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Old Dec 21, 2009, 12:18 PM
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Millbrook, Alabama
Joined Jun 2004
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Originally Posted by Ghost 2501 View Post
mind you the prince has a lot of sail area, and no replacement for displacement! or i this case area of sail, so its hardly surprising

Yes...she was over canvassed and gave the Brits one heck of run till she got caught up in a storm and lost her sails. The pursuing frigates had an easy time of it then. The Brits swore she could sail straight into the wind.

A little of her history:

"On the night of December 21st the Prince de Neufchatel, in spite of the vigilance of the British blockading force off Boston, got to sea. On the fifth day out she encountered a terrific storm which lasted several days, and came near ending the career of this formidable craft. " The morning of December 28th," records one of the American crew, 'I broke with no prospect of the gale ceasing, and the brig looked more like a wreck than the stanch and proud craft of the week previous. She was stripped to her stumps, all her yards, except her fore and fore-topsail, were on deck, her rigging in disorder, and the decks lumbered and in confusion from the effects of the sea which had so often broken over them during the past night.

Much of this confusion was attributable to the third officer, who had the watch from 4 A. M. to 8A. M. When he was relieved by the first officer, at 8 A. M., the latter severely reprimanded the third officer, and, among other things, asked if a sharp lookout had been maintained, and replied that the last man sent to the masthead had left his post without being relieved, and without the third officer knowing that the brig had, been without a lookout all that time. . . . I saw the fire-or what was its equal, anger-flash from the first lieutenant's eves at this remissness of duty , and he instantly gave an order for the best man on board to go to the masthead, there to remain till ordered down."

This man had not been at his post ten minutes when he reported a large sail bearing down on the Prince de Neufchatel, and shortly afterward two others, apparently heavy men-of-war, making every effort to close on the privateer. These strangers were, in fact, the British frigates Leander, Newcastle, and Acasta, composing Sir George Collier's squadron, which had been off Boston, but was now hastening across the Atlantic in search of the Constitution had eluded them off Boston and was now at sea.

As soon as the strangers were discovered the Prince de Neufchatel was put on her best point of sailing, but in spite of every effort-the massive frigates having a great advantage over her in the heavy seas and wind-she was soon surrounded and captured. Only a few minutes after the surrender one of the frigates lost her jib boom, fore and main topgallant roasts and broke her mizzen topsail yard in the slings, while another frigate carried away her mizzen topsail, main topgallant yard, and strained her fore-topsail yard so as to endanger it by carrying sail. Had the approach of the enemy been discovered when they made out the privateer the Prince de Neufchatel would have escaped. "
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