Historical Records of New Zealand
F. Hunt to Commissioner Bigge
F. Hunt to Commissioner Bigge.
The piece of New Zealand rope has been put into use on board the Eliza, spliced to a piece of English patent new rope and rove as a burton fall, and has taken in the whole cargo. The present state of the two pieces as they stand to each other can be no criterion, as the N.Z. has been exposed to water, which of course reduced its substance, and the English was new from the maker with all its strength. It will be observed on examining the pieces that the N.Z. is somewhat stiffer than the other, but this is owing, in my opinion, to its having more turns in the strand or shorter laid, and being used in the last tryal as the standing part of the fall, consequently had not to travel so much through the blocks, and hence the stiffness, which if you observe is only in places. There is another fault the piece in question appears to have: observe between each strand the rope looks ruffled out, or as it was chafed like the friction of one strand over the other, or as we term it sprouted; now if this was general, it would be greatly against the N.Z. hemp; but I am not of that opinion. I think this arises from its having been exposed to water, because it is the same with any of our ropes, having been used in water put away and perhaps not carefully dried, has laid a couple of months, when put in use they invariably give way between the strands in the manner alluded to. There is a part stranded that was done before we had it. I am of opinion, also my chief mate, who has had an opportunity to see the N.Z. rope in use every day, that its strength is much greater than Europe rope, and if made in the same manner, the same quantity of tar, the same turn and lay in the strand, it possesses equal and every advantage of Europe, and I think by no means stiff, as may be seen in this piece, which is so much harder laid than the one accompanying it; but everything depends on the make. It looks much lighter coloured than the English; this may be from the hemp being finer and better coloured, but in the present state I should suppose from being exposed to water which has drawn a quantity of the tar from it. I cannot see why there should be an objection to its use owing to its stiffness. I really think it will answer every purpose of Europe rope as to plyability, and as for strength no one will dispute. It is a pity the pieces were not boath new and the weather had been whet instead of dry. That would have prooved them boath to a great [illegible] and I think left the N.Z. the conqueror.
I am, sir, &c.,
N.B.—A friend of mine mentioned a few days since of having seen in some of the papers an advertisement stating you had page 516 published your enquiries of N.S.W. Should this be the case, as I am not able to trace the paper, will feel particularly obliged to you for information where to find it.—F.H.