Deck plan and side and interior plan of whaling schooner
Amelia Of New Bedford, Massachusetts Drawing by C. S. Raleigh.
Whaling sailing ships could be readily be distinguished
from other vessels even if not built specifically for the purpose of
whaling by certain features:
2 or more usually 3 large whaling boats.
Provision for substantial storage for barrels
to hold whale oil in the hold.
Blocks and other lifting gear amidships to haul
parts of the flensed whale aboard for further processing.
The try-works usually positioned towards the front
of the ship.
In 1860 a sailor on an American whaler earned 20
a day with lodging (cramped) and food (pretty bad). This compared to
around 90c a day for an unskilled laborer on the land which after food
and lodging were taken into account, came to 45-60c a day. So the lowest
type of shore laborer in the USA earned 2-3 times what a common seaman
on a whaler at sea earned. Desertion was commonplace and whaling captains
often avoided ports or even islands where this was easy.