A. W. CARMICHAEL
Assistant NavaTConstructor, U. S. N.
THE INDUSTRIAL SERVICE DEPARTMENT
EMERGENCY FLEET CORPORATION .
WASHINGTON, D. C.
A. W. CARMICHAEL
Assistant Naval Constructor, U. S. N.
THE INDUSTRIAL SERVICE DEPARTMENT
^rt^/^-il EMERGENC Y FLEET CORPORATION
WASHINGTON, D. C.
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 :
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.
SIDE VIEW OF A CARGO SHIP
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
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
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.
CROSS SECTION OF A SHIP BEING BUILT
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 :
5. Chippers and Oalkers,
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
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
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.
- RtVETTEID JOIMT3
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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,
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
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
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
FORT the left hand side of the ship when looking from aft forward. Also
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
PUNCH a machine for punching holes in plates and shapes.
QUADRANT a fitting on the rudder head to which the steering chains
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
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
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
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
SHELL EXPANSION a plan showing details of all plates of the shell.
SHELL LANDINGS points on the frames showing where the edges of shell
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
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
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
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
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
RETURN TO the circulation desk of any
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