This is where we shall introduce you to some of the terms used in building a ship, from "Baw Hair" to Starboard, and many, many more as we go along most from a time long before any of this so called political correct-ness. When a spade was a spade and a shovel was a shovel, no more no less.
"I think it's F%*ked!" - Meaning (The required process has not been followed)
"Baw Hair" - To mean the thickness of a "Pubic Hair".
"Starboard" - From an old Viking word where the had a steering oar known as a Styrbord.
"He disna have a Scooby" - meaning "that chap has not got a clue what he is speaking about". (Scooby Doo-Clue)
The "Black Squad" the collective name for all the steel working trades that built the ship
"Iron Fighters" a calloqual west of Scotland Clyde shipbuilding term for the above named "Black Squad"
There is a lot of confusion caused by all the different terms and measurements used in ships so here we will try and give a simple guide to some of the main ship measurements.
Beam - The width of the ship
Complement - The full number of people required to operate a ship. Includes officers and crewmembers; does not include passengers. For warships, the number of people assigned to a ship in peacetime may be considerably less than her full complement.
Cube - The cargo carrying capacity of a ship, measured in cubic feet. There are two common types:
Bale Cube (or Bale Capacity)- The space available for cargo measured in cubic feet to the inside of the cargo battens, on the frames, and to the underside of the beams. It is a measurement of capacity for cargo in bales, on pallets, etc., where the cargo does not conform to the shape of the ship.
Grain Cube (or Grain Capacity)- The maximum space available for cargo measured in cubic feet, the measurement being taken to the inside of the shell plating of the ship or to the outside of the frames and to the top of the beam or underside of the deck plating. It is a measurement of capacity for cargo like grain, where the cargo flows to conform to the shape of the ship.
Displacement - A measurement of the weight of the vessel, usually used for warships. (Merchant ships are usually measured based on the volume of cargo space; see tonnage). Displacement is expressed either in long tons of 2,240 pounds or metric tonnes of 1,000 kg. Since the two units are very close in size (2,240 pounds = 1,016 kg and 1,000 kg = 2,205 pounds), it is common not to distinguish between them. To preserve secrecy, nations sometimes misstate a warship's displacement.
Displacement, Light - The weight of the ship excluding cargo, fuel, ballast, stores, passengers, and crew, but with water in the boilers to steaming level.
Displacement, Loaded - The weight of the ship including cargo, passengers, fuel, water, stores, dunnage and such other items necessary for use on a voyage, which brings the vessel down to her load draft.
Deadweight Tons (DWT) - The difference between displacement, light and displacement, loaded. A measure of the ship's total carrying capacity.
Cargo Deadweight Tons - The weight remaining after deducting fuel, water, stores, dunnage and such other items necessary for use on a voyage from the deadweight of the vessel.
Draft, Loaded - The depth of water necessary to float a vessel fully loaded.
Moulded Line – Is where all design measurments start from and are measured to.
Length - The distance between the forwardmost and aftermost parts of the ship.
Length Overall (L.O.A.) - The maximum length of the ship
Length at Waterline (L.W.L.) - The ship's length measured at the waterline
Shaft Horsepower (SHP) - The amount of mechanical power delivered by the engine to a propeller shaft. One horsepower is equivalent to 746 watts in the SI system of units.
Ton - The unit of measure often used in specifying the size of a ship. There are three completely unrelated definitions for the word. One of them refers to weight, while the others refer to volume.
Measurement Ton or Ship Ton Calculated as 40 cubic feet of cargo space. (Abbreviated M/T). See Bale Cubic - example, a vessel having capacity of 10,000 M/T has a bale cubic of 400,000 cubic ft.
Register Ton - A measurement of cargo carrying capacity in cubic feet. One register ton is equivalent to 100 cubic feet of cargo space.
Weight Ton - Calculated as a long ton (2,240 pounds) (abbreviated W/T)
Tonnage - A measurement of the cargo-carrying capacity of merchant vessels. It depends on, not on weight, but on the volume available for carrying cargo. The basic units of measure are the Register Ton, equivalent to 100 cubic feet, and the Measurement Ton, equivalent to 40 cubic feet. The calculation of tonnage is complicated by many technical factors.
Gross Tons - The entire internal cubic capacity of the ship expressed in tons of 100 cubic feet to the ton, except certain spaces with are exempted such as: peak and other tanks for water ballast, open forecastle bridge and poop, access of hatchways, certain light and air spaces, domes of skylights, condenser, anchor gear, steering gear, wheel house, galley and cabin for passengers.
Net Tons - Obtained from the gross tonnage by deducting crew and navigating spaces and allowances for propulsion machinery.
"Soft Nose"- The upper strakes of plate that formed the bow of the ship, from the solid stem bar to the main deck.
"Breast Hook" - The brackets that held the shape of the soft nose.
"O.Gee." - The line of the shaped plate that formed the 3D line from the main deck to the forcastle deck at the ship side.
"Window Lickers" - The less well skilled tradesmen.
"Strong Back" - A heavy plate used as a fairing aid to keep plates straight and fair and to asist in the alignment before and during welding.
"Beam Knee" - A bracket holding the transverse deck beam to the vertical frames at the side of the hull.
"Howf" – The inner sanctum within some shipyards, usually trade specific so the shipwrights in there various groups would have “Howfs” scattered around the shipyard and the platers would have there own “Howfs” and welders and so on.
A hideaway where groups of men can gather to get changed and have a cup of tea or other, they also had mealtimes in the “Howf” which could at the time be no more than a small shed or discarded container, but it was jealously guarded and there was a strict entry system to those Howfs. Some of the “Howfs” had the serious card games going on while some “Howfs” were no more than “Gang Huts” and of course some of the men did not use "Howfs" but would spend most of the time close to where they did most of there work.
Foremen and bosses for instance would not go near them, instead they would send someone to have a look to find whoever, and in later years some of the foremen got brave and would poke a head in while chasing the men out to work.
A scene from a typical "Howf" at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb in this photograph sent in by one of the Shipwrights Barry Booth. Titled "The Swt Labes-Superb Guys"
"Shipyard Shuffle" – A way of walking from job to job in the yard carried out expertly by some men, a walk where you kind of dragged your feet along slowly.
This walk was of course never carried out at the end of a shift when the same “shuffle” would turn into a sprint which would leave some professional walkers in their wake.
"Dog" – A means of holding down steel plate, more and more dogs that are required the more distortion found in a plate usually due to poor welding sequence, and a sign of re-work needed and hence many more man hours to do a job that has not been dimensionally controlled.
"Strake" – The name given to shell plates which were lettered from the keel up to the main deck so that Strake “A” would be the first shell plate adjacent to the keel and so on until you got to the “Bilge Strake” then the lettering would continue upwards.
"Knuckle" – Where a plate changes angle or direction (create effectively a fold in a plate) a good way of reducing the amount of welding which is required, this method of plate work also reduces distortion when carried out properly.
"Bridge" – A means of temporary connecting two plates together to be faired and welded.
To be continued.