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Author Topic: "Hunan" and "Baroda"  (Read 6317 times)

Bryan Young

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Re: "Hunan" and "Baroda"
« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2013, 04:35:50 PM »

The final bit about bridges/wheelhouses.
I now come to “Hunan”, built 10 years after “Norseman”. Although still a complete wooden structure it’s getting closer to what we know today.
Doors have been fitted! The chartroom is now a proper working space…although the poor radio officer has been relegated to his caboose at the aft end of the boat deck.
The standard compass, although sited aft of the chartroom has been elevated to a more useful height. The little brass thingy at the front of the “roof” is a Morse Signal Lamp (carried today on many ships at a masthead, but seldom used when picking up a VHF phone is easier).
The bridge wings are now protected at the aft end rather than just at the front. Some effort…however minimal…has been made regarding fire-fighting with the provision of sand filled fire buckets. The big box is still a battery box. And we now meet the idea of permanent awnings (wood covered with painted canvas).

I hope you’ve enjoyed this very brief canter through the development of the bridge as seen on 4 ships spanning around 50 years. Seems to have taken an awfully long time to introduce such slight and simple improvements. But then shipowners have never been renowned for their concern for their employees welfare, have they.
    I’ll move on to the lifeboat davits etc. next.
 
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Bryan Young

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Re: "Hunan" and "Baroda"
« Reply #26 on: June 24, 2013, 02:30:38 PM »

Oops…..forgot the poop decks!
Two entirely different layouts here. The 1st one(Baroda) was taken during construction. Bits yet to be fitted are The bulwarks, brass scuttles, emergency steering wheel and steering chain holder.
    You’ll notice that the working space on Baroda is much more cramped than on Hunan. The Hunan is also fitted with a capstan. This obviously makes the handling of the mooring ropes easier than for Baroda. That crew would have to utilise a couple of the cargo winches down on the main deck. More manpower needed. I guess “ergonomics” hadn’t been invented back in 1914. In fact, everything about Baroda seems specifically designed to make life as awkward as possible for everyone on board. But Baroda does have one advantage here….the positioning of the 2 lifeboats.
By placing the boats on an extended (and substantially supported deck) frees up a tremendous amount of deck space. Another “anomaly” on Baroda is that she has a hatchway ( visible on the starboard quarter) that, on the plan I had, said it was an access to a chain locker. Well, that’s believable as ships operating regularly around the Indian continent generally had at least one stern anchor. But here there’s no sign of such a thing or any method of deploying one. Perhaps the space below was utilised as a rope store.
You may also notice that Baroda has 2 galley funnels visible whereas Hunan has but one. On Baroda I’d think that the one on the port side would be for the crew galley, and the one to stbd would be from the passenger galley set one deck below…as is the galley on Hunan.
The brown “box” thing on Baroda (just visible behind the stern of the stbd boat) is a livestock pen. It’s certainly big enough for a few sheep.I don’t know what arrangements Hunan had, but by 1932 she probably had a refrigeration capability….”Norseman” of 1923 did…admittedly a pretty primitive sort that used large blocks of ice.. Still managed to keep the beer chilled.
    A quick note on the boat davits. Both ships had radial davits. Those on Hunan were fitted directly into deck mounted sockets….but Barodas’ davits were mounted outboard with a central holding bracket at boat deck level. This looks a much stronger arrangement than on Hunan. But it’s the only example of this sort of fitting that I can recall ever seeing
 
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Capt Podge

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Re: "Hunan" and "Baroda"
« Reply #27 on: June 24, 2013, 07:17:08 PM »

Some very interesting points made there Bryan - with regard to the livestock pen, there's a good view of it in your photograph in reply no.9 (page 1) and, in the same photo, the "outboard" locating brackets for the davits on the port side.
 
Regards,
 
Ray.
 
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Bryan Young

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Re: "Hunan" and "Baroda"
« Reply #28 on: June 24, 2013, 08:54:15 PM »

Hah! You must have been paying more attention than I was. Well spotted, Sir.
Apart from the ding-dong of the bell signals, what caught your eye this time? Bryan.
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Capt Podge

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Re: "Hunan" and "Baroda"
« Reply #29 on: June 25, 2013, 12:55:47 AM »

what caught your eye this time?

