Friday, 6 May 2016


Inquiry extract:

It seems that the owners desired the ship to be capable of going to sea light. But they were also desirous of having provided a space on the spar deck which could be used as a bunker, or for the provision of temporary accommodation when conveying emigrants or troops, or for any other purpose to which it might be desired to put it. As a matter of fact the space is included in all the plans as a permanent bunker, and it is to be understood that in this report it is always so included, unless the contrary is stated.

This is a very interesting paragraph. The owners ambitions to use the spar deck interchangeably were not met by the builders' specifications for Waratah. 

Why ?

To be honest it would theoretically improve GM to replace coal on the spar deck with emigrants or cargo at 100 cubic feet to the ton, rather than coal at 42 cubic feet to the ton. It is all rather odd.

The extract gives me the impression that the builders were not in favour of interchangeability, for the simple fact that a permanent structure would have more inherent strength than an interchangeable structure. Waratah was a heavy vessel with an additional superstructure deck. Every ounce of structural strength was required. Weather boards were required to implement the interchangeability. This could not be considered strength-enhancing.

I believe the owners' ambitious plans could never be met by Waratah in terms of her configuration and construction.

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