The Doric Columns 

Clipper Great Republic
Although the memorable era of Clipper shipbuilding, which derived its wonderful impetus from the trade with California, may be said to have closed with the mercantile depressions of the past year, yet we think it will be expected that we should furnish a description of the king of clippers, when we regard the dimensions, known as the 4masted ship Great Republic. This magnificent vessel, as she came from the hand of her builder, was not destined to try her bottom upon the ocean. In the winter of 18534, while on the eve of sailing from NewYork, having her cargo on board, the Great Republic took fire from a quayside conflagration, which consumed several warehouses near the dock where she lay, and was burned below the 3rd deck. But this unfortunate accident did not entirely frustrate the design of giving to the swift fleet of American clippers the largest merchant ship in the world. The Great Republic was sold by the Underwriters to Captain N.B. Palmer and others, of NewYork, who immediately proceeded to place her under the charge of Messers. Sneeden & Whitlock, shipbuilders, at Green Point, L.I., for reconstruction. Being originally built with 4 decks, the upper being a light spardeck, it was not thought proper by her present owners to finish her in the former manner, so the 4th deck was not added. In consequence of this determination, the bed of the bowsprit was cut down a little, and the height of rail was fixed a little below the former spardeck. Thus she may be said to have been razed before having sailed a voyage. Beside the usual houses on deck for forecastle, galley, etc., this ship has nothing now above her 3rd deck except a Forecastle forward, and a trunk cabin aft, which is entered from the deck forward, and from a steerage deck aft, at the height of the main rail that surrounds the cabin.
The keel, for 60 feet forward. is gradually raised above a straight line, blending into an arc of a circle in its connection with the stem, which curves forward with the knightheads. She has about 20 inches deadrise, a floor carried well foreandaft, with an easy bilge, and considerable tumble home to the sides above loadline. The bow is wedgelike, being slightly concave below water, and convex above, with much sameness in shape, and by no means artistic in model. The stern is elliptical, rising from a knuckle. The sideline is convex, but not sufficiently so to give symmetry to her gigantic proportions. We regard her as deficient in breadth to spread the rigging sufficiently, to say nothing of stability for the due security of the enormous propulsory power with which she was originally provided. Her masts have been shortened in consequence, We do not regard her model as equal to those of the Flying Cloud or Sovereign of the Seas, by the same builder, Donald McKay, of Boston. The keel of the Great Republic is of rock maple, in 2 tiers, which, combined, side 16 inches, and mould 32, the scarphs being 12 feet long. The shoe is 4½ inches thick. Her frame is of selected seasoned white oak. Floortimbers are sided from 12 to 15 inches, and moulded 22; and the toptimbers vary from 11 to 13 inches sided, by 8 inches moulded. The space of frames from centre to centre is 26 inches. All the frames are doweled, in addition to the usual bolts. The dowels, or coags, are of white oak, round, 3¼ inches diameter, and 3½ inches long, joining both parts of the frame together; after which an inch bolt was driven through the frame and the heart of the coag. It is supposed that this manner of driving the framebolts through the coags will protect them from corrosion by salt water. The stem is sided the same as the keel, and is moulded 2 feet at the forefoot and 20 inches at the head, being tapered to correspond with the lines of the bow. The apron is 4¼ feet, moulded in several pieces. Every through bolt in the stem and apron is of 1¼ inch copper up to 26 feet draught, and within about 9 inches of each other. The sternpost is in 3 pieces, coaged and bolted together, sided same as the keel, and moulded from 5 to 6 feet. The sternknee is sided 16 inches, moulded 3 feet at the throat, extending 8 feet up the post, and 20 feet along the keel. scarphed to the keelson, and bolted as the stem. The frame is diagonally crossbraced with iron 4 inches wide, 1 inch thick, and 36 feet long, extending from the floorheads to the toptimbers. There are 90 of these on each side, bolted through the timbers with inch iron, and riveted at the crossings.
