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· Molt of the useful arts having been made public, to our great improvement and advantage, em boldens me to publith this laboured performance on this long neglecied subject, which, I muft own, will appear to great disadvantage from the unexpected difficulties I have found, in being a new writer, venturing to lead the way on so important and extensive a subject, in this learned criticising age; but for my im perfeions, as a scholar, I hope the critics will make allowance for my having been early in life at sea as cook of a collier; and having fince then gone through all the most active enterprising employments I could meet with, as a seaman, who has done his best, and who, as an author, would be glad of any remarks candidly pointed out how to improve his defeats, if there should be a demand for a second edition.'
In hopes that Mr. Hutchinson's labours for the instruction of his feafaring brethren, will be rewarded with a demand for more editions, we candidly advise him to put his work immediately into the hand of some literary friend, to revise the language; which is confused and ungrammatical throughout. Plain language is best adapted to the conveyance of instruction; but purity of style is as essential to clearness of expression, as clean linen is to neatness of dress; neither of them being exposed to the charge of foppishness, either at sea or land.
The instructions here given to seamen, apply to a variety of critical circumstances; and are illustrated with cases from the Author's experience, as well as with engravings. His account of the coal vessels and their voyage between Newcastle and London, may serve as an acceptable specimen of the work; allowing for the defects just mentioned.
• 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 poslīble in working and managing their lips, which in general are 4 or 500 tons, and which makes this trade the best nursery in the world for hardy, active, and expert scamen. And as most tips must be conducted through channels, or narrow waters, in their way to sea, I will endeavour to semark 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 hoals, and intricate channels, as may be seen by the chart of the coast, and the hips are as large as the foal channels will admit them to get through with the flow of the tide, which requires to be known to a great exaciness to proceed in pro. per 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 hips, which are numerous as well as large, and managed by the feweit men and in a more com• plete 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 balafted, yet they meet with very few losses in proportion to the number of lips 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 Alax trades.
• Blowing weather and contrary winds, often collect a great many of these colliers together, so that they fail in great fleets, striving with the utmost dexterity, diligence, and care, against each other, to get first to market with their coals, or for their turn to load at New.' castle, where at the first of a weiterly wind, after a long easerly one, there are sometimes two or three hundred Tips turning to windward in, and sailing out of that harbour in one tide; the sight of so many-fhips, paling and crofling 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 was conquered;" the entrance into the harbour being so very narrow, with dangerous rocks on one side, and a steep fand bank on the other, with a hard shoal bar across, 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 with their great deep-loaded thips, and the waves running high upon the bar, that they would make the ship strike upon it, if she was to fail out pitching against the head waves, to prevent which when they come to the bar, they in a very masterly manner bring the hip ro, and the drives over, rolling broad side to waves, which management preserves her from striking.
• I have heard of a bold single adventurer getting to sea out of this harbour, when mary ships lay wind bound with the wind and waves right in, and right upon the more without the harbour; he having a fmall handy ship, and no doubt, materials and men that could be depended upon, made every thing foug and ready, as the occasion required, and got as near the bar as the could ride with safety, and had the fails, that were designed to be carried, furled with ropeyarns
that would easily break; he then took the advantage as may be supposed, of the first of the ebb of a high frong spring eide when there was water enough and fo drove over the bar, ttern foremost, with the fails all furled and the yards braced sharp up, 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 thip by the wind on the larboard tack, and expediriously set all the fails they could carry; the tide checking the ship two points on the lee bow helped ber to get to windward off the lee shore, so that they made their course good along the coatł, and got their paffage.
