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Moft of the ufeful arts having been made public, to our great improvement and advantage, emboldens me to publish this laboured performance on this long neglected fubject, which, I muft own, will appear to great difadvantage from the unexpected difficulties I have found, in being a new writer, venturing to lead the way on fo important and extenfive a fubject, in this learned criticifing age; but for my imperfections, as a fcholar, I hope the critics will make allowance for my having been early in life at fea as cook of a collier; and having fince then gone through all the most active enterprising employments I could meet with, as a feaman, who has done his beft, and who, as an author, would be glad of any remarks candidly pointed out how to improve his defects, if there should be a demand for a fecond edition.'
In hopes that Mr. Hutchinson's labours for the inftruction 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 fome literary friend, to revise the language; which is confufed and ungrammatical throughout. Plain language is beft adapted to the conveyance of instruction; but purity of ftyle is as effential to clearness of expreffion, as clean linen is to neatnefs of drefs; neither of them being expofed to the charge of foppifhnefs, either at fea or land.
The inftructions here given to feamen, apply to a variety of critical circumftances; and are illuftrated with cafes from the Author's experience, as well as with engravings. His account of the coal veffels and their voyage between Newcastle and London, may ferve as an acceptable fpecimen of the work; allowing for the defects juft mentioned.
From all that I have feen, thofe feamen in the East India trade are the most perfect in the open feas. And thofe in the coal trade to London the most perfect in difficult narrow channels, and tide ways, where they fail by the voyage, which makes it their interest to be as dexterous and expeditious as poffible in working and managing their fhips, which in general are 4 or 500 tons, and which makes this trade the beft nursery in the world for hardy, active, and expert feamen. And as moft hips must be conducted through channels, or narrow waters, in their way to fea, I will endeavour to remark what I think deferves notice in making paffages in this coal trade.
In the navigation from Newcastle to London, two thirds of the way is amongst dangerous fhoals, and intricate channels, as may be feen by the chart of the coaft, and the hips are as large as the fhoal 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 fafety and expedition, to make fo many voyages in the year, that they may be gainers by their fhips, which are numerous as well as large, and managed by the fewelt men and in a more com. plete manner than in any other trade that I know of in the world, confidering the difficulty of the navigation, and how deep the ships
are loaded, and how lightly they are balafted, yet they meet with very few loffes in proportion to the number of fhips which the owners generally run the rifque of, and thereby fave the expence of infurance, by which means they can afford to freight their fhips cheaper than others, fo 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 thefe colliers together, fo that they fail in great fleets, ftriving 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 Newcaftle, where at the firft of a westerly wind, after a long easterly one, there are fometimes two or three hundred fhips turning to windward in, and failing out of that harbour in one tide; the fight of fo many fhips, paffing and croffing each other in fo little time and room, by their dexterous management, is faid 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 fo very narrow, with dangerous rocks on one fide, and a steep fand bank on the other, with a hard fhoal bar acrofs, where the waves of the fea frequently run very high, and puts them under the neceffity of being very brifk and dexterous.
What is most worthy remarking here when they are going out with a fair wind with their great deep-loaded fhips, and the waves running high upon the bar, that they would make the hip frike upon it, if the was to fail out pitching against the head waves, to prevent which when they come to the bar, they in a very mafterly manner bring the ship to, and the drives over, rolling broad fide to waves, which management preferves her from ftriking.
I have heard of a bold fingle adventurer getting to fea out of this harbour, when many fhips lay windbound with the wind and waves right in, and right upon the fhore without the harbour; he having a fmall handy fhip, and no doubt, materials and men that could be depended upon, made every thing foug and ready, as the occafion required, and got as near the bar as the could ride with fafety, and had the fails, that were defigned to be carried, furled with ropeyarns that would eafily break; he then took the advantage as may be fuppofed, of the first of the ebb of a high ftrong fpring tide when there was water enough and fo drove over the bar, ftern 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 fea tide from the fouthward along the coaft, then put the helm hard a ftarboard, and brought the hip by the wind on the larboard tack, and expedi⚫ tiously fet all the fails they could carry; the tide checking the fhip two points on the lee bow helped her to get to windward off the lee fhore, fo that they made their courfe good along the coat, and got their paffage.
When it happens that a great fleet of loaded fhips fails out in one tide, with the first of a wefterly wind, thofe that draw the leaft water take the advantage and get over the bar first to fea, where they ftrive and carry all the fail poflible to get and keep a head of each other, and the fafteft failing and best managed thips commonly get the advantage whilst they are in the open and clear part of Ff3
the fea, till they come to work out of Yarmouth Roads, where for want of water the fhips of the greatest draft are often obliged to ftay for the flowing of the tide, and each fhip is glad to follow another that they know draws more water than themselves when going through dangerous channels, this collects many of them near together again for their mutual fafety, 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 best of the deep in the intricate channels they pafs through, and in which they often have a great deal of turning to windward again ftrong wefterly winds When they are obliged to top the lee tide they do it with the best bower anchor and cable to the better end, which makes them fo expert in heaving up their anchors, and getting under way, as well as working their fhips to windward (as particularly defcribed page 50), and especially up the Swin channel, in fuch weather when they would not venture to proceed with a fair wind; this feems a pa radox to many people, therefore it may be of fervice to explain their fingular conduct on this occafion.