Her keelsons, ceiling, and deckframes, are of hard pine. She has 4 tiers
of midship keelsons, each 15 square, and 3 tiers of sister keelsons  the 2
first 15 inches square, and the upper one 12 by 14 inches. These are all coaged,
lockscarphed and squarekeyed, and bolted with 13/8 inch copper bolts through
every floortimber and the keel  the 1st driven through the timber and the
keel, and the 2nd through the 1st and 2nd tiers of keelsons also, and all
riveted on the base of the keel. The heels of 1st futtocks, or naval timbers,
are bolted through all the keelsons with iron, driven into the keel within a few
inches of its base. These bolts were driven by a machine. The sister keelsons
are bolted diagonally through the naval timbers into the keel, and horizontally
through the midship keelsons. The whole depth of her back bone, from the
top of the keelsons, including the moulding of the floors to the base of the
shoe, is 9 feet 10 inches, and its width over the throat of floors is 3 feet 9
inches. The waterways of the lower and main decks are 16 inches square, the strake inside of them 10 by 12, and the thick work over them 12 by 18; and the waterways and deckstrakes are coaged in every beam, and bolted through the coags, and also bolted vertically and horizontally. The ceiling above is 8 inches thick, scarphed, keyed, and squarebolted, and the clamp under the upper deck beams is 12 by 15 inches. The upper deck waterways are 12 by 13 inches, with one strake inside of them of 8 by 13 inches, worked in the same manner as above. Her rails are 8 thick by 20 wide. Her garboards are 10 by 14 inches, bolted through the keel and the timbers. The next strake is 9 inches thick, and the 3rd 8, chamfered off to 6 inches, the thickness of the bottom plank. Bilgeplanks are 8 inches thick; the wales 6 by 8 up to the moulding below the planksheer, and is 4½ inches thick. The lower and main deck beams are 15 and 16 inches amidships; the upper deck beams are 12 by 15 inches; and 25 of them are double, bolted together, and sided 22 inches. There are 38 lower deck, 40 main deck, and 41 upper deck beams. The berth and hangingknees of lower and main decks are oak; of the upper deck, hackmatack. The hangingknees are sided from 10 to 12 inches, moulded from 22 to 24 inches in the throats; the bodies are from 5 to 6 feet, and the arms from 4 to 4½ feet long. The lower and main deck berthkneed are sided 8 inches. Upon the ceiling between the main and upper decks, diagonal braces of hard pine are worked from the throat of one hangingknee to the foot of the other, and bolted through the ceiling and the timbers. The upper deck foreandaft framing is in 3 courses; the middle course is 8 by 14 inches, framed forandaft and kneed by 4 small knees between each pair of beams  in all 144 knees. The other courses are framed diagonally. The decks are 3½ and 3 inches, and the thick strakes amidships and over the wing stanchions are coaged, and bolted to the beams. She has three tiers of stanchions, forandaft, supporting the lower and main deck beams. These stanchions are in 2 pieces, which, when united at the centre of the beam, are 10 by 23 inches. The wing stanchions are stepped into the bilge keelsons, and all are doublekneed to the same. The midship stanchions are stepped into the main keelson, and the knees are scarphed in every berth. All other stanchions are of oak turned, 10 inches in diameter, secured with iron rods through their centres, which are set up with screwnuts. Her hooks and pointers are of whiteoak. In the hold, forward, are 3 sets of pointers, from 30 to 40 feet in length, and 9 to 11 inches square, which fay into the angles between the keelsons and the skin, and are filled in with hooks; they cross all the cants diagonally, and fay to the lower deck beams. About 5 feet above the keelsons is a horizontal hook, shored off with 2 beams, and secured by 8 knees. The stern is strengthened in the same manner. The iron watertanks are cylindrical in form, and extend to the upper deck, one being placed 64 feet before the mainmast, and the other 24 feet abaft of it. She has 4 holdpumps. All her hatchway combings, and mastpartners are kneed to the beams.
The
Great Republic now, as originally, has 4 masts, and their
positions have not been changed. The after one is named the spankermast, and is
made of a single spar. The others are built of hard pine, doweled
together, bolted and hooped with iron bands. The bowsprit is also built and
hooped. She had Forbes's rig before she was burned, but is now fitted
with Howe's rig on the fore, main, and mizzen masts. The bowsprit
is 44 inches in diameter, and was originally placed 30 feet outboard, but has
been shortened to correspond with the masts. Her fore and main rigging,
and fore and main topmast backstays, were 12½ inch patent rope, wormed, and
served over the eyes, and over the ends to the leading trucks. Other rigging in
proportion. The Great Republic has 4 anchors. Her best bower is
Porter's patent, weighing 8,500 lbs.; the working bower is 6,500 lbs.; the
small bower, 2,500 lbs., and the kedge 1,500. Her bower chains are each of 2½
inch. The U.S. Nautical Magazine, Vol. II (1855), pp 19. 
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