• When it happens that a great fleet of loaded ships fails out in one' tide, with the hist of a weiterly wind, those that draw the leatt water take the advantage and get over the bar first to sea, where they strive and carry all the fail posible to get and keep a head of each other, and the fastest failing and best managed thips commonly get the advantage whilst they are in the open and clear part of Ff3
the sea, till they come to work out of Yarmouth Roads, where for want of water the lips of the greatest draft are often obliged to ftay for the filowing of the tide, and each hip is glad to follow ano. ther that they know draws more water than themselves when going through dangerous channels, this collects many of them pear together again for their mutual safety, each heaves the lead and makes known aloud the foundings, which often proves the principal guide to the whole fleet, as by that they find and keep the beit of the deep in the intricate channels they pass through, and in which they often have a great deal of turning to windward again! trong wetterly winds
When they are obliged to stop the lee ride 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 weather when they would not venture to proceed with a fair wind; this seems a pa. radox to many people, therefore it may be of service io explain their fingular 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, and what side of the channel they are on, and by ttanding quite across the main channel from side to side avoid the danger of being hooked in, on the wrong side of spiss of fand into swatches where the tide runs through, and where there is the same foundings at the ea. trance as in the right channel, which is the reason thac with a fair wind and hazey weather, a compais course is not to be relied upon, therefore each thip, very arifully, endeavoușs to get a leader that they know draws more water than them elves, and the leading ship knowing their danger running no farther than they think is safe, commonly lets go her anchor, the next following thip apprehending the same danger, has their anchors ready and lets is go just above the first ship, and the next steers clofe past these two ships and comes to an anchor just above them, and so on with the next till the whole feet forms a line one above the other, so that the ship that was first becomes lait, when they commonly again heave up her anchor, and lieer close by the whole fleet if they are perceived to side a-float, and the next thip follows them, and either comes to an anchor again above the uppermoit fhip as before, or proceeds forward, according as they find by the foundings, by which they know that they have pait 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 fail poil ble to get or keep a-head of each o: her,
• Their management in working these large thips to windward, up most parts of London river with cheir main-lails set is likewise remarkable, and from their great practice knowing the depth of water according to the time of iide, and how much the nip will shoot a head in itays; they ftand upon each tack to the greatest nicely close from side to side as far as possible things will admiç of to keep in a fair way, and where eddies occasion che true tide to run very narrow, or hips, &c. lie in the way so as not to give room to tura to windward, they very dexteroudly brail up main fail and foresail, and drives to windward with the tide under their topfails 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 nicely they let go the anchor, veers out the cable to run freely as the occasion may require, so as to bring the fhip up exactly in time in surprising little room, clear of the other fhips, and lays her easily and fairly along fide of the tier of ships where they moor, so that as they say they can work and lay their tips to a boat's length as occafion 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, maa for his own interest here exerts himself, encouraging and Atriving 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 cowline, and if that is defficient, 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 fhips, but the difference of men as well as things, can only be known by comparison; I had a fhip 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 cook 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, to transport the ship to the Graving Dock at Dept. ford, when these seven men only, hove up this anchor by two brikk motions, for each square of the windlass, in a quarter of the time that is used to be done by 18 men, and this difference was entirely owing to their dexterity, learn’d by great practice; they rise with their handipikes, and heave exactly all together with a regular brik 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.'
The improvement in the light-houses at Liverpool, appears to be of much importance, and deserves to be generally known.
• It is well known from reason as well as experience, that open coal fire light, exposed to all winds and weathers, cannot be made to burn and show a constant steady blaze to be seen at a sufficient distance with any certainty, for in itorms of wind, when lights are most wanted, those 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 weacher, 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 negle& 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 buro 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 snuffing to prevent their light from being dull, so that after
trial of these different forts of lights, we have fixed upon lamp lights, with proper reflectors behind them to answer best here at Liverpool.
The lamps here alluded to, are particularly described, with figures; but for these the work must be consulted. They still seem susceptible of further improvement; and it may be worth a trial, whether three concave reflectors placed together, so as to form a semicircle at their points of contact, with one good lamp in their common centre or focus, would not throw a sufficient light over a complete half of the compass ?
Arr. V. A Treatise on Building in Water. In Two Parts. Part I.
Particularly relative to the Repair and Rebuilding of Essex Bridge, Dublin, and Bridge-building in general, with Plans properly suited to the Rebuilding of Ormond Bridge. Part II. Concerning an Attempt to contrive and introduce quick and cheap Methods for ereëling subftantial Stone Buildings and o:her Works, in fresh and Salt Water, quaking Bogs or Morasses, for various Purpofes ; fully laid down and clearly demonstrated by Twelve practical Propositions, but not in any Cafe exceeding Ten Fathom deep : Together with a Plan for a spacious and commodious Harbour for the Downs in England, projecting to Twenty Feet deep at low Water. Principally addressed and peculiarly adapted to young and unexperienced Readers. Illustrated with Sixty-three Copperplates. By George Semple. 4to. 15 s. Boards.
Dublin princed for the Author, and sold by Taylor in London. N this work the Writer describes his method of guarding
against the washing away, by the rapidity of the current, the foil from between the arches of Eflex Bridge; which he effected by a continued foundation of masonry across the river from one shore to the other. . His contrivances for this purpose, which appear to be honestly related, though not explained in the cleareft manner, require an inspection of the plates, in order to apprehend them; but the account of the mortar used on such occasions totally invalidates the pompous claim set up by M. Loriot, Master of Mechanics to the King of France, of the re-discovery of the ancient cement or artificial stone of the Greeks and Romans *. Mr. Semple, nevertheless, acknowledges his obligation to a French writer (Colonel Belidor) for the method of founding his piers in what are termed batterdeaux, or cofferdams; these are inclosures formed by rows of piles, filled between to form a dam, within which the soil can be dug away until a stratum is found sufficiently secure to trust the masonry on. The caisson, on the contrary, only refting the pier on the natural bed of the river, the frailty of this me
See Review, vol. li. p. 184.