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Assistant NavaTConstructor, U. S. N. 









Assistant Naval Constructor, U. S. N. 





This booklet is issued for use by workmen engaged in building 
ships contracted for by the U. S. Shipping Board, in the hope and 
confident expectation that it will prove of value to them in their 
service to the country. 

Written in simple language and illustrated with clear diagrams, 
this booklet will serve both as a guide to the activities of a modern 
American shipyard and a stimulus to patriotic service. 

Industrial Service Department, 
U. S. Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation. 

Shipbuilding for Beginners 

Object of This Pamphlet 

It is only natural that a man who has work to do should be in- 
terested in knowing : 

What he is to do; 

Why he is to do it; and 

How he should do it. 

Furthermore a knowledge of these things will make him a better 
workman* thus not only rendering him of more service to his coun- 
try, but also enabling him to make more wages for himself. A care- 
ful study of the following pages will assist a man starting work in 
a shipyard in attaining this knowledge. 

General Remarks About Ships 

Definition. A ship is a large sea-going vessel, or, in other words, 
it is a structure that will float and is capable of making ocean 
voyages. There are many different kinds of ships war ships and 
merchant ships, large and small, fast and slow, steel and wooden, 
designed and built for many different purposes but all have certain 
characteristics in common. Therefore, in what follows, for the sake 
of brevity, consideration will be given only to steel merchant steam- 

Requirements. The ship may be considered as a large boat. 
Being made of steel, which is heavier than water, it must be hollow 
and therefore, in order to float, it must be watertight. 

In order to pass safely over the large waves of the ocean the ship 
must be given such a shape that it will not capsize and such strength 
that it will not break in two. 

In other words the principal requirements of all ships are : 

1. Watertightness. 

2. Stability. 

3. Strength. 

The second of these, stability, depends upon the design of the 
ship the shape of her hull, but the other two depend not only upon 
the design but upon the workmanship, and every workman who 
helps build the hull of a ship is responsible, to some extent, for her 
watertightness and strength. 

Principal Parts. The main essential of any ship is the shell 
plating. This forms the hull or outer skin of the ship, keeps out the 
water, helps to furnish strength and encloses all the other parts of 
the hull. It is made up of a great many steel plates, ranging in 
thickness from % inch to 1 inch, depending on the size of the ship and 
the location of the plates. These plates are joined together by rivets. 
Inside of this plating, to support and stiffen it, is the framing. 

The rough sketch below gives a general idea of the appearance 
of a cargo ship, seen from one side. 


As the ship moves ahead through the water the end that enters 
the water is the forward end of the ship, or the bow. The edge of 
the bow, which cuts the water, is called the stem. The other end of 
the ship, or after end is called the stern. The ship is driven forward 
by the propeller and is steered by the rudder. Running along the 
length of the ship at the middle of the bottom is the keel which fur- 
nishes longitudinal strength and forms the "backbone" of the ship. 
When looking from the stern towards the bow, or from aft forward, 
the side of the ship to the right hand is called the starboard side, 
and the side to the left hand, the port side. The forward upper 
portion of the ship is called the forecastle and the after upper por- 
tion, the poop. A little forward of the middle of the ship's length 
and at a considerable height above the water is located the bridge 
which is an enclosed platform for use of the captain and other 
officers who navigate and handle the ship. Special speaking tubes, 
telegraphs, etc., connect the bridge directly with the engine room. 

The second rough sketch gives 
an idea of the shape of the hull as 
seen from ahead of the ship. The 
sides are usually nearly straight 
and the bottom nearly flat but ris- 
ing slightly on each side. The 
portion of the shell plating be- 
tween the side and the bottom is 
called the bilge. When the ship 
is fully loaded a large portion of 
the hull is under water. 

In order to show the main 
structural parts of a ship there is 

given below a longitudinal section BOW VIEW OF CARGO SHIP 
or sketch showing the ship cut 

along the center line. The names of the various subdivisions or 
compartments are marked on this sketch. The decks, which are 
flat, or nearly flat and horizontal platforms, correspond to the floors 

of a building. The bulkheads are vertical flat structures corres- 
ponding to the walls or partitions of a building. The inner bottom 
is a flat plated surface located two or three feet above the ship's 
bottom plating so as to form a double hull extending along the whole 
bottom of the ship. The inner bottom is also called the tank-top, 
as it forms the top of a number of double bottom tanks. These tanks 
are used for salt water ballast (to prevent the ship from being "top 
heavy" when carrying no cargo), for fresh water as reserve feed 
for the boilers, and, in the case of oil-burning ships, for fuel oil. The 
decks and bulkheads subdivide the hull into numerous compart- 
ments, thus increasing safety by limiting the amount of space that 
may be flooded in case the shell plating is damaged so that water can 
enter the hull. At the ends of the ship are large peak tanks which 
can be filled with water to trim the ship to an even (horizontal) 
keel. The boilers which furnish the steam power of the ship are 
located in one large compartment, several decks high, and the engine 
or engines in another similar compartment. Power from the en- 
gine to the propeller is transmitted by the shaft which extends 

through the shaft tunnel, a long narrow passageway enclosed by 
steel plates. Cargo is carried in. the holds and tween-deck spaces. 
Living quarters of officers and crew are located on the main and 
bridge decks. Cargo hatches are large openings in the decks through 
which cargo is lowered into the ship by means of cargo booms at- 
tached to the masts. These are either wooden or built up steel 
spars of great strength. The names of these various parts of a ship 
have been indicated in the sketches above. 

