Ribs and Timbers - Ships Nostalgia
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Ribs and Timbers

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  #1  
Old 10th July 2020, 19:32
Michael Taylor Michael Taylor is offline  
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Ribs and Timbers

At sea school I believe you counted ship ribs from the stern to bow. A number of months ago I visited Mystic Seaport and was invited onboard Mayflower which was undergoing a long "remake" after leaving her home in Plymouth MA. We got talking about her timbers (seems that term was used in past times) they numbered them from bow to stern and did not take kindly to my remarks after asking to see the original plan of her construction in Brixham England. Any bright ideas or has this mind got it wrong?
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  #2  
Old 10th July 2020, 20:18
stein stein is offline  
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I am afraid neither of you may be right, the frames are traditionally counted from midships, towards the bow and towards the stern. I have copies of original construction drawings, both English, American and Norwegian, among them three long sheets from Alexander Stephens of Glasgow showing the lines of ships Airlie, Camperdown and Panmure, and there is no deviation from this rule, other than using the the alphabet forward from midships. I may have to modify that a little, Admiral Paris in his three volume "Souvenirs de Marine" sometimes uses the both ways from midships system (though it is not actually midships but the middle of the flat keel) and sometimes counts from aft towards the bow. Though it will be noted that this is not original construction drawings. Jean Boudriot in his fictitious"Seventy-four gun ship" counts from the middle body and towards both ends in Latin numbers. And finally, Fredrik Henrik Chapman, in a number of copies of original drawings in a book on him by D. G.Harris, invariably counts from midships, sometimes with letters forwards of the of the zero point.

Now, of course the plans mentioned above were made after the time of the original Mayflower, and before the replica was made. And the replica is, however learned Dr. R. C. Anderson and other scholars involved in the project were, to a large degree conjecture, and any plans for the original may never have existed, so it is perhaps not the correct ship with which to decide frame listing practice. I believe myself to have read that the old naval architects started with the midships frame and went on from there with their Stockholm curves, splines and "dogs." The were therefor once a logic behind that sort of numbering that may have disappeared. The men who drew the plans for and built that replica were working in a tradition that had been broken, even though admittedly the hiatus had been short. And as regards today, how they now program their computers in the construction of ship hulls, I have no idea.

Last edited by stein; 10th July 2020 at 22:17..
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  #3  
Old 11th July 2020, 01:07
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Stephen J. Card Stephen J. Card is offline  
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Michael, Right. Framing number are from the aft side of the sternframe post.... going forward to the bow. In some cases from the centreline axis of the rudder stock. To my knowledge this is standard practice for STEEL SHIPS.

Stein, You have it. For wooden ships. From midships.... frame going forward numbered by A, B, C, D etc. From midships the numbers run aft as 1, 2, 3, 4 etc.

Note, 'midships', the mid ship is the location of the largest width is, not necessarily at 'half length', but from a position a little bit forward in the fullest part of the hull.

Stephen
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  #4  
Old 11th July 2020, 05:08
Chillytoes Chillytoes is online now  
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Just looking at "Rees's Naval Architecture 1819-20", and there are a couple of draughts for 74s, dated 1816. Basically, from about midships there are numbers going aft and letters going frd, but they do not seem to actually be relating to frames, more likely indicating reference for various positions. A bit confusing, but the numbers are all even and the letters are all alternative. For the most part all these are fairly equally spaced, but midships varies sometimes with twice normal spacing and sometime half.
It gets more confusing with the midships marked with a cross in a circle, and the first point forward, at a half-space, is 'A' in a circle, then B, D, F, etc. Going aft, at half space '1' in a circle, then full space to '3' in a circle then 2, 4, 6 etc. (Don't know if I'm explaining this clearly.)
Looking at a hull expansion for this vessel, all the frames are shown but there are usually 4 futtocks between each number or letter, so they don't seems to be indicating frames.
Not all as simple as it might seem. (Assuming I am reading it correctly!)
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  #5  
Old 11th July 2020, 07:52
harry t. harry t. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chillytoes View Post
Just looking at "Rees's Naval Architecture 1819-20", and there are a couple of draughts for 74s, dated 1816.

Looking at a hull expansion for this vessel, all the frames are shown but there are usually 4 futtocks between each number or letter, so they don't seems to be indicating frames.
Not all as simple as it might seem. (Assuming I am reading it correctly!)
In steel built ships the entire frame can be formed in one piece.

On wooden ships, each frame was made up of several sections, so that the grain of the timber can follow the curve of the frame.
The floor (keel) joins the frame to the keel, then the 1st futtock as shown in sketch. Then the 2 futtock onto the top timber.

regards
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Floor timbers and 1st futtocks.jpg (24.7 KB, 22 views)
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Last edited by harry t.; 11th July 2020 at 07:54..
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  #6  
Old 11th July 2020, 08:29
Chillytoes Chillytoes is online now  
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Quite right Harry.
I should have referred to 'frames' rather than 'futtocks'.
However, I was more concerned with the system of numbering frames as shown on contemporary plans. Checked a copy of the Admiralty draught of HMS Endeavour, and in this case the numbering on the plan is every third instead of every second position. There does not appear to be standard system. I guess that it doesn't matter so long as the shipwright understands it all.
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  #7  
Old 11th July 2020, 11:55
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Stephen J. Card Stephen J. Card is offline  
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"It gets more confusing with the midships marked with a cross in a circle, and the first point forward, at a half-space, is 'A' in a circle, then B, D, F, etc. Going aft, at half space '1' in a circle, then full space to '3' in a circle then 2, 4, 6 etc. (Don't know if I'm explaining this clearly.)"

