Maritime History

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American Clyde, The (Pub. No. 5422)

"The Scottish Clyde--The Clyde sung of poets, and famous for ship-bilding--is the commercial entrance of Scotland. Approaching from the sea, the stranger is charmed by the beauty and majesty of the scenery. . . . The American mind delights always in experiments and is ever restless for improvements. The Englishman built his inconvenient and disabreeable little iron paddle boats for the Thames,a nd has never seet fit to change the models. He excuses himself for his lack of enterprise by saing, "the old patterns are on hand--why make new ones?" Even the pleasure-boats that yearly take millions of excursionists through the Scottish lakes are marvels of discomfort, and it was only when they began to be made on American Plans, and new patterns wree tried, that the boats beame famous. . . . This country [America] is the land of trees. Wooden ships may always be built here, but beneath our forests lie the fast and almost untouched treasures of our iron mountains. We ahve the skilled labor, the iron,a nd the great river--a new and better Clyde. Already at Wilmingon, on a branch of the Delaware are two yards equipped with every facility for iron ship-building. At Chester is a grrat yard that may justly make the country pround; and at Philadelphia is still another yard, from which have gone grat and notable vessels. The Clyde master may point to his swarms of laborers, but we have something better--the inventive mind that realizes a thousand arms in a single machine. We have men and machiner and a future."

28 pages

$9.95
Double Boats--Early Catamarans (Pub. No. 5502)

reprinted from "A Manual of Yacht and Boat Sailing" by Dixon Kemp

Double boats, in some form or the other, are met with all over the world, and the principle is adopted iwth the main object of acquiring great stability. But, although double boats may have in this way great stability, it must not be supposed that they are uncapsizable. they could be capsized by carrying a heavy press of canvas, or they might be thrown over by a sea, just as a lifeboat is sometimes. In a873, the late Mr. H. Melling, of Liverpool, had what he termed a savety yacht constructed on the double hull principle, as shown here, mainly with the object of using her on the shal wate rint he estuary of the Dee and Mersey. . . . In America a double boat was introduced in 1876 called a Catamaran. The boats were designed by Mr. N.G. Herreshoff and one is also shown below. The catamaran has two faults, namely it is slow in stays, and is prone to 'pitch pole,' or blow over endwise.

9 pages, 5 plate(s)

$7.95
Early Ice Boats (Pub. No. 5503)

reprinted from "A Manual of Yacht and Boat Sailing" by Dixon Kemp

Fascinating pastimes like yacht and boat sailing ought to sink into insignificance when compared with the fascinations of ice yachting, if speed alone be the cause of excitement. It is, however, difficult for a Briton to realise the extraordinary enthusiasm ice-boat racing or sailing gives rise to in Canada, the United States, and  some parts of Europe. The mere idea of being conveyed through the air in a boat at a rate equal to the speed of the fastest express train repels rather than fascinates; however, those who have experienced the extraordinary velocity of an ice yacht say that when the first dread of the lightning-like flight is overcome, the longing for the fast travelling of an ice yacht becomes quite a fascination.

40 pages, 2 plate(s)

$9.95
Nathaniel Bowditch--America's Navigator (Pub. No. 5507)

reprinted from "Ships and Sailors of Old Salem" by Ralph D. Paine

This ocean pathfinder of Salem, Nathaniel Bowditch, made no important discoveries in the science of navigation, but with the intellect and indusry of a true mathematical genius, he both eliminated the costly errors in the methods of navigation used in 1800, and devised much more certain and practicable ways of finding a ship's position on the trackless sea. So important were the benefits he wrought to increase the safety of shipping that when the news of his death was carried abroad, the American, English and Russian vessels in the port of Cronstadt half-masted their flags, while at home the cadets of the United States Naval School wore an offical badge of mourning, and the ships at anchor in the harbors of Boston, New York and Baltimore displayed their colors at half-mast. The London Atheneum said of "The Practical Navigator," in the days when no love was lost between British and American seamen: "It goes, both in American and British ships, over every sea of the globe, and is probably the best work of the sort ever published."

28 pages

$9.95
Canoe Yawls (Pub. No. 5537)

from Dixon Kemp's "Manual of Yacht and Boat Sailing", and Kunhardt's "Small Yachts: Their Design and Construction and Stephens' "Canoe and Boat Building for the Amateur."