There are of course many parts of a ship not mentioned here be- 
cause of lack of space. A ship, as well as being capable of floating 
and making trips on the ocean, must have practically all of the equip- 
ment of a building on shore such as heating, lighting, ventilation, 
plumbing, refrigeration, means of communication, facilities for 
making repairs, etc., etc. Also she must have means of anchoring 
and mooring, boats and means for hoisting them, and various pumps 
and auxiliary machinery. With these the worker in a shipyard 
will gradually become familiar in the course of his work and no 
attempt will be made to describe them in detail in these pages. 

Materials Used in Shipbuilding. In a large modern cargo vessel 

practically every material will be found used to some extent, but 
in the construction of the hull proper the principal material used 
is mild steel in the form of forgings, castings, plates, shapes and 

Forgings and castings are used for special purposes, of which the 
principal are the stem and stern post, rudder frame, propeller 
struts, etc. 

Plates, which are simply flat sheets of steel of various thick- 
nesses, are used to form the shell plating, decks, bulkheads, shaft 
tunnel, tank top, etc. Plates are usually spoken of by weight and a 
twenty pound plate means one that weighs twenty pounds per square 
foot. Such a plate is about % inch in thickness. A ten-pound 
plate is thus about % i n ch thick, and so forth. 


Shapes are used to form the framing and strength of the ship. 
They are long steel pieces, rolled to a constant cross section. The 
most common shape is the angle bar shown in the upper part of the 
sketch above. When the end is sawed off square the section thus 
made is L-shaped, or forms an angle, thus giving it its name. Sec- 
tions of the other shapes ordinarily used the channel, T-Bar, Z-bar, 
bulb-angle, T-bulb and I-beam are also shown in the sketch. 

Rivets are the small steel members used to connect the various 
plates and shapes together. Usually they are first heated red hot 
and driven or clinched with hammers or presses. The sketch shows 
different kinds of rivets, already driven, connecting two steel plates 


and a portion of an iron casting. A rivet before being driven is a 
simple cylinder finished at one end with a head. Various forms of 
heads are shown in the sketch. The point of a rivet is formed, when 
it is driven, while the rivet is hot. Various forms, of points are 
shown in the sketch. A tap rivet is not really a rivet, but a form of 
screw. After being tightly screwed in place and secured the square 
projecting portion shown in the sketch is cut off leaving a flat or 
flush head. Tap rivets are used for connecting thin to relatively 
thick parts. 

The Building of the Hull 

The hull of a large ship weighs many hundreds of tons. It is 
built on the land, near the water's edge, and when completed, it 
is launched, or permitted to slide down specially prepared timbers, 
called launching ways, into the water. In order to support the large 
concentrated weight of the hull, while it is being built, and before 
it is launched, the ground must, in most cases, be strengthened. This 
is done by means of piling as shown on the following page in the 
sketch of the cross section of a ship being built. This sketch rep- 
resents what would be seen if the ship and the ground on which 
it is being built be imagined as cut at right angles to the ship's 
keel, or length. 

Piles, as shown, are driven deep enough into the ground to form a 
firm foundation and after being sawed off at the top are capped by 
cross timbers, of which one is shown in the sketch. On top of 
these cross timbers are placed heavy wooden blocks, called the 
building or keel blocks. These form the foundation on which the 
keel of the ship is laid. The keel usually consists of a number of 
long narrow and comparatively heavy steel plates, placed end to 
end, and extending from the stem to the stern frame. This is what 
is known as a flat plate keel. 

The first step in the construction of the hull is the laying of the 
keel. This consists simply in laying the plates in place on top of 
the building blocks. The ends of the plates are connected together 
by short pieces of plates called butt straps, which overlap the ends. 

On top of the flat plate keel and running vertically along its 
center line is placed the center vertical keel which consists, like the 
flat plate keel, of a number of flat rectangular plates, end to end, 
along the length of the ship. 


The next step in the work varies in different yards some erect 
the plating of the bottom first, some erect the floor plates first. The 
floor plates form the lower portions of the transverse frames. They 
are deep flat plates extending between the inner and outer bottoms, 
placed vertically at right angles to the keel. They are secured to the 
center vertical keel at their inner ends and to the margin plate or 
edge of the inner bottom at their outer ends. 

Where the plating of the bottom is erected first it is attached 
to the keel and gradually built out on each side, being supported 
by wooden shores as shown. After the keel, center vertical keel 
and bottom plating are erected and supported by suitable shoring 
the floor plates are placed in position. All of this material is bolted 

in place as fast as it is erected. Angle bars are fitted to the top 
and bottom of each floor plate to connect it to the inner and outer 
bottom plating. Longitudinals are the plates running vertically 
and at right angles to the floor plates, between them. The floor 
plates are usually about two or three feet apart. The floor plates 
and longitudinals, with their connecting angle bars, form the 
inner bottom framing. To the top of this framing is attached the 
inner bottom and margin plating. 

As the above work is progressing the stem and the stern frame 
are erected and attached to the ends of the keel. 

When the inner bottom is erected the transverse frames or frames, 
as they are called, are erected and secured by brackets to the edge 
of the inner bottom. Their upper ends are connected, between each 
side of the ship, by the deck beams. There is usually a beam at each 
frame for each deck. The frames and their beams are numbered and 
the strakes (or rows) of shell plating are lettered for convenience in 
locating the various parts. During the early stages of construction 
the frames are held in position by long wooden strips called ribbands, 
running along the sides of the hull. The beams are connected to the 
frames by means of brackets. The beams are usually supported in 
the middle by vertical pillars or stanchions. At the same time that 
the frames and beams are being erected the bulkheads are also put 
in place. The bulkheads take the place of certain frames, being 
solid plate partitions running completely across the ship. 

