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Hello, I am building the Housatonic. The steam sloop sunk by the Hunley in 1864 during the American Civil War. I am using drawings from US Nat'l Archives of the Ossipee, a sister ship . I need advice and opinions on a feature of the ship or similar ships.  

The feature I am having problems with is what looks like to be a hammock rack that covers the railing of the main deck. On the drawing and photos of similar ships (Kearsarge) that rack traverses the total length of the railing including over the main pivot gun ports. That rack obstructs the firing line of the pivot gun. In the photos and my reproduction the pivot gun is too tall to shoot under that rack. That leads me to conclude that the rack was not permanent over the pivot gun ports. Does anyone know how that rack was removed or cleared during combat? 

 

Thanks Bill 

uss frolick likes this

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The rack would have to be cleared by your description.  The Constellation of 1852 had the forward and stern bulwarks that were hinged and dropped down to allow the gun to be used.  

jud, Canute and uss frolick like this

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Posted (edited)

I ran into the same question researching for HMCSS Victoria (1855) which was pierced for a pivot gun for and aft.  There are several options including that which Mark points out (hinged, drop down sections of bukwark), but also some ships appear to have had lift out sections - either way, as Mark points out the hammock rails (in your case) would need to be struck.

 

The first image below shows a 68pdr gun in action ib HMS Sidon off Balaclava in Crimea (1855) which while not definitive, suggests a lift out panel.

The second image shows HMS Immortalite (1860) with what appears to be lift out panels in the port fore section of the bulwarks (just behind the cascable of the gun).

 

The third image is a section of the plan for HMS Vigilant (1856).

 

While these drawings and lithographs support what appears to be lift out panels, there is a picture of Uss Constitution which was kindly posted by a MSW member whom I regret to say I have misplaced the information for (apologies to the provider), that shows the hinged arrangements which may have been more specific to US practice of the day?  That said, I have a piccy, again I cannot remember the source, that shows a US ship with a lift out panel.  it could also be argued that the braces shown in the first US piccy (Constitution) that they were simply support braces nd that they and the panel lifted out rather than being hinged?

 

5b1f11eaa1304_HMSSidon68pdrpivotgun1855croppedl.jpg.6a15a099ebdd39af3c10daafba5ada5e.jpg  5b1f1270e5dae_HMSImmortalite1860PivotGunArrangementl.thumb.jpg.79b17b968622a5fa7b1ba61a6db50a9e.jpg  5b1f131377084_HMSVigilant1856pivotgunportsjpg.jpg.2976bdf5f9563e49523bfbce38f7d086.jpg  5b1f13633f6e1_WaterwayUSSConstellationc1854.thumb.jpg.62029275281a15c27f49e275b0388620.jpg 5b1f13ede1e47_PivotGunUSS.jpg.80c42123821e2a342eab8ea406102c6a.jpg

5b1f14533f197_Pivotgunopening.thumb.jpg.a70a4a3b12d9c41a2331a50bf63e7e6b.jpg

 

I hope this provides some useful info for you to determine your fit?  With Victoria (last picture) I went with lift out panels.

 

cheers

 

Pat

 

 

 

Edited by BANYAN
Canute, uss frolick and Jeronimo like this

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Pat,

That's the Constellation and I think Jerry Todd posted it.

 

I'll post a couple from my build... fore and aft.

 

2008_08160002.thumb.jpg.04bc896116d880d14bb9133b2201348b.jpg2008_08310002.jpg.f18c4a51c5e19a906d1a17f2efbdfddd.jpg

Jeronimo, Canute and uss frolick like this

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Mark & Pat. The illustrations are terrific and satisfies a solution to my issue. Many Thanks. Bill

Canute and mtaylor like this

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Posted (edited)

Glad to hear you have a solution Bill, good luck with the build.

 

Thanks Mark, I was unsure of who/where I got it - now that you mention Jerry, I agree it was his build of Constellation. So0rrt Jerry, and I hope you don't mind us re-sharing it?  That is a nice model Mark, i hadn't seen this build of yours before.

 

Bill, if you will permit me hijacking your thread, I would like to try and get some clarifications on the 'fold down' bulwark panels.  I had considered these but could not find any definitive info that these were used and would appreciate any info on the hinginging and support mechanisms.  My initial thoughts were that these panels were very heavy being thick (outer and inner planked large sections) that would have placed a lot of strain on the hinging and there appear to be no topping lift type (hanging) supports in the form of wire guys etc also.  Must have been hell raising them again.  That said, if used there must have been some info / data available about these?  

 

I am seeking this info to offer in my 'considerations' for the selection of various fittings, equipment and build methods in an associated build log text I am putting together.  At this point I am assuming this was a US build practice?  I haven't seen evidence of it used elsewhere (well in my limited searches to date) :)

 

cheers

 

Pat

Edited by BANYAN
Canute and John Allen like this

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Pat,

Most my log was "lost" during the great crash but for the resurection (such that it was) of the log, there's a link to the log and to the gallery.

 

Do some digging on Jerry's log and/or PM Jerry.  He would probably be a good starting place.

 

The Constellation (which seems typical) used iron rods to hold the panels up.   The were bent at the end and slipped into what looks like a "loop" on the deck.  The hinges on the port themselves ran the length of the port (deck to top).  Opening was easy... move the rod (I don't know if there was lock mechanism or rope secured them) and lower the port.  Don't let it fall.  To close, pull the rod (I think rope around the end aided this).  I can't imagine the ports being "light" and mechanical advantage wouldn't be there with the length of the rod.  Pretty simple system actually.

 

As for US practice only?  I have no idea.

John Allen, jud, uss frolick and 1 other like this

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