Five-Masted Schooner Martha P. Small

Launched in Bath at the Percy & Small shipyard in 1901, the Martha P. Small carried coal for her Bath owners, then went into the South American trade during the First World War carrying case oil (kerosene). She was sold to Canadian owners in the spring of 1917 and continued sailing to South America, and was finally broken up in Montevideo in 1923.

Cabin of the Ship Benjamin F. Packard

The Down Easter Benjamin F. Packard was built in Bath, Maine in 1883 by Goss, Sawyer, and Packard, and named for Packard. She worked in the Cape Horn trade, New York to San Francisco and then west across the Pacific. She was sold to the Pacific Northwest in 1908, she worked carrying fishing workers and equipment to Alaska fish canneries in spring and returning with fish in the fall. She was retired in New York in 1927 after a trip as a barge. She became part of the Playland amusement park in Rye, New York. Heavily damaged in the Hurricane of 1938, she was broken up.

Down Easter Aryan in Light Wind

Aryan was the last full-rigged wooden ship built in the United States, launched at Phippsburg in 1893. Here it is photographed from a passing steamer, on a calm day. Capt. Andrew S. Pendleton of Searsport was the ship's master in 1905.

Down Easter Clarissa B. Carver

The Down Easter Clarissa B. Carver was built in Searsport, Maine in 1876 by George Carver. Here she is shown at the wharf in San Francisco, probably loading grain. The boiler on wheels on the wharf is used to power a steam winch which, used with the ship's yards and rigging, hoists grain sacks into the ship's hold.

Launch of Down Easter Henry B. Hyde

The ship Henry B. Hyde was a splendid ship and Down Easter, captained by a number of Searsport masters during her career. Launched from John McDonald's Bath shipyard in November, 1884, she had strong Searsport connections: eleven of the fourteen owners were from Searsport, though they owned just under half of the vessel. Considered to be the finest of the Down Easters, she was the fastest three-master of the post-clipper era. She measured 2463 tons with a length of 267 feet. Her typical voyages were New York to San Francisco, then to Liverpool with grain and back to New York.

Preparation for Launching

This diagram shows the arrangement of hull supports, called poppets, for the launch of the ship. The ship is built on building blocks and shores. Its weight is transferred to the launching cradle and poppets just before launch by wedging the ship up from the keel blocks. The poppets and launching cradle are fitted and then the wedges are knocked away. The cradle slides down greased ways, carrying the ship into the water.

This image is from Basil Greenhill and Sam Manning, The Evolution of the Wooden Ship, 1988, p. 177. Used by permission of the artist, Sam Manning.

Lifting Main Mast with Sheerlegs

Sheerlegs are two long spars lashed together in an upside-down V, used as a crane to lift heavy loads. In this case, the sheerlegs are lifting the massive main mast onto the schooner before launching.

This image is from Basil Greenhill and Sam Manning, The Evolution of the Wooden Ship, 1988, p. 170. Used by permission of the artist, Sam Manning.

Captain's Cabin, Bark Harvard

Capt. Lincoln Alden Colcord's cabin on board the Boston owned bark Harvard. The woodwork was a product of her Newburyport builders, while the rattan furniture and other items were bought in China. At sea, much of this would be put away. Cabin interiors were built by special carpenters called joiners who often set up the paneling in a shop ashore.

This photograph was taken in 1894 when the ship was in port by Capt. Colcord's brother-in-law, Frederick Sweetser.

Forward Portion of Planked Ship

This diagram shows the planked hull, including how the butt ends of the planking are staggered for greatest strength. Planks get narrower as they approach the bow.

From Capt. H. Paasch, Illustrated Marine Encyclopedia, 1890, Plate 9.

Caulking, Tools and Method

This diagram shows how a seam between planks of a ship are caulked with oakum, which is forced into the seam with a caulking iron. Four or more strands of caulking may be needed to fill the seam. There are different widths of caulking irons which are used depending on the width of the seam and how deep the caulking is driven.

This image is from Basil Greenhill and Sam Manning, The Evolution of the Wooden Ship, 1988, p. 154. Used by permission of the artist, Sam Manning.


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