After the frames, beams and bulkheads are in place the plating 
of the sides of the hull and of the decks is installed. To furnish sup- 
port for workmen engaged in working on the shell plating, deck 
beams, etc., scaffolding is erected as shown in the sketch. 

After the various parts have been erected and carefully fitted in 
place the rivet holes are reamed, or made fair and smooth so as to 
take the rivets properly, and the work of rivetting commences. 
Certain rivetting must commence soon after the keel has been laid. 
In addition to the rivetting, certain plates must be made watertight 
by calking. (This will be described later.) 

The above description will give a general idea of the work of 
building the hull of a ship prior to launching. Only the more im- 
portant points have been taken up. After the hull proper is com- 
pleted a large amount of work on finishing the interior, installing 
various piping, wiring, auxiliary machinery, fittings, etc., must be 
done, but as this is of miscellaneous character no attempt will be 
made to give a detailed description of it here. 

Principal Shipbuilding Trades 

Names of Principal Trades. The work of building a ship from 
the time that it is decided upon until the ship is actually in com- 
mission is done by a large number of different classes of workmen. 
These include such trades as shipfitters, blacksmiths, rivetters, chip- 
pers and calkers, drillers, plumbers, pipefitters, machinists, joiners, 
carpenters, pattern makers, foundrymen, coppersmiths, sailmakers, 


wood calkers, heavy forgers, sheet metal workers, furnace men, 
shearers, punchers, anglesmiths, shipwrights, riggers, flangers, drop 
forgers, erectors, bolters-up, crane men, locomotive engineers, fire- 
men, loftsmen, laborers, painters and helpers in all of these trades. 
The more important trades employed in the actual construction 
of the hull of the ship, however, are as follows : 

1. Loftsmen, 

2. Shipfitters, 

3. Drillers, 

4. Eivetters, 

5. Chippers and Oalkers, 

6. Shipwrights, 

7. Kiggers, 

8. Shop Workers. 

Loftsmen. The plans of the ship, as made in the drafting room, 
are drawn to small scale. These are sent to the mould loft a large 
building with a smooth floor of sufficient size to have drawn upon 
it the plans of the ship to full size. This work is done by the lofts- 
men. The lines of the ship consist of three different plans called the 
sheer plan (side elevation), the half-breadth plan (plan) and the 
body plan (end -elevation). The shape of the ship is given by these 
three plans and from them templates or moulds can be made by the 
loftsmen. These templates or moulds are light wooden or paper 
patterns from which the steel for the various parts of the hull can 
be laid off and marked for shearing, punching, planing, etc. The 
plan most used in making templates is the body plan which shows 
the shape of each frame, beam and floor plate and this is usually 
marked off on a special section of wood flooring (called the scrieve 
board) and cut into it permanently with a scrieve knife. 

The duties of the loftsmen are to lay down and fair the lines on 
the mould loft floor, to make the scrieve board, and to make the 
various moulds or templates for the parts of the hull. This work 
requires considerable experience and a certain knowledge of math- 
ematics including geometry. A large responsibility rests upon the 
loftsmen, for if their templates are not properly made the parts of 
the hull will not join together properly to form the completed struc- 
ture. This would cause serious delays, the extra expense of making 
new parts, or the danger of weakening the hull of the ship. 

Shipfitters. The shipfitter (sometimes called "fitter-up") is 
probably the one metal worker whose trade may be said to be purely 
a shipbuilding trade. His work consists in marking off the steel 
material for different parts of the ship's hull. This is usually done 
by means of a template lifted or marked off from other parts already 
in place on the ship. In some cases the material is marked off di- 
rectly, without the use of a template, from dimensions taken from a 
blue print or other plan. 

It will thus be seen that there are three different ways of mark- 
ing material for fabrication: (1) From templates made in the 
mould loft by the loftsmen, (2) from templates made on the ship 
by shipfitters, (3) from blue prints, directly, by shipfitters. The 


amount of material marked off in each of these three different ways 
varies in different shipyards, according to yard practice. 

A few of the simpler parts, usually laid off by the shipfitters 
are illustrated in the following sketches. 

A clip is simply a short piece of angle bar used to connect two 
other parts at right angles, or nearly at right angles. The ends of 
the clip must be marked off so that it can be 
sheared to the proper length and the loca- 
tions of the centers of the rivet holes and 
their diameters indicated so that these holes 
may be properly punched. When the clip is 
completed it should bolt in place with the -t!f . co ^ gc -r^ <s -<> .*rr*+ 
rivet holes in it agreeing perfectly with those 
in the two parts that it connects. 

A bosom piece is a short section of angle bar used to connect, or 
form a sort of butt strap for, the ends of two angle bars in the same 
line. The thickness of the flanges of the bosom piece should be 











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slightly greater than those of the angle bars that it connects. The 
heel of the bosom piece must be planed off to fit into the bosom of the 

angle bars, as shown in the sketch. 
The toes of the bosom piece are 
planed off so as not to project 
beyond those of the angle bars. 