A class of boat has been in favour on the Mersey for some years, which, in some respects, is better adapted for the combined recreation of paddling and sailing in the open sea than are any of the canoes hitherto described. Plate CXV. represents one of the earliest of these canoes as built for Mr. C. Arthur Inman in 1877. Although these Mersey sailing boats are termed canoes and canoe yawls, they are as much sailing boats as the Surbiton gigs are. It is true that they have grown out of the Rob Roy canoe; but a vessel 20ft. long, 5ft. 6in. broad, and 2ft. 6in. deep, that carries passengers, 8cwt. or 9cwt. of ballast, has a large sail area, and is, moreover, rowed and not paddled, is better described by the word boat than canoe. The boats originally were only about 17ft. long, with a breadth of 4ft. 6in, and varying depth; but the type has been so much approved of that a length of 20ft. has been reached, with 10cwt. of lead and a centre-plate 4ft. by 2ft. They are decked all over, excepting the well, which has a coaming all round, and is usually of the form shown in the drawing. The well is carried so far forward to enable the crew to reach the mast, or anything forward of it, without getting on the deck. The canoes are clench built, of white or yellow pine, usually 3/8in. thickness when worked up. The stem and sternpost are alike, 11/2in. sided, with 21/2in. outside rabbet, and about 3in., inside, enough to take the plank fastenings and serve as apron. The steering arrangement is very capitally contrived with yokes coupled by rods or chains as a tiller, as shown. Strengthening pieces (running fore and aft) are worked above and below the deck, through which a bolt with collar passes, and is secured with nut and washer underneath. On the upper part of the bolt, above the collar, the yoke and tiller (all in one) are shipped on the bolt, and kept from unshipping by a pin. In case the tiller and yoke be of wood, a brass socket is tted in the hole to prevent the collar of the boat wearing away the wood.

40 pages, 16 plate(s)

$14.95
Sailor Talk (Pub. No. 5542)

The Nautical Origins of Everyday Phrases
by Bear Downing

A fascinating collection of entertaining essays describing the nautical origins and evolution of so many of our everyday phrases and words. Droll, informative and absorbing, these fifteen short narratives are guaranteed to provide you with a vast fund of nautical "bon mots" the next time you and your sailer friends get together.

From Bear's Introduction: "It was a quiet and peaceful lagoon, the boat swinging easily at anchor in the light evening breeze. A sailing club friend and I were sitting in the cockpit having drinks and enjoying the sunset, chatting softly so as not to disturb the reverie of the evening. After Old Sol and gone to bed for the night and the evening lights were turned on, the conversation picked up slightly but still followed a rather random path. At one point my friend mentioned a gift that he was going to get for his wife, saying he was "...going the whole nine yards." He then commented that "the whole nine yards" was something he found himself saying a lot and wondered as to the origin of the phrase. I told him what I knew it was of nautical origin and described it. From there the conversation went into the large number of terms and phrases we use in our everyday language that comes from seafarers, what he and I called "Sailor Talk." Towards the end of the evening he suggested that I write an article for the club monthly newsletter. He felt that many in our club would be as interested as he was in "Sailor Talk". The response to that first article was very positive, with more articles being requested. So I started writing a monthly column which was picked up by two regional monthly sailing magazines. Eventually fifteen articles were written, now collected into this booklet." Each article is illustrated with a contemporary woodcut.

64 pages

$9.95
Light-Houses of the United States, The (Pub. No. 5570)

by Charles Nordhoff

(reprinted from Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 1874)

The first act of Congress relating to light-houses was passed August 7, 1789. It provided that "all expenses which shall accrue from and after the 15th day of August, 1789, in the necessary support, maintenance, and repairs of all light-houses, beacons, buoys, and public piers, erected, placed, or sunk before the passing of this act at the entrance of or within any bay, inlet, harbor, or port of the United States, for rendering the navigation thereof easy and safe, shall be defrayed out of the Treasury of the United States." Seven months later, March 26, 1790, the same words were re-enacted, but with a proviso that "none of the said expenses shall continue to be so defrayed by the United States after the expiration of one year from the day aforesaid, unless such light-houses, beacons, buoys, and public piers shall in the mean time be ceded to and vested in the United States by the State or States respectively in which the same lie, together with the lands and tenements thereunto belonging, and together with the jurisdiction of the same." Before this the States which possessed sea-ports had controlled and supported each its own light-houses; by these two acts Congress prepared to assume the control of these aids to navigation and commerce, as the Constitution required; and ever since the Federal government has not only maintained and supported the light-houses, but it has also owned them, and a sufficient space of ground about them for all necessary ends. And thus it was that in the first proclamation of Mr. Lincoln, in 1861, he announced his purpose to recover and maintain possession of all forts, light-houses, etc.

