Apron, pieces of timber fayed to the after part of the stern, from the head down to the dead woop [sic], the scarfs being generally about one foot long, moulded nearly the same scantling as the knight-heads; above the upper deck it be moulded sufficient for the planks on each side to butt against. When the rabbet of the stem is at the aft part, the apron is frequent sided more that the stem, on order to receive the fastening of the fore-hoods; but as the fastenings must be all drove nearly in one direction, it is liable to split the apron, and therefore it is much stronger when the rabbet of the stem is in the middle, because then the apron is sided the same as the stem, and the knight-heads are fayed close to the stem and apron (except as opening for air is left) and bolted through the stem and apron, then the butt-end belts are drove into the knight-heads, which are broad enough to admit of their being cross-bored, and thus secures the butts of the fore-hoods much better than when they are fastened to the apron. The apron is intended to strengthen the stem, and therefore should butt clear of the scarphs of the stem and stemson.

Beams, pieces of timber placed across the ship on the clamps, and fayed to the timbers, except the platform-beams, and some of the after-beams of the lower deck; which, if they were to run close to the timbers would either require the clamps to sny very much, or else to be cut off, which would not be so strong, as to let the aft part of the clamps have an easy flight, and to let some of the after-beams and knees be fayed to the planks, as is the customary practice. The beams of the gun-decks are generally disposed to be under the ports, if possible, the better to support the gun. The ends of those beams that will admit of it are less broader at the ends, and from thence to the ends of the knees made straight, at which place the beam has its proper scantling. This is done to make the lodging-knee more without square, and therefore must be disposed at the same side of the beam. If the beams are in one piece, every other may be disposed with the butt-end the same way, because the butts will decay before the tops. — Those beams that are made in two or three pieces are allowed to be as strong as those in one piece. When the beams are in two pieces, the scarpd may be one-third of the length; of the beams are not very long, twelve feet is allowed sufficient for the scarf of any beam, and if the beams are in three pieces, the middle piece may be half the length of the beam. The length of the tablings may be about one-half more that the depth of the beam. — The most customary way of putting beams together, is to divide the tablings in the middle of the beam, and that part which is taken out at the upper side to be left at the lower side; when done in this manner (specially when kersey or flannel is put in the scarfs) the water is liable to lay in the scarfs, and must be the means of rotting the beams; therefore, to prevent that, if the beams were tabled together in dove-tails, and taken through from side to side putting tar only between them, which hardens the wood, the water occasioned by the leaking of the decks would have a free passage, and the beam would dry again.

Binding-strakes, are generally two strakes wrought near the comings; they are worked all fore and aft, about one inch or one inch and a half thicker than the rest of the deck, and let down between the beams and ledges, so that the upper side is even with the rest of the deck. The original design of them was to connect the deck so well together, as to prevent its drawing. The ship's decks have such a connection, that they seldom fail, but at the extremes, which cannot be secured too well. The butts in the middle of the decks may some times be perceived to strain, but that is occasioned by the ship's taking the ground, or staining by accident, which cannot be prevented by the binding-strakes, as performed in the common course of working, and therefore it consumes thicker stuff than is required. Those strakes in which the stopper-bolts are drove, might be English plank, and let down between the beams and ledges, if thought necessary.

Bitts, large pieces of straight timber to which the cables are fastened, likewise smaller pieces fixed near the masts, either on the upper-deck, quarter-deck, forecastle, or round-house, fitted with cross-pieces and shivers, for the conveniency of the topmasts and rigging.

Blocks, solid pieces of timber placed under the keel of the ship; the upper pieces are generally clear of knots, especially several of the fore-most ones: these being the spitting blocks for launching the ship should be as clear as possible. Likewise pieces fitted with shivers, both within and without side the ship, for the use of the rigging.

Bobstay-holes, those in the fore part of the knee of the head, for the security of the bobstay.

Boxing, the projection left on the hawse-pieces, in the wake of the hawse-holes, when the planks do not run through; but this is nearly laid aside in all ships, and the plank is worked through to the stem, both within and without side, which is a very great improvement; because timber, younger and smaller, will answer the same purpose, and be more durable; and by working the planks through, the bow is much stronger.

Breast hooks, pieces of compass, or knee-timber, placed within side the ship, to keep the bows together. The deck-hooks are fayed to the timber, and placed in the direction of the decks. The rest are placed, one between each deck, and as many in the hold as are thought needful; all of which should be placed square with the body of the ship, and fayed on the planks. Breast-hooks are the chief security to keep the ship's bows together, therefore require to be very strong and well secured.

