Sometimes vessels are built in docks, which are artificial basins with level floors, shut off from outside waters by gates or by a single dam known as a caisson. These gates are water-tight and can be opened or closed; the dock is supplied with means for pumping out the water or letting it in. The lowest fore and aft piece which forms the foundation of a ship is called the keel Plate 1, No. It is of live-oak, or elm, and made of several pieces, the joints of which are known as scarphs.

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Sometimes vessels are built in docks, which are artificial basins with level floors, shut off from outside waters by gates or by a single dam known as a caisson. These gates are water-tight and can be opened or closed; the dock is supplied with means for pumping out the water or letting it in. The lowest fore and aft piece which forms the foundation of a ship is called the keel Plate 1, No. It is of live-oak, or elm, and made of several pieces, the joints of which are known as scarphs.

To receive the edge of the first row, or strake, of outside planking, called the garboard strake 2 , the keel is scored throughout its length, the score being styled a rabbet 3. To protect the main keel from injury in grounding there is fitted under it a false keel 4 , bolted on after the bolts which secure the frames to the main keel are clinched.

The forward end of the ship is formed of the stem 5 , usually of live-oak, and inclining forward from the keel.

A rabbet, similar to the one scored in the keel, is cut into the sides of the stem and receives the forward ends of the outside planking, which are called the fore hood-ends.

The stem is backed and strengthened by the apron 6 , placed abaft it, and by the deadwood 7. Deadwood consists of timbers that fill the spaces where, owing to the shape of the vessel, the floor-timbers have to be discontinued. Inside of the forward deadwood and the apron is the stemson 8 , a large knee which joins the apron to the upper part of the deadwood. The after-end of the ship is bounded by the stern-post 9 , usually of live-oak, which stands perpendicular to the keel or slightly inclined aft.

It is fitted like the stem with a rabbet on each side to receive the after-ends of the outside planking, or after-hoods, and it is strengthened by the introduction of a stern-post knee 10 , inner post 11 , and the after-deadwood Above the latter is the after-deadwood knee The joining of the stern-post to the keel is effected by tenons and bolts.

The frames 14 form the ribs of the ship. They stand mostly at right angles to the keel and each is formed of two parts joined together, each part being in itself made up of several pieces. The lowest portions of a square frame are called the floor-timbers; above these come the futtocks, then the long or short top-pieces.

The starboard and port side of each frame form one continuous piece. Where, owing to the form of the ship, the frames do not stand at right angles to the keel, they are called cant frames. The following parts of the ship serve to secure the above-mentioned portions together and give the structure stiffness and strength; viz.

The main keelson 18 is a fore and aft timber which is laid directly over the keel on the floor-timbers and may extend beyond the latter and over the deadwood, forward and aft. The keelson is bolted through frames, keel, and deadwood.

There are usually additional keelsons at each side of the main keelson, known as sister keelsons There are also boiler or bilge keelsons to support the boilers Bilge-keels are exterior keels bolted on to the bottom of the ship on either side of and parallel to the main keel, and at some distance from the latter, to prevent rolling in vessels of certain form.

To hold the two sides of the ship together in the forward and after ends, where the frames have no floor-timbers crossing the keel, owing to the form of the ship, there are worked in knee-shaped, horizontal timbers, either with a natural curve, or formed of two or more pieces backed by an iron or wooden knee.

These curved supports, secured to either side of the ship, are termed breast-hooks 15 forward and stern-hooks 16 aft; when they support a deck they are called deck-hooks.

The outer planking of a ship is formed of a number of oak planks of varying thickness, but nearly parallel when placed in position over the frames. To check marine growth on the bottom of vessels and the consequent decrease of speed, all wooden vessels of war are sheathed with copper from the keel to a point some distance above their line of flotation, or "water-line. This planking is not continuous, as in the case of outside planking, and in different parts of the ship is called by different names.

It is known as the limber-strakes 21 nearest the keelson. These strakes extend along the bottom of the ship on either side of the 3 keelson. As the planking is carried up the side beyond the limber-strakes it is known as the ceiling 22 ; following it up higher we find projecting ledges, called shelf-pieces, or clamps, placed inside the frames to receive the deck-beams.

