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be fastened with copper bolts at a cheaper rate than with treenails. There is already a complete establishment at Portsmouth for remelting and rolling copper sheathing. 'I wish they had tried it on one ship,' says Mr. Secretary Pepys in his MS. memoirs, when copper was first proposed for sheathing ships. They did try it near a century afterwards; and though it succeeded beyond expectation, yet such were the prejudices of the surveyors of the navy, that there was but one coppered ship in the whole fleet under Admiral Keppel. We wish,' in our turn, that our more enlightened surveyors could be prevailed on to try copper bolts on one ship.'


The bolts used for fastening the knees, beams, &c. are now generally of copper. The bolts of the knees and hooks and the nails of the decks are recommended also to be of copper instead of iron, upon the exposed parts of which, the sea air and salt water act with great power, while the acid of the wood acts still more powerfully on those that are buried within it. Whether of copper or iron, the common practice is that of clenching them by battering the ends of the bolts over metal rings. If a clench, in the first instance, could bring all the work tight together, consisting, as it sometimes does, of three or four pieces, and from three to sixteen or eighteen feet thick, which must of course be the length of the bolts, it could not remain tight for any length of time. It would be as endless as useless to cut off the clenches and endeavour to harden up the bolts; and the ship must become more loose and leaky from day to day; as was the case with the Ocean and the Bulwark before they had been twelve months at sea.

'Let a coachmaker,' says Mr. Pering, build a coach, and fasten it together in the same way as a shipwright fastens a ship, by driving in bolts, and then clenching them on the wood; how long will that coach run over the stones in London, or on the turnpike road? But he resorts to a different mode, which is the strongest in the world, that of compressing wood into wood by means of a screw, instead of a clench; by this all racking is done away, for a certain time, till the wood shrinks, on the observation of which the carriage is driven again to the coachmaker's, and the fastenings are hove up. Now, let any man in the world, whether he be a mechanic or not, decide which is the best mode of fastening-a clench or a screw. No bolt was ever yet driven into a ship that performed the office it was meant to do. In the first place wood is never compressed to wood by a clench; in the next, the shrinking of the wood gives play to the bolt--suppose the pieces forming a mast to be fastened by bolts, and the hoops left off, how long would it stand? It is the compression alone that gives it strength.'pp. 31 and 32.

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The last cause bf premature decay in ships, mentioned by Mr. Pering, is the mode of caulking their seams. The usual practice is to begin from the upper part of the ship's side and proceed


downwards. A fixed number of threads of oakum must be driven into every seam, be the width of it what it may; if too narrow to admit the quantity, the reaming iron is applied to open it; the consequence of which is, that the whole strain falls upon the plank immediately below the iron, the treenails are upset, the lower edge of the plank is forced over the upper edge of the next inferior one, like the wooden shingles of a roof; the plank starts from the timbers, the caulker dabs off the projecting edge to make an even surface for the copper sheathing, and all is right! Can such practices, we ask, be familiar to Mr. Pering, and escape the observation of the master-builder of the yard? Are they known to the surveyors of the navy, and continued from a dislike to innovation? or, has Mr. Pering selected an extreme case and given it a general bearing? In a matter of such vital importance to the navy, it ought not, and cannot, escape inquiry. The surveyors of the navy or the masterbuilder of Plymouth yard, or both, are imperiously called upon, either to justify the practice, or to contradict the description of it. The whole of Mr. Pering's new mode of ship-building is thus summed up.