Bulgeway, a large piece, or pieces bolted together making one solid piece which is placed under the bulge of the ship to support her when launching. The support for the bulgeways to be on, is called ways, which sometimes are placed straight, and sometimes camber; but if they do camber, it should be truly circular; though sometimes the curve is quicker at the lower part, but this is liable to strain the sheer of the ship. Their extreme distance is generally about one-third the breadth of the ship, but this must depend on the form of the midship-bend.

Bulk-heads, the partitions in a ship. Those which inclose the magazine are oak plank and rabbetted, as are those of the spirituous liquor-room; others in the hold are generally oak plank, the edges are cyphered, to keep the gravel, or dirt of the ballast in the hold, from getting into the store-room, or into the well to damage the pumps.

Bumkins, pieces fitted above the main-rail, which extend nearly as far forward as the fore part of the knee of the head, and are for the use of hawling down the fore-tack.

Cat-head, a large square piece fixed at the fore part of the forecastle for the use of the anchor.

Chain-bolts, those which are drove through the upper end of the preventer-plates, and the toe-link of the chains.

Channels, broad planks fastened to the ship's side, to keep the shrouds at a proper distance from the side. Some channels are secured with keens at the upper side, by which they are liable to harbor wet and dirt, which rots the channel and the ship's side; others are secured by the preventer-plates going trough the channel, belayed at the under side, and the heel bolted to the ship's side.

Channel-wales, are those strakes in the top sides of large ships that are worked between the gun-deck and upper-deck ports, being thicker than the rest of the top side.

Clamps, the strake which the beams are placed upon. The upper and gun-deck clamps are generally scarfed with a hook in the middle of the scarf. The clamps lower down are not of so much consequence, being less liable to draw. In large ships there are two strakes of clamps hooked one into the other.

Companion, the birthing round the ladder-way on the quarter deck, which leads to the cabin, chiefly in small ships, to prevent the sea from beating down.

Dagger, a piece of timber that crosses all the poppets of the bulgeways to keep them together; the plank that secure the heads of the poppets, is called the dagger-plank.

Dagger knees, are lodging-knees, whose side arms cast down, and bolt through the clamp, these are placed at the lower decks of some ships, instead of hanging knees, to preserve as much stowage in the hold as possible.

Dead-eyes, fixed in the channels, within three holds to receive the lanyard of the shrouds.

Dead-lights, shutters provided for the stern and gallery lights, to be fixed without side the ship in bad weather.

Dead-wood, pieces of timber fayed on the keel to seat the floor-timbers on, afore and abaft the floors, it is continued as high as the cutting down of the floors.

Decks in a ship are similar to floors in a house. The gun-deck of large ships is wholly laid with oak plank, nailed to the beams and tree, nailed to the ledges; those decks that are laid with deal, if intended to have standards to the side, are laid with oak so far from the side as that all the bolts in the standard shall be in the oak.

Dowsing-chocks, pieces fayed across the apron, and lapped on the knight-heads, or inside stuff above the upper deck.

Draught, the drawing or design by which the ship is to be built, which is generally by a scale of one-fourth of an inch to a foot.

Face-piece, a piece wrought on the fore part of the knee of the head, to assist the conversion of the main piece, and to shorten the upper bolts of the knee of the head.

False heel, pieces fitted under the main keel to preserve it from being rubbed, and to make the ship hold a better wind; they are generally elm. In such ships as are not intended to be frequently in harbours where they ground, the false keel is slenderly secured, that, if by accident, the ship should take the ground, it may, by coming off, be an assistant in saving her.

Fashion-pieces, the timbers that are fastened to the ends of the transoms.

