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Thinking things throu, the gunroom / gunner´s room


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And again one of my small oupsys ...

 


 

Building the gunroom I placed first the canvas bulkheads as partition against the main gun deck aft the mizzen mast.

 

In this area was thought to hold 3 cabins each side, starboard aft the gunner´s one. But once build I was happy that I had the rudder working ...

 

Victory-gunroom_7036.jpg

 

... as it showed like the bulkheads collided nicely with the tiller. 

 

First try with integrated guns was not successful either, just worked for the gunner´s cabin. Should the guns be placed in an fore-aft direction like in the ward room?

 

Victory-gunroom_7044.jpg

 

All drawings found in NMM showing this detail displayed cabins that were not including the guns, thus leaving this area free. Also the AOTS Bellona - even though only a two decker showed clearly that my first cabins were too big and should leave the guns free.

 

Victory-gunroom_7051.jpg

 

Ok another trial - do not ask of how many - managed to place three tiny cabins in this area without obstructing the tiller.

On the deck beam a warrant officer´s sleeping cod to show the dimensions needed.

 

Victory-gunroom_7053.jpg

 

And now my usual questions:

- could this be plausible?

- were at this special day in 1805 at 17:35 o´clock AM only loose hanging canvas bulkheads used or was this a light construction using wooden frames with canvas? 

 

Cheers, Daniel

Edited by dafi
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I doubt if  any screen would be placed in the way of the tiller sweep. Would the 'cabin' be rectangular and further forward of where you have it now? (The fore partition would then become the aft one.)

 

By the way, I'm afraid that sailor appears to be dead drunk. He'll be on a charge very shortly....

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Hi Daniel, I can't offer any advice WRT cabin positioning etc, but agree with Druxey that nothing should impede, or potentially impede the tiller arm and associated tackle.

 

This begs the question  of how on earth they worked those guns especially when not run out.  The men would have been ducking and weaving with a constant eye on the tiller arm which would have distracted from their primary duties :)  Is the photo deceptive (foreshortening) or is the tiller arm well above the level of the gun and the heads of the gunners?  Would this also have governed the height of any canvas partition?

 

Sorry to complicate your question

 

cheers

 

Pat

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Pat has some good points, the people who designed those ships were not dumb and they had lots of experienced people to obtain details from so they could provide the space needed to work and maintain the guns. Without maintenance which requires access to the guns, there would be no point in having them. Suspect the tiller was as close to the  overhead beams as could be, leaving room to use the deck space below it for useful purposes, such as small private living spaces, gun maintenance and the firing of them without undue danger of being crowned by the tiller. Could be that any cabins were forward of the tiller with some more close to the rudder post so the tiller swing would be minimal. Anyone living there would be keeping close watch on the rudder post bloomers.

jud

Edited by jud
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Thank you very much Druxey, Pat and jud.

 

Actually NMM shows several plans indicating the positioning there.

 

http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/87585.html

mid.jpg
preview.jpg
 
The tiller does not go to the outer extends of the sweep as the max angle was 30° (?) to each side. 
 
Cheers, Daniel
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Hello Daniel,

 

I'm working with my Dragon at the same problem. I think your cabins are to far to the middle of the ship. 

 

post-13971-0-68911000-1416560368_thumb.jpeg

 

If you make them shorter you wouldn't have the problem with the tiller. Ok, you have an other tiller system. The right cabin would be approximately 2x2 m at my plan, enough for a cod and may be a table and chair. At the plans of the NMM the cabin are approximately 1/5 of the width of the ship at these places. So they are shorter than the cannons.

 

Regards,

Siggi

 

 

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Thank you Siggi,

 

you placed the cabins over the guns, whereas the plans show them inbetween. Perhaps this placement was just a mere symbol on the plan and the actual cabin might have been something completely different.

 

Also the plans suggest the guns in a vertical position towards the hull, but one could also imagine a position alongside fore/aft lashing like in the wardroom.

 

XXXDAn

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Hello Daniel,

 

no, that is the plan of the upper gun deck. I use this plan to plan the sweep for the tiller under the beams of this deck. At the gun deck the cabins are between the cannons.

