudder or tiller, &c. then the blow ſhould be followed, by renewing the attack again with all poſſible expedition, in the ſame manner, which gives the opening not only to fire the whole round of great guns, to advantage, but alſo to the marines and topmen to fire their ſmall arms, at the ſame time, to great advantange, to do the moſt execution poſſible by firing and raking them fore and aft thro' their moſt open and tender part, the ſtern, with the leaſt riſk poſſible from the enemies guns, therefore gives the greateſt poſſible chance, that I known of, to make an eaſy conqueſt, eſpecially, if ſo lucky as to deſtroy, and prevent, the recovery of their ſteerage. A ſhip of much ſuperior force may be brought to ſuch a diſtreſt condition as to be obliged to make a ſubmiſſion for want of the helm to command her, therefore when an opportunity offers, in fighting, this ſhould be always aimed at.
But ſuppoſe the enemy laid to as above mentioned, find themſelves not much hurt by this manoeuvere, and that you have not ſucceeded in deſtroying their ſteerage, and therefore you may expect that they will immediately tack, or ware ſhip, and ſtand after you, depending on their advantages of ſailing faſter, and ſuperior force, runs up along your lee ſide, expecting, by making a general diſcharge of their ſmall arms and great guns (charged with ſuitable ſhot) on your deck, which lies open to them by the ſhip heeling, to deſtroy your people and to make you ſubmit. When this is likely to be their deſign, orders ſhould be given to your people to keep themſelves as ſnug under ſhelter as poſſible from their ſmall ſhot, till their general diſcharge is over, then if the ſhip is found not ſo diſabled, but that the topſails can be thrown a back, to make a general diſcharge, from the lee ſide, of the great guns, loaded with round ſhot only, pointed to the weather ſide of the enemies bottom, amid-ſhips to one point, at the water edge, and box haul the ſhip to run cloſe under their ſtern, aiming at raking [Page 177] and deſtroying their ſteerage, with the other broad ſide, and ſtand off on the other tack as before mentioned, to act according to circumſtance and the condition you find yourſelves in, compared with the appearance of that of the enemy and their motions, who may be obliged to continue on the other tack to repair damages about their rudder, or to ſtop their leaks in the weather ſide of their bottom, if your aim has proved ſucceſsful.
BUT when an enemy's ſhip of force makes only a running fight, if there is no neceſſity to cut them off from the ſhore or from the ſhelter of other ſhips, &c. and you have the advantage of ſailing faſter, [Note: O [...] an enemy of force making a running fight.] the moſt ſure and likely method to make an eaſy conqueſt with the leaſt hurt to yourſelves, or their ſhip, (your expected prize,) is to run cloſe up and ſhoot or ſheer your ſhip acroſs their ſtern each way, making a general diſcharge of all your force, firſt with one broad ſide, then the other, always aiming with the great guns at the rudder head, and ſteerage tackling for the reaſons given, that if the ſhot miſs the rudder, &c. they by raking the ſhip fore and aft through the ſtern, does the greateſt execution poſſible to diſtreſs them ſo as to make a ſubmiſſion.
ON this occaſion when it blows freſh, and obliges to carry a preſſing ſail large, or before the wind, to make the great guns as ready as poſſible, and prevent their being fired too low, all their breeches ſhould be laid quite down in the carriages, and if your ſhip is crank, the yards ſhould be braced, ſo as to ſhiver the ſails at the time each broad ſide is fired.
IN all theſe manoeuvers, when the whole round of great guns are deſigned to be fired, care ſhould always be taken to leave two or more men, as it may require, to charge each gun again when fired on one ſide, whilſt the others move over to fire the guns on the oppoſite ſide, that neither ſide may be left unguarded, all which with every other advantageous manoeuver that may be deſigned to be put in practice, in action, [Note: On exerciſing with a riſk to point the guns and fire at.] ſhould be taught the people along with the general exerciſe of great guns, and ſmall arms (as before hinted that I have done), by throwing a tight empty beef caſk over board, making it the object of attack, for all the guns to be pointed at, when performing the above deſcribed or other intended manoeuvers about it, firſt by running a little way large from it, then haul the wind tack ſhip and ſtand towards it, keeping it about three points on the lee bow till within a half cables length, or muſket ſhot of it, then put the helm alee, and [Page 178] ſhoot the ſhip up in the wind with the topſails aback, till the after gun can be pointed to the caſk, then give the word of command to fire, when there is a fair opening to make a general diſcharge, both below and aloft on that ſide as repreſented (plate the 8th) the ſhip figure 1, begining the attack on the weather quarter of the ſhip, figure 2, as before deſcribed, which the caſk may be ſuppoſed to repreſent, as well as the ſhip figure 4; when you have box hauled your ſhip, and run cloſe paſt the caſk to make a general diſcharge from the other ſide, as repreſented by the ſhip, figure 3, then bearing round away from it, waring and haul the wind on the other tack, till you can tack and fetch up to it again to repeat this, or perform any other manoeuvers that may give an advantage to attack or defend a ſhip laid to, or ſailing upon a wind as above mentioned. To perform the manoeuver of attacking an enemy that makes a running fight large, or before the wind, it is only to turn far enough to windward of the caſk, to give room in ſailing down to it to bring the ſhips broad ſide to point to it each way. But to perform this manoeuver to the greateſt advantage, with the leaſt loſs of time, and the ſhips way through the water, which may be of great importance on this occaſion to keep cloſe up with the enemy, therefore all the great guns ſhould be run out cloſe to the after part of the ports, that they may be pointed as far forward as the ſides of the ports will admit, and elevated as the heeling of the ſhip when brought to, to fire may require as before mentioned. And particular orders ſhould be given for the aftermoſt guns on each ſide to be fired firſt, as ſoon as they can be brought to bear upon the enemy, becauſe, then the ſhip need not be brought any more to, but ſteered in that direction till the other guns are fired, then ſhift the helm to ware to bring the other broad ſide to bear, &c.
AFTER the people have been thus diſciplined, it is neceſſary to let them ſmell powder, as it is termed. And a little ammunition ſpent in exerciſe is allowed, may be the means to ſave a great deal expended to little or no purpoſe in action, therefore I uſed to allow a ſmall charge of powder for the round of great guns, with ſtone ballaſt for ſhot, and the muſketeers two charges with balls each, and give them a fair chance, by theſe manoeuvers to fire both broad ſides, great guns and ſmall arms at the caſk, if they ſunk it all hands to have an allowance of grog, as it is called, but if they did not ſink it, to have the trouble and mortification to hoiſt out the boat and fetch it on board [Page 179] to ſerve another time, by ſome ſuch means and methods only, it is poſſible to make the people expert in their duty to fight a ſhip to the greateſt advantages. But two ſhips in concert exerciſing the different manoeuvers, by turns as might be agreed upon, and making a ſham fight with powder only would contribute moſt to anſwer this purpoſe, and to find out the beſt trim of their ſhips for ſailing, by the people moving fore and aft with as many ſhot as they all can carry with them, &c.
SITUATIONS and circumſtances are ſo variable that no certain rules can be laid down for this purpoſe, yet I think hints may be given that may contribute towards getting ſight of, and fall in with the enemies trading ſhips, when got in their track, on which ſucceſs intirely depends.
CRUISING the war before laſt in the employ of that great hero Fortunatus Wright, in the Mediterranian ſea, where the wind blows generally either eaſterly or weſterly, that is either up or down the ſtraits, therefore it was planned, with either of theſe winds that blew, to ſteer up or down the common channels the common courſe, large or before the wind in the day time without any ſail ſet, that the enemy's trading ſhips a ſtern crouding ſail with this fair wind might come up in ſight, [Note: On cruiſing without ſail in the day, and under topſails at night.] or we come in ſight of thoſe ſhips a head that might be turning to windward, and at ſunſet if nothing appeared to an officer at the maſt head, we continued to run five or ſix leagues as far as could then be ſeen before we laid the ſhip to for the night, to prevent the ſhips aſtern coming up and paſſing out of ſight before morning, or we paſſing thoſe ſhips that might be turning to windward, and if nothing appeared to an officer at the maſt head at ſunriſe we bore away and ſteered as before. And when the wind blowed acroſs the channels that ſhips could ſail their courſe either up or down, then to keep the ſhip in a fair way, in the day time to ſteer the common courſe under the courſes and lower ſtay-ſails, and in the night under top-ſails with the courſes in the brails, with all things as ready as poſſible to take or leave what we might fall in with in the night.
[Page 180] MANY other advantages attend cruiſing without any, or but with low ſails ſet, as above mentioned in the day time and fine weather, when other ſhips are crowding with all their lofty ſails ſet, one may be ſeen at twice the diſtance of the other, which gives the opportunity to ſee them a long time before they can ſee you, who may take their bearing by the compaſs and obſerve how they alter, by which it may be perceivable how they are ſteering, and conſult what is beſt to be done, [Note: Not always to give chaſe at the firſt ſeeing a ſhip.] if it is too late in the day to give chace which ſhould always be conſidered, that three maſt ſhips in fine weather with all their lofty ſails ſet, may be ſeen from each others maſt heads ſeven leagues diſtance, which muſt make a ſeven hours chace, at three miles an hour difference in the ſhips ſailing which is a great deal with a leading wind, and if the chace happens to be to windward, muſt make it ſtill longer in proportion of time to come up with her, and when they perceive they are chaced and think themſelves in danger of being taken, will naturally uſe all poſſible means to eſcape out of ſight, by altering their courſe in the dark, if they cannot be got near enough to keep ſight of them in the night.
