Silkjc

HMS Bounty quarterdeck railing detail question

Hi guys, 

I have a question regarding John McKay's drawings of the HMS Bounty. On the quarterdeck railings there are several square cutouts with some other feature on the left and right side of the slot. What are these for? Does anyone have any other pictures of them? I could only find them detailed on the ISO and side drawings provided below, and they do not appear to be visible on the inside wall (behind a square block it seems?).

 

Many thanks,

Jason

ship1.PNG

ship2.PNG

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Hi Jason,

Am not familiar with Bounty's design, but could be scuppers, openings for taking the water out of the deck. usually positioned around the lowest deck point and / or masts. Sometimes they were just openings, lead pipes (e.g. this Jotika kit:Badger_Const075_lrg.jpg) or omitted planks.

On your drawings,  they seems to be covered with the lids on hinges, open itself by the weight of the cumulated water.. Quite nice detail, but quite often omitted on ship models!

 

 

 

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Jason, I was looking through various books I have and while looking at the Anatomy of the Ship Series on the Bounty (by John McKay) I found several references to them. They appear on the framing plan (pg 38) as "Air Scuttles". They appear in many more diagrams of framing and planking diagrams but are unlabeled. Finally they appear again on pg 58 and are labeled as "Air Scuttles added (three locations port and three locations starboard)". Earlier in the book there is a diagram of the ship when it was launched as the collier Bethia in which they did not appear. It seems to be a fairly low risk guess to assume they were added when the Bethia was taken into the service for their specific mission as a breadfruit hauler. These vents would have allowed airflow management for the Great Cabin where the breadfruit racks were built for their transportation.

 

Wiley

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Ops, I was wrong then. From the drawing I believed those "things"are just on the deck level - from there came my scupper guess. Sorry for missleading.

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It was unlikely that scuppers were cut on a partial deck. Water would drain forward (quarter deck) or aft (forecastle), be diverted by the 'eyebrow' at the breast beam to the sides, drain down to the upper or weather deck and drain through scuppers there.

 

Ventilation scuttles were usually omitted from official draughts. However, they were cut one to a cabin below decks. The items on McKay's drawings above are too high relative to the cabins inboard. I'm afraid I would also take issue with some other features shown as well.

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If you look at the cross section at " 3 " on page 34, you will see those openings would lie just below the deck.. 

Note location of mizzen channels.

It seems the idea would be to provide ventilation for the " garden " ..

 

Scan013.jpg.57fd76bf273b9e831225a3b2576ca32c.jpg

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Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Some really nice research there, I feel privileged! :) The general consensus at the moment is that they are ventilation holes and will run with that. I am still unsure what the small features on the left and the right of the slot are. Perhaps piping? They seem to be circular...Maybe just circular vent holes in a square slot?

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I believe you are looking at strap hinges on the outside of the square ventilation doors running from the top down.

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Ventilation ports that I've seen usually hinge sideways with the hinge on the forward side to direct wind into the cabins. They look like hinged sweep ports, not long and horizontal as in the illustrations.

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It looks like the illustrator interpreted a lot of details not on the NMM drawing, like the hinged port lids.  He seems to intend for them to open outwards, since he cut into the swivel gun mount in order to solve a problem present in the NMM drawing.   

 

Be careful with the reconstruction illustration.  It shows several things not in the original drawing, and some of these are fantasy, like the heavy scrollwork framing the rear of the quarter deck, a Hollywood design from 1935 film, and the bay windows, from around the same time.  The NMM drawings omit garnishing details, but do show structural details, and there are no lines to indicate a structural form like bay windows, only a large three windowed badge.   

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Thanks for the feedback bear, you don't know where I might find the original NMM drawing do you? Is it publicly available?

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Silk: the plans are on the Royal Museums Greenwich web site in 'Collections'. One can order full-size scans of them at a cost, as one can of many thousands of other original draughts.