A brocket is a flat plate, 
usually of the shape shown in the 
sketch, used to connect two parts 
such as a deck beam and frame. 
The bounding edges and the loca- 
tions of the rivet holes, with their 
diameters, are marked off on the 
flat plate for shearing and punch- 
ing. The rivet holes in the bracket 
must agree perfectly, or come fair, 
with the holes in the frame. 
Shell plates are more difficult work and are laid off only by 
thoroughly experienced shipfitters. The sketch shows the various 
kinds of shell plating. Strakes is the name given to the rows of 
shell plating which extend fore and aft or at right angles to the 
frames. They are usually arranged alternately, inner and outer 
strakes, the former being fitted directly against the frames and the 
latter overlapping the edges of the two adjacent inner strakes. In 
some cases one edge of a strake is an inner and the other edge an 
outer. In order to give strength and stiffness, liners must be 


fitted between outer strakes and each 
frame that they cover. These are 
flat or straight liners. Liners are 
also necessary under the inner-and- 
outer strake plating. These must be 
tapered. The ends of adjacent plates 
in any strake are connected by butt 
straps. In laying out shell plates 
reference is made to the shell expan- 
sion plan which shows the size and 
spacing of rivets, size and thickness 
of butt straps, etc. 

The work done by a shipfitter is 
very important for if his work does 
not come absolutely true and fair the 
watertightness, strength, and conse- 
quently the safety of the ship may be 
seriously affected. A shipfitter must 
be able to "read plans" and a full__ 
knowledge of his work can only come 
from practical experience. Any man 
desirous of becoming a good shipfitter should spend as much time as 
possible in studying practical shipbuilding by means of plans, books 
and general observation. Intelligent shipfitter's helpers usually can 
become shipfitters after obtaining a certain amount of experience 
and knowledge. 

Drillers. Workmen of this trade usually do both drilling and 
reaming. A large portion of the rivet holes in the different parts of 
a ship are punched in the shop before the parts are erected, but 
in some cases the holes must be drilled on the ship. When the parts 
that are punched are fitted in place, in spite of the most careful 
workmanship, it will usually be found that many of the rivet holes 
in connecting pieces do not come quite fair, that they overlap 
slightly. These unevennesses are removed by reaming which con- 
sists in slightly enlarging the holes so as to make them fair and per- 
fectly cylindrical so that they will be completely filled by the rivets. 
When holes are very unfair, so that reaming would enlarge them to 
a great degree the work should not be reamed, as this would impair 
the strength. A new part must be made to remedy the defect. 

Rivetters. The ri vetting of a ship is what holds the various parts 
together and gives to the hull its watertightness, strength and safety. 
Each rivet must be driven carefully, exactly as called for by the 
plans. When the ship is designed, each and every rivet is specified 
in order to serve a certain purpose, and if not driven as intended 
the safety of the ship may be impaired. 

The actual method of driving rivets can be learned only by ex- 
perience, but every member of a ri vetting gang should realize the 
importance of his work, and his responsibilities. He is assisting in 
the final completion of the hull; and his work, which supplements 
that of all the others that have preceded him, gives to the ship her 
strength and safety. The lives of many men may depend upon how 


well his work has been done. (See more detailed discussion under 
"Kesponsibility of the men who build ships." ) 

Chippers and Calkers. It is sometimes necessary to trim off 
or smooth up the edges of plates, castings, etc., or to cut holes in 
them after they are in place on the ship. This is done by chippers 
using hand or pneumatic tools. These same workmen, usually, are 
also employed as calkers. Their duty is to calk the edges of plates, 
angles, rivet heads, etc., so as to make them watertight. This calking 
is done after the riveting is completed and it is very important 
that it be well and carefully done. The calking chisel or tool is 
used to force one part of metal tightly against another. The two 
principal kinds of calking edge calking and butt calking are 
illustrated in the sketch. If calking is not properly done water will 
enter between the parts of the joint, causing corrosion, and, in time, 
serious weakness to the ship's structure. In some parts of a ship 
even the slightest leakage might be dangerous. 








Shipwrights. The shipwrights are the workmen who install 
wood decks, wood foundations for capstans, winches, guns, etc., and 
who do the work of making and installing wooden masts, spars, 
booms, etc. They also have considerable work to do in connection 
with the preparation of launching ways, building blocks, shores, 
wedges, etc. Their work is distinct from woodwork on stateroom 
fittings, furniture, etc., and other woodwork of similar nature that 
is done by the joiners. 

Riggers. The work of the riggers consists in the manufacture 
and installation of shrouds, stays, lifts, braces, life lines, and other 
rigging fitted to the masts, spars, Dooms and other parts of the ship. 
Some of this rigging is made of steel wire rope, and some of hemp 
or m anil a rope. The riggers must be able to do splicing, seizing, 
serving, parcelling, etc. 

Shop Workers. The workmen employed in the shops of a ship- 
yard comprise a great variety of trades. For example, a large 
amount of the woodwork of a ship is done in the shop by the joiners. 


Ventilation, piping and all light metal plating work is done largelv 
in the shop by the sheet metal workers. Plumbing and piping work 
is done to a large extent in the shop by the plumbers, machinists and 
pipefitters. Forgings for a large number of miscellaneous fittings 
and other parts of the ship are made in the shop by blacksmiths, 
drop-forgers, heavy forgers, etc. Much of the work on wiring and 
electrical fittings is done in the shop by the electricians. 

The shop work on the hull proper, or the fabrication, as it is 
sometimes called, is done by the workmen who operate the shears, 
punches, bending rolls, planers, and other shop machines, and the 
frame benders, acetylene burners, furnace men, and angle-smiths, 
who do the work necessary, prior to erection, on keel plates, shell 
plates, frames, reverse frames, longitudinals, stringers, floor plates, 
brackets, clips, beams, bulkhead and deck plating, stiffeners, and 
other parts required for the hull of the ship. 

