The USS Constitution Ship Information Book: A Means to Keep History Alive

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  • ABSTRACT: USS Constitutions long history has seen much in the way of dif- ferent engineering methods to analyze and make necessary repairs to keep her in good condition. Though made pri- marily of wood, the requirements to maintain and repair Constitutions sys- tems and equipment are the same that face our Fleet today. Todays Fleet must deal with rust, cracks, and broken equipment, while on Constitution it is decay, wood cracking/checking, and structural deformation that threatens the Navys oldest commissioned ship. Maintenance and repair of the ship has always been a demanding undertaking because of the cost of maintaining his- toric engineering techniques in addition to actual preservation. Difficulties arise in trying to maintain the ship to its 1812 configuration, since the documentation of engineering data was either never developed or lost through the passage of time, and the historic tradesmen skills and resources are no longer read- ily available. This is why the on-going task of developing a Ship Information Book is so important to the continued life of Constitution. With a better foun- dation of engineering knowledge and available ship information documented, a maintenance and repair program can be improved to keep Old Ironsides alive forever.

    The Shi A N Ket

    USS Constitution 1 Information Book: eans to p History Alive

    lntroduct ion his paper discusses the relevant lessons learned through the twen- tieth century in the restoration, repair and day-today involvement of maintaining Constitution. After her useful life as a warfighting frigate had long passed, it took a great deal of naval engineering to analyze and maintain the worlds oldest commissioned warship.

    Maintenance and overhaul philosophy of the past has proved ineffective and will not adequately save the 200 plus year old ship from eventual deteriora- tion. Decay and rot can quickly overwhelm the wood structure just as the lack of routine maintenance can similarly put our modern naval ships in a low state of readiness. Though routine maintenance and repairs do not necessarily enhance the ships overall structural integrity, without them, structural strength, over time, will be adversely affected. New techniques are necessary to adequately monitor and assess the ship by less costly and less damaging means. The development of a ship information book (SIB) to record the proper historical engineering information is necessary to preserve the present con- figuration and relevant detailed data. This SIB would not be like any other normal SIB in format since Constitution is so unique in structure; and the overall content will have to be quite different. The SIB would expand the cur- rent maintenance manual to include engineering data and operating proce- dures. Before discussion of the SIB, it is necessary to go over a little history and how the decision was made that a SIB was needed after over 200 years of not having one. The process of developing a SIB, after so long a time has passed since her initial construction, is a very challenging one. The amount of work necessary to produce such a document will be well worth the effort if it provides the information needed to maintain and protect the ship for future generations.

    Background Constitution is the last of the original six ships of the U.S. Navy. In 1954, public law 83-523 directed that the Navy would henceforth maintain the ship in com- mission and homeported at the Charlestown Naval Yard in Boston, Massa- chusetts. Figure 1 is Constitution in her normal setting. She is now the U.S. Navys oldest commissioned warship. The crew performs the operational daily routine and mission for the ship. They carry out the daily tours, ceremonies, and general housekeeping. The role of the ships crew is to train in general sea- manship, depict naval history, and provide ceremonial functions.

    In the twentieth century, many of the craftsmens skills required for main- taining a large wooden sailing ship were disappearing from the American naval

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  • The USS Constitution Ship Information Book: A Means lo Keep History Alive

    F I G U R E 1 . Constitution at Pier in Boston

    community. With the closure of Boston Naval Shipyard, the need for a dedicated repair facility was deemed nec- essary. On July 1, 1976, the Constitution Maintenance and Repair Facility was established to provide the crafts- men with the skills necessary to maintain the ship. The facility was renamed the Naval Historical Center (NHC) Detachment (Det) Boston on 25 October 1991 and placed under the supervision of the Director of Naval History, Naval Historical Center at the Washington Navy Yard, who reports to OPNAV 09BX.

    As a commissioned ship, Constitution comes under the cognizance of the Program Executive Office, Expedi- tionary Warfare (PEO-EXW) for maintenance planning. Within this PEO-EXW, PMS325 is the program manager for the ship. Within the Naval Sea Systems Command, the Integrated Warfare Systems Directorate, SEA 05, has technical authority for alterations and repair. Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Boston Detachment is the plan- ning yard. Annually, a team of management and technical professionals assembles at the NHC Det Boston facility to inspect the ship and make plans for the ships life cycle extension alterations and repair program. The ships current ship maintenance project (CSMP) database is actually maintained by NHC Det Boston.

