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American Ship Collection (With Plans)


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This is the Revenue Cutter "James Madison."  Launched on Nov. 26, 1812, it weighed 593 tons, had a crew of 200, and carried fourteen long 18's and eight 32lb carronades, per Chapelle.  She can be found in the History of the American Sailing Navy.

 

A larger downloadable version can be found here:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_Lch0M7RFs7dEFCcEhNeUUyTVU

post-92-0-74950800-1461874328_thumb.jpg

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Yeah, I count it as pierced for 18 guns, with potential stern chasers (maybe carronades, so they're not tripping over the aft-most guns?) for 20, but 14+8=22.  I have made an inquiry into the works of Henry Eckford, who built similar vessels in armament and I imagine in hull shape, as they were Great Lakes ships.  Not sure if the book on him (which seems difficult to obtain as it is) has the plans, though.

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Yeah, I count it as pierced for 18 guns, with potential stern chasers (maybe carronades, so they're not tripping over the aft-most guns?) for 20, but 14+8=22.  I have made an inquiry into the works of Henry Eckford, who built similar vessels in armament and I imagine in hull shape, as they were Great Lakes ships.  Not sure if the book on him (which seems difficult to obtain as it is) has the plans, though.

 

http://www.uscg.mil/history/wars/1812/1812imagery.asp(scroll for photo and description)

 

https://www.uscg.mil/history/webcutters/JamesMadison1807.pdf

 

The description of the Madison's measurements do not match the image shown above.

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Not a plan, but interesting nonetheless: a painting of Constitution at Tripoli, made by M.-F. Corne in 1805.

 

UlbBar1.jpg?1

 

Very close to her appearance at launch, yellow gun stripe and netting on the quarterdeck instead of bulwarks. And a nicely decorated transom :)

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Painters have been known to exaggerate before

 

No, that part is correct.  She started life with a fully-armed spar deck (15 guns per side) and continuous rails extending forward from the QD bulwarks (although maybe those QD bulwarks weren't present at launch).  It's the relative heights of the bulwarks, netting and crew that seems off to me.

 

garnett-launch-constitution.jpg

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No, that part is correct.  She started life with a fully-armed spar deck (15 guns per side) and continuous rails extending forward from the QD bulwarks (although maybe those QD bulwarks weren't present at launch).  It's the relative heights of the bulwarks, netting and crew that seems off to me.

 

garnett-launch-constitution.jpg

 

I see a potential premium ship there. B)

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It seems in my effort to put up ship plans from Chapelle, as well as my willingness to exclude some, I have overlooked a few crucial plans that some would find interesting.  I will be going back and adding these as I take the time to read the book, as well as adding additional information in the book that shed light on these plans.

 

Note: Plans across pages are due to a reprinted copy of Chapelle's book.  I wish it were otherwise, truly.

 

First:

 

Proposed 74 gun ship of the line (1799)

 

Untitled_zpswow3acd7.png

 

History:

Sometime during the last decade of the 1700s, the first Secretary of the Navy, Benjamin Stoddert, as well as numerous naval officers, recognized that the fledgling American Navy could not be as effective at defending the nation's interest utilizing just frigates and "ship sloops" alone, though such ships were quite necessary and useful.  As early as 1797, Secretary Stoddert suggested to congressional groups the need of 74 gun ships, and late in 1798 he recommended the construction of such vessels.  During the preliminary discussions, proposals had been made that 74-gun ships be purchased abroad.  The Secretary pointed out that such a course of action was quite likely improbable since no foreign power would part with a first-class 74, and that in any event the expenditure of funds abroad would act as an unfavorable balance of trade on the national economy.  He then recommended that twelve ships of this class be constructed and that the timber for them be acquired at once.  He further suggested that, if the ships were not built at once after the timber was procured, the latter could be preserved in storage in wet decks for an indefinite period of time until needed.  In 1799 Congress authorized the purchase of six sets of frames for 74's and authorized funds to "purchase timber for naval purposes".  The funds authorized were in excess of those actually required; as a result some islands in the South with live-oak timber on them were bought, and altogether eight sets of ship frames were contracted for by Secretary Stoddert.