Responsibility of the Men Who Build Ships 

Every part of the hull of a ship has a certain purpose to serve, 
and the strength and usefulness of the ship as a whole depend upon 
each and every one of these parts. Every workman engaged in build- 
ing the hull of a ship, from the draftsman who designs the parts, 
down through the loftsmen, shop workers, and fitters, to the rivetters 
and calkers, has a certain responsibility, and upon the skill and 
care with which each does his part may depend the lives of hundreds 
of men. In time of war the lives of thousands, 
even, might depend upon the safe arrival of a 
single ship. 

This principle may be simply illustrated in 
the following way. Suppose that we have a piece 
of rope that is strong enough to support a weight 
of one ton. If such a weight be suspended by thii 
piece of rope, as shown in the sketch, the strength 
of the rope is effective and we have a condition 
of safe loading. 

Three pieces of this same rope would support 
a weight of three tons provided each piece of rop 
becomes effective. In the sketch below, where 
one piece of rope is longer than the other two, this 
lung piece is not effective, the other two pieces can support only 
two tons, and we have a case of 'unsafe loading. The two outer ropes 
would break and the 34on weight would fall. The strength of the 
two outer ropes is lost because of 
the lack of effective strength of 
the third. 

If we consider now the parts 
of a ship, a similar principle will 
be found to apply. In the upper 
sketch, page 17, is shown a case of 
safe loading, in which a pull of one 
ton is taken by a single rivet that 
joins two plates. This rivet is 
sufficiently strong to take this pull. 
Three of these rivets should be 




strong enough to take a pull of three tons, but in the lower (page 17) 
sketch one of the rivets has not been properly driven. Either be- 
cause the rivet holes were not properly laid and punched, or be- 
cause they were not properly reamed, or because the rivet itself 
was not properly driven, this rivet is not effective. It offers no re- 
sistance to the 3-ton pull, which thus comes upon two rivets that are 
not sufficiently strong and we have another case of unsafe loading. 
Under a pull of three tons this joint would be ruptured. 

Similarly each joint forms a part of the strength of the whole 
ship, and if defective rivets cause the failure of a joint, the added 
stress thus put upon the other parts may be greater than they can 
bear and the whole ship may break in two. Such cases have actually 

When a &hip is in a hurricane at sea her safety depends upon her 
strength and the workmen who built that ship are directly respon- 
sible for the lives of all on board. It is therefore important for 
each man working in a shipyard to do his work conscientiously and 
with every bit of care and intelligence of which he is possessed. 


Shipbuilding Terms 

For the convenience of beginners there is given below a list, 
alphabetically arranged, explaining briefly the meanings of some 
of the words, phrases, etc., most commonly used in connection with 
ships and shipbuilding: 

APT at, near, or toward the stern. 
AFTER nearer the stern. 

AFTER PERPENDICULAR a vertical straight line at the after edge of the 
rudder post. 

AIR PORT a circular opening in the ship's side. 

ANCHOR a heavy steel device that is attached to the end of a large chain 

or hawser to be dropped to the bottom for holding the ship in position 

when not alongside a dock. 

ATHWARTSHIPS across the ship, at right angles to the keel. 
AUXILIARIES various winches, pumps, motors, and other small engines 

required on a ship. 
BALLAST any weight or weights (usually sea water) used to keep the 

ship from becoming "top heavy." 
BEAM an athwartship member supporting a portion of a deck. Also the 

width of the ship. 

BEAM KNEE The enlarged end of a beam, by which it is attached to a frame. 
BELOW below a deck or decks (corresponding to "down stairs"). 
BENDING SLAB heavy cast iron blocks arranged to form a large solid 

floor on which frames are bent. 

BENDING ROLLS large machine used to give curvature to plates. 
BERTH a place for a ship. 
BEVEL the angle between the flanges of a frame or other member. (When 

greater than a right angle, open bevel; when less, closed.) 
BILGE the rounded portion of the hull between the side and bottom. 
BILGES the lowest portion of the ship inside of the hull. 
BILGE KEEL a fore and aft member fitted to the outside of the shell plat- 
ing running along the bilge, used to prevent excessive rolling of the ship. 
BITTS heavy steel castings fitted to the weather deck for securing mooring 

lines or hawsers. 

BOOM a long round heavy spar, pivotted at one end, usually used for hoist- 
ing cargo, etc. 

BOSOM PIECE butt strap for angle bars. 
BOSS the curved swelling portion of the ship's hull around the propeller 


BOW the forward end of a ship. 
BRACKET a small plate used to connect two or more parts, such as deck 

beam to frame, frame to margin plate, etc. 
BREAST HOOK a plate structure fitted inside the hull near the bow to give 

local strength to the shell plating. 
BRIDGE the athwartship platform above the weather deck from which the 

ship is steered, navigated, etc. 


BUILDING SLIP place where the ship is built, before launching. 
BULKHEAD a vertical partition corresponding to the wall of a building, 

extending either athwartships or fore and aft. 
BULWARK the ship's side above the weather deck. 
BUNKER a compartment used for the stowage of coal or other fuel. 
BUOYANCY ability to float, or the difference between the weight of the 

ship and the upward force of the water that it may displace. 
BUTT the joint formed when two parts are placed end to end. 
BUTT STRAP a small plate or other member used to connect the two parts 

of a butt by overlapping each. 

CAMBER the thwartship curvature of a deck. Sometimes called round up. 
CALK to make a joint water tight. 
CANT FRAME a frame not square to the keel line. 

CAPSTAN a revolving device, with axis vertical, used for heaving in lines. 
CARGO the freight carried by a ship. 

CARGO HATCH large opening in a deck to permit loading of cargo. 
CARGO BOOM heavy boom used in loading cargo. 
CARLING fore and aft member at side of hatch, extending across ends of 

beams where cut to form hatch. 

