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The New Cunard Steamer China
Illustrated London News, April 12, 1862.
The China, which is the first screw-steamer built by the Cunard Company expressly for the postal service between this country and America, is an exceedingly handsome and large vessel, having very fine lines both fore and aft. She is fully barque-rigged, and is fitted with Cunningham's reefing apparatus, and also with Clifford's apparatus for lowering her boats. In length the China measures about 350 ft. over all, being 326 ft. between perpendiculars; her moulded breadth is 40 ft. 6 in., and her depth is 27 ft. 6 in. She is a three-decked ship, with fully 8 ft. in height between the floor and the ceiling of each of them; and her saloons, which are also 8 ft. high, are fitted up under a hurricane-deck, running from stem to stern of the ship. The main or after saloon is about 70 ft. in length by 20 ft. wide; the forward saloon is of equal breadth, but shorter. In front of this latter is the post-office, or letter-sorting apartment, which is most tastefully and commodiously fitted up. The saloons, like those of the other Cunard mail steam-ships, are richly and elegantly furnished. The sleeping berths for passengers are on the main-deck, below the saloons; and the Board of Trade measurement for passengers in the China gives space for 268 first-class and 771 second-class or forward passengers. While this is her passenger capacity, it may be well also to state that she has been reported on measurement, by the Government Shipwright Surveyor, as competent to carry 1500 troops, without dismantling her saloons or taking down her after cabins. Suspension-rods run along all her beams, to which hammocks can be slung without any necessity for unscrewing a bolt or driving a nail, should the special service of the country require her to be used as a troop-ship. The China, like the Scotia and the Persia, is an iron-built ship, very strongly framed, and amply secured by strong water-tight bulkheads. Her gross tonnage is 2529.01 tons; allowance for propelling power 989.40 tons; registered tonnage 1839.61. She is propelled by two engines on the oscillating principle, with an aggregate of 560-horse power. She was built and engined by Messrs. Robert Napier and Sons, of Glasgow, in a manner worthy of their high reputation as marine architects, builders, and engineers. The China started from Liverpool with the New York mails on the 15th ult., and, judging from her performances in her trial-trip from Glasgow to Liverpool, in which, notwithstanding that she had to contend with a stiff head wind during a part of the voyage, she averaged more than sixteen statute miles per hour, there can be little doubt that the China will prove a worthy member of the Cunard fleet.
Deck plans of the China.
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