    Major Restorations and Overhauls in the Twentieth Century The ship had already undergone at least three major restorations and over ten significant overhauls before the start of the twentieth century. The maintenance philow phy, as based on the maintenance manual, consisted of continuous maintenance and upkeep on a daily basis by a dedicated staff with periodically scheduled restricted availabilities (RAV) and regular overhauls (ROH) as determined by Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) inspections. Prior to the 1970s, many of these major repair actions including drydocking were taken only after the ship had experienced considerable deteri- oration, and the utmost care had to be taken not to dam- age the ship further during these-repair and overhaul periods. Initially, during this century, a more frequent drydocking schedule existed, which in retrospect could be considered harmful to the l ie of the ship. Considering the great strain a drydocking places on the ships struc- ture, considerable internal shoring is required to mini- mize the distortion caused to the hull shape when resting on the docking blocks without the even, buoyant force of water. The ship was drydocked at least eight times dur- ing these past 100 years. Table 1, provides the timeline of events marking the significant repairs and restorations made to Constitution during this past century.

    Figure 2 shows the ship drydocked in 1927 during the 5th major restoration, only the 2nd of the twentieth cen- tury. In light of the lack of required underwater repairs, the need for this frequency of drydocking for inspection was determined not to be required. A conditioned-based drydocking schedule was begun in the 1970s, reflecting the actual conditions and needs as assessed during annual inspections. The ability to use divers greatly enhanced underwater hull inspection. Constitution has generally been drydocked at intervals based on condi- tion of hog or hull planking repair in the later half of this century. The best way to assess this situation is when hogging begins to accelerate and before it reaches a max- imum of 14 inches. This is when a drydocking should be scheduled and a major restoration executed.

    The strengthening initiative of the 7th restoration by NHC Det Boston in 1992 added missing structural com- ponents and successfully extended the drydock repair activity to include the restoration of five structural com- ponents to be discussed later in this paper. The drydock repair consisted of both rehabilitation (the repair of dete riorated structure) and restoration (putting back into Constitution components of her 1812 configuration). Major rehabilitation will still be required but as the phi- losophy of condition-based maintenance continues, restorations could be better forecasted and the methods and procedures to do them better formulated. A SIB would capture all of these kinds of efforts to document

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  • The USS Constitution Ship Information Book: A Means lo Keep History Alive

    Repair Periods in the Twentieth Century

    1906-07

    1927-3 1

    1933

    1936

    1945

    1950-54

    1957

    1963-64

    1973-76

    1992-96

    Restoration #4

    Restoration #5

    ROH

    ROH

    ROH

    ROH

    ROH

    ROH

    Restoration #6

    Restoration #7

    Returned ship t o original configuration and removed old roof barracks-like structure from upper deck, replaced rigging, spars, masts, and some wood work and restored to look similar to original Frigate configuration though not to any significant detail.

    Approximately 90% of ship renewed with 75% of old joiner work repaired and reinstalled, ship drydocked and hull completely re-planked and more detail provided.

    Drydocked for inspection

    Drydocked for inspection

    Drydocked for inspection

    Gun Deck and all hull planking above copper line replaced; replaced bowsprit

    Ship was drydocked for inspection

    Ship was drydocked; repaired cutwater; replaced three lower masts and Lower (Berth) Deck ceiling (6754K)

    Ship was drydocked and hull planked ($4.6M)

    Ship was drydocked and strength initiatives were installed to strengthen ship structure (6 12M)

    necessary work completely and how they should be performed and documented.

    effort. But many of these sources of information sparked controversy, and engineering solutions were matters of intemretation. Often. the most historicallv accurate infor-

    Engineering Methods

    RESEARCH EFFORTS During the last major restoration, 1992-96, significant research had to be done to keep up with the production schedule. As information was uncovered it was quickly transformed into a work package for accomplishment. The engineering analysis and data gathered for the 1997 and 1998 events provided a great deal of information that had never been available before. A comprehensive SIB will be able to record this research for future reference.