Believe it or not, it was the galley funnels, I hadn't noticed them at all !
 
Regards,
 
Ray.
 
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Bryan Young

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Re: "Hunan" and "Baroda"
« Reply #30 on: June 25, 2013, 03:19:49 PM »

Now I can move on to the boats, davits and other associated bts’n’bobs.
As before, I’ll use 5 models in an attempt to show improvements/deviations in davit design over a 40 odd year period (if there was any, that is as there isn’t really a lot you can do with a radial davit. Even the smaller ones that can still be found in use for odd tasks like hoisting a heavy joining shackle out of the depths of the foc’s’le to deck level.
All the models shown are at a common scale of 1:48.
Starting with “Discovery” again. All her boats were pretty heavily built and so needed a larger capacity davit than a more “normal” ships lifeboat. But one thing all radial davits share is that the top third (or so) is tapered. Not a lot, but enough to be seen.
Apart from length and diameter the only variant seems to be the method of mounting the things on to the ship. Not a lot seems to have been “standardised” in the early days. I guess each shipbuilder had their own ideas. They all have a “ball” at the hook attachment end. Also it seems to have become standard practise to use 3 sheave purchases. A crowd of seamen can heave up or lower a boat in the absence of power assistance given 3 sheave blocks, but it’s asking the almost impossible if 2 sheave blocks are used. However. I haven’t a clue how the 4 “work-boats” were lifted and swung out. As this must have been a common evolution on “Discovery” I’d have thought some evidence of some method would be visible.
   Moving on a few years to “General Havelock” (1895) a more “standardised” version appears on the scene. The tapered base “socket” for deck mounting became common (although Baroda bucked that trend). The Havelock layout almost mirrors that on Hunan which was built almost 40 years later.Not much else to say about these 2 early examples. The (slight) differences between all the examples I’ll show during this topic come under the operation and rigging section later on.
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Bryan Young

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Re: "Hunan" and "Baroda"
« Reply #31 on: June 25, 2013, 03:25:18 PM »

Although Radial davits were by far the most common type found on commercial ships well into the 1920s, other types did exist. I show one of the more common alternatives…the “Quadrant” davit. These were fitted to “Norseman” built 1923. These were especially useful on ships where the boats were often needed for “work” or passenger ferrying purposes. Simply fit a handle and wind the boats out. No more faffing around swivelling the davits around and pushing and pulling the boat into position. But the actual heavy lifting was still “mandraulic” unless the falls could be lead to winches. At least 2, as the falls were still independent of each other. I well remember that hoisting one of these boats took 30 men to do it in a very cramped working area. Still easier than using the radial davits though.
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Bryan Young

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Re: "Hunan" and "Baroda"
« Reply #32 on: June 25, 2013, 06:38:33 PM »

And finally….to Baroda and Hunan.
Writing this screed has given me pause for a re-think. I’ve come to the conclusion that “Baroda” was correct for her time (1914), but “Hunan” was a “throwback”. Almost everything about her seems to point to a lack of ambition. Apart from the closed in wheelhouse (not a new innovation in itself), there isn’t really much difference between them. Way before Hunan was built ships were moving away big-time from counter sterns and straight stems. It’s almost as if, when China Steam Nav wanted a new ship they just asked the builders for “another one of those, please”. I mentioned the “West Hartlepool Tramp” in an earlier post. With some modifications I’m inclined to think that’s what she was. Still makes a great model though.
One “little” detail on Hunan that was unusual is the bent (outward leaning) main ER cowl ventilators. With everything being crammed into such tight spaces, if the vents had been totally vertical then the funnel would have blocked the air passage to the vents. So “bending” them was quite a nice solution.
But now it’s time to get into “operational” mode…..
 