The deck-beams 17 , extending from side to side of the ship, holding the sides together, form the support for the deck-planking. The beams are supported by posts or stanchions 23 in their centre, and by clamps at each end. They are joined to the sides of the ship by iron or wooden knees, known as hanging 24 , lodging 25 , lap 26 , or dagger corruption of diagonal knees, from their positions and form. The waterways 27 are timbers set in the side over the tops of the deck-beams and bolted to these and to the frames at the side.

Decks are of oak, teak, or yellow pine, and are spiked to each deck-beam over which they pass. Vessels owe much of their strength to the use of diagonal trusses or braces, of metal, secured inside of the frame-timbers and forming a net-work which binds the frames firmly together.

To the above outline of the parts of the hull is appended a list of prominent interior fittings and of the terms used in describing them:- Aft. At or near the stern of the ship. After passage. Usually a space in the after orlop of frigates, being a passageway to the different store-rooms on that deck. Usually circular. In or near the middle of the ship. A timber secured in rear of the stem to strengthen it at the joint of upper and lower stem-pieces.

Where clothing-bags of crew are stored. Usually forward on the berth-deck or leading off of fore-passage. Stone or iron placed in the hold to bring the ship down to her proper line of flotation and give stability. Timbers that extend from side to side, supporting the decks. Clamps bolted to the bowsprit through which reeve the fore-topmast stays. A pin of wood or metal at the side of the vessel or on the masts, around which a rope is fastened or belayed. The thickest outside planking, extending from a little below the waterline to the lower gun-deck ports.

The sleeping and mess-deck of the crew and officers of a ship. Pieces of timber on either side of the mast to which the trestle trees are secured. Blocks of wood shaped to receive the bottoms of boats, when hoisted in. Rounded blocks of wood filling the angle between the trestle-tree and the mast, to prevent chafing of the rigging against the former. Pieces of iron or other metal used in fastening parts of the ship together.

A small hatchway, or the covering or companion of such an aperture. Iron rings secured to one yard or spar, to support another spar, which passes through the iron. Such are the studding-sail boom-irons on the lower and top-sail yards. The part of the stem on which the bowsprit rests. Usually situated in the after orlop. Break of Forecastle. Where the rise of the forecastle towards the waste of the ship, ends. Commonly used to define the after side of a top-gallant forecastle.

Break of Poop. Where the rise of the poop towards the waist, ends. Commonly used in speaking of the forward end of the poop. Knees, or an assemblage of timbers, set in the bows of ships and secured on either side to the timbers of the bow.

Through these ports are led the bridles of tow-lines or warps. A light structure extending across the ship above the spar-deck, to afford the officer of the deck or lookout a place for observation. Shutters used in closing hawse-pipes hawse-bucklers , or filling the circular opening of half-ports when there is no gun in the port port- bucklers.

Partitions that divide off different parts of the ship. The sides of the ship above the upper deck. A projection of wood or iron from the bow or quarter, to give proper angle for the lead of the fore-tack or main-brace.

The quarters of the commanding officer of a ship. On the gun-deck of a ship with flush spar-deck, or under the poop poop-cabin of a single-decked vessel or one having a poop in addition to a covered gun-deck. In the latter case the gun-deck cabin is usually occupied by a flag officer. At present understood to mean light platforms in the wings where spare rigging is stowed.

Frames, forward and aft, which are not at right angles to the central fore and aft line of the vessel. A joint fitted over the heads of masts to support the next higher mast, which passes through a hole in the cap.

A stout upright which supports the forward edge of the lower cap. A barrel of wood or metal that revolves horizontally on a spindle; is used with capstan-bars or moved round by steam to raise heavy weights, weigh anchor, etc.

Carlings Short timbers running fore and aft, connecting the beams. Filling the seams of a ship with oakum or cotton. A large wooden cleat used for belaying. Portions of the inside planking of a ship. Chains see Channels.

Chain chests. Lockers in the channels for the storage of wash-deck gear. Receptacles for the chain cables of the ship, usually forward of the main-mast in the main-hold. Iron linings of the holes through which the cables are led in passing from one deck to another.

Ledges of plank projecting from the side to give additional spread to the lower shrouds. Pieces of timber bolted in the top-sides, with sheaves for fore and main sheets, after guys. Those for the fore and main sheets are known also as fore and main sheet "chocks. Pieces of wood with projecting arms, used for belaying ropes.


Seamanship Notes by Angus Ferguson (Paperback, 2004)





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