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The New Cunard Steamer Scotia

Illustrated London News, March 22, 1862.

This vessel, the second largest mercantile steamer in the world, was built by Messrs. Napier and Sons, of Glasgow (under the orders of Messrs. Burns, of that city), for the Cunard or British and North American Royal Mail Steam-packet Company. She was launched in June last; and on the 5th inst. She made her trial-trip on the Clyde-a highly satisfactory one, notwithstanding the unpropitious state of the weather. The distances were performed under the following conditions:-Against a strong flood tide, and also against a double-reefed topsail breeze of wind, from the Cloch to Cumbrae Light in 59 minutes; after passing the Little Cumbrae, the Scotia was brought round with great ease, and performed the upward run between the Cumbrae and Cloch Lights, but on this occasion with wind and tide in her favour, in 49 minutes-mean time, 54 minutes. The rates of speed will be understood by the following:--

59 minutes = 13.898 knots, or 16.010 miles per hour.
49 minutes = 16.734 knots, or 19.277 miles per hour.
  30.632 35.287  
Mean speed...... 15.316 knots, or 17.643 miles.  

It is anticipated that under ordinary circumstances the maximum speed of the Scotia will be about nineteen miles an hour. The trial referred to was made to test the efficiency and speed of the vessel for the mail service, which was done under the superintendence of Mr. John Dinnen, inspector of machinery, and Mr. James Luke, master shipwright of the Admiralty, Whitehall; the Board of Trade being locally represented by Mr. George Barber, shipwright surveyor, and mr. H.R. Robson, inspector of machinery for the Clyde.

On the following day the Scotia started for Liverpool, making the run from the Cloch Lighthouse on the Clyde to the Bell Buoy at the mouth of the Mersey in 12 hours 4 minutes. The machinery worked admirably, and, in proof that the vessel is perfectly manageable, she was easily moved round in the Mersey within her own length. A person who was on board during the trip to Liverpool states that she is "as stiff as a church."

The Scotia is to be under the command of Captain Judkins, the commodore of the Cunard fleet, who has moved his flag from the Persia, in which he has so long, and so ably distinguished himself. Captain Judkins has received his commission as Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve. The appointment was made in the most complimentary manner in which the Board of Admiralty, in conjunction with the Board of Trade, could make it; the date of Captain Judkins's services being fixed by them as commencing in November, 1846, so that he will have a long priority as to service consideration.

Messrs. Robert Napier and Sons, of Glasgow, to whose eminence as marine architects and engineers it is quite unnecessary to advert, are, as before stated, the builders of the Scotia's hull and engines. The dimensions are:-Keel and fore-rake, 867 ft.; beam, moulded, 47 ft. 6 in.; depth for tonnage, 31 ft.; gross tonnage, 3871 tons; allowance for propelling power, 1509 tons; registered tonnage, 2362 tons. The Scotia is propelled by two side lever engines of the nominal power of 1000 horses, with 100-inch cylinders, and a twelve-feet stroke of piston. She has accommodation for 573 first-class passengers, and can be altered or fitted up at a day's notice to accommodate with ease 1500 troops.

A few particulars relating to the construction of the Scotia, from the Glasgow Daily Herald, will be read with interest:--

"Stupendous as the Scotia is, the lines of beauty have been so well worked out in the preparation of her model that her appearance is singularly graceful. This mighty fabric, so beautiful as a whole, is made up of innumerable pieces of ponderous metal, welded, jointed, and riveted[sic] into each other with exceeding deftness. The keel consists of several bars of iron, about 35ft. in length each, joined together by long scarfs, and is, as a whole, 14in. deep by 4in. thick. The framing is constructed in a manner at once peculiar and securing the greatest possible amount of strength. Amidships the framing is of places, 4-angle iron running up to the gunwale; and towards the stem and stern there are angle-irons in the usual way. The framing of the ship is very heavy. The space between each frame is 21in., and the powerful frames or ribs themselves vary from 10in. to 7in. in depth, with double angle-irons at outer or inner edges. The bow is also constructed in a peculiar manner, affording the greatest possible strength to this important part of the ship. The framing of the bow is placed diagonally, the effect of which is that, in the case of collision with other ships, or with rocks or icebergs, the strain would fall upon the very strongest material withing the structure, and the Scotia would have a good chance of safety and successful resistance, while ordinary vessels would indeed be in great peril. In addition to the kelsons and girders of the usual form, give the ship prodigious strength. The ship, under any circumstances, must be of tremendous strength to pass the Government surveyors; but the builders have gone further than even this, and have put back-bones and ribs into the vessel to give her extra strength. It is true that the Cunard liners during their long career have been almost exempt from maritime disaster; still it is not the less pleasing and praiseworthy that the British and North American Steam-ship Company readily seize all the appliances of science and art, and think rather of what may happen than of what has not happened. The other ships built hitherto in connection with this line have been all fine vessels, but as time rolls on experience increases; and in the present case the result of an experience gathered amid the tremendous gales of the Atlantic have been embodied in this fine specimen of naval architecture. The vessel is not clinker-built, as some vessels are now, the plates of the ship being laid alternately, so that one adds strength to the other, and they form a whole of wonderful compactness and solidity. The keel-plates are 1 1-16th of an inch in thickness; at the bottom of the ship the plates are 15-16ths of an inch in thickness; from this section to the loadwater they are 7-8ths of an inch, and above this they are an inch in thickness.