When they turn to windward up the Swin in dark hazey weather, they know by their foundings when they are in a fair way, and what fide of the channel they are on, and by standing quite across the main channel from fide to fide avoid the danger of being hooked in, on the wrong fide of fpits of fand into fwatches where the tide runs through, and where there is the fame foundings at the entrance as in the right channel, which is the reafon that with a fair wind and hazey weather, a compaís courfe is not to be relied upon, therefore each hip, very artfully, endeavours to get a leader that they know draws more water than themfelves, and the leading fhip knowing their danger running no farther than they think is fafe, commonly lets go her anchor, the next following fhip apprehending the fame danger, has their anchors ready and lets it go just above the first ship, and the next fteers close past these two ships and comes to an anchor just above them, and fo on with the next till the whole fleet forms a line one above the other, fo that the fhip that was firft becomes laft, 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 fhip follows them, and either comes to an anchor again above the uppermoft 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 fafe track, where they can depend upon the compafs courfe, then they fet and carry all the fail poble to get or keep a-head of each other.
Their management in working thefe large fhips to windward, up moft parts of London river with their main-fails fet is likewife remarkable, and from their great practice knowing the depth of water according to the time of tide, and how much the fhip will shoot a head in ftays; they ftand upon each tack to the greatest nicety clofe from fide to fide as far as poffible things will admit of to keep in a fair way, and where eddies occafion the true tide to run very narrow, or hips, &c. lie in the way fo as not to give room to turn to windward, they very dexterously brail up mainfail and forefail, and drives to windward with the tide under their topfails by fuch rules
rules as has been described, and in the Pool where there is fo little
The improvement in the light-houfes at Liverpool, appears
It is well known from reafon as well as experience, that open coal fire light, exposed to all winds and weathers, cannot be made to burn and fhow a conftant steady blaze to be seen at a fufficient distance with any certainty, for in ftorms of wind, when lights are moft wanted, thofe open fires are made to burn furiously, and very foon away, fo as to melt the very iron work about the grate, and in cold weather, when it fnows, 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 fome weathers it must be difficult to make them burn with any brightness. And when they are inclosed in a glased clofe light-house, they are apt to fmoke the windows greatly, nor affords fo much conftant blaze (that gives the most light) as oil lamps, or tallow candles of two pounds each, but thefe last require often fnuffing to prevent their light from being dull, fo that after Ff4
trial of thefe different forts of lights, we have fixed upon lamp lights, with proper reflectors behind them to answer beit here at Liverpool.' The lamps here alluded to, are particularly defcribed, with figures; but for these the work must be confulted. They still feem fufceptible of further improvement; and it may be worth a trial, whether three concave reflectors placed together, fo as to form a femicircle at their points of contact, with one good lamp in their common centre or focus, would not throw a fufficient light over a complete half of the compass?
ART. V. A Treatise on Building in Water. In Two Parts. Part I. Particularly relative to the Repair and Rebuilding of Effex Bridge, Dublin, and Bridge-building in general, with Plans properly fuited to the Rebuilding of Ormond Bridge. Part II. Concerning an Attempt to contrive and introduce quick and cheap Methods for erecting fubftantial Stone Buildings and other Works, in fresh and Salt Water, quaking Bogs or Moraffes, for various Purposes fully laid down and clearly demonftrated by Twelve practical Propofitions, but not in any Cafe exceeding Ten Fathom deep: Together with a Plan for a fpacious and commodious Harbour for the Downs in England, projecting to Twenty Feet deep at low Water. Principally addreffed and peculiarly adapted to young and unexperienced Readers. Illuftrated with Sixty-three Copperplates By George Semple. 4to. 15 s. Boards. Dublin printed for the Author, and fold by Taylor in London.
N this work the Writer defcribes his method of guarding against the washing away, by the rapidity of the current, the foil from between the arches of Effex Bridge; which he effected by a continued foundation of mafonry across the river from one fhore to the other.. His contrivances for this purpose, which appear to be honeftly related, though not explained in the cleareft manner, require an infpection of the plates, in order to apprehend them; but the account of the mortar used on fuch occafions totally invalidates the pompous claim fet up by M. Loriot, Master of Mechanics to the King of France, of the re-difcovery of the ancient cement or artificial ftone 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; thefe are inclofures formed by rows of piles, filled between to form a dam, within which the foil can be dug away until a ftratum is found fufficiently secure to truft the mafonry on. The caiffon, 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.