    CONTRADICTORY DOCUMENTATION Major historical engineering information can be lost or misinterpreted through the passage of time. The discov- ery and subsequent installation of the five missing struc- tural components listed later in this paper was a major breakthrough in adding necessary hull strength to Constitutions structure. However, for some engineering drawings, it could not be determined whether they reflected preliminary design concepts or as built configurations. Drawings, letters and other technical doc- umentation, such as paintings and ship models, were available to depict Constitutions early life. Many renowned artists in this period painted the ship at various stages in her career and these painting were used to help reconstruct her. Lt. Lord during the 1927 restoration also used a ship model from the 1812 era to help with this

    matibn has come from the ships deck jogs and corre- spondence between the commanding officers and the secretary of the Navy. Transcribing deck logs is an effort that has been undertaken for quite some time. As more information is researched and discovered, it is included in the repository of information maintained by the Naval Historical Center. But, as in the case of the five struc- tural components discussed later, the actual documenta- tion of what members were installed in the ship was not evident until uncovered from archives during the recon- struction research. Conflicting information was available

    F I G U R E 2 . Consfitufion Drydocked

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  • The USSConstitution Ship lnformalion Book: A Means lo Keep Hislory Alive

    concerning the sue and shape of the diagonal riders and the knees located on the lower deck. Preliminary draw- ings implied that the diagonal riders were to be at a 3@degree angle. Later documentation indicated a design improvement, which was configured with a 45degree angle arrangement. When Constitutions ceiling plank- ing was removed, the old pinholes showed that the diag- onal riders had been at both 30 and 45degrees at one time or another. The diagonal riders to a 45degree angle configuration were implemented and are believed to be the strongest installation angle. The knees on the lower deck did not have the same degree of success in match- ing the original components. It was later found that these knees had actually been two separate knees in the origi- nal design and were larger in dimension by several inches. To preclude this from happening again, engi- neering decisions and rationale are carefully documented today. The SIB would be a single document that brings all technical information together.

    CONFLICTING COMPONENTS It is easy to criticize Constitution for designs that might not be authentic or in keeping with the exact 1812 con- figuration. Sometimes the conflict is due to lack of sub- stantiated historical documentation that would be able to identify the proper detailed design. A good example of this conflict surrounds the skylight on the upper deck. There is no indication that this was on the original design of the ship. It is believed that this skylight was added sometime around the Civil War era, Figure 3. Techni- cally, it should be removed if the ship is to be put back into her original 1812 configuration. However, this sky- light serves as a ventilator bringing fresh air into the lower decks. It also adds to the ships appearance and reflects upon the ability of commanding officers to make improvements to their ships, which this skylight cer- tainly does. Another example is the taffrail height at the amidships location on either side of the main hatch. This bulwark was originally much lower (almost by three strakes) to ease the on loading and removing of supplies. There are many other historically questionable features which NHC Det Boston is attempting to address, so that a sound programmatic decision can be made as to the historical significance of the change. A SIB would be used to address these kinds of issues and document what has been done to Constitution.

    UNKNOWN ISSUES There will always be some things that will remain a mys- tery for Constitution, since the information on certain issues will never be known exactly. All that can be done in these situations is to document what is known and do what appears to be the best technical solution at the time. One of the lost details is the stern decoration. Battle dam-

    F l G U R E 3 . Skylight

    age and lost documentation prevents the exact replica- tion of what the aft transom area looked like. It was known that Captkaac Hull had the transom cut for gun ports in 1812 to fire upon British ships that were giving chase. Another controversy surrounds the color of the gun port stripe on the port and starboard sides of the ship. Originally painted yellow it was changed to white at a later date. The entire painting scheme could be changed at the whim of any commanding officer in the Navys early days. It has not been fully substantiated which color the gun stripe was during the battles of 1812. Another complete unknown aspect is the original figure head of Hercules. Since this part of the ship was destroyed prior to 1812, it is not required. There are no plans to put this figurehead back on the ship. But all of these changes and modifications that are known and those that are not known should be well documented for future reference. A SIB would work nicely for this pur- pose. A volume dedicated to historical documentation can clearly define what changes were made to Constitu- tion and what issues have never been adequately docu- mented and require further research.

    Configuration Control

    DESIGN AND METHODS 0 F CON FI G U RAT1 0 N Overcoming the challenge of maintaining historical accuracy while keeping within standard Navy doctrine proves to be a formidable task. Conflicts in original design information and modern day technical data cre- ates disconnects as to what the ship should actually look like and what the individual components should be called in keeping with original terminolow. Throughout the last 200 years as Constitutions purpose and function changed

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  • The USS Constitution Ship Information Book: A Means lo Keep History Alive

    6-om fighting warship, training vessel, receiving ship, and dock-side exhibit, so did Constitutions configuration. Constitutions repairs did not always retain the appear- ance of the original construction. Environmental restric- tions also eliminate many past preservation practices.

