Niagara Ship’s Boat, Cutter IV
Length: 16 feet, 9 inches
Beam: 6 feet
Depth: 2 feet
A cutter is used primarily under oars to move people ship to ship or ship to shore.
This cutter is about the size of the boat used by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry to transfer his flag to Niagara during the Battle of Lake Erie, 10 September 1813. Perry began the battle onboard his flagship, Lawrence. After two hours of hard fighting Lawrence was a helpless wreck but Niagara had been on the outer edge of the fight and was only slightly damaged. Perry was lucky he still had a boat to enable him to shift command to Niagara and continue the battle to victory.
All the boats on a ship carry the ship’s name and the boat’s number.
Naval cutters were usually built of pine or cedar planking on oak framing. This boat is atypical in being tropical hardwood throughout.
Courtesy Erie Maritime Museum/PHMC
Photo Credit: Sarah Whitney, PA Sea Grant
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