Captain George Bain Johnston - "Queen of the South" Specifications


GLASGOW - 2ND March 1877

Specifications of an Iron Screw Steamer Proposed to be Built for Captain George Bain Johnston


Length between perpendiculars -125 feet

Breadth - moulded - 22 feet

Depth of hold - 8 feet

CLASS: To be built to class 90A at Lloyds and built to survey

MODEL AND PLANS: Model and plans to be prepared by the builders and submitted to the owner for his approval

SCANTLINGS: To be according to the above class details which are to be sent to the owner after the model has been approved

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: To have straight stem and round stern, engine and boiler to be placed amidships, a poop 20 feet long, bridge 12 feet long, top gallant forecastle 13 feet long. To be schooner rigged, yards on the fore-mast. Mainmast with fore and aft sails only. The vessel to be a substantially but plainly cargo boat and to be fitted up for the crew only.

KEEL: To have a plate keel of the size required by Lloyds rules and to have a false keel of elm 12 inch square well bolted through the shell and strapped where required. The false keel to be fitted on before the vessel is launched.

DECKS [main]: To be of yellow pine well-seasoned and reasonably free of shakes, 4½ by 3 inches well fastened to the deck with bolts and nuts. The decks to be thoroughly caulked and payed with pitch.

WATERWAYS: On main deck to be a gutter from 14 inches and cemented with Portland cement and to extend from the poop to forecastle. Waterways on bridge poop and forecastle to be of pitch pine 10 inch by 3 inches.

FORECASTLE: and Bridge decks to be of yellow pine 4 inch by 2¼ but poop to be 4 inch by 2½ and well fastened with wood screws and to be thoroughly caulked and payed with resin same as the main deck

RAIL: To be of American elm 9 inch by 3 inch covered on outside edge with yellow metal

CEILING: To be of red pine 2 inch thick

SPARRING: To be of white pine 5½ by 1½

HATCH COMBINGS: of iron to stand 15 inches above deck with strong bead on upper edge. Corlins to be of elm covered with 1-1/8 inch flooring and hardwood end pieces. Fore and afters also of elm to be fitted if required.

SKYLIGHTS: Cabin and engine skylights to be of teak and brass mounted

ENGINE AND BOILER: To be of iron according to Lloyds requirements and to suit engineers plans

BULWARKS: of iron ¼ inch thick, 3 feet 3 inch high supported by spin stancheons 1½ diameter, 6 feet apart

BELTINGS: to be of elm 8 inch by 5 inch and fixed between 2 angle and iron bars 2½ inch by 2½ inch by 5/16 inch and faced with 3 inch by ¾ inch cope iron.

CABIN: To be fitted up with pine as an open saloon with entrance from main deck, fitted with rooms on each side consisting of Captain’s room spare cabin two spare rooms small pantry and W.C. The whole cabin to be painted and grained oak or maple as required, ceiling to be white panelled picked in gold, to have small side board marble top with mirrors and clock, one table and two settees all of mahogany. Floor to be covered with good floor cloth, settees to be covered with American Best cloth stuffed with hair. To have one set of beds and bedding for Captain, Chief Officer and Steward. One wax cloth one damask and 3 linen table cloths and four camp stools. Rooms to be fitted with wash hand basins with pegs and receivers, also small mirror and toilet rack with water bottle and tumbler, one coir mat for cabin door.

BRIDGE: To be fitted underneath for accommodation of engineers and to have two rooms, water closet, lamp room and store room, all fitted up in pine and grained oak if required.

FORECASTLE: To be fitted up for the accommodation of the fireman and crew and to have table forms and lockers.

GALLEY: To be fitted up under the bridge of iron, with cooking range of sufficient size with one set of cooking utensils to be afterwards detailed, floor to be laid with plain tiles.

MAST AND SPARS: To have two pole masts of red or pitch pine with lower topsail and top gallant yards, two booms and two gaffs, the large spars to be red pine and the small one of black spruce.

RIGGING: Standing rigging to be of best wire of approved size, running rigging to be of good hemp or manilla as required.

SAILS: To be of best merchant navy flax of proper weight and to consist of 1 jib, 1 forestaysail, 1 square foresail, 1 foretopsail, 1 foretugsail, 1 mainsail, 1 main gaff – topsail with yard.

TARPAULINS etc.: To have a double set of tarpaulins for each hatch, 1 wheel cover, 1 bell cover, 2 binnacle covers, 2 winch covers and covers for engine and cabin skylights

LADDERS: To have birch ladders from main deck to poop, bridge and forecastle. Fitted with galvanised treads on bridge and forecastle ladders and brass treads on the poop ladder.

STEERING GEAR: To be made to steer from poop with wheel and pinion or screw steering as required and spare tiller with one 4½ foot steering wheel.

RAILINGS: To be fitted round poop, bridge and forecastle with 2 rods 7/8 and ¾ inch diameter secured by stancheons well bolted to covering boards, wire netting to first rod on poop.

WINDLASS: To have a suitable windlass to work with endless chain from stern winch and placed where required.

DAVITS: To have an anchor davit on each bow fitted with stopper and fish tackle, also two sets of davits of sufficient strength placed where required and fitted with all necessary blocks, falls etc.