In the winter of 1798-99, Joshua Humphreys was employed in assisting the Secretary with advice on the 74's, and the initial draught of the class was completed by March 20, 1799.

 

Measurements:

The ships were to be 178' 0" between perpendiculars, 48' 6" moulded beam, and 19' 6" depth of hold, armed with 28 32-pdrs. on the gun deck, 30 24-pdrs. on the upper deck, 12 9-pdrs. on the quarterdeck, and 4 additional 9-pdrs. on the forecastle.

 

Humphreys' plan was a rough draft at best, but it served for discussion purposes.  After numerous consultations with the Secretary and his advisers (which included naval officers), it was decided to make all the guns 32-pdrs. (I started laughing at this point, though this is probably where the over-armament of American warships began.).  This required more displacement than the initial rough draft could tolerate, so a new drawing was required.  Samuel Humphreys redrew the design under his father's direction, lengthening the ship 5' amidships and altering the position of the gun ports accordingly, but with no change in number.  Naval architects Benjamin Hutton and William Doughty made copies of this plan, all of which survive*.  The plan that Doughty copied has the name "Independence" written on its back.

 

The 74's were never built and the timber acquired for them either rotted or was used for small craft and shore construction.  The design of the ships is of value, however, as it shows the most advanced ideas in America on what a line-of-battle ship ought to be, at the end of the eighteenth century.  Had the 74's been built, they would have been among the most powerful ships of their class in the world, and about the same length as the largest French ships.  Having slightly less beam and depth, but with 6 inches greater length, they would have had a tonnage slightly less than that of the French 74's built in the same year that the proposed plans were designed.  The larger of the two 74's built for the Royal Navy in 1800 was the HMS Spencer (1800), though none of the British nor French ships were intended to carry the armament proposed for the American design.

 

Further Notes:

The proposed 74's would have been sharp-ended for their class and would undoubtedly have been comparatively fast sailers.  They retained the beakhead bulkhead of earlier ships, and in this followed general practice in 74-gun ship design abroad.  They were spar-decked in the American fashion, though not intended to carry guns on the wide gangways amidships that were, in reality, the continuations of the forecastle and quarterdeck, which constituted the spar deck in fact, if not in name.  Had the ships been built, it would have been found that they were unable to bear the armament proposed for them (no surprise there), but even with a slightly reduced weight of guns they would have been most formidable vessels.  It has been theorized that if the proposed 74's had been either in commission or ready for fitting out, their existence might have been sufficient to prevent the events that finally led to the War of 1812.

 

*The plan above is the revised plan made by Samuel Humphreys and copied by Hutton and Doughty.

 

**The 1799 plan was similar in design to the later designs for the USS Franklin, USS Washington, and USS Independence, but was not the same.  The plan for the Franklin exists and is in the post for the ship of the line designs on the first page of this thread, but no original plans for the Washington or the Independence are thought to exist, though the plan for the Independence in razee'd form can be obtained.

 

***The small print on the plans is difficult to make out, and attempting to take a picture only made it worse, so I will add it personally here.  The first set of small print was the measurements already described above in the summary.  The second small print reads as:

 

Particular Dimensions:

Foreside of M.F. is 73:6 1/2" from F.P. (":" may be ', not sure)

M.F. sides 1:4"

41 to 43 is 4:4"

43 to A.P. is 3:5 7/8"

Knuckle Timber is 5:0" from F.P.

Room and Space 2:5 3/8?"

Lowest Waterline 4'0" above Base; others 3:8 1/2" apart.

Buttock 3:8 1/2" apart.

 

Source material, unless linked otherwise, is from Howard Chappelle's "The History of the American Sailing Navy".

Edited by Haratik
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Well... according to Barberouge in the Player Ship Selection poll thread, 1825 is the limit right now.

Maybe so but I don't think they're keen on adding any first rates that were constructed in the late fashion.

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Hardlimit doenst mean its an 100% quarantee. we we dont want to over stretch it.

personaly i would go for USS America 74 and the upgunned USS ohio wich would be on equal therm of the Victory.

ofcourse the stern could ne some artistic freedom love

IMG_1843adj.jpg

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