FOR theſe reaſons, without the time, ſituations, circumſtances, and appearance require immediately to give chace with all your ſail at the firſt ſight of a veſſel, otherwiſe it often happens that you may ſtand a much better chance to ſpeak with a veſſel by endeavouring to way lay and conceal your deſign and ſhip from them, which may be done even in the day time with all the ſails furled as beforementioned, till within about four leagues diſtance, that is computed a ſhips hull in a clear horriſon begins to appear above it. When this concealment can be made, and to be all ready prepared to take or leave, and can fall in with the expected enemy in the night, or early next morning if they are found unprepared for action, muſt give a great advantage over them. But when you cannot be concealed from the expected enemies veſſels in ſight that may be coming with a fair wind towards you, then it ſhould be conſidered whether inſtead of giving chace with all your ſail ſet in fine weather, it may not be better to diſguiſe your ſhip to appear as an inoffenſive neutral ſhip, by geting your fore and mizen topgallant yards down, and the maſt ſtruck with only their heads above the caps, as mentioned page the 18th, and either ſtand upon the wind with the maintop gallant ſail ſet, if not noticed till by tacking you can fetch near the intended chace. Or to ſteer near the ſame courſe with them, with ſtop waters towed in the water which I have been doing [Page 181] with ſucceſs to make the ſhip ſail ſo comparatively ſlow as to induce an enemy to come faſter up with you, than you could with them by chaſing.
IN chaſing, all poſſible pains ſhould be taken, to ſet and trim the ſails to the beſt advantage, as has been mentioned on that ſubject, and to conſider the properties of your ſhip, if ſhe excels moſt in ſailing upon a wind, when chaſing with a leading wind, the chaſe ſhould be kept upon your weather bow, to prevent her getting to leeward of you; but if you excell moſt in ſailing large, and not upon a wind, the chaſe ſhould be kept upon the lee bow to prevent her getting to windward of you; or according to the motions of the chace, that will naturally endeavour to make uſe of the ſame advantages of their beſt ſailing, and if they are a light ſhip, or lightly loaded, they will ſail better large than upon a wind, and if a deep loaded ſhip, better upon a wind than large, &c all which deſerves notice; to chace to the beſt advantage, and as ſoon as it can be done, the helms-man ſhould ſee, and be directed how to keep and ſteer ſteady by the chace, independent of the cun, which is known to help a ſhips ſailing to come up with the chaſe.
BUT it often happens in chaſiing, that night comes on, which makes it very uncertain how long, or whether the chace can be ſeen or not, though many may pretend to ſee her plain, long after ſhe has been loſt ſight of by the commander, who ſhould not depend upon other peoples eyes without trying every now and then, whether they point to ſee the chace, in one and the ſame part of the horizon, when the ſhip is privately ordered to be wared about from her courſe, a point or two of the compaſs each way, and according as they agree or diſagree from this rule, either to continue or leave off chace, and crowd ſail to get a-head and way lay the chace, in the way they ſeemed to be bound, which from experience I can ſay gives the beſt chance of falling in with them again.
CHASING in little winds and calms, may often require both to tow and row the ſhip with oars, therefore, to do it in the moſt advantageous manner, deſerves notice. When towing a ſhip to make her ſteer and work, it may require the tow rope not only from the bowſprit end, but from the jib boom-end which will give more power in proportion as it is farther from the ſhips turning motion to pull her about, but when towing to give a ſhip the moſt head way poſſible, the tow rope ſhould be made faſt no higher than neceſſary to keep it clear of the water.
TO row the ſhip with oars, the oars ſhould be made ſuitable to the room the ſhip affords to row and ſtow them. In the Liverpool privateer, before mentioned, we rowed with eleven oars on each ſide, and ſculled with two, run out right aft, after the manner of the Chineſe. And in order to add more power, by more people pulling altogether at the oars on each ſide, and prevent the confuſion and hindrance that is occaſioned by the people's not pulling altogether, we had ſwifters for each ſide made of ſingle ropes with gromits in them, at the ſame diſtance of the row ports from each other, and put on the handles of the oars ſo that men could pull between the oars by theſe ſwifters, which after a little practice, ſoon made all the people pull completely together.
THE two ſculling oars abaft were made crooked or curved, with the flat of their blades bending downwards, and an iron ſocket nailed to the under part of the oar at the port, when the blade was flat in the water, [Note: On ſculling Oars] and a ſhort bolt tapered and filed like a wood-ſcrew, with a round head, was fixed in the middle of the ports for the oars to turn upon, and ſtaples in the deck, right under the handle of the oars, to hook a line with an eye-ſplice on the handle of the oar that bears the ſtrain, whilſt the men ſcull by ſtanding on each ſide of the handle of the oar, and only have to pull to, and puſh from them with all their ſtrength, which makes the blade cant and act ſlanting downwards into the water each way with great power, to give the ſhip head way, and may likewiſe help to ſteer the ſhip and bring her about from one tack to the other, when it cannot be done by the rudder, and ſweep [Page 183] a ſhip's ſtern about as occaſion may require, when engaging in a calm. [Note: On ſculling in China.] The comparative power and effect of ſculling oars, to force a veſſel through the water, is indiſputably proved in China, where the people appeared to me no ways expert in their navigation, but in this method of ſculling all their very numerous river veſſels and paſſage boats great and ſmall without any ſail or rudder; and this they do in a more dexterous eaſy and expeditious manner, in my opinion, than any other part of the world that I have ſeen. I have obſerved with pleaſure their veſſels with 20 tons of goods and room to accommodate their families, ſculled by two men only, from the city of Canton (20 miles) to our ſhips, ſtemming and ſculling againſt the tide, running above two miles an hour and laying the ſhips on board in a ſafe and eaſy manner. And not only their large river veſſels, but their ſmall boats are moved very faſt through the water by this method of ſculling. I was one in a fine eight oar'd pinnace that was beat with eaſe and laughed at by two men in one of their common bumb-boats in ſpite of our utmoſt endeavours, this therefore deſerves notice, and might in my opinion be brought into uſeful practice among us, on many occaſions, in narrow rivers, canals, boats to land numbers of men where there is not room to row with oars, and our whale boats, &c. for with the very power they ſcull the veſſel a-head they ſteer her at the ſame time, which muſt on this account be much better than a rudder, that ſtops water, as has been obſerved on rudders. I cannot forbear here remarking that theſe Chineſe ſculling veſſels are built upon good principles to anſwer their purpoſe, as all veſſels that are to be moved with oars or paddles ought to be, having flat rounding bottoms, with flanging projecting bows and ſterns, without keel, ſtem or ſtern poſt to hinder their ready turning, and drawing ſo little water that they are eaſily made to ſkim in a manner, at a great rate over the ſurface of it, where the particles give way much eaſier than they can do at a greater depth, [Note: On Porpoſſes ſculling with the tails.] and their method of ſculling makes (them as much as poſſible for art) to imitate the nature of Porpoiſes, which ſcull with their horizontal tails ſwifter than any other fiſh we ſee at ſea, where they frequently ſeem to ſport and mock a ſhip when ſailing at the rate of ten miles an hour and will ſwim as may be obſerved ſculling with their horizontal tails croſs and croſs the ſhips bows at ſuch an angle, that they cannot go leſs than at the rate of 30 miles an hour, which muſt be allowed to make greatly in favour of the Chineſe method of ſculling their veſſels, inſtead of rowing them as we do with oars, which are levers, and our [Page 184] method of applying their power in rowing, will in my opinion never be beat, by any complicated machinary.
NOW we may ſuppoſe a ſhip to have come up ſo far with her chaſe, as to perceive them to have the appearance of enemies and preparing for action, then the appearance of their force and motions, ſhould be ſtrictly obſerved by the commanding officer, and he muſt proceed accordingly, to make all neceſſary preparations in good time againſt the worſt that may happen, guarding againſt being ſurprized unprepared by any ſham appearance and motions that may be uſed to deceive, as I was in a cruizing ſhip the war before laſt, when the ſtarboard ſide of our mizen top was ſhot away by the enemy before our commander would permit all hands to be called to clear ſhip for action.
WHEN come ſo near to the enemy in chace, that they prepare and fire their ſtern chace guns, which is a ſign of weakneſs and fear, and which commonly gives joy to the chaſing ſhip, though it muſt be allowed to give them a chance of ſhooting away ſome of your maſts and helps their ſhip forward, but as ſucceſs depends entirely upon getting cloſe up to have them at command; therefore without ſome good reaſon you ſhould not be tempted to fire your bow-chace guns, becauſe they will ſtop your ſhip's head way that may occaſion the loſs of your expected prize.
BUT when the chace is perceived to be a ſhip of force preparing and clearing ſhip for action without running out their ſtern chace guns, then all poſſible pains and expedition ſhould be uſed to clear ſhip, and make all the neceſſary preparations, that the circumſtances of the time and attack may ſeem to require, to have the yards ſlung, the top-ſail ſheets ſtopperd, to leave nothing to be done but to haul up the courſes to come regularly to action.
[Note: On providing drink for the people.]ANOTHER preparation I would recommend when by the enemy's appearance it is likely to prove a hard battle, and ſighting vigorouſly eſpecially with great guns is ſuch hard work that ſoon exhauſts the people's ſpirits, and makes them ſo thirſty as to induce them to go from their quarters to get drink; to remedy and prevent this as much as [Page 185] poſſible, when the ſhip's ſtores will afford it, (as I have done) to order the ſhip's ſteward to prepare and be ready when called on to mix a gallon of rum or brandy, according to their ſtrength, with five or ſix gallons of water, in a bucket and with a pint pot ſerve the people round at their quarters, and the top men ſhould have a can ſlung to haul up their allowance.