 

Now that I look closely, I see the scuttles above the mizen channel. My apologies to Mr. McKay on that point! He was correct - I was not. They must have been cut diagonally downward to avoid seriously compromising the quarter deck clamp.

Bounty decks.jpg

Bounty sheer and profile.jpg

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Thanks Druxey, sometimes I wish I had handwriting as neat as the original draftsmen!

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I would be highly skeptical anyone would put "ventilation holes" in the hull, no matter how high above the water line. In my view if shipwrights were asked to provide more ventilation, they would enlarge or add hatches to the deck.

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I busted out my copy of Anatomy of the Ship Bounty and the objects appear repeatedly in many of the illustrations. On page 60 two per side are illustrated and labeled "42 Sheave (In Bulwark)" and outlined with dotted lines in a circle giving the sheave diameter which is quite large. But not all the objects are represented and their location appears off a few feet from the positions indicated in the drawings above. To me they look like their locations correspond to knight heads on deck and I suppose they are for docklines and are fairleads to take lines to the knight heads or to the capstan for warping on a spring? This would explain the huge size of the sheaves. But why they need more than one in this region of the deck I can't explain. 

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The sheaves you are referring to are not the " ventilation " features discussed above.

 

In the image below, the sheaves are circled in red, and the " ventilation ports " are circled in blue.

Why would they be more of a hull compromise than gun ports with lids?

vents.jpg.41c463feb5058a0b00505ddb865fce5e.jpg

 

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While ventilation scuttles are usually not seen on plans or models, there is contemporary evidence that they were there. One example is by Thomas Luny, circa 1773-4 (This image of Resolution is from the RMG 'Collections' web site). There are four scuttles, corresponding with the cabins, below the gun ports and one forward of the mizen channel. Luny re-drew some ports in corrected positions - there are not two tiers of them! The scuttles were reproduced on my model of her.

Luny sketch.jpg

Resolution 4.jpg

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That is some great information druxey, and a very nice model. Do you have a shot showing further right of your model? I assume there are 3 scuttles out of shot. Did you do anything other than model the hinges? I am considering making the actual door but at scale on my Bounty it may just appear as a mess, it would be good to see some examples of previous success! :)

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I think if a case was going to be made that the small narrow rectangular objects depicted were for "ventilation" on the deck immediately under the tiller, you would have to explain away the very obvious hatch set into the deck directly under the tiller. 

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That is a very good point, a long with all the other windows on the stern and sides.

They appear on the original plans as well. It appears McKay got the correct positions as well, with the third one on the right being slightly obscured. In these though they are depicted purely as a single square, with no inside details.

58cc27ba22aec_Bountysheerandprofile.jpg.950d2f1e20394ba5b238f8296b59cdec.jpg

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Silkjc: The ventilation scuttles on the models were cut and lids fitted with U-hinges. A broadside view shows the line of four scuttles at the lower deck and two (one forward, the other aft) at upper deck level.

Resolution board.jpg

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On 4/23/2017 at 8:28 AM, JerseyCity Frankie said:

I think if a case was going to be made that the small narrow rectangular objects depicted were for "ventilation" on the deck immediately under the tiller, you would have to explain away the very obvious hatch set into the deck directly under the tiller. 

Why would you have explain away the hatch? 

 

Ventilation usually involves a path for air to flow.  The scuttles would provide airflow over the garden and out the hatch. ( or vice-versa )

 

The ' Garden ' was the reason the Bounty existed. 

 

P.S.

From pages 8-9 of AOTS

 

" Bligh describes the conversion of Bounty's lower deck into a garden in his account:

The between decks was divided in the following manner:- the great cabin

was appropriated for the preservation of plants, and extended as far forward as

the after hatchway.   It had two large sky-lights, and on each

side three scuttles for air,  etc., etc... "

 

Reading further on page nine, there is additional information about the ' scuttles '...

 

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Wow great find Gregory, I think that is fairly definitive! Thank you for your research effort, I really like this sort of digging through history :)

 

And now to retrofit these on without butchering too much of the model!

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