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An unusual (to me) arrangement of hanging knees and rider knees on brigantine Leon

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I have some excellent info from two sources on how the brigantine Leon's deck beams were fastened to the hull.   She was built in Norway in 1880 and classed by DNV.  One source is an 1880 DNV survey and the other is the 1882 DNV Rules and Regulations for classification.   I have come up with a diagram of a possibility that seems to fit with both sources but it is sufficiently unusual (to me) that I want to share it with others to see if it seems plausible.  But first the info:


1880 Survey:  - This survey was translated from Norwegian to English by Jeppe Jul Nielsen in September 2018

"Deck beams are fastened with 2 diagonal hanging knees"

"Hanging knees ... 45 on each side; arms 2 1/2' to 3 1/2'.  Legs 4 1/2' to 5' made of spruce".  [Since there are 25 deck beams, this squares with 2 hanging knees at each beam-end]

"Knee riders; 11 on each side from clamp to floor" [This implies a knee rider at every other beam, more or less]


1882 Rules and Regulations

"All deck beams to be securely fastened to the sides of the vessel by knees, either hanging or lodging..." [Use of 'hanging or lodging' was unexpected since both seem to be common in America.]

"When the knees are fastened to the sides of the beams,  [emphasis is in the original]

     If they are lodging knees [criteria is then given for when you need 1 knee per beam-end versus 2]

     If they are hanging knees, two knees at each beam-end."

"If the beams in single-decked vessels [Leon is single-decked] are fastened with lodging-knees, or with a shelf, the following additional knees shall be placed under those beams.  In vessels of 250 tons [Leon was 302 tons] and upwards, a knee-rider at every beam-end for every other beam.  The riders must be of sufficient length to admit of their being bolted into the floors with one bolt or two.  If the hanging knees are of wood, {Leon's were spruce] instead of knee-riders without a knee are to be used, the upper end of which shall reach up to the upper strake of the clamps."


I should also mention that Underhill shows no lodging knees for the deck beams except at carlings, the partners and some bitts - none attaching the beams to the hull.


I'll certainly appreciate any comment that you folks may have.





Edited by Doug McKenzie
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Hi Doug, that is unusual indeed.  I can't help with the diagonal knees but there is some discussion about iron knees in James Peake - Rudiments of Naval Architecture_1851 (see plates 6 and 7 amongst others) which discusses the iron fittings used in hull construction.  This is available as a pdf online.





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  • 2 weeks later...

Pat,and Jersey City Frank


Pat, I got the book but Plates 6 and 7 are not in it rather only the descriptions of those two plates is included.  If you can help me on this I should would appreciate it!  PS I enjoy the 2 part book - Part 1 Naval architecture and Part 2 Building a ship.


The good news is that I have a diagram (attached) from Norway (courtesy of Jeppe Jul Nielsen) of the diagonal hanging knees that are mentioned in both the DNV survey for Leon and the 1882 DNV Rules and Regulations.  They are pretty much exactly as my drawing shows so that was encouraging.


And yes Jersey City Frank, I'm thinking this is pretty strong.  The interesting thing is that it is referenced in the 1882 DNV Rules and Regulations as a required arrangement for single deck vessels without lodging knees on the beams.





Knees Diagonal.jpg

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