Reply To: Coaling Warships with Naval Labour 1870-1914

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#9591
Alastair Wilson
Participant

    By Alastair Wilson
    Further to the above and more seriously: to answer some of the queries posed above: yes, ash and clinker were just dumped in the sea (nothing very ‘green’ about our 19th century forefathers) – Welsh steam coal made up to 15% ash by volume, so there was an awful lot of ash disposed of. In ‘Warrior’s’ case there was an ash hoist from the boiler rooms to the upper deck – the ash-bucket fitted inside one of the air-intakes for the combustion air – and an overhead rail on the upper deck to take the ash to an ash-chute which ran down the ship’s side to the waterline. Inevitably ash did escape, but not excessively, so long as the stokers doing the job were careful.
    In describing the fuel used by Naval vessels as smokeless and clean-burning – well, compared to some coals it may have been, but it still made smoke in copious quantities, especially if you were changing speed, and changing the rate of firing.