32 pages

$9.95
Huntsmen of the Sea (Pub. No. 5571)

Within the memory of most of us there was a time when we sought some quiet spot at home to read, ndisturbed, a romance of the American whale-fisheries. The subject has charms that commend it to all young readers, since it comprehends at the same time both unting adventures and the wonders of the deep. We are not surprised, then, at the great number of writers for boys who have chosen this field for the scen e of their books. But we are srpised and regretful that none of them ever trusted in the riches it contains,a nd that they preferred to follow their own imaginations into the wildest impossibilities rather than to gather truths infinitely more interesting. . . . we think, the material gathered in the succeeding pages will prove of intenst interest. The historical part properly comes first. Some of the adventures will be told later on.

30 pages

$9.95
Traditional Boats and Rigs of the Baltic, The (Pub. No. 5577)

by H. Warington Smyth

reprinted from Mast and Sail in Europe and Asia

The Baltic may well claim precedence among the seas as the boat-sailers’ paradise. Not even the classical Mediterranean can surpass it in interest or beauty. While in the Mediterranean the sailor’s mind goes groping back to reconstruct, if possible, the craft of Egypt, Phcenicia, or Rome, in the Baltic his eye may gaze upon the almost identical longships, or ‘keeles, which carried the brave Norse boatmen of old to build up nations in the West. As the Mediterranean is the nursery of the high-peaked lateen, the parent of the longyard lugsails of the South, so the Baltic remains the sea of the storm-enduring squaresail, the parent of the short-headed lugsail of our Northern isles. The one is the home of the silent, clean-lined, carvel build; the other of the strong, simple clench, or clinker-build, first understood and practised by the wonderful old Norse boat-builders, and by them handed down, through the fishing-boats of the Northern nations, to our own time.

24 pages

$8.95
Traditional Boats and Rigs of Norway, The (Pub. No. 5578)

by H. Warington Smyth

reprinted from Mast and Sail in Europe and Asia

The destiny of Norway remains, as it always has been, upon the sea. Two-thirds of its population live upon its wondrous coastline. The value of the fishing-trade alone amounts to 10 per cent. of the estimated total national income; and of the trade of the country, local and foreign, 95 per cent. is carried upon the water. The rugged character and comparative poverty of the country inland has obliged the Norwegian race always to turn its eyes seaward; and to this day, as in the dawn of history, the young Norseman looks down the fjord towards the open sea, and sets there the dream of life before him. The history, the art, the poetry, the commerce, and even the politics of Norway all speak the influence of the ocean upon the character of the nation, more potent even than that of the mountain, the forest, and the snowfield. And may this not in large measure be the explanation of the singular attraction which the Norwegian people and scenery exercise upon many of our race? To many a wanderer there is nothing so clean and bright in memory as the little log-built Norwegian village, nestling among the rounded granite blocks, lapped by the ripples from the blue waters of the fjord.

20 pages, 1 plate(s)

$8.95
Traditional Boats and Rigs of Holland, The (Pub. No. 5579)

by H. Warington Smyth

reprinted from Mast and Sail in Europe and Asia

Europe owes to the Land of Dykes more than it generally cares to remember. Holland has been the schoolmistress of modern Europe. It first learned and taught the principles of modern government, and the true meaning of political and religious liberty; it has led the van in art, in agricultural science, in physical research, in modern finance. It has taught more conclusively than Phoenicia, Venice, Spain, or Portugal the true meaning of Sea Power, of over-sea colonisation. And of the nations of Europe the British have best learned from her what she had to teach. Her mantle has fallen upon our shoulders.  To no man is the greatness of our debt to the Dutch more forcibly brought home than to him who has widely used the sea, in whom something akin to reverence springs up as he roams, and finds everywhere about the globe the footprints of this steadfast sailor race. The very sea-terms in everyday use all across the seven seas, alike by Briton, Yankee, and every Northern race, were in the mouths of De Ruyter and Van Tromp.