Floors, the timbers which are placed across the ship, and fayed on the dead-wood. The floor-timbers are generally extended as far as the fore mast, though it should require some cant floors, if the square body does not reach so far. Abaft, the floor-timbers are seldom placed farther than where the after square frame is usually stationed; but in this part of the ship, being often difficult to procure, the floors are made in three pieces, and called made-floors, which occasions a great consumption of timber to little purpose; for the floor being designed to go in its usual place, it is made in two pieces, which butt at the middle line, or at some little distance from it, so as the bolt shall go through one-half of the floor, if thought proper; then a large chock is placed across them, and bolted to the two halves of the floor; the upper side of the chock must be kept as high as the cutting down, so that from the upper part of the chock to the head of the floor-timber, there is very little shift of timber to bolt the frame, because the lower futtock must be shortened to step on the chock; therefore it would be stronger to have a floor of natural growth, which might be procured; if one arm of the floor was no longer than the distance from the chock to the floor, as before mentioned, because the lower futtock would then extend to the dead-wood, and might be bolted through it. If a made floor is approved of in preference to that of natural growth with one short arm (either of which is immaterial in this part of the ship,) it would be best to secure the floor-ribband as far as the aft part of the square body, then put in the lower futtocks which might be bolted, to the dead-wood, and place the chock at the aft side of the lower futtocks, and bolt it to them; this would require the second futtocks to be something longer at the heels, to step on the chock, which in this part of the ship are not very difficult to procure. This method would increase the shift of timber, be much stronger, and rather in favour of the conversion of timber; because, the halves of the floor must be cut from the butts of the tree, to gain substance at the lower end; and, therefore, might be converted to a lower futtock; the regular bolting of the floor might also be preserved as the chock would be in the place of the floor. This might be of sufficient strength in this part of the ship, if made more general, when floors of a proper growth could not be obtained.

Forecastle, a short deck at the fore part of the ship above the upper deck, on which formerly castles were erected, or places to shelter the men in time of action.

Frames, the bends of timbers that are bolted together. In small ships there are two bolts in every shift of timber, and three in large ships. The bolts should be disposed clear of the chain, and preventer-bolts, scupper, lodging-knee bolts, and port cells.

Futtock, every single timber is called a futtock, and distinguished by lower or first, second, third, &c. except the floors, long and half-timbers, top-timbers, stern-timbers, &c.

Garboard-strake, the strake in the bottom that is wrought into the rabbet of the keel.

Gunwale, the plank that covers the heads of the timbers between the fore and main drifts.

Hatches, the covering for the hatchways, made with ledges, and laid with oak or deal and calked.

Hatchways, places in the middle of the decks for the conveniency of lowering down goods.

Hawse-pieces, the timbers in the bow of the ship, whose sides are nearly parallel to the middle line of the ship.

Hold, the inside of the ship below the lower deck.

Keel, the pieces of timber laid on the blocks, and on which the ship is built; it is generally elm, except the after-piece, which, on account of its being often wet and dry, is sometimes oak, especially when the ship is expected to be a great while in building. The number of pieces in the keel is not very material, so that it gives good shift to the keelson and the main mast. The keel is scarfed with a hook in the middle, which should fay very close, it being designed on purpose to bear the strain of calking the butts, that the bolt in the scarf may not be strained. The keel should not be tapered much, either forward or aft at the upper part, and from thence it is to be gearded away at the lower edge; for when the dead-wood is trimmed, especially abaft, being frequently very thin, it is with much difficulty that the dead-wood can be securely bolted.

Keelson, pieces nearly the same scantling as the keel, wrought on the upper side of the floors, and bolted through the floors and keel. The scarfs are, if possible, disposed clear of the main and fore mast, and likewise the main hatch, as the scarf may be injured by accident in lowering goods and heavy matters. As every other floor-timber is bolted through the keel, and the others through the keelson and keel together, it requires that the middle of the scrafs of the keelson be disposed over a floor-timber, that is designed to be bolted through the keelson.

Knees, crooked pieces of timber that secure the beams and the shipside together: forward and abaft, where wooden knees cannot be procured of a good growth, they are made of iron; but seldom recommended in that part of the ship where strength is principally required, because the bolts cannot be drove tight in the iron knees, and, therefore, if the ship strains they will work. The lodging-knees are generally disposed on that side of the beam, which makes them the most without a square; and the hanging-pieces placed clear of the ports, and of standards on the deck below. The hanging-knees are likewise placed on that side of the beam, where riders occasionally may be introduced in their stead. The lodging-knees are hooked in the beam, in general near the toe of the knee where the wood is short-grained; therefore it is better to leave a tenon in the drown part of the knee, at a proper distance from the end of the beam, which will be strong enough to bear an iron wedge drove in that side that is nearest to the ship's side, after the knees are properly bolted.

Larboard, when looking forward from the stern of the ship, it is that side of the ship towards the left-hand, or the opposite side to that usually drawn on the draught.

Limber-boards, short pieces of flank fitted from the limber-strake to the keelson, which pieces should butt at the sides of all the bulkheads, that they may be easily taken up.

Mina-breadth, the broadest part of the ship at any particular frame.

Midship-bend, the broadest frame in the ship, called dead-flat.

Munions, the pieces that part the lights in the stern and quarter-gallery.

