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Baltimore Clipper Armament and deck layout


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Hello

Wonder if someone could offer some advice. Building HMS Harvey, a Bltimore Clipper, as the Ringle from the Aubrey series. They mention an armament of 8 Carronades and 2 long guns in the books. The kit came with 8 cannons. I will replace these with aftermarket Carronades.

 

Can anyone tell me where on the deck would be a logical placement for the long guns? Would they have been bow or stern chasers or somewhere amidships?

 

Also there are two "outhouses" fairly prominently on the foreword deck, is the a realistic placement? I have read that most clipper layouts are fictional and wonder if this is an aspect of that.

 

Thanks in advance

Glen

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The long guns would be forward, because any Royal Navy tender would be more concerned about chasing, not being chased, if they were of a light caliber, such as six pounders. However, if the long guns were unusually large, (like the USS Spark, 1815, which had ten 18-pounder carronades and two long 18-pounders) they might also be placed amidships, where their weight might push the sharp bow down, badly affecting the trim of the ballast. Any chase would hopefully be to leeward, not necessarily in front of you.

 

The outhouses are called roundhouses, and they probably have been removed for naval service, as they would splinter greatly if struck by shot. 

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Thanks very much for that!

The guns were apparently 12 pound Carronades and 6 pound long guns as you suggest. Can I ask further about placement, would they have been pointed pretty much straight ahead in the bows?

Thanks also for the information on the roundhouses, glad to hear it because I think she will look much better without them.

 

Thanks very much again for the fast reply.

Glen

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You will need to place them in the forward-most broadside port, not pointing directly forward. But I don't know if your Harvey has enough ports in her side to mount them all. If not, then since you are altering her into a fictitious vessel, you might want to be creative, and rearrange the existing ports to be closer together (without shifting the chain-plates around) and add one more pair of ports to her broadside. Leave the forward pointing ports, call bridle ports, empty. The crew would shift a chase gun there, if they needed to. Arming the bridle ports full time would put too much weight in her extremities, and cause her to pitch.

Edited by uss frolick
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Thanks again, really appreciate this.

So would I then mount 4 Carronades and 1 long gun on each broadside , plus 2 bridle ports in the bow pointing forward for use as needed? Also, in this case would the long guns still be in the foremost position each side?

As you say she is fictional but I am glad for your advice to make her plausible.

 

Glen

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Thank you again. Can you advise me, should I be putting a couple of stern ports as well then, or would this be a "field" modification as needed? I recall in one of the books he has the carpenter chop up the stern of a larger ship to point the guns rearward. Would that be the likely situation on the tender as well?

Glen

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Read "The Baltimore Clipper" by Howard Chapelle for a wealth of info on the design and construction of these ships.  Be forwarned that the Harvey is not a real ship and in some ways doesn't really represent a Baltimore Clipper.  There are also some excellent articles in back issues of the NRG journal (vol 29:91) on this very subject.  I think they were in the mid '80s but you can check the NRJ index.

Edited by grsjax
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Hi

Thanks for the information. I tried to find a way to access the journal article you mentioned, but must be missing something. Is there a way to access it and buy it online or would I have to buy the archive CDs?

I was aware that both subjects were fictional. Can you advise me of the most glaring clipper misrepresentations in the Harvey? I am going to go forward with her, but perhaps I can make her closer to what she should be? She is really a first practice build for me, with the AL Surprise next. I am using the Harvey to learn how to build a ship model so it will definitely not be a museum piece but I would like to get in the neighbourhood,of what O'Brian had in mind.

Thanks

Glen

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 These are the articles I was referring to.  If you can't find them in the on-line store at the NRG website email the journal and ask if they are available.

  • Ronnberg, Erik A.R.: The Albatros - Swallow Reconstruction.
    Nautical Research Journal Vol. 29, Bethesda, 1983. pp 90-92, ill.
  • Ronnberg, Erik A.R. Jr: Albatros - Swallow - Postscript.
    Nautical Research Journal Vol. 29, Bethesda, 1983. pp 133-135, ill.
  • Gillmer, Thomas C.: Albatros - Swallow, Additional Comments.
    Nautical Research Journal Vol. 29, Bethesda, 1983. pp 136.
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Having just looked at a picture of the Harvey model online, I think you could probably just add an additional pair of ports in the after bulwarks without shifting the others. There seems to be a lot of empty space back there. But don't place the pair so far aft, that the carronades would have interfered with the tiller's running tackle.

Edited by uss frolick
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I built three O'Brian ships! I love that series of novels, they really helped a great deal to spark my interest in ships of the period. The only problem is that when you finish reading them all a few times, all that is left is a bleak empty landscape of nautical fiction that is not and can never be as good. I think you are free to interpret Ringle any way you like in terms of rig and deck layout. Taken into the service there would certainly have been some Royal Navy influence at the outset then subtler changes when Jack had her. He certainly did whatever he wanted with his ships, regardless of the Royal Navy's agenda for such ships.

I do recall, in reading the novels, the chase guns were nearly always described as being cast in brass. Apparently O'Brien liked the way that looked on the page and visually it would set the guns apart on the model if the long guns were shiny brass and the rest of them dull iron.

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Hi Frankie

Thanks for the encouragement! Yes, the books are an engaging read, since I have found them I am always reading one of them alongside anything else I might read. I started with the Hornblower series which I greatly enjoyed and also,re-read all the time.

 

I have received great advice here, this is my first build. I did start a log.

 

I am waffling over the brass cannons. They are six pounders and the Aubrey series talk about him having two personal long guns of endlessly polished brass, 9 pounders I think. Part of me wants to,leave them in brass as they came, part of me thinks that it makes the ship look like a toy. I have 8 to,play with,,I am going to order Carronades to replace all but the two. Will try both to see how they look.

 

Thanks again!

Glen

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Take the time to put a link to your build log onto your profile, it is not too hard and the instructions on how to do it are in the "how to use the site" topic at the top of the main page. As it stands now, anyone trying to find your build log will have a few steps of searching to go through before they can find it.

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