    As history can attest, Constitution represents a very successful engineering design. The fine entry and run required for sailing qualities and the weight of heavy armament causes particular buoyancy forces in balance problems for wooden hull sailing ships. With minimal buoyancy from the fine entrance and exit runs, the ends of the ship tend to drop down, while the center mid-body, being more buoyant, rises upward. This distortion is known as hog and is the horizontal bending along the length of the keel. It is the same curve that resembles the curve of a hogs back. This tendency to hog was a general problem with wooden sailing ships. In the 198Os, when hog had increased to 14 inches, an anti-hogging system consisting of floatation bags fore and aft, were proposed but never installed. A space frame was also proposed in the 1980s to be installed inside the ship to provide addi- tional strength. Overcoming hog was one of the techno- logical advancements of old sailing ships and particularly Comtitution who has lasted the longest afloat. The origi- nal designer, Joshua Humphreys, was pleased with the installation of diagonal riders since the ship hogged only about 2 inches at launch and about 5 inches in service, which was significantly less than other contemporary ships, which could hog over 10 inches upon initial launch. During the 1992-96 restoration, most of the hog was removed using sand blocks and then the re- installation of the diagonal riders. The sand blocks enabled the keel to be straightened gradually and under a controlled setting. At this undocking almost 200 years after the ship was initially launched, the ship hogged 1% inches and about 5K inches after outfitting for the 1997 sail event.

    Mr. Humphreys had to strike a balance between speed and strength. He had these ships built with innovative structural components, which achieved this balance beautifully. From historical research, five components were identified to have been part of Constitutions origi- nal design to achieve this balance but were missing or were not of the original configuration in 1992. Figures 4 and 5 depict the locations of these five components: thick strakes, standard knees, midships knees, deck stan- chions, and diagonal riders.

    Thick strakes in the gun deck and upper deck to pre- vent elongation and separation were restored using lam- inated white oak planking on the gun and lower decks. There are two paired runs (fore and aft) of deck plank- ing port and starboard: one pair running along the sides of the hatches, the other pair running midway between the waterways and hatch strakes. The thick strakes are thicker by two inches (five and one-half inches total) than the standard deck planking and are bolted and jog-

    I

    F I G U R E 4 . Cross Sectional View

    gled (cut to fit by tongue and groove) into each other and joggled over and into the deck beams below by two inches. These deck strakes add longitudinal strength to the hull.

    Standard knees supported the bow stem and stern post and were restored at the ends of the ship. Both at the bow and stern are long laminated white oak knees frayed at the end of each pair of thick strakes on the lower deck. These joggle over two deck beams and are well bolted to the bow and stem with one and one eighth inch bolts. These knees unite the thick deck strakes to the hull. Two additional laminated white oak standard knees restored on the centerline, one reaching from the stem to the foremast and the other from the transom to the mizzen mast, joggled over and into each deck beam and bolted. These additional two knees also strengthen the hull at ends of the ship.

    Midships knees which were restored on the lower deck to support the guns were laminated white oak knees made as a single composite of the original hanging and standard knee pairs. The knees fay over each beam and the diagonal riders come under with the others placed amidships for a total of twelve on each side. The knees are sided thirteen inches, the body reaches the upper edge of the gun deck clamp, and the arm is six feet long. The knees are bolted with eight bolts each one and one fourth inch in diameter. These twelve knees carry the weight of the overhead gun deck cannons thereby distributing the loads evenly to the lower deck.

    Stanchions transferred the load to the lower deck and are made of turned white oak copied from the centerline stanchions. On the lower deck, two additional tiers were restored, each under an overhead gun deck beam at the midships thick strakes. These stanchions work in con- junction with the midships knees to form a structural unit supporting the overhead cannons.

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  • The USS Constitution Ship Information Book: A Means to Keep History Alive

    F I G U R E 5 . Outboard Profile

    Diagonal riders strengthened the hull and countered the effects of hogging and are made of laminated white oak, 12 X 24 inches in cross section and approximately

    SIB would accomplish this and provide a historical per- spective to all of the information.provided.

    34 feet long. They are restored in the hold, a total of twelve diagonals, six per side, and three sweeping for- ward, three sweeping aft, with the two mid-body ones butted against each other at the keelson. The diagonals are spaced a distance of two beams apart and follow the curve of the hull along the ceiling plank. They are chocked at the keelson and are cut with a birds mouth into the overhead lower deck beams. Being bolted every two feet through the bottom plank with one and one- eighth inch copper bolts, the diagonal rider becomes the unifying member joining hull sections together, stif- fening the hull and resisting the forces which cause hogging.

