1186. An experienced master says: when a large quantity of water has to be carried, the best plan is to have a couple of longers of tanks (400 gal), or casks, at the fore and after hatchways, and to rise them from the skin and carry them from wing to wing; stowing with them wet provisions (salt beef, port, &c.), you then may not only trim the ship, but admit the leakage to pass through without damaging cargo, and the water being towards the ends is better for lightening than in amidships. Beer, in wood, for troops, is also stowed with the water, or in the same place, for the above reasons, but generally at the after hatch. Capt. PARISH, E.I.Co. recommends that each cask should be well bunged up when emptied, which will not only prevent dirt from getting in, but, in case of any serious accident — such as collision or striking on rock — might be the means of keeping the ship afloat for days. Some masters recommend that water for ship's use should never be put below the main deck, as cargo is liable to be injured when taking out water stowed near.
1187. Mr. BRADY, U.S. Navy, says: previous to getting on board the tanks, a plan of stowing them may be easily arranged by means of rough models in wood, which a carpenter can readily make. In getting the tanks from the store, attention should be directed to the lid sockets, which if not properly lined with fearnought, will allow much of their contents to escape in rolling; as also to the obtaining the proper number of keys, and see that they are short enough to work between the decks and the tanks if the vessel is a small one. The screws for letting off the water require careful treatment, for they are apt if once started, never to be so tight again; and after being three or four years in use, the nuts decay, rendering the keys useless. Whitewashing tanks inside is found, by experience, to be highly useful in keeping water pure.
1188. Iron tanks for containing water are usually made to fit the run or any other part of the vessel. A naval officer recommends it as a good plan 'to stow tanks by fours, with the lids together, so that in clearing away to get at one tank, you clear away four' — see engraving. Fixed tanks, containing enough for the use of the crew, are now generally placed on the keelson, near the pump-well or chain locker; those required for passengers are mostly 4 feet cube, hold 400 gallons, are moveable, and are frequently sold in the colonies, when not required for the voyage home; but, if required, are often filled with merchandize, oils, &c. and are also used to contain biscuit. Tanks weigh 1½ to 2 lb. per gallon, according to their shape, and occupy, pro rata, about half the space of casks. When the interior corrodes, the water, by the motion of the ship, becomes discoloured, and is then termed "ship's port wine" by the seamen. In this condition it is not considered injurious, and can be completely filtered.* When tanks are fitted close, the timber underneath rots, especially after it becomes rusty. Leakage is often caused by keeping the hose on after the tank is filled. A Boston shipowner boxes off those parts which come between the tanks and the ship, and at stated periods inserts salt, which preserves the wood from rotting. If the large tanks are place in the centre of the ship, so as to bear on a limited surface, their weight may open the garboard streaks, especially if the wood has been previously weakened by the leakage of fresh water. All water tanks should be well scraped and washed and then whitewashed before re-filling. When stowing cargo against the water tanks, it is necessary to prevent injurious pressure; see wool.
Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius
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Copyright © 1998 Lars Bruzelius.