TO ſuppoſe chaſing with the wind large, and that the enemy hauls up his courſes and brings to, in form of battle, [Note: On runing end on to begin the attack.] with the maintop ſail aback, &c. as if he thought it moſt advantageous to begin the attack, by firing his broad ſide to rake you fore and aft, as you are running down large, right end on towards his broad ſide, which in my opinion, is a manoeuvre that by Britons ought never to be refuſed, though it was given as a reaſonable excuſe, for a late unfortunate Admiral's not running right down upon the enemy, who laid to waiting for him, for I can ſay from reaſon as well as experience, when running right down upon the enemy we have received two broad ſides in the time, without receiving any damage of conſequence, for it ſhould be conſidered running in that direction, a ſhip is not above a quarter part as big an object for the enemy to hit, as when broad ſide to, and the ſhape of the bows and built much the ſtrongeſt part of a ſhip, and may deflect many ſhot that may hit her in that ſlanting direction.
THEREFORE I think it a point of duty on this occaſion to run right down, and bring to with the the top-ſails aback, cloſe on the enemy's weather quarter, and begin the attack by making a general diſcharge from the lee ſide, then box haul the ſhip, and run cloſe under their ſtern, and make a general diſcharge from the other ſide, aiming at raking them fore and aft, and if the power of the enemy appears to require it, put the helm hard over, to bring the ſhip by the wind on the other tack, till you can fetch the enemy's weather quarter again, if they continue to lie too, then put the ſhip about, and repeat the attack by the ſame manoeuvre, as before fully deſcribed, (as well as that of attacking a ſhip of force that makes a running ſight) in the exerciſe of theſe manoeuvres beginning at page 174. A fore-ſtay ſail, as before mentioned, is abſolutely neceſſary for a ſighting ſhip to make her manageable on theſe occaſions, when her courſes are brailed up.
[Page 186] BUT it muſt be allowed, that a ſhip is liable to be diſabled in her maſts, yards, rigging, &c ſo as to hinder the performing, often the above-mentioned manoeuvre, ſtill all advantages and openings are to be taken, and none given to the enemy in fighting; and I know from experience, that our people fight much more to advantage, in proportion as they are brought near to the enemy, who we will ſuppoſe continues lying too to fight, and that your ſhip may be diſabled from, or think it unneceſſary to perform the above mentioned manoeuvre, even then, I would recommend to begin the attack cloſe upon the enemy's weather quarter, as the ſhip figure 1 is repreſented, attacking the ſhip figure 2, plate the 8th, and only by backing and filling the ſails, as the circumſtances of your own, and the enemy's ſhip and people may be obſerved to require.
IN performing this manoeuvre, of backing and filling when the enemy lays his ſhip too to fight, [Note: On attacking by backing and filling the ſails] as laſt mentioned, it ſhould be made a certain rule, at your ſhip getting ſtern way by backing the ſails, that the helm ſhould be put hard a-weather, to make her back the farther a-ſtern, before ſhe loſes her ſtern way, ſo as to gain the more room to get ſufficient head-way upon your ſhip, to be more under command of the helm to ſteer and ſhoot her at pleaſure, either on the lee or weather quarter of the enemy who lying to with their helm a-lee, is under no command, but alternately comes to and falls off from the wind, which may being obſerved take the advantage and ſhoot your ſhip up in the wind cloſe under and acroſs their ſtern, raking them fore and aft with what may be called your lee broad ſide, and after that, the ſhip may be backed and boxed off at pleaſure, to fill and ſhoot up upon the enemy's lee quarter, to diſcharge your weather broadſide, and back all the ſails, eſpecially after ſail, with the helm a-weather when the ſhip gets ſtern way, to make her back the farther a-ſtern of the enemy, where all the guns may be loaded again, and all things made properly ready with more ſafety to repeat the attack in the ſame manner if the enemy continues to lie to, which may be done by the above management, for in making the ſtern board with the helm a-weather and the after ſails ſharp aback, your ſhip rather gains ground to windward, whilſt the enemy with the maintop-ſail only aback drives to leeward and ſhoots a-head, ſo that when your ſternway is done, by filling your after-ſails, your ſhip may be loffed up to fetch up under the enemy's ſtern again, to act as their ſituation and behaviour compared with your own may admitt.
[Page 187] THIS manoeuvre of backing and filling, which may be eaſily continued in practice as long as the maſts and yards ſtand in a three maſt ſhip, and gives a great advantage when attacking, or being attacked by ſloop, ſchooner, or any row galley, as veſſels ſo rigg'd cannot back their ſails, then it may be neceſſary to have both ſtern and bow chaſe run out to prevent their raking or run you on board in thoſe unguarded parts.
BUT let us now ſuppoſe that the enemy is found but of equal force to yourſelves, yet it is ſtill the duty of all commanders to endeavour by all prudent means, to avoid being expoſed to the enemy's ſhot, and to obſerve and take all advantages that offer, beginning and continuing the attack by manoeuvres, as long as the enemy's management admits of it, as beforementioned, attacking them cloſe under the ſtern, and quarters, and not out of bravado, to run up along ſide to try their ſtrength, untill by your ſuperior conduct and bravery, and by appearances you have weakened and diſtreſſed them to ſuch a condition, that it is but reaſonable (to ſave lives and property,) they ſhould make a ſubmiſſion when threatened, with your being prepared and determined in their total deſtruction, if they refuſe to ſubmit.
BUT when an enemy on coming near proves much inferior in force and ſtands no common chance to reſiſt your power, then intereſt as well as humanity to preſerve both men and ſhips from harm, [Note: On keeping the enemy always before the beam, and not to board before driving them from their cloſe quarters.] requires to run cloſe up to their quarter and demand immediate ſubmiſſion, but take care always to keep them before your beam, which gives an opportunity to obſerve their motions and behaviour, and your own people's at the ſame time, and prevents their taking any of thoſe advantages that have been deſcribed, whereby a ſhip of ſmall force may hurt or eſcape from one of much greater power. And ſuppoſe they refuſe to ſubmit, and take ſhelter from your ſhot in their cloſe quarters, and expect to be boarded and take the advantage to deſtroy your people from thoſe cloſe quarters; for which reaſon, without ſome very urgent motives, I would never ſacrifice men to board them, and ſight againſt the great advantages that cloſe quarters afford, but manage ſo, as to lay your ſhip's broad ſide right acroſs their ſtern, and there if poſſible, to ſecure them by making faſt to each of their quarters, and raking them through the ſtern fore and aft, to drive them from their cloſe quarters, after which your [Page 188] people may be boarded to take poſſeſſion, and take their chance to oblige them to make a ſubmiſſion, to prevent farther deſtruction of the ſhip or people, which both intereſt and humanity demands from the conquerors, as far as it is conſiſtent with their own ſafety.
AFTER an enemy ſubmits, and ſurrenders themſelves priſoners of war, then not only all hoſtilities, but treacherous deſigns ſhould immediately ceaſe on both ſides, and for the health and happineſs of the whole, while they are obliged to live together in one ſhip, the priſoners ſhould be treated with all the lenity and liberty that ſafety and good order will admit of, and not to aggravate and augment their unfortunate ſituation, by cruel uſage and cloſe confinement below, to breed diſorders and diſcontent, to drive them out of fatal neceſſity to deſperate attempts for their liberty.
YET it muſt be allowed, when priſoners of war have their liberty, it requires extraordinary care and caution to guard againſt giving them any opening or advantage, that may induce them to attempt riſing to take your ſhip from you. In the war 1747, cruiſing in the Mediterranean with the priſoners of three French prizes on board, at their entire liberty upon deck, apprehending no danger from them, upon an occaſion, I imprudently ordered all our ſails to be clewed up, and all our people upon deck to go up and hand them with all poſſible expedition, one of the French captains thought to avail himſelf of the advantage of our people being moſtly aloft, I providentially perceived he was going to give the alarm for their people to riſe and take the ſhip. I put my hand in my pocket, took hold of my pocket piſtol ran up cloſe to him, and told him coolly that he ſhould be the firſt that ſhould die by the attempt, which ſtopped his proceeding, and I calmly ordered our people to come down as faſt as poſſible, which they did, and made me very thankful to Providence for the eſcape from this danger, which I thought afterwards might have been avoided by ordering their ſeamen to go up aloft mixed with our's, to do the working part of duty as ſuch occaſions may require, which cannot [Page 189] be thought unreaſonable whilſt priſoners of war, they are allowed the ſame proviſion and liberty as their conquerors, as far as is conſiſtant with ſafety.
THEREFORE, to enjoy this mutual advantage, all ſuch ungrateful and unfair attempts ſhould be diſcountenanced and aboliſhed from amongſt all civilized nations. I further learned, from this man's attempt, what little dependence is to be put on ceremonious profeſſions, for this man when firſt brought on board our ſhip, made many apologies, and begg'd that he might not be ill-treated for the reſiſtance he made in defending his ſhip, he was anſwered that he ſhould be treated rather better than worſe for doing his duty like a brave and honeſt man.