 

May be this plan will help: http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/86584.html

 

post-13971-0-58229700-1416578370_thumb.jpg

 

Here you could see that there are two cannons between the cabins, as in my plan and then the sweep and tiller ropes come not in conflict with the cabins.

 

Regards,

Siggi

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@Siggi

 

Thank you, I know this drawing very well, but never realised the partitions of the cabins ...

 

... blind fox I am ...

 

In todays Vic, the partition of the gunroom starts aft the mizzen mast, most drawings I see make me believe it was in front of it, as seen in the you drawing you showed.

 

@bart430

One deck up, it really was done like this. But not sure about the gunroom.

 

XXXDAn

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Hi everybody;

 

I agree with Siggi;  having looked at the plan of the Sovereign in the external link,  the cabins shown only come about 1/3rd of the distance to the centre line.  This makes them large enough to accommodate a cot,  but much shorter than a 36 or 42 pdr,  which were around 11' in length (about 3m)  The reduced size of the cabins then gives much more room for the tiller to swing.

 

One other item of interest is that Goodwin,  in his book 'The construction and fitting of the sailing man of war',  and Lavery,  in his 'Ship of the line' volume II,  both describe/give examples of how the gunroom was screened off from the rest of the main deck by a thwartship canvas or timber bulkhead,  forward of the mizzen mast. So the gunroom was reasonably private,  and the cabins could be kept small,  as they were probably used mostly for sleeping (They were likely too dark for much else,  and the use of too many lanterns would not be encouraged due to risk of fire) 

 

Concerning the construction of the cabins,  not sure about the gunroom,  but prior to about 1780 in the wardroom,  cabins were of straightforward hung canvas.  After this date,  they were of canvas stretched on a timber frame,  with sometimes the master's and First Lieutenant's cabins made of timber,  as they were too far aft to interfere with the guns.  It is unlikely that the gunner and his mates,  lower ranking warrant officers,  would have been treated any better!

 

Mark P

Edited by Mark P
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Here some more research. In AOTS Bellona is nicely shown what can be found everywhere else: The divisions of the wardroom one deck up follow a quite complicated layout and - even though often the guns are fore-aft direction - the guns are always included into the cabin.

 

Cabins-AOTS-Bellona_7304.jpg

 

In opposition all the drawings of the gun room I know show the cabins situated in between the guns, again AOTS Bellona: 

 

Cabins-AOTS-Bellona_7310.jpg

 

Cabins-AOTS-Bellona_7308.jpg

 

Here the Victory of 1737 ...

 

Cabins-Victory-1737_7332.jpg

 

... and the Bedford of 1775 from Lavery ...

 

Cabins-Lavery-Bedford_7295.jpg

 

... or the Neptune of 1730 with a combination of fix cabins and canvas ones.

 

Cabins-Lavery-Neptune_7291.jpg

 

Here both kind of bulkheads as shown in AOTS Bellona.

 

Cabins-AOTS-Bellona_7301.jpg

 

Then I realised: The size of the cabin has to house one bunk and nothing more!

 

So I has another look at my Vic ...

 

Cabins-McKay-victory_7362.jpg

 

... build some bunks and see ...

 

Victory-gunroom_7365.jpg

 

... it fits, the cabins only were ti big before :-)

 

Victory-gunroom_7367.jpg

 

Question over question - could this work?!?

 

So a solution with frame or pure canvas? Both versions are proven, so the choice stays free?!?

 

Grüßle, Daniel

Edited by dafi
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Greetings Daniel,

 

It looks like you are trying to fit 10 pounds of stuff into a 5 pound bag. I imagine it would be very difficult to work those guns in such a tight area. Assuming the partitions are removable for battle, the proximity of the tiller, the structural knee, the hatches in the deck, etc. would seem to hamper gun recoil as well as function during battle. I know you have plans that show the hull pierced for those guns, but it may be that the piercings were there for convenience and not necessarily permanent gun placement. I have read that guns would be moved from place to place to allow for a shot at the enemy. I expect the same applies in your case. Realistically, war ships were probably in action for a small portion of their service life, so why have the guns occupy needed living and working space? I think a more realistic approach would be to show the rigged gun port lids and the fittings in the deck and bulwarks to accommodate the all guns, but omit the two aft most guns.