    Over many years, age showed on the hull of Constitu- tion. Naval engineers have often had to propose inno- vated methods to be evaluated as to their benefit to the Constitution. Many suggestions had been proposed to stiffen the hull, such as steel girders, internal shoring, and space frames. These new engineering designs and techniques would first be tested in the laboratory and sometimes prototyped on the ship. Some worked and others did not. Most of these were not historically accu- rate and none were congruent with the fabric of the ship. Band-Aid fixes such as pouring of concrete on deterio- rated deck planking or seams proved to be noneffective repair methods. The installation of steel breast hooks, although authorized in 1953, was never installed, since they were not in keeping with the original design and reference documentation. In 1965, experimentation with the use of fiberglass and resin determined that this method to protect the ship was not desired. Fiberglass proved to crack in the extreme climate temperatures of the Boston area and moisture would seep underneath and cause decay.

    Somewhere a detailed reflection of current configura- tion and the 1812 configuration needs to be brought together as a single source of detailed technical informa- tion to document all of these kinds of technical issues and engineering innovations into a central repository. The

    MATERIAL SHORTAGES A N D BEST TECHNICAL SOLUTIONS Natural material is now difficult to procure as the result of the depletion of our forests. The resources to recon- struct Constitution have become scarce. The ship was originally primarily constructed of white and live oak, because of their strength and longevity in a saltwater environment. White and live oak of the proper dimen- sions and strength has become difficult to obtain. Efforts to stock pile wood at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida proved effective for some of the material that was used for the 1927 restoration. A forest at the Naval Ammunition Depot in Indiana has been dedicated to pro- vide a source of wood, which after cutting can be dried and seasoned in a hanger bay for future use. Live oak trees downed by major hurricanes has become a source of lumber and can be stock piled at various locations. Even with all of these efforts, there is often still not enough natural wood available when needed. The sup ply problem is compounded by the fact that it takes sev- eral years to cure some of the wood before it can be used properly onboard the ship.

    From a historic perspective, it would be preferred to replace material with the same original material, but this is not always feasible, affordable, or the best technical solution. The use of laminates was authorized by NAVSEA in 1972 as being the best engineering solution in most applications and laminated white oak has been used for all knees and breast hooks and timbers in excess of 10 x 10 inches since this time. Laminates have been found to be stronger, less susceptible to rot, last longer, and much cheaper to maintain and replace. As all of these new pieces are entered into the ship, a con- cern over the homogeneity has resulted as to the impact this might have on the overall strength of the ship. This situation is constantly being monitored for any potential problems through a variety of techniques.

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  • The USSConstitution Ship Inlormalion Book: A Means lo Keep History Alive

    The best technical solution can also make modifica- tions necessary to the ships original historic fabric. The use of roblon (type of material) and polyester rigging was preferred over hemp or polypropylene rigging due to the higher tensile strength, ability to withstand the elements, and stretch characteristics. The original Amer- ican hemp used in the 1927 restoration required the time consuming method of black tarring at least twice a year, which tasked the limited time of the small number of maintenance crew. Therefore, this change gave way to a better material that required less maintenance efforts than the original material, while not departing signifi- cantly from the original appearance, since the same diam- eter size and same black color remained. There is always an alternative technical solution to any problem; the chal- lenge is keeping Constitution like she was in her early days, while still being affordable. A detailed SIB can pro- vide the historical documentation background and refer- ences, so that duplicated research in the future will not be required.

    TEST, TRIALS, & INSPECTIONS Getting a ship ready to go to sea can be the best thing that can be done to systematically inspect and assess a ships overall readiness. The following information on what was done for Constitution is basically the same type of study performed on every ship in the Navy that puts out to sea. While maintaining the historical configuration, some modern safety features have been added to further secure and maintain the ship. For the bicentennial, the OPSAIL 200 event offered the opportunity to bring together a team of technical experts to examine the con- dition of the ship and evaluate her sailing capabilities. In March 1996, in anticipation of potentially sailing the ship in 1997, a technical team was assembled within NAVSEA 05 (then 03) to assess the condition of the ship after the restoration. In addition to the material condition, opera- tional constraints necessary to sail the ship for the first time in 116 years were drafted.

    A ship design manager (SDM) was assigned by NAVSEA 05D to coordinate this technical task. The SDM assembled a technical team to evaluate the condition and capability of the ship. In addition to material condition, initial emphasis was placed on structural integrity of the soon to be 200 year old ship. Could a ship of this age with- stand the strains of going to sea again? Three structural engineers from NAVSEA 05P were assigned to inspect the ship to record alterations and repairs and analyze the structural adequacy. But what loads could be expected and what operational constraints should be in place dur- ing underway operations?