'Convert the timbers, set up the frame, and finish the ship out of the way, without at all caring whether the timbers are green or not-let her stand to season, but by no means let a caulking-iron approach her side for two years at least--no more of her bolts should be driven, than may be sufficient to hold her together, as every aperture should be left open for the circulation of air; no treenails should be used on any account, but the work should be fastened with copper alone wherever it is practicable. The advantages are, that the timbers, plank, bulk-heads, and all other parts of the ship would be equally and properly seasoned together; and the caulking of the ship to be done just before she is put into the water, when her plank has so shrunk as to be likely to shrink no more. Every part of the ship would thus be as dry as possible; no fungus, no drip, no unwholesome damp would arise, to endanger the health of the ship's company; the sides of the vessel will be both windtight and water-tight; the plank swelling upon the oakum will unite with it and form one solid body. When the seasoning is deemed complete, then let the screws on the ends of the bolts be hove up, so as to bring wood and wood together in the closest contact. The ship would now be as tight as a drum, water-proof, and healthy throughout.'-pp. 59–61.

We now take leave of Mr. Pering. If his censures are just, we know not in what terms to convey our indignation at the insufferable negligence and indifference which must prevail in our dock-yards: it is fitting, at any rate, that an immediate investigation should take place. The mode which he proposes for putting a ship together, has plain good sense to recommend it, and is, in our opinion, highly deserving of being put to the test of experiment.



Confident of the success of his plan, he throws down the gauntlet, and challenges all the shipwrights in the kingdom to take it upand take it up some of them must. It is not enough to say that Mr. Pering knows little of the matter, and that he had better mind his own concerns than officiously step forward on subjects foreign to his department: such answers as these we have already heard; but such will not satisfy the public.

Mr. Money's pamphlet will not detain us long; it contains but 73 pages, 39 of which are employed in endeavouring to convince his readers that the scarcity of oak timber for ship-building is not an imaginary but a real evil of alarming extent; and that it is of a permanent nature. For this purpose he refers to the report of the committee of the House of Commons appointed in 1771 to inquire into the state of oak timber in the country, and censures them for moving the House to discharge that part of the order which required them to give an opinion:-he quotes a letter from Mr. Nichols, purveyor of the navy for Portsmouth yard, written in 1791 to Lord Chatham then first Lord of the Admiralty, noticing the great decrease of large timber in the kingdom; and lastly, he skims over the volume of evidence' contained in the 11th Report of the commissioners appointed to inquire into the state and condition of the woods, forests and land revenues of the crown, which was laid before Parliament in 1792.

After thus establishing the fact of the disease, he proceeds to suggest the remedy-a partial one it is true, but effectual as far as it goes-it is to avail ourselves of the resources which India affords for building ships of teak wood at Bombay. Two additional docks have recently been constructed there, one for the purpose of building, and the other for that of repairing, the largest men of war which it will ever be necessary to send into the Indian seas.

'These docks, executed by Captain Cowper of the Engineers, in one of which the Minden 74 has been built, are now finished, and for the beauty of their form and proportions, the durability of the materials with which they are constructed, and the perfection of the work, are allowed by all competent judges to constitute a chef d'œuvre in architecture, unrivalled by any similar works in the British dominions,'

The two dock-yards of Bombay can build, at the same time, two ships of the line, two frigates, and a large and small Indiaman. The builder, Jamsetjee Bomanjee, a native Parsee, has proved himself, in the construction of the Salsette and the Minden, a man of real ability, and fully competent to the duties of his situation. His son Nowrojee, and several young men of the different branches of his family, assist him in the important performance of the concern committed to his charge; and he employs about a thousand native workmen, whose numbers may be increased at pleasure. The


teak forests are in the ghauts of the interior, both to the northward and southward of Bombay, but chiefly in the latter direction. The late Lord Melville, whose ruling passion was the interests and concerns of the British navy, had much at heart an organized plan for making India subservient to a regular supply of line-of-battle ships and frigates; and he intended to avail himself of the means which Calcutta and the Prince of Wales's island might afford, as well as those of Bombay. But the timber which was to be imported from Ava and Pegu to the last mentioned places, was found inferior to that on the western side of India, while the supply of it was always precarious from the fickle and wavering politics of the sovereigns of those countries. Lord Wellesley therefore, in consequence of a communication from Lord Melville, caused the teak forests of western India to be examined. Measures were adopted for procuring a regular supply from them; and other woodlands have since been purchased by the East India Company; so that, in addition to all the demands of the Company, an ample supply may now be drawn from the provinces of Canara and Malabar alone, besides Compas timber from the country between Bombay and Surat, equal to the building of two sail of the line and four frigates annually. Mr. Money seems to think that, by the judicious regulations adopted for preventing the felling of young trees, and securing the replantation of the naked tracts, these provinces will, in a few years, yield inexhaustible resources for the dock-yard.

