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Every ship-master should have a good Thermometer, (or heat-measurer,) besides that attached to the Barometer, for the purpose of recording the temperature of the air. It should be kept freely exposed to the external air, (not in the cabin,) out of the reach of direct sunshine, and away from warm regions, such as the engine-room or fires; as far as possible from any substance likely to become warm in the sun's rays; its bulb should never be wetted by rain or spray, and at night it should be screened from the sky. In reading it, the observer should avoid touching or breathing on it, or in any way warming it, as by a light.
Besides its general uses, the approach of icebergs, even when many miles away, is frequently shewn by an extraordinary fall of the Thermometer. Observe, that the Thermometer rises for heat and falls for cold. 32° is fresh-water freezing point, and 60° is the measure of a comfortable degree of warmth.
The weather-science (Meteorology) is in a very imperfect state. Seamen are strongly urged to keep careful readings of the Barometer and Thermometer, and to note the direction and force of the wind, with the appearance of the sky, &c. even though they trade only on our home seas, for here, as elsewhere, much remains to be learnt, and Meteorology is one of those sciences which grow only by reasoning upon observed facts.
To further this end, the best times for observation are 3 and 9 a. m., 3 and 9 p. m.; or 3, 6, 9 a. m., noon, 3, 6, 9 p. m.,
and midnight. Hourly observations are much required at the following times: on the 21st of each month, particularly March, June, September, and December; also when becalmed, especially near the Equator; during threatening weather and gales, and for some time after they have passed; when the sky suddenly clouds over, or fogs form unexpectedly; and when any unusual rise or fall of the mercury takes place.
The localities, tracks, nature, and appearance of the socalled “circular hurricanes,” with the movements of the Barometer and Thermometer in connection with them, require much careful observation and unprejudiced discussion before they can be so thoroughly understood that the seaman will, in every case, cope with them successfully.
In promoting all this, the seaman has a strong personal interest; and, remembering that careless or inaccurate observations are worse than none, he should strictly comply with all the suggestions herein contained.
STOWAGE OF MIXED CARGOES,
Prepared by HENRY C. CHAPMAN & Co., Agents for Lloyd's
1.-Owners, Commanders, and Mates of Ships are considered in law in the same situation as common carriers.
It is therefore necessary that all due precautions be taken to receive and stow cargoes in good order, and deliver the same in like good order. The law holds the Shipowner liable for the safe custody of the goods, when properly and legally received on board in good order, and for the delivery to parties producing the bill of lading. The Captain's blank Bill of Lading should be receipted by the Warehouse Keeper, or person authorised to receive the contents. Goods are not unfrequently sent alongside in a damaged state, and letters of indemnity given to the Captain by the Shippers for signing in good order and condition; this is nothing more or less than conniving at fraud. Fine goods are also often damaged in the ship’s hold by Lumpers, if permitted to use cotton hooks in handling bales. All goods must be received on board according to the custom of the port where the cargo is to be taken in; and the same custom will regulate the commencement of the responsibility of the Master and Owners.
2.-HEMP, FLAX, Wool, and Cotton, should be dunnaged 9 inches on the floors, and to the upper part of the bilge; the wing bales of the second tier kept 6 inches off the side at the lower corner, and 2} inches at the sides. Sand or damp gravel ballast to be covered with boards. Pumps to be frequently sounded and attended to. Sharp-bottomed Ships one-third less dunnage in floor and bilges. Avoid Horn Shavings as dunnage from Calcutta.
3.-All Corn, WHEAT, RICE, PEAS, BEANS, &c., when in bulk, to be stowed on a good high platform, or dunnage wood, of not less than ten inches, and in the bilge 14 inches dunnage;
pumps and masts case, to have strong bulk-heads, good shifting boards, with feeders and ventilators, and to have no admixture of other goods. Flat-floored, wall-sided ships should be fitted with bilge pumps. On no consideration must the stanchions under the beams be removed.
4.-OIL, WINE, SPIRITS, BEER, MOLASSES, TAR, &c. to be stowed bung up; to have good cross beds at the quarters (and not to trust to hanging beds,) to be well chocked with wood, and allowed to stow three heights of pipes or butts, four heights of puncheons, and six heights of hogsheads or half-puncheons. All Moist Goods and Liquids, such as SALTED HIDES, Bales of BACON, BUTTER, LARD, GREASE, CASTOR OIL, &c. should not be stowed too near “Dry Goods," whose nature is to absorb moisture. Shipowners have often to pay heavy damages for leakage in casks of Molasses, arising from stowing too many heights without an intervening platform or 'twixt decks. From Bengal, goods also are frequently damaged by Castor Oil.