IT muſt be allowed that our world, and ſyſtem of worlds, and the whole creation, as far as we can obſerve, are governed by the ALMIGHTY CREATOR, preſent to all parts that are moved by His general laws, ſo as to be ſubſervient to anſwer all the juſt purpoſes, not only of His general, but ſuperintending ſpecial Providence. Yet we are told, by Revelation, that our ever BLESSED SAVOUR, maker of the world, who ſhewed his command of the elements and all nature, as far as we know, accuſed the Jews who would not deſcern the ſigns of the times as foretold reſpecting Himſelf, but the ſigns of the weather by obſervations, "when the ſky was red in the evening, a ſign of fair weather, but when red and lowering in the morning a ſign of foul weather, when ſeeing a cloud riſe out of the weſt, there cometh a ſhower; and ſo it is. And when the ſouth wind blows, there will be heat, and it cometh to paſs." And theſe ſigns continue to be obſerved here to this day. And St. Paul, in his voyage to Rome, in the ſeaſon of the year when ſailing was become dangerous, told what would be the conſequence to the Centurion, who believed the owner and maſter of the ſhip more than St. Paul, when the ſouth wind [Page 190] blew ſoftly, thought they had obtained their purpoſe, but it proved not only great hardſhips with loſs of the ſhip and cargo, but a narrow providential eſcape of their lives, as foretold by St. Paul.
FOR theſe reaſons all that's known from experience either from the barometer, ſigns, or ſayings, that may any way contribute to point out to ſeamen the weather and winds likely to be, deſerves mentioning at leaſt, to make them more familiar to obſervation how they anſwer.
BETWEEN and near the tropicks, it has been often remarked by the learned, that both winds and weather are moſtly periodical at different ſeaſons of the year, the barometer varies but very little; but in higher latitudes both north and ſouth, like the winds and weather it varies greatly all the year round, as mentioned pages 4, 5, 6, and tho' this inſtrument is found defective at times, yet it muſt be allowed the beſt guide we have for the purpoſe of ſhewing ſigns of good or bad weather; and I have been lately told from good authority and experience, that the ingenious Edward Narn, optition, makes the marine barometer to ſtand the ſhip's motion at ſea without being diſturbed as before-metioned. I muſt own the many years obſervations I have made on the barometer (ſince I printed off the above pages) I have often been diſapointed in expecting an eaſterly wind from the glaſs being high, which I find happens with weſterly as well as all other winds, and that a quick riſe as well as a quick fall of the quickſilver ſhews changeable and uncertain weather. And that theſe changes of the weather and winds no way depend upon the ſituation or phaſes of the moon, or the ſun at the equinoxes, as they are too generally thought to do in this climate.
FROM what has been ſaid on this ſubject, it is not to be doubted, but that alterations are made in the denſity of the different parts of the atmoſphere, that may cauſe the elements to move ſo as to give the appearences in the ſky, from which theſe ſigns and ſayings had their riſe. The evening red, and the morning gray, is the ſign of a fine day. A clear N. W. and a foul S. E. horizon a fiſherman's night. A rainbow or weather gall at morn, fine weather all gone. But a rainbow towards night, fair weather in ſight. It is reckoned a bad ſign when tereſtial objects at a diſtance appear extraordinary clear and near, and when the ſtars appear very numerous and glaring the firſt of the night. And when a great white froſt appears in the morning.
[Page 191] RELATING TO WINDS. When the ſun ſets in clear, an eaſterly wind you need not fear. When the ſun ſets under a bank, a weſterly wind you need not want. When the wind blows cold, it is likely to hold. An eaſterly wind right, commonly abates at night. Our frequent long weſterly gales commonly end in varying about to the northward, but when the wind backs (againſt the ſun as it is call [...]d) to the ſouthward in the afternoon it is a ſign of bad weather and the gale continuing. At coming on of ſqually and blowing weather, when the wind comes before the rain, lower down the top-ſails and hoiſt them again. But, when the rain comes before the wind, firſt reef, and then hand.
BUT to ſail from a port or road-ſteed, or carrying ſail at ſea in ſuſpicious weather, muſt be left to the commander to form a judgement to act as appearence, ſituation, and circumſtances may require. Yet I cannot help remarking, I have known many great, fatal, and total loſſes by ſailing in ſoutherly winds with drizling rain, eſpecially in the winter ſeaſon, which in this climate for ſeamen, may be reckoned to begin with October and end in March. When the wind from being moderate at S. S. E. after flies about ſuddenly to the weſtward and to N. N. W. the oppoſite point of the compaſs, and blows with ſuch violence as to do great damage, and be very diſtructive to ſhipping, when they are catched unprepaired, with a great deal of ſail ſet. Beſides that ſtorm mentioned, pages 5th, and 6th, I have known many others that have been very deſtructive, and one in particular, that deſerves notice, to go againſt that vile cruel practice of preſſing ſeamen for government's ſervice. In the latter part of laſt foreign war, in the evening, I ſaw one of His Majeſty's ſnows of war with all ſail ſet crowding away with a large wind at S. S. E. and rainy weather, with about 140 preſſed men on board, that night the wind flew ſuddenly round to the oppoſite point N. N. W. and blew a ſtorm that muſt have overſet and ſunk her, for no remains was ever found but her barge that had floated off the booms. So that with a ſoutherly wind and rain, ſhips ſhould be upon their guard, and not be covetous of the weather ſhore, for fear it may ſuddenly prove a dangerous lee one on our coaſts.
SUDDEN diſtreſs of ſhips at ſea, has often ſtruck their crews with ſuch panicks as to occaſion them, in many inſtances, to take the worſt, inſtead of the beſt means or methods for their ſafety or relief, their minds being ſo diſcompoſed, at ſuch times, like phyſicians when ſick are reckoned very unfit to preſcribe for themſelves, therefore the utmoſt endeavours ſhould be uſed to ſay all that is thought poſſible to be of any ſervice on theſe melancholy occaſions as far as circumſtances and ſituation can be deſcribed to happen.
FOR it is but too well known that many people, after ſuffering great hardſhips, have loſt their lives, by too raſhly quitting their ſhips in their boats, when they might have been ſaved if they had ſtaid by their ſhips.
AS ſoon as the pumps are man'd and ſet to work, the utmoſt endeavours ſhould be immediately uſed, and all poſſible means tried, to find out and ſtop the leak, before the people become jaded by pumping, which, from experience I can ſay, gives a much better chance for ſafety than a continual pumping, which may prove inefectual, without endeavouring to ſtop the leak.
I was in a ſhip cruſing in the weſtern ocean, in a gale of wind when the ſtep of our foremaſt gave way, and made ſo great a leak under it, (though we had two chain as well as two hand pumps,) as obliged us to pump, with our utmoſt exertion, for half an hour at a ſpell, without ceaſing, till we unbent our ſprit-ſail, ſtitched it over one ſide with oakum, and with ropes to the clews and carings, applied it to the leak, which ſtoped it ſo that we ſoon freed the ſhip from water, for a time, and the ſprit-ſail may very well be ſpared, and being made very ſtrong to bear waſhing, is beſt adapted to anſwer this purpoſe, and by good management may be applied to any part of a ſhip's bottom, to give the oakum a chance to be forced into the leak.
[Page 193] WHEN a ſhip proves weak and works the oakum out ſo as to make dangerous leaks between wind and water it is common to nail ſheet lead upon the ſeams which I can ſay from experience, that lead breaks by the ſhip's working, eſpecially when ſhe hauls under the chains as it is called, the ſtrain of the maſts and ſhrouds making the ſeams open and ſhut as the ſhip rolls, leather or canvas nailed on ſlack with oakum under will anſwer the purpoſe much better than lead.
THE moſt common method is to cut away the ſhip's maſts, eſpecially the main and mizen maſts, in order to make her ware and bring the wind on the other ſide, but reaſon, as well as experience, has often proved that this deſperate, and expenſive method, has not anſwered the purpoſe, for the ſhip's hull in that poſition, greatly becalms the maſts, eſpecially the lower maſts and ſails, and prevents the rudder from having the effect upon the water as to make the ſhip ware. In further confirmation of this I was told by a commander that put this deſperate remedy in practice, that it would not have anſwered the deſign, if it had not happened from an accident that ſome of the lower ſtanding rigging on the lee ſide being omitted to be cut, brought the maſts up, and made ſuch ſtop waters on the lee quarter, as that only cauſed the ſhip to ware.
I HAVE heard of another accident, that recovered a light coal ſhip that had canted her ballaſt at ſea, and overſet ſo low on her ſide, that the bower anchor happened by chance to go from the lee bow, and the cable running out that it took hold in the ground ſo as to bring the wind a-head, which took the ſails aback, and caſt the ſhip on the other tack, when they ſoon got her trimmed upright again. I was in a light coal ſhip that hove out all her ballaſt at ſea with a ſcant wind to ſail into Tinmouth haven, where the pilots as well as ſeamen are the moſt dexterous in the world, in narrow channels theſe men, for the good reaſon of making their ſhips ſure in ſtays, always work [Page 194] them with their mainſail, and all ſail that they can carry ſet, when we came to haul our ſhip by the wind ſhe laid down on her ſide ſo as to bring her keel and rudder out of the water to windward, our pilot had the preſence of mind to let go the lee anchor, which brought the ſhip round to with the wind on the other bow that took the ſails aback as they were ſharp braced up, this immediately brought the ſhip upright again, ſo that we hauled up the courſes, hove up the anchor, and drove to windward into the harbour by the tide; backing and filling under our topſails without any damage.
THE above inſtances evidently point out what at leaſt ſhould be tried on theſe dreadful occaſions; if ground is to be reached by any means the lee anchor, or anchors, ſhould be immediately let go, if it is poſſible to bring the wind upon that bow that is laid down, then the wind may act upon the maſts and ſails that may be ſet ſo as to bring the ſhip upright again as abovementioned, which may be called club hauling a ſhip to get her from one tack to the other, as mentioned page 54. But in deep water where anchors can be of no ſervice, I would recommend, that if a towline, hawſer, or cable end, can be readily come at, and the driver boom, hen coops, or any other bulkey things can be ſlung by the middle with ropes, and made faſt to it, or even the driver or any other ſail with the clews ſtopped ſo as to make a drag ſail, and veered away with a long ſcope over the lee quarter to make ſuch great ſtop-waters as to make the ſhip ware, and bring the wind on that quarter that is down, that the ſhip may be brought to on the other tack, and the ſails trimmed, ſo as to get her upright again without cutting away the maſts, which nothing can juſtify but the utmoſt neceſſity, to ſave a ſhip from foundering; becauſe of the great diſtreſs this brings the ſhip under for want of her maſts, eſpecially her lower maſts, when they may have a long run to their deſigned port, or to a place where they can get this great damage repaired.