32 pages

$9.95
Traditional Boats and Rigs of Scotland, The (Pub. No. 5580)

reprinted from Mast and Sail in Europe and Asia

by H. Warington Smyth

On the east coast of Scotland, from the English borders to Whitehills in Banffshire, and along the coasts of Caithness and the Orkney Islands (and during the last twenty-five years, the Shetlands also), the boats used in the herring fishing have always been of the ‘Fife’ build, with very little rake on either stem or stern. Sixty years ago these boats only measured some 80 to 85 feet of keel; they were clinker-built, and of light draught of water. About the middle of the century fore cabins began to be introduced, and the length of keel gradually increased, till by the end of the ‘sixties’ 40 feet was the usual length for a new boat. The herring fishing had hitherto been confined to the inshore waters; but fishermen now began to push farther seawards in search of the herring shoals; full decks began to come into use, a large open hatchway being provided to facilitate the working of the nets. Decked boats were first built by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in order to prove to the fishermen the greater comfort and safety to be derived from full decks.

36 pages, 2 plate(s)

$9.95
Traditional Boats of the English East Coast, The (Pub. No. 5581)

by H. Warington Smyth

reprinted from Mast and Sail in Europe and Asia

Yorkshire, to its credit be it said, has claims to distinction for other things than ecclesiastical architecture, or even hams and fox-hunting. He that useth the dingy North Sea hath knowledge of Yorkshire’s billyboys, its cobles and its keels, all distinctive types of sea-craft well suited to their work.  The billyboy is generally a flat-bottomed, round-ended craft, whose Dutch descent is scarcely veiled by its paint. Rigged as a sloop, or more often as a ketch or dandy, it carries leeboards, the masts are stepped in tabernacles, and even in these days the square rig on the mainmast is often retained for fair winds. With its clinker build, its rounded ends just fitted to the locks of the Fens, its high sheer for and aft, and its snub-nosed bowsprit, it may be seen all up and down the English coasts, as well as far inland up the Ouse or in the Trent, with its masts and riggign comfortably housed on deck.

54 pages

$14.95
Traditional boats of the English West Coast, The (Pub. No. 5582)

by H. Warington Smyth

reprinted from Mast and Sail in Europe and Asia

Though facing east, the bit of coastline between the Forelands is to the sailor rather a part of the Channel navigation than of the North Sea proper. It begins or ends nearly every Channel voyage; it is alive with the Channel traffic, and lives by the Channel trade, and its lights and shoals are known to every down-Channel seaman.Ramsgate, a tidal harbour of undeserved ill-repute with yachtsmen, is a trawling port of some importance, and like Lowestoft and Grimsby owes its rise to the hardy Devon men who came eastward with their boats and made their homes on the coast.

54 pages

$14.95
Traditional Boats and Rigs of France, The (Pub. No. 5583)

by H. Warington Smyth

reprinted from Mast and Sail in Europe and Asia

From the flat sand-bound coasts of the Low Countries, where the bluff-bowed Dutch craft sail, we may now turn westwards along the French shores. Leaving the West Scheldt and the countries of the leeboard, the spritsail, and the long vane aloft, the carvel-built hulls and square-cut lugsails of Northern France are reached. They will be found to join on by degrees with the higher-peaked, shorter luff lugsails, which again will lead on eventually to their parent, the long-yarded lateen of the Mediterrranean.