5.-TEA and Flour, in barrels; FLAX, CLOVER, and LINSEED, or Rice in tierces; COFFEE and Cocoa, in bags; should always have nine inches at least of good dunnage in the bottom, and fourteen to the upper part of the bilges, with 2} inches at the sides; allowed to stow 6 heights of tierces, and 8 heights of barrels. All ships above 600 tons should have 'twixt decks or platforms laid for these cargoes, to ease the pressure; caulked 'twixt decks should have scuppers in the sides, and 2} inches of dunnage laid athwart ship, and not fore and aft ways, when in bags, or sacks; and when in boxes or casks, not less than one inch. Rice, from Calcutta, is not unfrequently damaged by Indigo, for want of care in stowing.
6.—Entire Cargoes of SUGAR, SALTPETRE, and Guano, in bags, must have the dunnage carefully attended to, as laid down for other goods. TIMBER ships are better without ’twixt decks, if loading all Timber or Deals. Brown Sugar to be kept separate from White Sugar, and both kept from direct contact with Saltpetre.
7.-Pot and PEARLASHES, TOBACCO, BARK, INDIGO, MADDERS, GUM, &c., whether in casks, cases, or bales, to be dunnaged in the bottom, and to the upper part of the bilges, at least 9 inches, and 2 inches at the sides.
8.—MISCELLANEOUS Goods, such as boxes of CHEESE, kegs and tubs of LARD, or other small or slight-made packages, not intended for broken stowage, should be stowed by themselves, and dunnaged as other goods.
9.—Barrels of PROVISIONS, and TALLow Casks, allowed to stow six heights. All METALs should be stowed under, and separated from, goods liable to be damaged by contact.
10.-All MANUFACTURED Goods, also Dry HIDES, Bales of SILK, or other valuable articles, should have 2} inches of dunnage against the side, to preserve a water-course. Bundles of SHEET IRON, Rods, pigs of COPPER or Iron, or any rough hard substance, should not be allowed to come in contact with bales or bags, or any soft packages liable to be chafed. When Mats can be procured, they should be used at the sides for Silk, Tea, &c.
11.–Tar, TURPENTINE, RESIN, &c. to have flat beds of wood under the quarters, of an inch thick, and allowed to stow six heights.
12.-Very frequent and serious loss falls on Merchants on the upper part of Cargoes, particularly in vessels that bring Wheat, Corn, Tobacco, Oil Cake, &c., arising from vapourdamage imbibed by Wheat, Flour, or other Goods, stowed in the same Vessel with Turpentine, or other strong-scented articles; the Shippers are to blame for such negligence, for not making due enquiry before shipping.
13.—Ships laden with full Cargoes of Coal, bound round Cape Horn or Cape of Good Hope, to be provided with approved ventilators, as a preventive against ignition.
14.-No vessel bound on any over-sea voyage, should on any account be loaded beyond that point of immersion which will present a clear side out of the water, when upright, of three inches to every foot depth of hold, measured amidships from the height of the deck at the side to the water.
Note.---Shippers abroad, when they know that their cargoes will be stowed properly, will give a preference, and at higher rates, to such commanders of ships as will undertake to guarantee the dunnage. The American shipowners, in the stowage of mixed cargoes in large ships, have, from experience, discovered what “pressure” flour barrels, provision casks, &c. will bear, and so avoid reclamations for damage if otherwise properly stowed: hence, in large ships above 600 tons, with dimensions exceeding in length 4 times the beam, and 21 feet depth of hold, orlop decks will come into general use, so as to relieve the pressure, by dividing a ship’s hold, like a warehouse, into stories. A large ship, called the “Liverpool,” which left New York with an entire cargo of Flour, has never since been heard of: it is supposed the lower tier of barrels gave way under the pressure, and the cargo having got loose, shifted in a gale of wind, and capsized the vessel.
Ships' cargoes for insurance will also become a matter of special agreement between merchant and shipowner, and merchant and underwriters, and the premium vary according to the dunnage agreement. The stowage and dunnage must stand A. 1., and is often of more importance than the class of the vessel, as experience has proved. When ships are chartered for a lump sum, the draft of water should be limited, as it not unfrequently happens that Brokers insert a clause that coals are not to be considered as dead weight, in order to fill the ship up, in case of goods falling short, to make up the chartered freight.
All Packages, Bales, and Cases, not weighing more than 25 cwt. to the cubic ton measurement, are designated as light freight.
Bale Goods should be stowed on their flats in midships, and on their edges in the wings, because they will then receive less damage.
Iron should be stowed grating fashion.
As Coals are dangerous from their liability to spontaneous combustion, care should be taken that the air is allowed to go down through them by means of a spout with air-holes in it.
Valuable articles and dry goods should be stowed in the after-part of the ship.