"It is supposed in this description, that the keel is first laid down, as usually done, only its internal edge will be formed to the curve of the under part of the hull, exclusive of the filling out pieces or chocks alluded to in Figs. 7 and 8. My improved ship now having her decks in and firmly secured to the beams on which they rest, and also to the sides, head, and stern of the vessel, after the methods before described, I now proceed to caulk all her joints, inside and out, and her decks also; which being done, she then presents the novel sight of a ship of great strength, previous to planking; presenting, in every assailable direction, the strength and resistance of an arch, self-supported and self-abutted in every direction, - no bolt or pin, but those which secure the decks to the frame, being visible throughout her whole frame, to convey to the beholder the slightest idea of the mode by which her abutments are secured; and her frame so firmly united together, her invisible endless chains of bolts being perfectly secured from air and water by the caulking inside and out, the vessel itself being, of course, water-tight every where, and of incredible strength, as the force of every shock is received on and divided amongst her numerous abutments.
In this state, previous to planking, let the comparison be drawn between my improved ship, and one of the present day, previous to their being planked - one of great strength, the other of no strength at all - not being capable of supporting itself until planked. I would now remark, that as the process of planking imparts such a great degree of strength to all modern-built vessels, it will, of course, appear to any person, that my vessel must derive a considerable additional increase of strength and stability by that process, as the tree-nails which secure the planks to the frame cannot be disturbed by any shocks or strains the vessel may receive, the force of all outward shocks being received on and divided among her numerous abutments - and of all strains from weight or cargo, on her abutments and bolts, which must be drawn apart before the tree-nails can be affected, which cannot occur if they are in proportion to the tonnage of the vessel. I now plank her; and of course my vessel would admit of a considerable reduction in the thickness of the planks of ships of war, which may be added to the timbers, - how much, I must leave to the discretion of the builders, who will act according to circumstances.
"The planking would be fastened, as usual, with tree-nails, as I know nothing better; and as the force of any shock will not now be felt by them, but received on the abutments, they, of course, will now be fully effective. Each alternate rib should be bolted to the keel, and the keelson bolted through each of the others, and through the keel also. The thickness of the bolts will be regulated by the weight and tonnage of the vessel. A vessel of 500 tons should have the six upper bolts within six or eight feet of the top, in the first sixteen or eighteen central ribs, that is, six on each side of the vessel to each rib; and each bolt should require a force at least equal to 18 or 20 tons to draw it apart. The decks should not have less than three-quarter bolts. The whole of the bolts would be best to have strong-threaded screws, with adequate thick nuts and plates as large as the timber will admit of, and in those of the decks also; should the iron be thought to affect the compass, a great number of these might be copper bolts, of equal or of adequate strength.
It must be understood, I merely mention about the number and strength of bolts that should be put in to make a firm and substantial vessel, with timbers the same size as at present, even before it is planked; but it is obvious that ship-builders will exercise their own discretion on that head, more or less, according to circumstances; so that some vessels will be so incredibly strong, that a storm, or being driven on shore, would have no effect on them, being equally secure and safe on land and water; others would not, perhaps, build them so strong; but it is certain, that with the same quantity of timber, and a sufficiency of bolts, agreeably to the scale aforesaid, vessels maybe constructed on this principle, of such strength and stability, that to hear of the wreck of one of them would be quite a novelty. With timber and bolts proportionate, there need be no limits to the dimensions or strength of vessels constructed on this plan, - which is what is most wanting in steam navigation, the desideratum being larger and much stronger vessels.
" It will be seen that very strong vessels may be constructed on my principles, with the timbers running horizontally or longitudinally from head to stern, and connected together as before described. But I have described them vertically, as used at present, which I think to be the best, strongest, and simplest method of carrying my improvements into effect; as it is so trifling a variation from the present mode, being simply improvements on the present methods of arranging and connecting their timbers, which, if strictly adhered to, and generally adopted, will put an effectual stop to the appalling annual loss of lives, treasure, and time, to which we have been so long subjected; substituting safety, certainty, and punctuality, in all the future naval and mercantile affairs of this wonderful and enterprising nation, - thus keeping our own proper position in the new era of enterprise opening to our view, in the general adoption of steam navigation for all naval and commercial purposes."
The quantity of timber consumed in the construction of a hull of this kind, is much the same as in one of the ordinary kind - the quantity of bolts about double; but as a great quantity of iron and other work is superseded by Mr. Redmund's plan, the total cost would not be more.
Mr. Annersley's patent plan of building ships and boats is exactly the opposite of Mr. Redmund's, just described; instead of depending upon the rib timbers for the main support of the hull of a vessel, he dispenses with them entirely, and derives the requisite strength from successive courses of planks crossing each other. The following account of the invention, derived from a periodical journal, will be found sufficiently explanatory.