TO do this muſt be of the utmoſt conſequence to a ſhip meeting with this misfortune in a dangerous ſituation. Therefore I venture to give my opinion that this may be done by the laſt mentioned method, that is, by veering a hawſer or cable end over the lee quarter, but without any ſtop-waters, only the nun buoys, david, or any ſpare ſpars, maſts, or yards, laſhed along it, to buoy it up from taking the ground in caſe of coming into ſhoal water in little wind, this will act with great power with the helm to make the ſhip ware and ſteer at pleaſure. And as it is common in many ſhips, to carry a yard acroſs the ſtern with a block at each end for a driver boom, this I would recommend for this purpoſe, and the hawſer or cable to be veered out abaft the mizen ſhrouds over it, to guy it more or leſs from the quarter according as the ſhip may have occaſion to ſail, that makes her gripe more or leſs on the helm, ſo as to require it, and it may be eaſily ſhifted from ſide to ſide to anſwer ſailing upon both tacks, to be guyed the more to leeward in proportion to the ſhip's griping, and when ſailing before the wind to ſecure it over the middle of the ſtern will prevent the ſhip broaching to againſt the helm both ways. And this would anſwer the purpoſe to make a deep loaded bad ſteering ſhip to ſteer better, and prevent her broaching to either way, in ſpite of their beſt helmſmen, by which they are ſometimes obliged to lie too with a fair wind, as I was told by the commander of a ſhip who was an expert ſeaman, and a good commanding officer, was often obliged to do.
THE method uſed, and found from experience to anſwer by two of his Majeſty's ſhips of war, and has been made publick, ſhould be firſt recommended. Yet it muſt be allowed that ſhips often loſe their rudders in narrow channels, when they have neither time nor materials to make ſuch perfect towing machines as thoſe uſed by his Majeſty's ſhips.
[Page 196] [Note: On ſteering a ſhip with a cable end.]THEREFORE I would propoſe a hawſer or cable end, with the nun buoys, ſpare ſpars, maſts, or yards laſhed along it to buoy it up, in caſe of coming into ſhoal water, and a boom rigged out on each ſide cloſe aft athwart the ſtern, with a block on each, at equal diſtance as far as they can be ſupported from the ſtern, and a block on the rail or cunwell exactly oppoſite the middle of the barrel of the wheel, where the ſteering rope marked with a rope yarn in the middle is to be taken with three or five turns round the wheel when the midſhip ſpoke, and the mark on the rope is right up, then the two ends to be paſſed acroſs from the under part of the wheel, and reeved through the blocks on each ſide, and made faſt to the hawſer, or cable that is to be towed aſtern exactly amidſhips, and as tight as it can well be to go clear of the ſtern, and veer and heave freely from ſide to ſide as the ſteering the ſhip with the trimming of the ſails on this occaſion may require.
THE wheel rope leading under the barrel of the wheel on this occaſion gives a great advantage, becauſe the wheel is to be hove round the ſame way as when the rudder was in its place, ſo that the ſhip may be cunned ſtarboard, and port, luff and no near, hard a weather, or hard a lee as occaſion may require it, for turning the wheel to put the helm a port heaves the towing machine up to the block on the ſtarboard quarter, which ſtops water on that ſide, and brings the ſhip's head that way, and acts with the ſame power when hove over to the other ſide, &c. which is the readieſt and beſt makeſhift that I know of for this purpoſe, when no other help can be had. And to ſuppoſe this misfortune to happen to a veſſel that has not a ſteering wheel, it requires no great labour or ingenuity to ſix a makeſhift wheel of a boat's windlaſs, or wench, or other materials that may be found on board, and contrived to ſix it abaft the binnicle as the beſt place to anſwer this purpoſe.
[Note: [...] ]BUT when it happens that help and aſſiſtance can be had from other veſſels on this occaſion, I think it neceſſary to remark here, that I have known ſhips that have loſt their rudders on the ſand banks at [...]iverpool, that have been ſteered through narrow dangerous channels, by two pilot ſloops, one with all her ſails ſet leading and towing in a [...]ir way with a rope a head of the ſhip, which had but little ſail ſet, and that trimmed as occaſion required, whilſt the other pilot ſloop, with a rope from each quarter, was towed a ſtern of the ſhip without [Page 197] any, or but occaſional ſail ready to ſet to ſteer, and ſheer her with the helm on each quarter of the ſhip, as the occaſion required, to confine her to follow the leading ſloop in a fair way, till towed into ſafety.
OF all diſtreſſes at ſea, theſe are generally allowed to be the greateſt; and moſt people pity ſeamen when in a gale of wind, but none ſo much as thoſe who know from experience the hardſhips they go through in cold weather, long dark winter nights, dangerous ſituations, and near a lee ſhore, eſpecially if it is a rocky one; when the waves run high it is moſt to be dreaded, and the utmoſt endeavours ſhould be uſed to keep from it, becauſe it gives little or no chance of ſaving either ſhip, or the lives of even the beſt of ſwimmers.
I KNEW a melancholy inſtance of this; [Note: Beſt of ſwimmers ſtand but little chan [...]e to ſave themſelves.] two Algerine ſhips of war were drove on ſhore with a S. W. gale of wind on the S. W. coaſt of the iſland of Minorca, and both ſhips were immediately beat to pieces, and the people, about 800 in number, though the beſt of ſwimmers, were all drowned, or rather killed by the waves againſt the rocks, except one man, who, upon a piece of wreck, happened to be thrown ſo high upon the ſhore as to get out of the back ſweep of the waves, which waves killed the others as might be obſerved by the bruſed wounds on their bodies; though this rocky ſhore was not ſo ſteep, but I could walk up and down it upon my feet without uſing my hands to ſupport myſelf.
TO avoid ſuch fatal conſequences as theſe, which often attend ſhips going upon a lee ſhore, every poſſible effort of mind and body ſhould be exerted and tried to preſerve and keep the ſhips off from the ſhore, as being the only chance to ſave the lives of the crews, and the property that is under their charge; by which conduct, only, it is that the hardy and brave officers and ſeamen can be diſtinguiſhed from the ſoft, cowardly, lazy, ſkulking lubbers, who give themſelves and the [Page 198] ſhip up in a cowardly manner to go on ſhore, rather than undergo the hardſhip, to be obliged to contend with the weather, wind, and waves, which is certainly their duty to do as long as there is the leaſt appearance of a chance by any means to avoid the dreadful danger; and by which only it is, that they can reaſonably expect Providence to favour them; for it is an allowed maxim in common life, that it is to little purpoſe to endeavour to help thoſe who will not endeavour to help themſelves, and too often are met with daſtardly lazy ſkulkers at ſea, who, when obliged to be expoſed to the weather for want of reſolution to rouſe and exert themſelves, become ſo feeble and helpleſs, that they are periſhed, and die with cold, when the brave man at the ſame time may be ſwetting with ſtruggling manfully in the diſcharge of his duty.
TO keep a ſhip off from a dangerous lee ſhore, ſo long as ſhe can carry ſuch ſail as will give her good way through the water upon a wind, [Note: To try to clear the ſhore by carrying ſail, and to box haul when the ſhip refuſes [...].] is certainly the beſt method to try what can be done by carrying ſail, and alſo reducing all tophamper that holds wind as much as poſſible; for if the ſhore proves ſo deep, or the bottom ſo rocky, as not to afford ſafe anchorage, then ſafety may depend entirely on carrying ſail. And ſuppoſe the ſhip is found imbay'd, ſo that ſhe will not clear the ſhore on one tack, and that the waves run ſo high that the ſhip will not ſtay, yet ſhe may be box-hauled and wared to loſe very little ground, as mentioned page 52 on box-hauling; and the inſtance of turning to windward out of Mount's Bay, mentioned page 132, with the method we uſed in box-hauling repreſented in the figures 1, 2, plate the 7th. Therefore deſpair ſhould not take place, but an example of ſpirit and reſolution ſhewn by the officers, after having conſulted together, and the people plainly told what is reſolved upon, and that there is no other chance left to ſave the ſhip and their lives, but to carry all the ſail poſſible, to work the ſhip in the moſt perfect manner; and when ſhe refuſes ſtays to box-haul her, as before fully deſcribed.
[Page 199] SUPPOSE in this ſituation it is found, that the ſhip will not clear the ſhore on either tack, and after the utmoſt endeavours ſhe is perceived to loſe ground; but as there is no anchorage there is no other means but to continue turning to the laſt, as the wind may abate, or it may vary or change in your favour, which was the caſe of an intimate friend of mine, who kept turning though fell to leeward inſtead of getting to windward, under theſe unvoidable circumſtances, till they thought it would be the laſt tack they could poſſibly make before they muſt be on ſhore, when providentially the wind changed, and came right off the ſhore all at once, which ſaved both the ſhip and their lives from immediate deſtruction.