 

wq3296

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Daniel, 

 

As a follow up to my previous post: I have a picture (yes, from Longridge's book) showing where windows had been installed in some of the aft most gun ports on Victory. I doubt this was original outfit, but I expect it was done on ships. A temporary window could easily be fitted for quick removal as necessary. This picture goes to my point that some gun ports in living/work spaces were for convenience and not for permanent gun installation.

 

wq3296 

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Thank you Druxey and wq !

 

@wq

Those partitions were removable, sometimes nothing more than sail cloth hanging but giving a tiny bit of privacy. In earlier days, these partitions were wooden ones with panels and well situated over the whole gundeck ...

 

At times of Trafalgar those were mere cloth or cloth on a frame, easy to bring to the hold or even to toss them over board - as kept in one of the logs of the ships, I think it was Royal Sovereign.

 

The windows usually are just shown for wardroom - or higher quarters - and not the gunroom.

 

Cheers, Daniel

Edited by dafi
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wq,

 

The tiller was overhead along the beams. Hatches, knees, etc. were all part of the "normal" for them.  You'd be wrong in your assumption of the guns not being installed.  Maybe in times of peace as many ship were not completely fitted out with guns and crew.  The ship I'm currently building even had cabins on the quarterdeck for the officers and higher ranks (it was French).  It was common on other nations also and these cabins would be removed during time of war.

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And here comes another round of cardboard dummies with refined partitioning before I move on to produce the final ones.

 

As the Vic was an admirals ship in 1805 there were a lot of extra personal on board. This made me opt for a forth cabin as shown on Royal Sovereign in 1807.


preview.jpg

 

Victory-gunroom_7392.jpg

 

Victory-gunroom_7391.jpg

 

Victory-gunroom_7395.jpg

 

Victory-gunroom_7396.jpg

 

XXXDAn
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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm reading in Anatomy of the Ship Victory that in 1805 there were 22 midshipmen to be crammed in, I wonder where they put them all? There were nine Lieutenants and seven Masters Mates too. There were fourteen other guys who probably didn't normally swing in a hammock in with the great unwashed crew too, Marine officers and the surgeons party and a bunch of others. Lots of people to have to shoehorn in!

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  • 1 month later...

Hello Daniel,

 

you wrote at the beginning of this threat: First try with integrated guns was not successful either, just worked for the gunner´s cabin. Should the guns be placed in an fore-aft direction like in the ward room?

 

That is the question I have now, how did they arrange the guns in the ward room? It did't work so as Lavery wrote it, as you could see in the picture. 

 

post-13971-0-68411600-1424098512_thumb.jpg

 

So if you know something about this, I would be very glad to hear about it.

 

Regards,

Siggi

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you Alan,

 

that is the known version of Lavery, but that did't work as you could see at the picture I posted. More pictures about this question you could see at my threat about the Dragon. 

 

Daniel, the question was, if you know more about it. Or did you write it just so

 

Regards,

Siggi

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you Daniel,

 

that are great news. It's as I think the only way to stow the cannons within the cabins and I had done it that way even without this information. But now it is more official. I read the last days a lot of these old books, but about this I could't find anything.

 

Regards,

Siggi

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Here is something I found in the net I forget where.

Some things puzzle me.

First the title - "3rd officer's messroom", I never heard any space of a warship refered to

by that name, at least in the period of the drawing 1804, or 08.

Then we have a light in the bulwark that I also had never seen.

As for the rest it's pretty normal the partition can be canvas over a wooden frame,

the gun is in the normal position with normal rigging.

Another thing to note is the small cupboard near the deckhead and the folding stools.

 

I hope that someone can enlighten me about this

 

 

All the best

Zeh

post-756-0-04852100-1426519252_thumb.jpg

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