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Ship's Boat

When Hamilton sank to the bottom of Lake Ontario on August 8th 1813, she took her 18 foot ship’s boat to the bottom with her. When not in use Hamilton’s ship’s boat was suspended at the schooner’s stern by ropes to stout protruding pieces of timber called davits. Like the Cat’s Heads which were used to raise and lower the anchors, Hamilton’s davits had internal blocks or pulleys to make raising and lowering the boat easier.  It could be rowed or sailed and the crews of both Hamilton & Scourge used ship’s boats for various purposes such as transporting men and equipment to shore and back. In contrast, Scourge’s ship’s boat did not sink with the vessel. During the sinking of Scourge crewman Ned Myers recounted that he was able to find the ship’s boat by chance and struggle into it.

I think I swam several yards…until my hand hit something…that I knew at once was a clincher-built boat…Had I swum another yard, I should have passed the boat…I got in without any difficulty, being all alive and much excited... and presently I heard a voice, saying, “Ned, I’m here, close by you.” This was Tom Goldsmith, a messmate, and the very man under whose rug I had been sleeping, at quarters…Davy [Jones] has made a good haul, and he gave us a close shave; but he didn’t get you and me.”