BUT when this happens, [Note: To endeavour to ride out a ſtorm on a lee ſhore.] where there is clear anchoring ground at a good diſtance from the ſhore, and ſailing proves ineffectual to keep clear of it, then the chief dependence muſt be upon the ground tackle rightly applied to the beſt advantage; and it is in common reckoned a great diſgrace to let a ſhip go on ſhore with any ground tackle left on board that might have been uſefully applied. Suppoſe then the ſhip to be properly prepared, and to have let go a catch anchor, and towline bent like a buoy rope to the crown of the ſtream anchor, and the inner end of the ſtream cable bent to the crown of the ſheet or beſt bower anchor, with as long a ſcope of cable as poſſibly can be contrived, to make the ſhip ride ſafe and eaſy, as is particularly mentioned and recommended page 60 and 61.
BUT where it is known, or found, by ſounding with the lead armed with tallow, that the ground is ſoul, then no more cable ſhould be veered out than neceſſity requires to bring the ſhip up, to ride with as ſhort a ſcope as poſſible, becauſe the cable is liable to be chaifed or cut in two by the rocks; if that happens, there is the more room aſtern and a better chance for a ſecond or third anchor, trying to the laſt moment all poſſible means to keep the ſhip from the ſhore.
WHERE the water is ſo deep that the anchoring ground lies but a little more than a cable's length from the ſhore, then all the anchors ſhould be let go, as fully deſcribed to anſwer this purpoſe page 65 and 66. And when the neceſſity of the ſituation requites it, [Note: To cut away the maſt if neceſſity require.] no heſitation ſhould be made, but immediately cut away all the maſts, except the moremaſt and the bowſprit, and the foretopmaſt-ſtayſail muſt be made to hoiſt to the foremaſt head, which will not only make the [Page 200] ſhip ride with leſs ſtrain upon the anchors and cables, but, if they give way, ſhe will be the better prepared when neceſſity requires it to be done, as the laſt refuge to run and lay the ſhip on ſhore to the beſt advantage, in order to ſave all the lives and property that is poſſible to be ſaved, rather than let the ſhip founder, or ſtrike the ground at an anchor, by the tide falling, &c. which affords no chance of ſaving either lives or property. Therefore all poſſible endeavours ſhould be uſed, and attempts made to try every thing that can be ſaid or done, that may prove ſerviceable on this melancholy and deſperate occaſion.
THIS often has, and may be the fate of many ſhips in ſpite of the utmoſt powers of men; and when a ſhip's ſituation is ſuch, that, to all appearance it cannot be avoided, then the utmoſt endeavours ſhould be uſed, and no poſſible means left undone, that may any way contribute to be ſerviceable on this laſt and moſt important occaſion, to ſave all the lives and property that is poſſible; whether ſucceſsful or not it deſerves the higheſt encomiums, as being the greateſt proof of true courage and good conduct.
BUT ſhips ſituations, circumſtances, times, and places, are ſo different and various, that to give advice on this dreadful occaſion is difficult; yet, at all hazard, every thing ſhould be ſaid and done. For it is well known, from reaſon as well as experience, that to let a ſhip drive at random broad ſide, where the tide is flowing upon a moderate riſing ſhore, with her mainmaſt ſtanding, when ſhe comes to ſtrike hard upon the ground, by the waves running high, will ſoon overſet her on her broad ſide, and cauſe the hatches to blow off, then the waves will break in at the hatchways and compreſs the confined air within her, ſo as to add the power of blowing to that of beating the ſhip to pieces, which muſt afford little or no chance to ſave either lives or property, that is liable to be deſtroyed or ſpoiled by the waves, therefore likely to prove a fatal and total loſs.
[Page 201] THESE reaſons, I hope, will be thought ſufficient to prove the neceſſity of endeavouring to point out better management; for it ſhould be conſidered, that a ſhip going on ſhore at theſe times, in a tide's way, upon a flood, will continue beating as long as the tide flows, and until it falls; and if ſhe lies broad ſide to the waves, they will have above three times more the power on her than when laid end on to them, and the mainmaſt ſtanding in the main body of the ſhip occaſions her to overſet at ſuch times; and it is well known, that a ſhip will bear but little beating upon her broad ſide in proportion to what ſhe will bear upon her bottom.
THEREFORE the beſt conduct, on this occaſion, [Note: The beſt management on a gradual riſing ſhore in a tide way.] is to uſe all poſſible means to keep the ſhip from going on ſuch a ſhore as this, till after high water; and the main and mizzen maſt being firſt cut away, then to run right before the wind and waves, with all the head way, and ſails that poſſibly can be ſet, end on upon the ſhore, to make the ſhip free herſelf the more, and to run the higher and faſter upon the ground, ſo that by the advantage of the tide falling, ſhe may ſoon be ſet ſo faſt as to be out of the power of the waves to hurt her much; by this management, in my opinion, not only all the lives, but the ſhip and cargo may be often ſaved, which would be all loſt by letting her go on ſhore at random with a flowing tide.
NOTWITHSTANDING a ſhip may be thus ſucceſsfully run and ſet faſt upon the ſhore, with little damage to her hull, and no danger to be apprehended till towards high water, the next tide, if the ſtorm continues ſo long, [Note: To wait the beſt time to quit the ſhip.] yet people too often let their fears overcome their reaſon, and being in too great a hurry to quit the ſhip, and attempting to get through the waves on ſhore, may often loſe their lives and the boats they go in; when if they would conſider and ſtay with patience till the tide falls low enough, they may get ſafe on ſhore with little or no riſk; and where the tide riſes and falls a great deal the ſhip may come quite a-dry at low water, which time muſt be allowed to be the ſafeſt and beſt to land, whether the ſhip dries or not, for the water is then ſmootheſt, and there will be the leſs way to go in it; therefore, if poſſible, the people ſhould be reſtrained from quitting the ſhip with the boats till towards low water, and when got ſafe on ſhore, it may be abſolutely neceſſary to preſerve the boats, if poſſible, by hauling them out of harm's way above high [Page 202] water mark, out of the reach of the waves, where they may be turned bottom up, and made a place of ſhelter when there is no other to be had, and be ſtill ready to go to the ſhip, if the weather permits, and occaſion requires.
[Note: To preſerve the b [...]ats, and the beſt method to haul them over a ſand or ſtrand.]ON this, as well as on many other uſeful occaſions, the beſt and eaſieſt method to haul a boat up and down over a long gradual riſing ſand, or ſtrand, deſerves notice. Therefore, inſtead of the common method of laying the oars acroſs, and hauling the boat upright over them upon her keel, end on, I would recommend, from experience, firſt, to lay the boat broad ſide to the ſhore, the way ſhe is deſigned to be hauled, and healing her off ſo as to put the blade of a ſingle oar under her keel amid ſhips, and lay all the other oars length way, the blade of one to the loom of the other, then the boat's crew divided equally on each ſide of the oars, takes hold of the gunnel, healds her bilge upon the firſt oar, keeping her upon a poiſe, and runs her along with great eaſe, the whole length of the oars at a time; and if a little ſea tang can be got to put under the bilge of the boat, it will make her ſlide with more eaſe along the oars, which are to be ſhifted forward when the boat is on the loom of the laſt oar, &c.
[Note: On hard rocks, ſt [...]ep to under water, and high upright cliffs above water.]DIFFERENT ſhores require different management on this deſperate occaſion. And where the ſhore is nothing but hard rocks ſteep to, under water, and high lofty upright cliffs above water, which are impoſſible to be climbed up, in this ſituation, no ſail can be of any ſervice, therefore all the maſts ſhould be cut away, and ſafety then depends entirely on the ground tackle being uſed to the beſt advantage; and if the ſhip drives till ſhe comes near the high cliffs, it is well known they make both the wind and waves to rebound from them to ſome diſtance, where, if the ground tackle happens to hold any thing, it may give the ſhip a chance to ride there; and as this is the only chance againſt a fatal and total loſs, it ought to be tried in the beſt manner that is poſſible.
[Note: On a gentle [...] the w [...] are [...] violent.]SHIPS drove broad ſide on a gradual riſing ſhore, when the waves are not ſo violent as to bulge them directly, may find great advantage from lightening them abaft, or trimming them ſo much by the head with their goods, or ballaſt, as to make them ſwing end on, with their heads to the ſea, which is certainly the beſt poſition a ſhip can be laid [Page 203] in, not only to bear the force of the waves with the leaſt damage while the gale laſts, but to heave the ſhip off after the gale ceaſes.
TO be any way aiding and aſſiſting to ſave the lives of people from ſhips that are forced, or loſt, upon a lee ſhore, muſt be allowed to be one of the higheſt acts of humanity and charity that mankind is capable of performing, and deſerves the higheſt praiſe and the moſt grateful acknowledgments that are poſſible to be given. And to offer to deſtroy or diſtreſs the diſtreſſed in this lamentable ſituation, muſt be deemed the higheſt act of villainy, and deſerves the ſevereſt puniſhment which our laws very juſtly inflict.
TIME, circumſtances, and ſituations, are ſo various, that it is very difficult to write what may be to the purpoſe on this moſt melancholy occaſion. And another defect I muſt own, for which I have great reaſon to be thankful to Providence for never having been ſhipwrecked, therefore cannot pretend to write from experience; yet, under all theſe diſadvantages, as I think it is abſolutely neceſſary, that it ſhould be attempted by ſome body, I venture, ſailor like, to do my beſt.