The quality of teak is in every respect preferable to that of oak for ship-building. The alternate exposure to a vertical sun, and to the drenching rain of the wet monsoon, which would rend in pieces European oak, produces no injurious effects upon teak. Many of the upright timbers for securing the stays in the old docks at Bombay have stood more than forty years without paint or tar, and are still as perfect as when erected.

A piece of teak was taken out of a gate of one of Tippoo's forts in Canara, which had been exposed to every change of weather for more . than half a century, and when brought to Bombay was ascertained to be unimpaired, with nails, which had secured it, quite free from corrosion or rust, and as sound as when first driven.'

The Turkish flag ship at Bussorah was built by Nadir Shah more than 70 years ago; she was lately in dock at Bombay, when all her timbers were ascertained to be perfectly sound. The Hercules of 485 tons was built at Bombay in 1763, and constantly employed till 1805, when she was captured by the French sound as The Milford of 679 tons, after constant employment to China and Europe for 24 years, was then examined; but it was not found necessary to shift a single timber, and the whole of her re

pairs did not amount to a thousand pounds. Her teak mainmast continued in her twenty-one years, when, being partially sprung, it was converted into a mainmast for a smaller vessel.

Teak possesses possesses the property of preserving iron; oak that of destroying it. The oil which teak contains preserves the iron and destroys the worm; while the gallic acid of the oak corrodes the iron, and appears to be particularly grateful to the taste of the worm nor has it come to our knowledge that the dry-rot was ever met with in teak. A piece of teak plank, which had been bolted to the side of the Chiffonne frigate, was removed at the end of eight years; that part of the iron bolt which was buried in the teak, was perfectly good, whereas that which had been in the oak was totally corroded. The Sceptre of 74 guns had nearly foundered at sea before she was five years old, from a hole about seven inches square in the bottom plank, close to the hooden ends, eaten by the worms; which, in many other places where the copper was worn off, had nearly perforated the bottom, and destroyed the gripe. The preference therefore of teak to oak in the two important points of preserving iron, and resisting the worm, seems to be fully established: but a prejudice still existed against teak in this country from its supposed heaviness. Mr. Money however tells us he has ascertained, by many experiments, that the teak of Malabar weighs one quarter less than oak, while that from the northward of Bombay is pretty nearly of the same weight. But we have an instance in point: the Minden was built from the same draft as the Culloden, and her tonnage is the same. When stored and victualled, the draught of water was found not to differ an inch, and the Minden carries her ports higher than the Culloden.

Another objection against teak was its particular disposition to splinter. This too seems an erroneous idea. Mr. Money produces a letter from General Abercrombie, who commanded the expedition against the Isle of France, in which he says, 'I can now vouch that the effect of shot upon teak is far less dangerous than upon oak. On board the Ceylon there were very few men wounded. by splinters.'

We pass over Mr. Money's calculation of savings to the public by building at Bombay, which upon twenty sail of the line and fifty frigates, for fifty years, exclusive of the expense of repairs of oak ships, which those of teak would not require, he makes to amount to £9,310,000, well knowing how fallacious such calculations are, and how rarely such savings are realized. His data, in fact, are erroneous. A ship of the line does not cost so much as £36 per ton in England, nor has a ship of the line been built at Bombay for so little as £30 per ton. The cost of building a 74 gun ship in England is about £33. 10s. We understand that the


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