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Bryan Young

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Re: "Hunan" and "Baroda"
« Reply #33 on: June 26, 2013, 01:49:14 PM »

Starting with the davits themselves. They are all made from aluminium knitting needles. Particularly the ones with a “ball” or nearly a ball on the end. Until recently I was able to buy bunches of these things in any Charity shop, but recently the beloved H&S fraternity seem to have decided that knitting needles are offensive weapons and so can’t be sold “over the counter”. This idiocy surely belongs in the same folder as every house in the country having an arsenal of lethal weaponry in the kitchen drawers. But I latterly found that elderly ladies would happily give me as many and of different sizes that I wanted.
   On average the davits would be around 5” in max. diameter, and around 10ft high.
The wire span is not removed whilst rotating the davits ro the launch position. Being attached at both ends to the “spectacle” plate (more on that later) prevents the whole thing getting tangled up. The wire guys oneach davit do have to be unlashed and re-lashed when the boat is finally swung out. The main chocks are usually made in 2 halves, the outboard half being hinged at the bottom edge so when the weight of the boat is taken by the falls that half can be dropped….really just to save having to lift the boat higher than necessary, but more useful when lifting the boat as it makes fitting the boat into its chocks easier. Oh, and don’t forget to let the gripes go! (Or forget to put the boat plugs in, otherwise the boat will sink).
    In the drawing, as noted, the top blocks are 90* out of line. A prime requisite for rigging 3 sheave blocks is to finish up with the downhaul exiting from the centre sheave of the upper black. The 2 photos of my demonstration model (enclosed)should explain this.
   Pic 3 shows the fittings at the ball end of the davit. Take no notice of the block in the drawing.  For my purposes all proper lifeboat falls need 3 sheave blocks.  The top 3 sheave block needs a becket at the bottom to secure the tail of the fall.
The “spectacle” plate is free to rotate about the central pin. This is needed because the span wire needs to remain attached so the spectacle plate has to rotate through 180* during the process of swinging the boat outboard.
    The falls themselves should be at least 6times the distance between the upper deck and the light-ship waterline…for obvious reasons. On more modern ships the falls are lead to the reels via sheaves…older ships used cruciform bollards.One of these can be seen (just) behind the davits on the bridge wing of Baroda. The fall rope should never be removed from these bollards during any operations when the boats weight is on the falls…these act as the only braking system.
  The lifelines …not all boats can be boarded at a deck level due to weight considerations. So the boats can only be launched with a launching crew on board. The rest of the people have to use boarding ladders (like “pilot ladders”) or shin down a lifeline…but those lines are really there to give a means of escape for the crew left on board after the boat is in the water. These lifelines have a “figure of 8” knot in them every 6ft of their length.
I hope all that helps.
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Bryan Young

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Re: "Hunan" and "Baroda"
« Reply #34 on: June 26, 2013, 05:40:01 PM »

And so ends this chapter.
I've now got the space I need to do some serious re-working of at least one damaged model.
But first: I need to chuck out a lot of accumulated "stuff" that I'm never going to use again.
Then I've got to wire-brush the walls. Then I've got to use a whole lot of "Mr.Muscle" to clean up the accumulated stains etc. Next will come the weather proofing around the main door.
Now that I have no intention of ever doing any more "heavy" mechanical work, I think I'll re-cover the main workbench with something akin to a kitchen work surface. Then I'll re-paint the white walls and only then will I repaint the floor.
Only then will I consider bringing in "Hunan" to commence her re-build.
All that may take a little time....
Regards to you all. Bryan.
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vnkiwi

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Re: "Hunan" and "Baroda"
« Reply #35 on: June 26, 2013, 08:31:48 PM »

Bryan,
good luck with your cleaup.
We will be waiting, right here for your next descriptive post.
Really do enjoy them. And I've learned heaps from you. And enjoyed every word.
Thank you
regards
vnkiwi    :-))
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Bryan Young

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Re: "Hunan" and "Baroda"
« Reply #36 on: June 26, 2013, 08:49:29 PM »

Thanks for that Vin.....give me perhaps a month. But the way this summer is going I may well be up to my oxters in snow by the end of July!. Bryan.
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Bryan Young

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Re: "Hunan" and "Baroda"
« Reply #37 on: June 28, 2013, 03:32:42 PM »

Goody! Back on line with e-mail system fixed.
If you have any questions or whatever re.this topic...then just ask. BY.
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