CENTRE LINE the middle line of the ship, from stem to stern. 
CHAIN usually refers to heavy chain attached to anchor. 
CHAIN LOCKER compartment in forward lower portion of ship in which 

anchor chain is stowed. 
CHART HOUSE small room under bridge used for charts and navigational 


CHOCK a heavy fitting through which ropes or hawsers may be led. 
CLEAT a fitting attached to the deck, having two fore and aft arms or 

projections around which a rope or line may be secured. 
CLIP a short angle bar. 

COAMING the vertical boundary of a hatch or skylight. 
COFFERDAM the space between two bulkheads located very close together. 
COMPARTMENT a subdivision of space or room in a ship. 
COUNTERSINK the taper of a rivet hole for a flush rivet. 
DAVIT heavy vertical pillar, of which the upper end is bent to a curve, 

used to support the end of a boat when hoisting or lowering. 
DEAD FLAT the middle of the length of a ship, where the frames change 

from looking forward to looking aft. 
DEADWEIGHT the total weight of cargo, fuel, water, stores, passengers 

and crew, and their effects, that a ship can carry. 
DECK the part of a ship that corresponds to the floor of a building. 
DECK BEAM athwartship support of deck. 
DECK STRINGER the strip of plating that runs along the outer edge 

of a deck. 

DERRICK a device for hoisting heavy weights, cargo, etc. 
DISPLACEMENT the total weight of the ship when afloat, including every- 
thing on board. 
DOG a small bent metal fitting used to close doors, hatch covers, manhole 

covers, etc. 
DOUBLE BOTTOM compartments at bottom of ship between inner and 

outer bottoms, used for ballast tanks, water, fuel oil, etc. 


DOUBLING PLATE a plate fitted outside or inside of another to give extra 

strength or stiffness. 
DRAG the amount that one end of the keel is below the other when the 

ship is afloat but not on an even keel. 
DRAFT the vertical distance of the lowest part of the ship below the surface 

of the water when she is afloat. 
DRIFT PIN a small tapered tool used to draw adjoining parts together BO 

that the rivet holes will come fair by driving it into these holes. 
EYE BOLT a bolt formed with an eye or ring at one end. 
ERECTION the process of hoisting into place and bolting up the varioui 

parts of the ship's hull, machinery, etc. 
EVEN KEEL a ship is said to be on even keel when the keel is level, or 

parallel to the surface of the water. 
FAIR smooth without abruptness or unevenness, in agreement. Fairing 

the lines consists in making them smooth. Rivet holes are fair when 

they agree one with another in adjoining members. 
FAIRLEAD a small fitting through which a rope, line, etc., may be led so 

as to change its direction without excessive friction. 
FAYING SURFACE the surface between two adjoining parts. 
FENDER a fitting or device to prevent damage to a ship's hull at or near 

the waterline by other vessels, floating objects, docks, etc. 
FIDLEY HATCH hatch around smokestack and uptake. 
FIRE CONTROL means for informing men at the guns how to set the 

sights, at what target to fire, etc. 
FLAGSTAFF flag pole at stern of ship. 
FLANGE portion of a plate or shape at, or nearly at right angles to main 


FLAT a small partial deck, built level, without curvature. 
FLOOR the lower portion of a transverse frame, usually a vertical plate 

extending from center line to bilge, and from inner to outer bottom. 
FORE AND AFT in line with the length of the ship, longitudinally. 
FORECASTLE the forward upper portion of the hull, usually used for the 

crew's quarters. 
FORE PEAK a large compartment or tank just aft of the bow in the lower 

part of the ship. 
FORGING a mass of steel worked to a special shape by hammering while 

red hot. 

FORWARD near or toward the bow. 
FRAMING the support and stiffening of the shell plating, deck plating, etc. 

Usually consists of the ordinary transverse frames or "ribs," beams, floors, 

etc., and the longitudinal framing or keel, keelsons, longitudinals, 

stringers, etc. 

FRAME SPACING the fore and aft distance between adjacent frames. 
FREEBOARD the vertical distance from the upper watertight deck or top 

of bulwarks to waterline, when ship is fully loaded. 
FREEING PORT an opening in the ship's side to allow water to run 


GALLEY the "kitchen" of a ship. 

GALVANIZING coating metal parts with zinc for protection from rust. 
GANGWAY a passageway, a ladder or other means of boarding a ship. 


GARBOARD STRAKE the strake of shell plating next to the keel. 
GROSS TONNAGE a figure obtained by dividing the total volume of the 

ship, in cubic feet, by 100. 
GROUND WAYS timbers fixed to the ground, under the hull on each side 

of the keel, on which she is launched. 
GUDGEON fitting on which rudder swings. The gudgeons fit around the 

pintles, and form a part of the ruddejr post. 
GUNWALE the side of a ship at the edge of the weather deck. 
HARPIN a curved wooden piece used to hold frames at ends of ship in 

position when first erected. 
HATCH an opening in a deck. 
HAWSE PIPE a large fitting attached to the bow of a ship through which 

the anchor chain passes. 
HAWSER a large rope. 

HELM the direction to which the tiller is put, or opposite to which the 
rudder is put. (When the rudder is to port the ship is said to carry 
starboard helm.) 
HOGGING straining of the ship that tends to make the bow and stern 

lower than the middle portion. 

HOLD a large compartment in the lower part of the ship for cargo. 
HOLD BEAMS beams in a hold, similar to deck beams, but having no plating 

or planking on them. 
HULL the body of a ship, including shell plating, framing, decks, 

bulkheads, etc. 

INBOARD inside the ship, toward the center line. 
INNER BOTTOM plating forming the upper boundary of the double bottom. 

