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Skylight or Companionway? (Syren specific)

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Mondfeld in "Historic Ship Models" (p. 144) indicates that an opening in a ships deck to allow access below is either a "companionway" (merchant ships) or "ladderway" (warships).  He then describes a "companion" as an opening in the deck of a warship that provides light and ventilation and is normally covered by a removable "skylight" but that is not a ladderway.


I ask because the plans for SYREN provided in Chapelle's "History of the American Sailing Navy" (p. 185) indicate both a "companion" and a "skylight" aft of the capstan, but no ladderway.  Trying to reconcile with Chuck's plans (ie. did Syren have a skylight too?).


Any insight appreciated.



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In my experience a companionway and a ladderway are synonymous. A companionway will always have a ladder.  The skylight is a separate thing entirely; it only provides light to the lower deck.  There is no place for your `companions` to make their `way`below deck.  Zu Mondfeld is wrong.



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A companionway/ladderway always needs a bigger opening with larger distance in between the deck beams to pass ladders, sailors or even goods. A skylight can be only a part of the deck not being planked and showing the deckbeams underneath running through the opening. See for example HMS Victory for that detail.





Edited by dafi
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Thanks for the replies.  To help illustrate my confusion, below is the relevant section of the drawing from Chapelle, an unknown model of Syren from the web, the USNA museum Syren (Lightly model), and the MS Syren configuration (Chuck's interpretation).  I'm still conflicted on exactly which deck opening(s) would most likely be used for access below (i.e. the ladderway/companionway) and which (if any) would be a skylight for below deck lighting/ventilation.


Any thoughts welcome. 





Syren Aft.jpg

Unk Syren Model Aft.jpg

Lightley Syren Af.jpg

MS Syren Aft.jpg

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