"The Scotia has seven water-tight compartments. The goods are to be stowed in tow of these divisions, 75ft. each in length, 20ft. in breadth, and 20ft. in height. These goods stores, or rather tanks, are placed in the centre line of the ship, and are capable of receiving 1500 tons of measurement goods. These chambers are perfectly water-tight; and, in the event of accident to the hull, these tanks would, of themselves, float the ship, the vessel being so constructed as to have, in reality, a double bottom under the goods chambers, so that, if the outer were beaten in or injured, the inner would, in all likelihood, protect the cargo dry and intact. These goods-holds are entered by three water-tight tanks from the upper deck. On each side of these tanks are the coal-cellars, or bunkers, capable of containing 1800 tons of coals. The liner has side lever engines, with two cylinders of 100 inches diameter each, and 12 ft. stroke of piston. The paddles measure 40ft. 8in. in diameter over the rings. She has four large tubular boilers, and two funnels; and we need only speak of her machinery in general as being first-class.

"The cabins are disposed along the maindeck, lying immediately above the goods an coal stores. These cabins are 9ft. in height; and, coupled with the excellent system of ventilation introduced into all the Cunard liners, we need scarcely say that they are alike pleasant, airy, and healthful. In the forecastle are the berths for the seamen and firemen; and amidships is the accommodation for some of the officers and engineers. Behind these are the galley and cook's quarters; while aft, on each side of the wheel, are the cabins of the chief officers. Provision has also been made for the conveyance of mails. Above the maindeck there is a deckhouse, covered, the roof of which affords a promenade from stem to stern. The fore saloon measures 45ft. in length, by 20ft. in breadth, and 8ft. in height; the main saloon is 62ft. in length, by 20ft. in breadth, and 8ft. in height. They are copiously lighted from the sides by plates of glass placed in the alternate panels, and afford dining accommodation for 300 passengers. In front is that important adjunct, the pantry; and before the funnels is the kitchen with its cooking ranges, exceeding most and equalling many of the culinary establishments of the most extensive and noted hotels in the kingdom. On this deck and below it are also to be found the bakery, the butcher's shambles, the scullery, the cowhouse, the carpenter's workshop, lamphouse, doctor's shop, and icehouses.

"The weight of the iron in the Scotia when launched was 2500 tons, and now, when the hull is finished, its weight is 2800 tons. With the engines on board the weight of the immense mass is 4050 tons, at which she draws 22ft. of water. The engines are about 1000-horse power. Steam is the grand agent here; and the Scotia, like the other steamers of this line, is accordingly rigged only lightly with two masts. Each mast is 30in. in diameter. The figure-head was constructed by Messrs. Kay and Reid, the carvers who designed the figure-head for the Black Prince.

"This vessel is a noble specimen of naval architecture, and the hull combines perfect symmetry of form with the strongest-known proportions; and the utmost attention has been bestowed, both by the builders and owners, to produce a result worthy of their long experience and high standing. The goods accommodation of the Scotia may be considered small; but it must be remembered that her main design is that of a floating hotel, and that the goods of the liners of the Messrs. Burns are principally those by which the manufacturing ingenuity and refinement of the East minister to the comfort and luxury of the West."

TheShipsList | 1862

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