BOATS: To have one lifeboat and one dinghy of sufficient size to pass the board of trade.

WATER TANK: To have a watertank placed where required to contain about 300 gallons with suitable pump to work from deck.

TIMBERHEADS etc.: To be fitted with all the necessary timberheads, fairleaders and mooring pipes placed where required.

CHAINS AND ANCHORS: To be according to Lloyds requirements and to have a suitable locker placed where required.

SIDELIGHTS: Forecastle to have four sidelights with galvanised iron frames and glass 6 inch diameter. Cabin to have six sidelights with 7 inch glass

BELL: To have a 9 inch bell fitted in suitable bellfry with ship’s name engraved.

PAINTING: The whole vessel to receive three coats of best oil paint finished in approved colours

CEMENTING: The bottom inside to be cemented to turn of the bilge with best Portland cement mixed with a proper proportion of clean sand.

PUMPS: To have 2 pumps with 4½ inch copper chambers with brass deck cover and standards made to unship when required, also 2 sounding pipes with brass covers to each.

SLUICE VALVES: To have a brass sluice valve on each water tight bulkhead made to work with screw from deck.

SCUPPERS: To have 6 iron scuppers on main deck and 2 lead scuppers 1½ inch on poop bridge and forecastle ; latter fitted with brass gratings ; washports where required.

CARVING: Carving to be fitted round the stern to an approved design and neatly painted and gilded.

HAWSERS: To be according to Lloyds requirements and the following ropes beyond Lloyds viz. 90 fathoms of 3½ inch rope, 90 fathoms of 2½ inch rope and one coil of heaving line.

CARGO GEAR: To have 2 chains with gins to lift 2 tons, 2 pig iron slings, 2 pair can hooks, 2 pair grab hooks, 3 chain hooks, 2 crowbars and 2 ball hooks.

DECK STORES: 3 shovels 3 marlin spikes 6 connecting shackles assorted, 1 chain punch, 3 mast knives, 2 maps, 2 cork fenders, 2 life bouys, 6 blocks assorted [ 2 of them to be snatch blocks ] 1 watch tackle 1 deep sea lead and line, 1 patent log and line, 1 hand lead and line, 3 coir brooms, 2 scrubbing brushes, 3 paint brushes, 2 varnish brushes, 1 hand hammer, 1 carpenter’s chisel, 1 cold chisel, 1 maul, 2 gimlets, 2 scrapers, 1 small grindstone and trough, 2 harness casks with galvanised mounting, 6 galvanised and hooped buckets fitted in a rack, 1 water funnel, 1 fog horn, 1 speaking trumpet, 1 small scouring box, 3 paint cans, 1 tar bucket, 1 oil feeder, 1 pair lamp scissors, 2 log glasses, 1 log book, and slate 2 caulking irons and 1 small brass gun and magazine according to Lloyds.

COOK’S STORES:1 copper with cock, 1 kettle, 2 oval pots, 2 goblets, 1 coffee pot, 1 tea pot, 2 frying pans, 1 roasting pan, 2 saucepans, 1 fish pan and drainer, 1 gridiron, 1 cook’s ladle,1 cook’s knife, 1 cleaver, 1 bread toaster, 1 steel, 1 basting spoon, 1 tin basin, 1 copper dipper, 1 water can, 1 tormenter, 1 cook’s saw, 1 salter’s balance, 1 coffee mill, 3 tin dish covers.

STEWARD’S STORES: 1 despatch box, 1 E.P. cruet frame, 4 bottles, 1 japanned bread basket, 2 waiters, 1 knifeboard, 1 dozen white handled knives and forks, 1 pair carvers and steel, 12 nickle silver dinner spoons,12 dessert spoons, 12 tea spoons, 2 salt spoons, 1 dozen tumblers [cut], 1 dozen cut wine glasses, 1 cork screw, 1 cabin broom, 1 dozen breakfast cups and saucers, 4 dozen plates assorted, 1 soup tureen and ladle, 4 ashets, 2 butter dishes, 1 slop basin, 1 sugar basin, 1 tea cannister, 2 salts, 1 cream jug, 2 jelly dishes 1 lever knife.

LAMPS: 1 set strong brass signal lamps to pass board of trade including anchor lamp. Sidelights to be fitted with shades. 1 approved cabin lamp, 1 candle lamp in each room, 1 galley lamp, 1 forecastle lamp, 1 hold lamp, 1-10 gallon oil tank with cock to be fitted in lamp room, 1 deck lantern.

FLAGS: 1 ensign, 1 union jack, 1 burgee with name, 1 house flag, 1 commercial code of signals with bag and book.

COMPASSES: To have 2 – 8 card compasses with brass binnacles lamps etc. complete, 1 binocular, 1 aneroid.


The photograph of the Queen of the South in Goolwa - Side view of steamship schooner 'Queen of the South' anchored at Goolwa, with unidentified vessel on starboard side. Around ten crew and passengers are standing along the port side for the photographer.

Caption on back of photoprint notes that it was built for owner Captain George Johnston, and came out from Scotland under sail.

State Library of South Australia [PRG 1258/1/3135]