SUCCESS in many ſituations may depend greatly on aſſiſtance from people on ſhore; but as that is uncertain, and cannot be expected in the night, or in deſert places, therefore the utmoſt endeavours ſhould be uſed to contrive and try what can be done on board a ſhip, that may be ſuppoſed to be bulged or broke, ſo much upon the ground as to be paſt all recovery. And when a current or tide runs ſo ſtrong between the wreek and the ſhore, as prevents booms, maſts, or yards, &c. with ropes made faſt to them, from being veered on ſhore, and even the patent cork lines that ſhips have had a board, contrived for the purpoſe of veering to people on the ſhore, in order to get ropes paſſed to make hauling lines, or travellers, from the ſhip to the ſhore, as neceſſity required, to ſave the people, has been rendered ineffectual by the current or tide.
[Page 204] [Note: Ecperiments recommended to be tried for this noble purpoſe.]THEREFORE, in order to endeavour to mend the defects of theſe contrivances, for this moſt noble purpoſe, I take the liberty to propoſe to thoſe in power, to have experiments tried on board his Majeſty's ſhips lying in ordinary, firſt, whether it is not practicable to make a flying kite on board a ſhip wrecked upon a lee ſhore, that may, by the force of the wind, be made to carry an iron creeper or grappling, made faſt to the end of a coil of rope, from the wreck to the ſhore; by which, acceſs may be got to the ſhore, when prevented by the tide or current, as above-mentioned?
I WOULD propoſe theſe kites to be ſuch, as may be eaſily and readily made on board any wrecked veſſel, to conſiſt only of two ſlips of thin deal board, about three inches broad, and ſix, ſeven, or eight feet long, the middle of one nailed right acroſs the other, a little more than a third of their length, which forms what may be called the head part of the kite; then ſpan it tight round the ends with line, and ſew a piece of a light ſail over it with a ſail needle and twine; then ſling it with line from the four ends of the boards with a ſpan from the middle, to ſtrengthen that part where the bite of the rope, deſigned to be ſent on ſhore, is to be ſtopped to the ſlings; and at the bottom or tale part of the kite, about two fathom from the end of the rope, to which the creeper or grappling is to be bent, that will likewiſe anſwer the purpoſe of a balancing tail, to make the kite mount and fly in a gale of wind with a rope, as well as ſchool boys common paper kites will do with twine in moderate weather.
NOW let it be ſuppoſed, that this ſtorm kite (as it may be called) may be made to fly with a grappling, &c. at its tail from a wreck far enough to reach the ſhore. But then it may be aſked, how is the kite to be made to fall, ſo that the grappling may take hold upon the ſhore to anſwer the deſigned purpoſe? If the occaſion immediately requires this to be done, I would propoſe to try the experiment, whether by letting the kite rope ſuddenly run looſe, for a time, would not make the kite fall down to the ground, as the common kite does when its ſtring breaks. But without immediate neceſſity required to try this method, I would recommend another more ſure, and will add farther advantages towards anſwering the purpoſe.
THE higher and ſtronger the ſtorm kite flies on this occaſion the better, becauſe it will take, what may be called, heavier or more [Page 205] meſſengers, which, in my opinion, may be contrived ſo as not only to bring the kite down upon the ſhore, and be a help to hold the kite rope the faſter, but a hauling line may be alſo ſent on ſhore with the firſt meſſenger, which I would propoſe to be made of any piece of wood, ſpar, or plank, 8, 10, or 12 feet long, ſlung with ſmall rope from a ſingle block to each end in the form of a triangle, ſtitched over with a piece of ſail cut in that ſhape, and the kite rope reeved through the block with a hauling line made faſt to it, which may be ſent on ſhore by it; but if this firſt meſſenger fails to bring the kite down, a hole may be made near the middle of a main-hatch, or boards, &c. and put upon the kite rope, and the wind will force them up as meſſengers, ſo as ſoon to bring the kite down upon the ſhore; but, if it is not likely that any people will be there to give aſſiſtance to ſecure the kite rope, I would propoſe to drive ſome large nails to ſtand out from the lower parts of the wood of theſe meſſengers, to make them hold the kite rope and hauling line, the better to get on ſhore by them.
SINCE writing the above, I have thought it would be worth while to try, whether a hauling line might not be bent to the grappling, and ſtopped along with the kite rope, and flown along with the kite at firſt.
THE next experiment, for this purpoſe, I would propoſe to be tried is, how far it is practicable to ſhoot a grappling with a rope bent to it, laſhed along the outer end of a handſpike, &c. made round juſt to fit the bore of a great gun, and long enough to reach from the ring of the grappling cloſe to the wad next the powder, with the gun elevated to its higeſt range, in order to get a rope from a wreck to the ſhore. And all the ropes that may be neceſſary to be joined together on this occaſion, ſhould be with long ſplices to anſwer this purpoſe beſt.
LET it now be ſuppoſed, that a rope is got from the wreck to the ſhore, and ſecured as well as poſſible till ſome body can be got on ſhore by it to ſecure it better. To do this, I would propoſe to ſling in a light but ſecure manner to two ſingle blocks one at each end of ſome of theſe things that can be eaſieſt come at on board the wreck, ſuch as a cot, a ſcuttle caſk, a cheſt without its lid, a main hatch, or a cabin table, the lower ſide up, &c. that a man or two, as the ſituation and circumſtances may admit and require, may be ſecured in or [Page 206] upon this machine; then reeve the ſhore rope through the machine block, and to that part of the wreck where it may lead and be hauled tight to the greateſt advantage, to ſupport the machine, running or travelling upon it from the wreck to the ſhore, in the ſureſt and beſt manner poſſible; and if the wreck has any lower maſts ſtanding, the ſhore rope leading over the maſt head would moſt likely anſwer the purpoſe beſt, and the top afford a convenient place to get fixed in, and go from, with the machine to the ſhore. And a hogſhead, puncheon, or a butt, in my opinion, might be ſcuttled on each ſide of the bung for a machine, that two men might ſtand facing each other, to great advantage, to haul it on ſhore, if the ſituation required it, or any other thing that the ſhore rope and tackle may be thought ſtrong enough to bear.
BUT the facility or difficulty attending theſe propoſals, are in proportion to the diſtance and height of the ſhore from the wreck; if the ſhore is low, and near the wreck, the ſhore rope may be made to lead the machine upon it with an eaſy deſcent, from the wreck to the ſhore, with a man or two in it, without much ſtrain either to the rope or grappling on ſhore; when this is likely to be the eaſe, a line ſhould be made faſt to the machine, to haul it to the wreck again, by which means it may happen that a ſhip wrecked crew may ſoon get on ſhore with eaſe.
BUT when the ſhore happens to be at a great diſtance, and much higher than any part of the wreck, this muſt naturally increaſe the ſtrain on the ſhore rope and grappling, &c. that holds it, and to the man or men who are to haul the machine on ſhore by it. Therefore, to endeavour to caſe this ſtrain, I would propoſe, as it appears to me practicable, to contrive and ſix a ſmall ſail to the machine, ſuch as a hammock or two that has holes ready wrought at each end, a tarpawling, or a piece of ſail cut for the purpoſe, that may be ſoon bent or ſtitched with a ſail needle and twine to light pieces of wood, one as a yard ſtopped to the head of an upright piece, or two, that may be ſtopped or laſhed to the after end of the machine as maſts, ſeven or eight feet high above it, next the ſhip, and the foot hauled down to the fore part of the machine next the ſhore; this ſail ſet to ſtand in this ſlanting direction upon the machine that is to run right before the wind in a ſtorm, will certainly help greatly to lift and leſſen the ſtrain of the machine upon the ſhore rope, and force it forward with [Page 207] great power towards the ſhore. And if, by any ſuch means as theſe, a man or two can be got on ſhore ſafe, they may ſecure things to the beſt advantage; and by hauling lines, &c. may be the means of getting all the reſt of the people on ſhore, before the wreck is beat to pieces by the waves.
BUT it may be ſaid, that the firſt adventurers in theſe machines run a great riſk, which muſt be allowed, but deſperate ſituations require deſperate proceedings; when delays are dangerous, if this is the only method that appears to give a chance to ſave life, the firſt adventurers ſtand the beſt chance if they ſucceed in getting on ſhore ſafe, when every minute the wreck may be liable to be beat to pieces, and all left on board moſt likely to ſuffer.
NOW let it be ſuppoſed, that there is neither tide nor current to hinder any floating things being drove right on ſhore from the wreck, by the force of the wind and waves. Then a towline, or other ſuitable rope, with a hauling line, &c. may be made faſt about the middle of a ſpar, maſt, or yard, &c. and veered away on ſhore as far as it will go; and if it happens to be an uneven rocky ſhore, it may chance to fix itſelf faſt amongſt the rocks, by which I have heard a ſhip's crew got on ſhore, when they had almoſt given themſelves up for loſt. But if it is a ſandy or gravelly ſhore, then no ſuch chance can be expected; it will then require ſome people on ſhore to haul it up, and put it under the ſand or gravel, its broad ſide to the wreck, (as deſcribed in page 74 on mooring ſhips) to make it bear the ſtrain that is neceſſary for the rope to be tight enough for the machine, as above-mentioned, to travel upon from the wreck to the ſhore.
