Naval architecture in the XIX centrury

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  • #17408
    Octavio D
    Participant

      Concerning British naval architecture from the mid 19th century, there is a mixed method that was used in the construction of some ships that involves wood and steel to strengthen the structure on sailing vessels. I would like to have a better understanding of this process. We have been doing some research on a wreck found in the Mexican Caribbean. So far we have excavated no more than the 10% of the wreck remains in which we have surveyed the keelson, some planks, frames and copper sheets (Muntz) that cover the hull.

      We would like to get more information about this construction process. Any help about this, or any information about to whom we might contact to get more information would be very well appreciated.

      I will be very happy to share any more details that can help for a better understanding of this topic.

      Best regards from Mexico.

      #17415
      Frank Scott
      Participant

        The type of construction you are referring to is ‘composite’ in which the iron/ steel frames are planked with wood, which allowed the underwater hull to be sheathed with Muntz-metal or copper which inhibited marine growth (barnacles etc). Prior to the development of anti-fouling paints iron or steel hulls would collect marine growth very quickly, and the resultant drag had a dramatic adverse impact on speed. Composite construction was far from restricted to Britain, although it has two of the best preserved surviving examples: the clipper Cutty Sark (1869) at Greenwich, and the sloop HMS Gannet (1878) at Chatham. Books about either of these vessels should explain the construction in more detail. Contemporary manuals of naval architecture, such as that by Sir William White are also good sources.

        #17602
        Maurice Smith
        Participant

          Here is one place to start – Merchant Sailing Ships 1850 – 1875 by David R. MacGregor. And dare I say it – Wikipedia will give you many good leads including the Cutty Sark example noted by Frank Scott.

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