Screw Lifting Frames

Home Forums Nautical Research: 1830 – Present Day Screw Lifting Frames

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  • #19085
    Russ L
    Participant

    Following the Crimean war and using government funding paid to Gibbs, Bright & Co in 1857, the SS GB was fitted with a screw lifting frame. Its purpose was to raise the propellor when not in use to reduce drag, shudder and loss of control.

    I am researching this and I’m keen to know about the background to its instillation, the practicality of the screw lifting frame in service and whether the costs of design, manufacture and installation were recovered by the savings made through efficiency gains during its working life.

    If anyone has information about this, or screw lifting frames in general, I would be very grateful if you could contact me.

    #19093
    Frank Scott
    Participant

    The Transactions of the Institution of Naval Architects are a valuable research source that show contemporary thinking on such subjects.
    I very much doubt that it was all worth it. The weight & cost would have been significant, and when the lifting frame was raised the ‘screw aperture’ (now minus actual screw) would have been larger than before & the resultant increase in cross flow would have had an adverse impact on rudder performance.
    Modern sail training ship designers who have fitted single screw have had to pay careful attention to rudder design because of the screw aperture problem.

    #19097
    Malcolm Lewis
    Participant

    You might find Captain John Wells RN, book The immortal Warrior (1987) useful. In this he describes the ‘Propeller lifting gear’ (P60). (see attachment). There are still some copies on Amazon under £5. S.S.Great Britain was still in service 1845-1886 and her lifting gear was probably very similar to Warrior’s.
    GB is most interesting to visit.

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    #19123
    Russ L
    Participant

    Thank you Malcolm, just added to my ever-growing reading list…most grateful to you.

    #19124
    Russ L
    Participant

    Thank you Frank. Your insight is most interesting, very helpful and much appreciated. I had reached the same conclusion, but via a different route.

    #21347
    Jeremy S
    Participant

    Hello Russ: my grandfather served on the Royal Swedish Navy’s training ship Saga in 1903-04. I have discovered she had a prop lifting frame. Launched in 1877 and decommissioned in 1926, the screw and frame are on view outside the Karlskrona Marine Museum. http://www.marinmuseum.se Use ‘Images’ and there are some good pictures of the prop and gear, front left of the Museum front. My grandfather’s diary said one day: “About 1400 everyone had to assist in hauling in the propeller.” Hope this helps!

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    #21354
    Jeremy S
    Participant

    Two more links which may help. Ewan Corlett wrote ‘The Iron Ship’ in 1975 (Moonraker Press) which includes details of the SS Great Britain’s lifting-screw fitted in 1856-57. See attachment. Also have seen the Imperial Russian Navy used the system; the world’s first true armoured cruiser the General-Admiral (see Google) was so fitted – launched 1873.

    #21355
    Jeremy S
    Participant

    Try again

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    #21459
    Russ L
    Participant

    Thank you Jeremy, always welcome.

    #21460
    Russ L
    Participant

    Fascinating, thank you so much Jeremy. Do you know how many crew it took to lift the screw on Saga?

    #21483
    Jeremy S
    Participant

    The short answer is No. However … Saga was a triple masted fully rigged steam corvette, 1617 tonnes, 61 metres long. There were 14 officers and 24 cadets. Crew were said to be 188 men, but this may refer to times prior to being a training ship. A 1904 photo shows about 115 (maybe others at work). As the cadets were being trained, they helped fully up masts with sails etc, so maybe on this voyage the Able Seamen crew were fewer than the ‘official’ 188. So with some ABs at work, others asleep, the cadets were needed.

    #21485
    Russ L
    Participant

    Thanks Jeremy. Every bit of information helps me to build up a picture of SLFs. I believe that the SSGB needed 24 crew on deck and a further 8 engineers below to raise the screw…probably more in foul weather.

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