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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The following appears in the blurb for one of those (BBC Knowledge) TV docos for HMS Queen Elizabeth to air on TV here in Oz tonight 5/2:

' They will also have to sail her underneath the Forth road and rail bridges - no easy task when HMS Queen Elizabeth is taller than both. '

What does it mean?
How does the bloody thing get under the bridges if it is 'taller'? (Smoke)
 

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I understand that was a regular problem with the Manchester Ship Canal. Bridges so low you had to dismantle parts of the ship to pass through it. At least so I was told on this site.
 

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It was a one way passage. From the yard to sea and I believe the top fittings etc were put on after.

Must be photos on SN I'm sure.

Stephen
 

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I understand that was a regular problem with the Manchester Ship Canal. Bridges so low you had to dismantle parts of the ship to pass through it. At least so I was told on this site.
Stein, you are correct, if you look at this photo of the Norwegian ship the Arabella you will see the mast near the funnel, about half way up it there was a hinge and when we visited Irlam (Manchester ship canal) we had to remove a few bolts and the top of the mast folded down so that we could pass under the bridges. For some ships there was a quay before the first bridge and they tied up there to have the high stuff removed by crane..

Cheers Frank
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all.
I imagined that it would be something along the lines you have all suggested.
Nevertheless still a stupid statement in my view.
I will file it together with the suggestion by some stupid git here in Melbourne who proposed dredging the Yarra to increase bridge clearances a year or three ago. (Applause)(Applause)(Cloud)
Geoff
 

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I understand that was a regular problem with the Manchester Ship Canal. Bridges so low you had to dismantle parts of the ship to pass through it. At least so I was told on this site.
There used to be a crane at Eastham that used to lift funnels of ships that were too high.itwas there fora while after it was ade redundant.another solution for masts were telescopic ones I believe.
 

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HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH is touted as the largest ever RN ship. It isn't! Not even the largest RN ship to pass under Forth Bridge.

8 April, 1937 HMS CALEDONIA passed under Forth Bridge to come to Rosyth. Displacement 65,000 ( same as HMS QE). Length 956 ft (QE 920 ft) Draught 37 ft (QE 36ft) QE's mast was 'lowered' (hinged) to pass under the bridge. CALEDONIA, some 50 ft of her masts were cut down and even 15 ft cut off the tops of her three funnels. Steamed under the bridge without assistance of tugs. (QE needed several.)

Stephen
 

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Pretty sure they lifted the Gloxinia's funnel off at Eastham locks - it was such a cool funnel (with a stag on it), I fully expected someone to nick it.

Could be wrong, but I think they had to remove the funnel of Liverpool Bridge, later to become the ill-fated Derbyshire, so she could get under the Middlesbrough transporter bridge on her maiden voyage from Haverton Hill.

John T
 

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The following appears in the blurb for one of those (BBC Knowledge) TV docos for HMS Queen Elizabeth to air on TV here in Oz tonight 5/2:

' They will also have to sail her underneath the Forth road and rail bridges - no easy task when HMS Queen Elizabeth is taller than both. '

What does it mean?
How does the bloody thing get under the bridges if it is 'taller'? (Smoke)
Having watched the do***entary I think it was one of those "let's ramp up the tension" moments that producers of such programmes love so much. Having worked, at one time, in the Forth VTS service the reality was that clearance would have been calculated well in advance by builders, Forth Ports authority, pilots and RN. The air draught, state of tide, etc. would have been allowed for so no big deal. Further calculations would have been made in the event of delays to the ship sailing - a backup plan in effect.

Various cruise liners visit the Forth each year and those that pass under the bridges have their clearance calculated well in advance with a fallback position if they fail to meet their ETAs or ETDs
 

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Having sailed into Burntisland many times on an old Empire vessel, it was the practice to drop the hook seaward of the bridge, then over the wall on those lovely flexible ladders to take drafts fore, midships and aft to determine the airdraft from waterline to truck so that we could proceed at the appropriate state of tide to pass under the bridge, we had our own tension moments, but we had already calculated prior to leaving Takoradi, but tides are not always as predicted!
 

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#12

At which point, modern communications become worth their weight in gold.

To be given an instantly accurate reading by VHF radio from a tide-pole at Point X, in knowledge at the same time that the tide is either rising or falling, removes a huge amount of stress. The professional man knows that a thing either can be done or else it cannot be done with safety; and acts accordingly. I agree entirely as to the blather and dramatisation which is inserted into many a TV do***entary.
 

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To digress slightly, many of us recall the wreck of HMS Conway in 1953, in her effort to pass through the Menai Straits from Plas Newydd to Bangor. Of crucial significance was whether she could clear the Cheese Rock. Information on the Conway website suggests that even when there was sufficient water to clear the Cheese Rock, delay was made intentionally and for reasons which are far from clear. Be that as it may, delay occurred and the engineless Conway (a dead-ship tow) lost the benefit which might have been gained from the earlier (and weaker) flood-tide current and found herself subject to the full force of a tidal torrent with which the tow then simply could not cope.

To have proceeded at the instant when it was known that she could clear the Cheese Rock would have given an advantage which might well have saved the day (and the ship). Does anybody know why that advantage was not taken?

There was a tidepole nearby ; and radio communication was in use.
 

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Having sailed into Burntisland many times on an old Empire vessel, it was the practice to drop the hook seaward of the bridge, then over the wall on those lovely flexible ladders to take drafts fore, midships and aft to determine the airdraft from waterline to truck so that we could proceed at the appropriate state of tide to pass under the bridge, we had our own tension moments, but we had already calculated prior to leaving Takoradi, but tides are not always as predicted!
Pass under bridge to go to Burntisland? Grangemouth maybe.Burntisland is the downside of the bridge
 

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Pass under bridge to go to Burntisland? Grangemouth maybe.Burntisland is the downside of the bridge
Whoops, senior moment John, we sailed into both Grangemouth and Burntisland (not on the same voyage), it was a LONG time ago, and perhaps the thought of wee Dorothy from Burntisland influenced my memory. (Flowers)
 

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Height of Bridge

The height of the bridge is measured from the MHWS which is the highest normal spring tide, and the bottom of the bridge. When the tide is low, there is extra distance between water level and under side of the bridge. The greatest distance will be between MLWS (mean low water spring) and the bridge. This is what they waited for. If I remember rightly spring tides occur every 28 days.
 

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They let some air out of the tyres until they can clear the bridge. Been done for years! (Jester)
 

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Low Bridges.

I understand that was a regular problem with the Manchester Ship Canal. Bridges so low you had to dismantle parts of the ship to pass through it. At least so I was told on this site.
I had to be part of the deck crew on the Royal Mail Lines "Essiquibo" when we had to lower the topmast when using the Manchester Ship Canal. First and only time I had to do it in my time at sea.
Phil Hughes.
 

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I had to be part of the deck crew on the Royal Mail Lines "Essiquibo" when we had to lower the topmast when using the Manchester Ship Canal. First and only time I had to do it in my time at sea.
Phil Hughes.
Radar masts were also lowered. The waveguide would be disconnected. The usual method to prevent water ingress into the waveguide was to cover the exposed apertures with plastic bags and tape, but the favourite was BOT condoms obtained from the C/Stwd.

When sailing with Denholms Seatrain i’m sure we had a GA drawing showing mast and aerial heights, under the name Sky Draught.
 
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