Orlop, the lower, but temporary deck in large ships; small ships have a kind of platform in midships, chiefly for the use of the cables, which is likewise called the orlop.

Partners, are thick pieces fitted into a rabbet in the mast carlings, to receive the wedges of the mast; likewise temporary pieces nailed on the deck round the pumps.

Pump-dales, pipes to convey the water from the pump-cisterns through the ship's sides.

Quarter-deck, the short deck abaft, whereon the officers usually walk.

Rabbet, that part of the keel, stem, and stern-post, which is cut for the plank of the bottom to fit into; likewise the edges of plank, or deal, for bulk-heads, that are lapped one over the other, and wrought square, making each side of the bulk-head a smooth surface.

Rake, an obtuse angle, such as the stem and stern-post makes with the keel.

Ribband, pieces of fir nailed to the timbers of the square body, under which the sheers are fixed.

Room and space, the distance from the joint, or moulding edge of one floor-timber to the other, which, in all ships that have ports, should be so disposed, that the scantling of the timber of each side the port, and the breadth of the port fore and aft (the openings between the timbers of the frames, if any, included) be answerable to the distance of the room and spaces.

Rudder, the lever which guides the ship. The main piece and the bearding piece, is always oak and the rest generally fir. The rudder should be bearded from the side of the pintles, and the fore side made to the form of the pintles: but when they are bearded to a sharp edge at the middle line, which is the customary way, it reduces the mainpiece more than is necessary, which is easily perceived in large ships, for when the rudder is hard over, the bearding will not be close to the stern-post by nearly three-quarters of an inch.

Rudder-irons, or Pintles, the irons which are fastened to the rudder, in order to hang it up to the stern-post; sometimes there are two of them cut short to work in a socket in the brace, which makes the rudder work easier.

Scuppers, holes cut through the ship's side for throwing off the water that is shipped. They should be disposed clear of the guns standards, the ports below, gang-ways, &c.

Shank-painter, a chain bolted to the top side abaft the cat-head to lower the anchor.

Sheer-strake, the strake under the gunwale in the top side; it is generally worked thicker than the rest of the top side, and scarphed between the drifts.

Sleepers, transom-knees, fitted within side the ship abaft, one arm lying on the foot waleing, and the other extended up the transoms.

Snying, a circular plank edgeways to a work in the bow.

Spirketing, the strake wrought on the ends of the beams; or where there are ports, it is the two strakes worked up to the port cells; in which case the middle of the planks should not be reduced, unless it occasioned the butts to be less than six inches.

Standards, in the form of knees, with one arm on the deck, and the other fayed to the ship's side.

Stemson, a piece wrought on the aft part of the apron, continued as high as the middle deck, or upper deck in small ships, the lower and lapping on, or scarfing into the keelson.

Steps, for the masts, are large pieces fitted across the keelson, into which the keel of the mast is fixed; the holes for the mast to step into, should be but in proportion to the steps, so as to leave sufficient wood on each side the hole, to answer in strength to the tenon left at the heel of the mast; and if that should be rather too little, the hole may be cut more twartships, to answer the deficiency the fore and aft way. There are likewise large pieces called steps of the cap stands, likewise steps on the top side for the conveniency of getting on board.

Stern-post, the straight piece of timber at the aftermost part of the ship, to which both sides of the ship unites; the lower end is tenoned into the keel; it is generally worked with the butt-end upwards, being most suitable to the conversion of the timber; but in some ships which trade to a hot climate, it has been preferred to work the buttend downwards; because in large ships it requires a piece of such a growth, whose juices towards the butt are nearly exhausted, and therefore it is supposed to last longer under water: whereas, by the heat of the weather, when the butt is worked upwards, it decays by the dry rot for want of moisture.

Stopper-bolts, large ring-bolts drove in the deck before the main-hatch for the use of the stoppers.

Sweep, or tillar-sweep, a circular plank fitted to support the foremost end of the tillar, much improved lately by conveying tile tillar-rope round it, keeping it always tight, which in the former method was never tight but when the tillar was in midships.

Timbers, in the head, pieces with one end bearing on the upper check, and the other extended to the main rail of the head. The first general tier of timbers that reach the upper part of the side are called top timbers.

Charles Frederick Partington: The Ship-Builder's Complete Guide; Comprehending the Theory and Practice of Naval Architecture, with Modern Improvements Forming Part of the Mechanics' Library, or Book of Trades. Illustrated by numerous engravings.
Sherwood, Gilbert, and Piper, London, 1825. pp 136-144.

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

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