58 pages

$14.95
Traditional Boats & Rigs of the Indian Ocean, The (Pub. No. 5584)

by H. Warington Smyth

reprinted from Mast and Sail in Europe and Asia

The Indian Ocean, that sea of bright colouring, the home of the wide-sweeping monsoons, brings us to many old craft relics of the early days of man’s seafaring.    Mostly fair-wind sailers, there are few vessels in this portion of the East of a sea-going character, as we understand the term, capable of keeping the sea or working off a lee-shore. Trained to the long use of favourable monsoon winds which are experienced in certain directions for considerable periods of the year, which come and blow and go again with unfailing regularity, the Eastern sailor with characteristic philosophy has as a rule resigned himself to the inevitable, unwilling to attempt to do otherwise than bow to the evident decrees of Fate, and take a fair wind when it is provided for him by a kindly Nature. His ship is thus, as a rule, high-sterned to prevent pooping; she is fitted with sails of light calico material, and by way of rigging a quantity of ungainly cordage in various stages of decay. Careful corking and water-tight decks are alike generally unknown. Labour-saving appliances such as windlasses and blocks are rarely employed and imperfectly understood.

44 pages

$9.95
Traditional Boats & Rigs of the Malay Area, The (Pub. No. 5585)

by H. Warington Smyth

reprinted from Mast and Sail in Europe and Asia

Having regard to the wide reputation which the Malays have earned for themselves as a maritime people in Eastern seas, it is, at first sight, not a little remarkable that, so far as the Malay Peninsula is concerned, they have developed until lately, no really able type of sea-going boat. European writers have credited the Malays with building boats, the lines of which are unsurpassed by European types; yet so far as the writer has been able to discover, no specimen answering to such a description is to be met with in the peninsula. The characteristics of build are small displacement, hollow lines, V-shaped sections and sharp floors, shallow draught, lack of beam, and a consequent want of stability and weatherliness. An inquiry into local conditions, however, explains much. Two main factors have been at work influencing the development of boats and tending to produce the results arrived at. In the first place the rivers, which almost invariably constitute the ports of the peninsula, are, with scarcely one exception, protected by very shallow bars of sand or mud, which make it impossible for a deep-bodied boat to obtain shelter within them.

28 pages

$9.95
Traditional Boats and Rigs of China, The (Pub. No. 5587)

by H. Warington Smyth

reprinted from Mast and Sail in Europe and Asia

In no region of Art and Crafts have the Chinese shown greater independence of thought than in ship and boat building. The striking originality which pervades their architecture, their painting, and their life on shore, is even more characteristically displayed by them afloat. At the hands of Western travellers the Chinese junk has received little but mockery and thinly veiled contempt; the writer treats it with his smartest ridicul, the artist in glaring caricature. Yet, examined fairly, the only excuse for such treatment, seems to lie in the wide gulf which separates the thoughts and ideas of the whilte and the yellow races, and makes it apparently almost impossible for the one to come to any true understanding of the other. As an engine for carrying man and his commerce upon the high ant stormy seas, it is doubtful if any class of vessel is more suited or better adapted to its purpose; and it is certan that for flatness of sail and for handiness the Chinese rig is unsurpassed.

26 pages

$9.95
Building of the Essex, The (Pub. No. 5625)

by Ralph D. Paine

Reprinted from "Ships and Sailors of Old Salem" by Ralph D. Paine

The history of the construction of this famous frigate. From the beginning of the chapter: "One hundred and ten years ago there was launched from a Salem shipyard a wooden sailing frigate called the "Essex." She was the fastest and handsomest vessel of the United States navy and a dozen years after she first flew the flag of her country she won immortal renown under Captain David Porter. There is hardly a full-rigged sailing ship afloat today as small as the "Essex," and in tonnage many modern three-masted coasting schooners can equal or surpass her. Yet her name is one of the most illustrious in the list of a navy which bears also those of the "Constitution," the "Hartford," the "Kearsarge" and the "Olympia."

28 pages

$9.95
Evolution of the American Fishing Schooner (Pub. No. 5664)

by Joseph William Collins.

"Oh, see how she scoons! The startling tones of an excited bystander cleft the air with this exclamation, as he witnessed the "peculiar skipping motion" of  a little fishing vessel that received its baptism i Gloucester harbor. This "ketch" was rigged in a new and remarkable manner, having gaffs to her sails instead of the lateen yards previously in general use, and the luff of the sails bent to hoops on the masts. Her builder, Captain Andrew Robinson, who invented this novel arrangement of spars and sails, was apparently undertermined as to her name up to the moment of her launching; for history indicates that he was quick to cath the inspiration of the curious words of the looker-on and, breaking a bottle of rum over her bow, shouted: "A scooner let her be!"

24 pages

$8.95
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