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The New Zealander December 3rd 1856

The Conference, Capt WEBSTER, the first ship that has hitherto been laid on from Liverpool to this port, rounded the North Head on Saturday at 1 p.m. after a passage of 104 days, having sailed on 17 August.  Throughout the passage she encountered a great deal of light and baffling weather.  She crossed the equator on 15 September; sighted the island of Trinidad on 23 of the same month and passed the meridian of the Cape on 11 October.  On 7 September spoke the barque Cassadolone from Bombay bound for Liverpool and on 19 October spoke the French clipper Gertrude, out 62 days from Dieppe, bound for Sydney, there being then but a day’s difference between the ships from their respective ports of departure.  She passed to the southward of Tasmania and on 20 ult. Exchanged signals with the barque Cresswell from the westward.  She made the Three Kings at 4 p.m. on 26 ult. And rounded the North Cape the same afternoon.  Notwithstanding that her passage has been by no means a rapid one, the Conference is a very beautiful clipper ship but she is constructed of iron and like all ships of the kind her bottom is certain to become foul and her speed, in consequence, to be greatly impeded; under water she is, at present, like a rasp, being coated with barnacles of great length; this is a serious objection to iron, seagoing ships, even the Denny and the Wonga Wonga, if they run more than a few weeks without painting, become sluggish and until some sort of coating be discovered to prevent the iron bottoms from being thus clogged, it will be impossible for them to compete with the old fashioned wooden walls.  The Conference was built at Warrington, upon the Aberdeen principle in 1855.  Her dimensions are 156 ft keel, 170 feet overall, 26 feet beam and 16 feet depth of hold.  Her lines are exceedingly beautiful and being flush she presents a noble appearance on deck; her mean load draught is 14 feet, trimming 7 inches by the stern.  She is essentially an iron craft, all her standing rigging being of wire rope.   She is now on her second voyage, the former one having been to the Mauritius, whence she carried a large cargo of sugar.  Her owners we understand are desirous of continuing her in this trade but she is not one of the Messrs Baines far-famed Black Ball line but the property of Messrs Moore & Co of Liverpool.  She does not load from hence for England, having been chartered to take cargo from Manila.   We learn from Capt WEBSTER that the famous clipper Lightning was to be laid on from Liverpool for this port immediately upon her arrival home from Melbourne.