Also called tank top. 

INTERCOSTAL made in separate parts between frames, beams, etc.; die 
opposite of continuous. (Floors are continuous; longitudinals, intercostal 
in a merchant ship.) 

ISHERWOOD SYSTEM a system of building ships in which the main frani- 
ing is longitudinal or fore and aft, instead of transverse as in ordinary 

JACKSTAFP flag pole at bow of ship. 
JOGGLING offsetting the edges of plates of outer strakes to avoid the use 

of liners. 

KEEL the fore and aft member, usually in the form of flat plates end to 
end, extending from stem to stern along the bottom of a ship on the 
center line. 
KEELSON an auxiliary keel or stringer, extending along and over, or 

parallel to the keel. The center vertical keel. 

LADDER inclined steps, taking aboard ship the place of "stairs." 
LAP a joint in which one part overlaps the other, thus avoiding the use of. 

a butt strap. 

LAUNCHING the operation of placing the hull in the water by having it 
slide down the launching ways. During launching the weight of the hull 
is borne by the sliding ways which are attached to the hull and slide 
with it down the ground ways. 

LAYING OFF marking plates, shapes, etc., for shearing, punching, etc.. 
LENGTH BETWEEN PERPENDICULARS the length of a ship measured 
from the stem to the after perpendicular. 


LENGTH OVER ALL the length of a ship measured from the stem to the 

aftermost point of the stern. 
LIGHTENING HOLE a large hole cut in a floor plate, longitudinal, etc., 

to reduce its weight. 
LIMBER HOLE a hole of a few inches diameter cut in a floor plate to allow 

water to drain through it near the bottom. 
LINER a flat or tapered strip placed under a plate or other part to bring 

it in line with another part that it overlaps. 

LINES the plans of a ship that show its form. From the lines, drawn 
. full size on the mould loft floor, are made templates of the various parts 

of the hull. 
LONGITUDINAL a fore and aft vertical member running parallel, or nearly 

parallel, to the center vertical keel through the double bottom. In mer- 
chant ships longitudinals are intercostal. 
MARGIN PLATE the outer boundary of the inner bottom, connecting it to 

the shell plating at the bilge. 

MAGAZINE a compartment or room in which ammunition is stored. 
MAIN DECK the principal deck of the main hull, being the highest of, and 

giving strength to, the main hull. 
MANHOLE a round or oval shaped hole cut in a bulkhead, tank top, etc., 

large enough for a man to pass through. 

MAST a large long spar, placed nearly vertical on the center line of a ship. 
MIDSHIP at the middle of the ship's length. 
MIDSHIP SECTION a plan showing a cross section of the ship amidships. 

This plan shows sizes of frames, beams, brackets, etc., and thicknesses of 

MOULD LOFT a shed or building with large, smooth floor on which the 

lines of a ship can be drawn to full scale. 
MOULD a light pattern of a part of a ship. Usually made of thin wood or 

paper. Also called a template. 
MOORING securing a ship in position by several lines or cables, so that 

she cannot move or swing. 
NET TONNAGE a figure obtained by making deduction from the gross 

tonnage to allow for space not available for carrying cargo. 
OIL TIGHT rivetted and caulked to prevent oil leakage. (Rivets must be 

more closely spaced for this purpose than for water tightness.) 
ON BOARD on or in the ship. 
ON DECK on the upper deck, in the open air. 
ORLOP DECK the lowest deck. 

OUTBOARD away from the center line, towards the side of a ship. 
OVERBOARD outside, over the side of a ship. Into the water. 
OVERHANG portion of the hull over, and unsupported by the water. 
PANTING in and out movement of shell plating. 
PILLAR vertical member or column giving support to a deck. Also called 


PINTLE fitting or pin on the rudder which turns in a gudgeon. 
PLAN a drawing prepared for use in building a ship. 
PLANKING wood covering for decks, etc. 
PLATFORM a partial deck. 

PLATING the plates of the shell, a deck, a bulkhead, etc. 
POOP the after, upper portion of the hull, usually containing the 

steering gear. 


FORT the left hand side of the ship when looking from aft forward. Also 

an opening. 

PORTHOLE a circular opening in the ship's side. 
PROPELLER a revolving device that drives the ship through the water, 

consisting of three or four blades, resembling in shape those of an 

electric fan. 

PUNCH a machine for punching holes in plates and shapes. 
QUADRANT a fitting on the rudder head to which the steering chains 

are attached. 

QUARTER a side of the stern. 

QUARTER DECK that portion of the weather deck nearest the stern. 
QUARTERS compartments,, rooms and other portions of the ship used for 

living spaces. 
RABBET a depression or offset designed to take some other adjoining part; 

as, for example, the rabbet in the stem to take the shell plating. 
RAIL the upper edge of the bulwarks. 
REAMING enlarging a rivet hole by means of a revolving, cylindrical, 

slightly tapered tool with cutting edges running' along its sides. 
REVERSE FRAME *-a.n angle bar or other shape rivetted to the inner edge 

of a transverse frame to reinforce it. 
RIBBAND a fore and aft wooden strip or heavy batten used to support 

the transverse frames temporarily after erection. 
RIGGING ropes, wire ropes, lashings, etc., used to support masts, spars, 

booms, etc. Also the handling and placing on board the ship of heavy 

weights, machinery, etc. 
RISE OF BOTTOM the amount that the flat portion of the bottom of the 

ship rises from the keel to the side of the ship. 
RIVET a short metal connection of two or more members usually driven or 

clinched after being heated red hot. 
ROLL motion of the ship from side to side alternately raising and lowerfhg 

each side of the deck. 
RUDDER a large, heavy fitting hinged to the rudder post. Used for steering 

the ship. 
RUDDER POST heavy vertical post at after end of stern frame under 

water which supports rudder. 

