Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Coulter -- The Broad-Beam Bark Wilna, A Record-Breaker -- June 28, 2022

San Francisco Call, 07-March-1895

William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the San Francisco Call

The Sturdy Record - Breaking
Bark That "Fools" Her


On Her Maiden Trip, Young and
Inexperienced, She Was

Favored by breeze and seas the broad beamed bark Wilna goes in and out of port as regular as the tides.

"She is not sharp at the bow, like some of the newer clippers," said William E. Mighell, her owner, "but she is sharp on the quarterdeck and the seaweed never grows under her forefoot."

In this nautical adaptation of the old saying about "grass" growing under some body's "feet" Captain Slater, her commander, receives a merited compliment, for the bark under his seamanship fractures her own record every voyage. The last round trip between this port and Nanaimo occupied the sturdy vessel twenty-two days, with the mainsail and royals closely folded along the yards. The trip before was made in twenty-four days. The custom among the Pacific ship-owners of giving the officers of record-breakers silk hats, suits of clothes, watches, etc., keeps Captain John Slater in a new suit of rigging and the envy of every steamer skipper on the coast.

The Wilna was built at Freeport, Me., in 1880 by Brigg & Gushing and was the last wooden vessel that ever dipped into the sea from that noted ship-building place. She is 200:4 feet long, 42:1 feet in width and 24 feet deep and registers 140 ft tons net. Her cost was $105,000, and she has been an inexhaustible mine to her owners.

With beam a little less than one-fourth her length she was not built for speed, but she fooled 'em, and on her maiden voyage, young and inexperienced in the variable moods of the sea, she walked into Shanghai just 110 days after she left New York. Between Tesuga Straits, on the coast of Japan, and Cape Flattery she used only eighteen days.

She has a remarkably clean run to her hull, and the peculiar lines of her bottom are such that she leaves the water smooth. In the free and easy vernacular of her calling she "doesn't drag her wake." Captain Slater has made a slight change in two of the sails -- in splitting the spanker, making it easier to handle, and increasing the size of the flying jib.

No comments: