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,- Mails, containing letters, packets, and newspapers, will he made Rp at this office, and forwarded per China (s.) to Melbourne on Saturday, the 14th instant. Mails will close as follows : '. Registered letters at 9.30 a.m. A Unregistered letters at 10 a.m.

, '.newspaper« aad packets at 9 a.m.

'' late letters for the Unsted Kingdom, via BriflQisi only, will he received at the General Post OfBce-up to 11 a m. Late fee, Cd. , General Post Office, Sydney, 7th April, 1877.

' .CtJSTOM-Hot'3E.-Entered Outwards, April 10 : Hero fs.), 851 tons, .Captain Logan, for Auckland ; Coorong, barque, 354 tons, Captain M'Donnld, for Adelaide, via Newcastle ; Dancing Wave, Schooner, 67 tons, Captain Sterling, for Broadsound ; Barrabool fs.), 688 tons, Captain Pain, for Melbourne ; Florence Irving (s.), 626 ton«, Captain Phillips, for Cooktown ; Iserbrook, barque, 203 tons, Captain Martin, for South Sea Islands,

i The Hero (s.) cleared Port Phillip Heads at G.30 p.m. on the .th instant, rounded Wilson's Piomontoiy at 3.45 a.m. on the ' ita, passed Gabo Island at 10 p m. on the same day, Cupe St. - iBeorgs at O.30 p.m. on the 9th,-entered the Heads at 12.20 a.m.,

-> and arrived at the Grafton Wharf at 1 o'clock on the 10th. On

ne passage round the Hero experienced moderate head winds »'Jervis Bay, theoce to arrival at the Heads fresh headwinds, and fine weather throughout.

1 .The Barrabool (s.) left Port rhillip Heads at 9.30 p.m. on Saturday, passed Gabo Island at 2.15 a.m. on Monday, and «ntercd Sydney Heads at i a.m. yesterday. Experienced light wad winds and fine weather throughout the passage.

'' Th* Alexandra (s.) cleared Port Phillip Heads at 7 p.m. on 7th , instant, rounded Wilson's Promontory at 5.45 a.m. on the 8th,

JBaho Island at 4 nJn. on the 9th, entered Fort Jackson at 10 a.m. CU the 10th, and arrived alongside of company's wharf at 11 »'.m. .(ame day. Experienced light easterly breeze and fine clear «rsatber to Wflaon'» Promontory, and light north-east wind and fins weather hence until arrival.

. -, The steamships Ly-ee^Moon, for Melbourne ; Balclutha, for Brisbane; Tasman, for Hobart Town; Easby, for New Zealand ; and James Paterson, for Roîkhwnptos.-took their departures yeaterdav aftaotoea»

^»^~- I ? "

Tnr Gbafton (s ) -One of the most complete tranafou-ationa that we have cvci witnessed has been cairied out by Mr John h Manning on the Grafton (s ), so favourhblv known in the Clarence River trade This vessel, constructed bj Laird, of Bukenhead, under the superintendence of the lntc Ciptniri \\i«imnn, cspeeialh for our bar linibour trade, ii.« a powerful paddlc stcamer ot most unusual stuiwtb but nssheï as sot\pciisi\t to work and cairied so little, the compnnv to wlmh she belonged detcmnned to sell hci, nnd «hi «as purchased b\ Mr Manning, with n view to con>eiaion into ii twin screw steamer with the most modem class of machinen Owins- to the i tci\ henv\ work to bo pel formed, mid the high prici of lnboui,

the alttrations cirried out have occupied ncurh two \ ears, but hiAe lesulted in the most perfect success hi oeii wav Hie Gratton being originally constructed with her detks flamming out, foi tht eunve\ mice of h\e stock, and with n hollow amid- ships for the paddle-wheels, it hicnme nece«-ai\ to tut out the entire contre section ol the ship to till water h edge, m ordci to make ittouespondwitlitheuids ibis waseffectcd Alldifeeti\e plates and fiamts wirt removed and the eiitut ship gutted out, leaving notlung but a portion of hqi shell Shi was then lined upon four feet, in n line with the hnlf-poop and foiecastle, thus fonning a fine Hush deck 28 feet wide. Hound this liea\ \ angle iron stanchions have been secured with n main íail of gnat stiength, tho object of this unusual solidiU being to gi\e gi cater security for tile cottle fittings, there being room on deck for some tiftv head The decks arc of "i| katin, manv of the lengths exceeding 60 fett fcicivthing about the decks is finished in a vei y supeiioi manner, and w lth her tall tipci mg spar-some 9r> feet long-coppered light np, the Gi afton looks moiclikc nvaeht than a light draught bn^-haiboui bteamei

'Ihe accommoiiationtor first-class passengers »veiy supeiioi, not onH isthcie a laige lowci saloon, w ¡th enclosed state rooms, bath closets, _c , all beautifullvventilated, but above, in n deck-housi some 40 feet long, thei c is an elegant dilling saloon, with a lal gi panti v opening off it Passcngirs, theicfore, who suifei from sea- sickness can ietnain below w itliout the, to them, disagrcnblc snull oi dinner neal them, and passmgers who donot suffei in the same mamici can ha\c their meals in comfort The Crofton basing been fitted out oxpressli foi tin internoithern Queensland trade, ventilation li is been speciallj attended to, and it seems to have bctn made as neftilv perfect as possible In the two saloons home 40 passengers can be oci theil i he machincrv, consti uctcd at Moit's Dook and Engineering Companv's woiks, is that known as high piessuie surfuct condensing, ot 61 horse powei nom- inal These uigines aie fitted with the most appioved expansion gear, working from 2 inches ot the stroke Altogether there ure three engines, one duving each screw, and a third working the circulating nnd other pumps on the eondcnsoi The screw engines run at a piston speed of 180 feet a minute w ith the expansions on, and at that indicate ovei 460 horse-pow er, being more than seven times the nominal powei 'lhe two boilers, pressed to 120 lbs, woik at a prcssuie of 00 lbs to the inch, and are fired fiom underneath llicy hive 72 feet of fire-giate suiface, »re casil\ filed by one man, and consume 5 tons coal in the 24 horns The bunkers contain about lidnvs'coal Ühcio are no less than fl\ i stop-valv es, so that in the case of anv accident cithei engines oi boiler on be completely disconnected The stilting geai ia m a most convenient position on deck, and is handled hi one man onlv The surface condensei has ovci 20 squnie feet of cooling surface to the nominal horse-powei, which is greatlv bevond

the usual allowance, consequently the fine vacuum of 2G4 inches i is tai ried 'J he propellers are 7 feet in diameter, w ith pitch 8 feet 6 inches, running nt HO revolutions Owing to the «ne pitch very slight vibration is caused, and vou could hni dl\ tell that

v ou were in a ste-unei, even when running at nine knots-the I speed the Grafton has been doing at hci trial tups, oven ui the present foul state of her bo*ton The steerage is well v cuhlatcd and ven loftv, being 7 ftct 1 inches high, in it are beith* foi thirty-six passengers, and a nice pantiy The officers'quintéis arc on deck under the budge, which is 25 feet Ion, Tliex aie fitted with drawers locktrs, and c\erv convtmenee The measurement of the two holds is ncuh 400 tons and the skin being kept well up mid perfcctlv flat no dunnage is required nnd everv facilita 'snffoided for tht lapid discharge of cargo W e hnve never seen anv vessel that promised a hertel emin to her owner-beautiful passengei accommoda- tion, room\ decks, good speed, ft 9-knotboat, treat ccononn in wolking expenses, and withal large enrrving capaolts on light draught \\ c understand the Grafton is foi sale, and if not dis- posed of shortlv will be placed in the Clarence or Richmond River» trade The whole of the alterations to the Grafton, which have cost £18,000, have been carried out undci the inspection of theGovemment engmcci md surveyor

The caigo of the steamer Hunter, rrom the Civile, comprises 1 | horse, 5 b__s, 3 calve«, 40 pigs, 7 coops fowls, 150 bags bark, 80 bags oysters, 135 kegs butter, 2500 feet timber, and sundries

A ship, name unknown, passed Cape Otwav earlv >estenlav morning, and a ves-el behes ed to be her was outside the Heads at 4 p m Latei on it was ascertained that she was the Linguist from Liverpool, and tbutslie had bien quarantined m consequence of small-pox having manifested itself on board during the pas- sage -A[r¡fit%Ji$Ti\ 7 ,

The P ando Co '« steamer China left "V, llhamstown Docks at 6 15am on the 8th instant, arrived off Quat antine station at 9am, received passengers andbaggage ex steamship Bangalore, and proceeded at 11 5 ajii , cleared Poit Phillip Heads at II 46 a ni , from thence to Wilson's Promonton light southerh wind and fine weather, off the Promontorv at 8 45 p ni

Experienced light variable winds to Gibo Island, which was passed on the 9th A pul st 2 pm, from thence to Port Jackson light N > and F windfc, with fine weather, entered Svdnc) Heads at 12 40 p m , April lath, arrited. at moorings at 1 20 p m arter

an excellent passage _

Launch -Thk Yarra Yarba -On the 10th instant Messrs A M'Millan and Sou-launched irom their docM ard, at Dumbarton, the Yarra \ arra, an iron sailing ship of 1J40 ton« BM lhis vessel has been built to the order of Messrs \\ illiain Gracie and Co , of Liverpool, and is intended lor the australian and hastern ti-ules 1 he nailung eeremouv was-perfouncd by MissPoiteous, of Rav«iispark, Irvine, nnd the vessel will be undci the command of Mi Robei t Kerr -¿HW i hell i Jtegt it er, i i bruui v 16

L\c_pi"i)R Islands -trcemantle, Decembei 30 Numbers of vessels an proceeding to the above islands toi the guano deposits on them These islands nie subject to the sevctc linn leone* which visit the north-west ooa»t of Australia foi five months in the vear, vus, from Novembei to Mai oh uiclusive, and the maic^t shelter is Beagle Bav The níustei of the Rose »choona i epoi ts that duiingji short stay thai« he had to blip lus auchen and chain and run for shelter -Mitthell's ftegntei, february 16

Rfcovfbi ot Suî»k_\ Yi-ssbls-Lately Mi Hough read a papei at the Inventors'Institute, on " 1 he Recovir\ of Sunken \essds " He stated that his pim was til st to covoi all the open- ings in the vessel to be raised w th the aid of divers, and then small uigines of two cj linders, with centutugal, double acting, oi spcar-pumps attached, should be placed on the uupei or lowei deck, or against anv convenient opening in the side These pfunpulg-enguies weie to be dilven hv compressed air from the surface, and the compressed air could be supplied by an-puuips on a small steamer it the surface He contended that his plau would not be affected by the weather, as the work could be susptnded and resumid at any stace without disadvantage, and ht helio ed it could be used successfullv to raise the Yangnaid The president thought that the great difficulty in the case of the \ uneuard would be to stop the portholes, gangw avs, lunnels and hateh wavs st fio great a depth as 75 feet below the surface Di

Macgregor Croft pomtedout the gieat difficulty wns how to deal with the sand which had silted into the vessel Adam al Selwyn did not believe the Vanguard could ba raised at all, loi she must now be neailv _cotered with sand Then the deck itstlf was not strong enought to hear the piessure neccssaiv to lift her A French companv had bought the ship, but their divelo, aftei one shoit decent, had refused togo down again, as the dinger and depth were so great Then he did not believe the vessel, even if it could be got up, was worth the expenditure the operation would cost Mr Hough briefly replied, and admitted that if the sand hadverv much silted up round the ship md got in- side her, nothing would lift hei The Presidtnt remarked that Mr Hou_rfc's plan was no doubt a verv good one for ordinary pul poses, but the Vanguard was, he thought, beyond it» powers

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