NOW let it be ſuppoſed, that a ſet of good people appear upon the ſhore, for the noble purpoſe of doing all in their power, to ſave the lives of thoſe diſtreſſed people on board wrecks, to ſucceed therein, it is abſolutely neceſſary that the people on ſhore ſhould be made to underſtand ſomething of the deſigned methods of proceeding. Therefore the beſt and approved methods that experiments may produce, ſhould be repreſented and deſcribed in prints, for the purpoſe of being diſtributed amongſt our ſhips, [Note: Certain rewards for poor people ſaving lives recommended.] and amongſt the inhabitants along our ſea coaſts, to be made as public as poſſible, and rewards of a guinea certain ſhould be allowed to the poor people on ſhore for every human [Page 208] life ſaved by them from wrecks, and veſſels forced on ſhore, and Liverpool leads the way for this noble purpoſe; and in proportion to the danger and trouble, they are to be rewarded with more than a guinea as thought by a Committee they deſerve; which encouragement may likewiſe be the means of ſaving their own lives from the juſt laws of our country, by preventing their cruelty, for the ſake of plunder, on theſe occaſions. And might encourage them to obſerve and join heartily in whatever methods they perceive the people on board the wreck take to ſave themſelves, and to help them in it, by ſecuring the ſhore rope, or uſing the hauling line to haul the machine on ſhore if it is high above the wreck, or made faſt to a raft as the circumſtances and ſituation may require. And if ever the time come to have ſuch prints on board ſhips for this purpoſe; one of them ſhould be rolled up and put into a bottle, and ſent from the wreck to the people on ſhore, by ſome ſuch methods as has been mentioned, or throwing the bottle well cork'd into the ſea, to make them underſtand the deſigned method of proceeding, which may be the means of ſaving many valuable lives, as well paſſengers as ſhips crews, whoſe lives are undoubtedly of much more importance than ſhips. Theſe may be renewed, but they are of little purpoſe without good crews to navigate them; and the difficulty we now meet with, in manning both ſhips of war and merchants ſhips, ſhould teach us to uſe every method to preſerve the lives of our brave ſeamen, thoſe ſupporters of our glory, power, wealth, and conſequence as a nation; —they dare the raging tempeſt chearfully, and the dreadful ſlaughter from thundering cannon, does not diſmay them; therefore, how pleaſing muſt the thought and reflection be to all that contribute to help and ſave them.
BEFORE I conclude, I ſhall beg leave to propoſe one farther conſideration to the ſerious attention of my Brother Sailors, however unſuitable it may appear to a ſubject of this kind, or to the profeſſion and qualifications of the Writer. I could wiſh to impreſs upon their minds a deep conviction of this great truth, that our own utmoſt ſkill, caution, vigilance, and dexterity, are altogether inſufficient of themſelves to command ſucceſs in our proceedings, or preſerve us from the many dangers and difficulties we are expoſed to, without HIS all-powerful protection and aſſiſtance, whom the winds and waves obey.—Unleſs the Lord keep the Houſe or Ship, the Watchman waketh but in vain.—It is the Almighty, author of nature alone, who form'd the univerſe, and is preſent to all the parts of it, urging or reſtraining the elements,—promoting or obſtructing the deſigns of men according to the all-wiſe and beneficent purpoſes of his Government, upon whom our ſucceſs, happineſs and preſervation entirely depend.
HOW diligently then ſhould we ſtudy and endeavour, by the uſefulneſs and piety of our lives, to recommend ourſelves to his favour and protection, and religiouſly implore his direction and aſſiſtance in all our undertakings;—knowing him to be our only ſure guide, our only certain help in trouble.
AND we may be likewiſe aſſured, that it is this perſuaſion alone, and the conſciouſneſs of having endeavoured to regulate our lives according to his divine Will, that can afford rational happineſs in the moſt proſperous circumſtances, or inſpire us with true courage in dangers and difficulties.
THE virtuous and religous man, conſiding in his GOD, will, when his duty calls, face Death itſelf undiſmayed, having nothing to fear, but much to hope from it;—whilſt the impious and wicked upon the firſt appearance of danger are often ſtruck with ſuch panies, as [Page 210] incapacitate them for acting properly for their own ſafety, or that of others, which may unfortunately depend upon their courage and conduct.
IT would be needleſs to enumerate in confirmation of this truth the examples, with which hiſtory both ancient and modern abounds, as almoſt every one's own experience will abundantly ſupply them.— Indeed in the ſeafaring life they occur but too frequently, and afford us convincing evidence of the truth of thoſe texts of ſcripture, ‘ that there is no peace to the wicked, who are like the troubled ſea, which cannot reſt;—that they flee, when no man purſueth,—while the righteous are bold as a lion.’ *
[Page 211] BUT though our preſent as well as future ſafety and happineſs ſo much depend upon a good and holy life, yet ſuch is our deſperate and amazing depravity, that inſtead of rendering due honour and adoration to the Divine Being for his manifold gracious deliverances; —inſtead of invoking his aſſiſtance in dangers and difficulties, how often do we ungratefully blaſpheme his all-ſacred name by profane curſing and ſwearing.
HOW ſtrange is it that Sailors, whoſe preſervation ſo viſibly depends upon the providential care, which they almoſt daily experience, —who are, as it may be juſtly ſaid, but an inch breadth from eternity;—that they, more than any other claſs of men, ſhould be almoſt perpetually daring the Divine vengeance by this moſt unaccountable vice! A vice of all others the moſt irrational, which can offer neither pleaſure nor profit to tempt us to the commiſſion of it, nor urge in its vindication, what ſome other vices may, a natural propenſity: For no man, as Archbiſhop Tillotſon juſtly obſerves, can plead that he was born with a ſwearing conſtitution.
OFFICERS ſometimes juſtify this wicked practice under a pretence that their orders would not be ſufficiently regarded, unleſs enforced by ſwearing.—Idle and vain pretence! as upon trying a different conduct, I am perſuaded, they will be ſoon convinced.—From my own obſervation and experience I can aſſert, that in critical emergencies, when the leaſt delay would be fatal to the whole, and neceſſity requires every one to exert his utmoſt, any ſort of ſharp words or threats uttered with an angry tone,* telling the men the neceſſity for their activity, and how much depends upon it, will have a better effect than vulgar oaths, which from being ſo frequently heard become no more regarded by them than common words;—they having from example and daily practice learned to ſwear, as profanely as their officers.
THE ſhameful prevalence of this vice amongſt us and the infectious influence of ill example are but too evidently ſeen from this, that the inferior ſort of foreigners, who have much converſation with us, generally acquire this common ſwearing part of our language firſt: —A melancholy proof that they hear it moſt frequently,—and are perhaps moſt inclined to imitate it.
[Page 212] HOW highly incumbent then is it upon officers and thoſe in command always to diſcountenance this vicious practice by their own example; as no reformation without this can be expected;—eſpecially if they reflect that the more exalted a man's ſtation is, the greater is his crime; as its influence is more pernicious:—And ſince many a fruitful and flouriſhing land has been made barren for the wickedneſs of its inhabitants, every impious and profane man ought to be deemed and treated as the greateſt enemy to his country.
BUT I indulge the pleaſing hope, that a reformation will now be ſoon produced by the virtues of our preſent moſt amiable Sovereign, in whoſe bright example we ſee piety, morality, and obedience to the laws of God and his country ſtrongly recommended.—And I would hope, that his wiſhes expreſſed in his firſt moſt excellent Proclamation, are not only publicly read in all his navy, as often as the articles of war, but alſo enforced, to check the immorality and profaneneſs, which has too long prevailed amongſt ſeamen of all ranks and degrees.
And in order to promote this good end, which every one, who has the intereſt of his country at heart, will endeavour as much as lies in his power, I would earneſtly recommend it to all Commanders of ſhips to have a reaſonable part of Divine Worſhip publicly performed on board every day, or as often as conveniently may be;— which, to our ſhame be it ſpoken, is often, even in our large * Eaſt-India ſhips, ſcandalouſly neglected.
THIS, I think, I can ſay from profitable experience, contributes greatly to produce good order, harmony, and piety on board, and check diſorder, vice and immorality of every kind,—even amongſt [Page 213] the moſt diſſolute and ignorant in privateers, as well as merchant ſhips.
NO rational Being ſurely can want exhortation to this moſt reaſonable and bounden duty:—For man, the only animal in the creation, ſo diſtinguiſhingly favoured,— endowed with faculties to contemplate the glorious works of the creation, and enjoy his portion of the good things thereof with gratitude to the great Creator, and benevolence to his fellow-creatures,—for man, I ſay, to want piety and religious veneration is worſe than brutiſh.—For man, bleſſed with the lights of the Goſpel to direct him in his duty, to reform, improve and qualify his nature for higher enjoyments,—pointing out to him, what is moſt conducive both to his preſent and future happineſs, to renounce theſe high privileges, and blindly wallow in ſenſuality—is truly monſtrous.
BUT after all,—though our religion lays no reſtraints upon us, but ſuch only as promote our preſent happineſs, both as individuals and members of ſociety,—yet ſuch is our miſerable frailty, and ſo many, various and powerful are the enemies and temptations we have to contend with in our courſe, that of ourſelves, as we have deplorable conviction from daily experience, we cannot but fall.
WITH what humble gratitude then, what ardor of affection and adoration ſhould we embrace the great Salvation revealed in the Goſpel, procured and purchaſed for us at ſo dear a price and in ſo myſterious and ſtupendous a manner!—and freely offered us, ſo much in need, and ſo wholly unworthy of it! What ailigence ſhould we uſe,—what holineſs of life ſhould we aſpire after, to enſure to ourſelves an intereſt in this grand ATTONING SACRIFICE! And how devoutly ſhould we implore the promiſed aſſiſtance of his aiding and ſanctifying grace to conduct us ſafe through this tranſitory voyage of life, to a bleſſed and happy eternity.
LET us then, under the direction and guidance of this great AUTHOR and CAPTAIN of our SALVATION, our all-glorious REDEEMER, CHRIST JESUS, purſue our courſe with ſteadineſs and reſolution, and fight manfully under his banner,—looking upon him for ſuccour in all our diſtreſſes and difficulties, who is all-powerful in Heaven and Earth, and will never forſake or reject thoſe, who ſincerely love and truſt in him.—To whom be Glory for ever. Amen.