Sea Raptors: Logs of Voyages of Private Armed Vessels, Comet and Chasseur, Commanded by Tom Boyle, 1812-1815 - Andrew Wahll. Sea Raptors is a War of 1812 sea narrative based on the ships' logs of two fast sailing schooners, the Comet and the Chasseur, commanded by Captain Tom Boyle of Fells Point (near Baltimore), Maryland. It also includes Court Martial testimony of Lt. James Edward Gordon, Captain of HMS St. Lawrence, after the stunning defeat by Thomas Boyle off Cuba aboard the Chasseur.
The narrative highlights the advantages of ship design developed along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay coupled with the human factor of seamanship and ship handling. The Baltimore schooners, the Comet and the Chasseur, were both built at the Kemp Yard in Fells Point to carry commerce between the North Atlantic and Caribbean Sea and Baltimore. They were light, sharp of hull, and sat low in the water; built for speed; with fine lines and a long run aft with two sharply raked masts which allowed most efficient use of wind while maintaining maneuverability. Sails were of cotton, rather than heavier flaxen duck that held its shape better, were lighter and required less wetting down to hold slight sea breezes. In combat these logs show American private armed vessels fired their long guns from great distances aimed at their foes rigging, then when disabled, they swooped in to board the floundering vessel and take her as a prize. The Chasseur's early voyages were as a top-sail schooner; however, on the last voyage she was rigged as a brig which was better suited for maneuverability. According to the ship's crew manifest, the crew size of the Chasseur consisted of 131 seamen that were needed to replace battle casualties and for prize crews.
2008, 5½x8½, paper, index, 166 pp.