RUDDER STOP fitting to limit the swjng of the rudder. 
SAGGING straining of the ship that tends to make the middle portion lower 

than the bow and stern. 

SAMSON POST a heavy vertical post that supports cargo booms. 
SCANTLINGS the dimensions of various parts of the ship. 
SCRIEVE BOARD a large section of flooring in the mould loft in which 

the lines of the body plan are cut with a knife. Used for making moulds 

of the. frames, beams, floor plates, etc. 

SCUPPER a drain from the edge of a deck discharging overboard. 
SEAM fore and aft joint of shell plating. 
SEAM STRAP butt strap of a seam. 

SET IRON bar of soft iron used on bending slab to give shape of frames. 
SHAFT long, round, heavy forging connecting engine and propeller. 
SHAFT TUNNEL enclosed alley-way around shaft extending from engine 

room to after peak tank. 
SHAPE long bar of constant cross section, such as a channel, T-bar, angle 

bar, etc. 


SHEARS large machine for cutting plates and shapes. 

SHEER fore and aft curvature of a deck. 

SHEER PLAN side elevation of ship's form. 

SHEER STRAKE the upper strake of the main shell plating, just below 

the bulwarks. 

SHELL EXPANSION a plan showing details of all plates of the shell. 
SHELL LANDINGS points on the frames showing where the edges of shell 

plates come. 

SHELL PLATING the plates forming the outer skin of the hull. 
SHORE a large round wooden brace. 
SKYLIGHT an opening in a deck to give light and air to the compartment 

below it. 

SLIDING WAYS see launching. 

SMOKE STACK large vertical pipe or funnel for exit of smoke from boilers. 
SOUNDING PIPE vertical pipe in oil or water tank used to measure depffi 

of liquid in tank. 

SPAR a long, round, wooden timber. 
SPAR DECK upper deck. 

STABILITY tendency of a ship to remain upright. 
STANCHION a pillar or upright post, a pillar. 
STAPLING collars, forged of angle bars, to fit around continuous members 

passing through bulkheads, for water tightness. 

STARBOARD the right-hand side of the ship when looking from aft for- 
ward. Opposite to port. 
STEALER a strake of shell plating that does not extend completely to 

the bow or stern. 

STEERING GEAR apparatus for controlling the rudder. 
STEM forging or casting forming extreme bow of ship, extending from 

keel to forecastle deck. 
STERN after end of ship. 
3TERN FRAME large casting attached to after end of keel to form ship's 

stern. Includes rudder post, propeller post, and aperture for propeller. 
STIPFENER an angle bar, T-bar, channel, etc., used to stiffen plating of a 

bulkhead, etc. 
STOP WATER canvas and red lead or other material fitted between two 

metal parts to make a watertight joint. 

STRAKE a fore and aft course or row of shell or other plating. 
STRINGER a fore and aft continuous member used to give longitudinal 
strength. According to location are called hold stringers, bilge stringers, 
side stringers, etc. 
STRUT a heavy arm or brace. 
TANK TOP the inner bottom. 

TELEGRAPH means of signalling from bridge to engine room, etc. 
TEMPLATE a mould. 
TIE PLATE a single fore and aft course of plating attached to deck beams 

under wood deck to give extra strength. 
TILLER arm attached to rudder head for operating rudder. 
TRANSOM the aftermost transverse frame. 
TRANSVERSE athwartships, at right angles to the keel. 
TRANSVERSE FRAMES vertical athwartship members forming the ship's 

TRIM amount ship is off from an even keel. 

TUMBLE HOME an inboard sloping of the ship's side above the level of 
greatest beam. 

UPPER DECK the highest complete deck. 

UPTAKE connection between boilers and smoke stack. 

VERTICAL KEEL row of plating extending vertically along center of flat 
plate keel. Sometimes called center keelson. 

VENTILATOR a device for furnishing fresh air to compartments below 

VOICE TUBE large speaking tube. 

WAYS timbers, etc., on which a ship is built or launched. See launching. 

WATER LINE the line of the water's edge when the ship is afloat. 

WATERTIGHT so riveted or calked as to prevent the passage of water. 

WATERWAY a narrow passage along the edge of the deck for the drain- 
age of the deck. 

WEATHER DECK a deck with no overhead protection. 

WEB the vertical portion of a beam, the thwartship portion of a frame, etc. 

WEB FRAME a frame with a deep web. 

WELDING making a joint of two metal parts by fusing more metal in 
between them. 

WINCH a small hoisting engine. 

WINDLASS the machine used to hoist the anchors. 

YARD a horizontal, thwartship, spar fitted to a mast. 


After reading this booklet through carefully at home take it 
with you to the shipyard. During the noon hour or after working 
hours take it onto the ship and locate each part mentioned in the 
booklet. You will thus quickly get the whole subject fixed in your 
memory. Until you have learned the names of all the parts men- 
tioned, carry the booklet in your pocket so that you can refer to it 
when necessary. 

RETURN TO the circulation desk of any 
University of California Library 
or to the 

Bldg. 400, Richmond Field Station 
University of California 
Richmond, CA 94804-4698 

2-month loans may be renewed by calling 

1-year loans may be recharged by bringing books 

to NRLF 
Renewals and recharges may be made 4 days 

prior to due date 


VlAY 1 g 1908 



Manufactured by 


Syracuse, N. Y. 

Stockton, Calif.