Hmmm. I'm not sure if I'm getting it. I have drawings of the 'replica' ENDEAVOUR. They seem to follow the 'standard'.... from the mid position going to A, B, C, D, E forward and going aft from midship is runs, 1, 2, 3, 4 etc. The frames on ENDEAVOUR are as: C, F, I, K, M, N. P. Q, R, S, a,b,c,d,e,f,g. The drawing indicate the 'heavy' frames' as C, F, I, etc. The lighter frame numbers on the drawing are missed in the drawing but are easily seen as A, B, D, E,. I would guess that on a large plan of the ship, everything would be indicated. The lower case letter frames, a, b, c, d etc.. just show the reduced frame spacing (in the bow sections). Going after from midship, the frames are all numbered etc. Perhaps letters in circles are just a way using like Upper Case and Lower Case.?

The drawings for ENDEAVOUR are copied from the original plans 1768. Ah, but the LEGEND says: Admiralty Plans Have Been Comprised for Detail etc

Stephen
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Old 11th July 2020, 13:07
Michael Taylor Michael Taylor is offline  
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As always thanks for all your help and hope I can get the chance to put the matter straight next time in Mystic.
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  #9  
Old 11th July 2020, 14:42
stein stein is offline  
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William A. Baker, who made the plans from which Mayflower II was built, the replica on which Alan Villiers and his crew sailed across the Atlantic in 1957, wrote a book titled "The Mayflower and other Colonial vessels." In the plans reproduced in this book the frames are marked alphabetically from midships forward and numerically the other way. These markings corresponding with every other middle of a two part frame.

Last edited by stein; 11th July 2020 at 14:47..
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  #10  
Old 11th July 2020, 19:45
harry t. harry t. is offline
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further to Stephens earlier mention of plans re; The Endeavour,

I came across this extract from a thesis submitted by a young lady, Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Melbourne, a few short years ago.

Re; space required for artists and scientists on board the Endeavour

“Some of the resources available to them were permanent, such as skills and equipment, and others more transient, such as fine weather and daylight, but all of these were governed by the space made available to them by the crew. They needed access to surface space, adequate light and a place where they could work uninterrupted for extended periods. At other times they must have had to give way to the officers for whom the great cabin was also an essential workspace. While the artists might have been able to make their initial sketches of specimens in the hurried way he describes, the surface space, elbow room, light and time the watercolours demanded, required more of the ship’s resources.”

“The small stature of ship’s boys was class related. An upper-class fourteen-year old at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst at the same time was on average seven or eight inches taller”

“Those crew members recruited by the Marine Society for that voyage
Mean/median height of ships’ boys 1756-1762.”
Age: 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Height: 4’ 3” 4’4” 4’6” 4’ 7” 4’ 9” 4’10” 4’11” 5’
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  #11  
Old 12th July 2020, 03:26
Chillytoes Chillytoes is online now  
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Stephen,
Interesting you have a copy of drawings for the Endeavour replica. Whilst they may show some details of the original, quite a number of compromises had to be made in the building to comply with then current regulations and the need to install engines and all the modern amenities in the so-called "20th Century"section of ship, which is rarely seen by the general public.
The drawing I have is a facsimile copy of the original Admiralty draught of 1768, published as part of a folio of documents by the Sun-Herald newspaper (Sydney) in 1970. It shows the sheer plan, half breadth and body plan. The sheer plan has superimposed lines in red which represent changes and additions carried out for Cook's voyage.
On this drawing, there are stations marked as follows: from midships(?) aft - , 3,6,9,12,15,18,21,24.27. From midships frd. - ,C,F,I,M,P S. There is a scale along the baseline of the sheer. At the midship position there are two closely spaced parallel lines which are carried to the half breadth.
Still don't know what standard was for these drawings.
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  #12  
Old 12th July 2020, 03:47
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Stephen J. Card Stephen J. Card is offline  
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Sorry, my drawings are not of the 'replica'. My drawings were copies of the original Admiralty drawings of the ship. This is the full book HM BARK ENDEAVOUR by Ray Parkin, Melbourne University Press 1997. The full book also includes 20 large fold plans in a special case. I found mine in a shop in Picton!

Stephen
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Old 12th July 2020, 14:38
Bill.B Bill.B is offline  
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I always thought Endeavour was built as a “Whitby Cat” and converted for her voyage of discovery?
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  #14  
Old 12th July 2020, 14:52
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She was launched as Earl of Pembroke... yes she was a 'Whitby Cat'.

'Converted'... for the voyage and with canons. I don't think the rig was changed.

Stephen
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  #15  
Old 5th August 2020, 17:52
Rob Stevens Rob Stevens is offline
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In Maine since 1980 I'm used to the boat frames numbered from the bow starting with cant frames labeled A B C and then the square frames labeled 1 2 3. I'm currently working on a 1607 English replica ship that starts with the midship bend and goes 1F forward of there and 1 A aft. I regret not changing this because it confuses us too much, especially after dinner break.
I believe the 1600's English architect would have drawn in the stem, stern, and keel, rising lines aloft and alow, narrowing lines aloft and alow, and the midship bend [widest frame]. Then his apprentice would have filled in all the frames. Rob
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