Water-Ways. — After the deck framing is completed, the water-ways may be next put round. These are the thick planks at the outside of the deck, which fit against the inside of the top-timbers. They are considerably thicker than other planks of the deck, and hollowed out so as carry the water which drains from the crown of the deck to the scuppers. The gutter should be so formed that the water may not lie in the seam of the water-way with the next adjoining plank of the deck.
The water-ways should be of oak, or such like durable timber, as they are much exposed to alternate states of wet and dry; also, as they are connected to the sides and ends of beams, they are exposed to very considerable strains by the working of the ship; and as they are excluded from a free circulation of air about their lower sides, they are more ready to decay than any other of the deck planks; therefore it is absolutely necessary to select the most healthy and durable timber for the water-ways. In putting them round the vessel, they must be fayed close down on the beams, and well fitted to the inside of the timbers. Those to go round the bow must be worked to the curve from compass-timber, and fitted and bolted down to the breast-hook. The after piece should extend across the inside of the quarter-timber, and be let one inch into its fore and inner sides, so that this part may be easily made tight. The piece that goes across the stern should be of a good breadth, and natched one inch round the three sides of the stern-timbers, to strengthen the back rabbet for the inside stern-plank, leaving sufficient room before the rabbet to bolt it properly down to the beam or deck-transom, to prevent it from surging aft when caulking the butts of the deck ends. The ends of stern-piece or water-way must be neatly mitred against the side-pieces, and done in such a manner that the mouth of the one seam may not overlap that of the other, as in that case it is very difficult to get them properly caulked. The water-way strakes should be bolted from the stem all the way round to the stern, down to both beams and knees, and also edgeways through every other top-timber.
Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius
Sjöhistoriska Samfundet | The Maritime History Virtual Archives | Shipbuilding.
© Copyright 2000 Lars Bruzelius.