    The naval architects from NAVSEA 05P would need to assess what loads the ship could expect to encounter. However, the ship predates the types of design data or

    engineering calculations that are performed today. The ship was designed from experience of what worked for eighteenth century sailing ships. Not much of this data had ever been formally written down. How fast could the ship go? What was the effect of wind on her sails? What is the proper amount of ballast for stability and hog pre- vention? The records and logs just did not have the quan- tifying engineering data. So models, Figures 6 and 7, were built and tested at the United States Naval Academy Hydrodynamics Lab. These models determined the wind loading, ship motions, and speed profile. Hence, engi- neering data was beginning to be collected, recorded, and referenced for the first time on Constitution. How best to tow the ship was determined by towing experts from NAVSEA Diving and Salvage, SEA OOC, for opti- mum tow configuration, bridle length, and cable size. The normal method of a tug attached to the hip at a moor- ing fitting for a turnaround cruise would not be accept- able when towing in an open sea environment.

    In order to steer Constitution under sail, the SDM and NAVSEA 05P devised a rudder angle indicator system, Figure 8, attached to the helm, Figure 9. The rudder angle was determined by measuring the core of the tiller arm and marked in the overhead of the tiller room. Then the steering cable was marked so that the helmsman could read the mark on the helm drum to indicate the helm order by the conning officer. Figure 10 shows the entire steering cabling (rope) system. By conducting extensive tests, a handy guide was developed to be used by the conning officer to give the necessary commands to steer the ship, Table 2.

    As each test and inspection was accomplished, other technical questions were generated. If we have the wind

    I I

    F I G U R E 6 . Computer Model

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  • The USS Constitution Ship Inlormation Book: A Means lo Keep History Alive

    F I G U R E 7 . Ship Scale Model

    loading and speed profile, what is the stability of the ship? NAVSEA 05P supported by Puget Sound Naval Shipyard Detachment Boston, performed an inclining experiment (stability test) on the ship. Constraints were developed for the number of personnel allowed on

    F I G U R E 9 . Helm of Constitution

    board inport or at sea and the amount of watertight integrity.

    Since there is no internal watertight subdivision in the ship to limit the extent of flooding, precautions and dewa- tering features had to be implemented. So what capacity of dewatering equipment must be provided for flooding in case a seam or plank opens? damage control (DC) experts from NAVSEA 05L joined the team to assess the amount of dewatering capacity the ship would require. The DC equipment was needed to combat fire was also provided. However, the crew sue was not large enough to perform the DC functions so a Naval Reserve Fleet Training Group unit was assigned as the DC repair orga- nization during these underway periods in the late 1990s.

    F I G U R E 8 . Tiller Room

    272

    F I G U R E 1 0 . Steering System

    July 2000 NAVAL E N G I N E E R S J O U R N A L

  • The USS Constitution Ship Information Book: A Means to Keep History Alive

    Helm Position and Markings Position

    Position (Degs) Port Starboard

    Center Star or Braid Star or Braid Line 00 top dead center top dead center

    5 Turn x Turn % Turn 1 Turn 15 Turn 1 x Turn 1 % Turn 2 Turns

    X 5 xx

    xxx 10 X

    x x 15 x xx

    x xxx 20 xx

    X xx

    xxx X

    x x x xx

    x xxx xx

    One spoke is approximately 1 degree Mark is on steering cable, braid marks top dead center, and Tape marks Yturn increments.

    All of this new equipment required electrical power, which is something that wasnt available 200 years ago. For turnaround cruises, a portable diesel generator is placed on the upper deck. For a sea voyage, a primary and an additional back up power source is normally required. Engineers from NAVSEA 052 provided the required electrical capacity and equipment list. Personnel from the Navy/NAVSEA Diving & Salvage Emergency Ship Salvage Material (ESSM) pool provided these portable generators.

    For turnaround cruises, portable toilets are set down in the officers staterooms. These worked well for a 2-3 hour turnaround cruise, but were inadequate when at sea allday or during over night cruise due to capacity and odors. The habitability and WAC engineers of NAVSEA 05L came up with two solutions. One was a ventilation system of exhaust fans and the other was a new portable toilet sealed to retain odors to be used for extended oper- ations, which worked so well that the fans were not needed, Figure 11.

    This team worked for a year performing computer analyses, model tests and inspections leading up to three sea trials before the operational constraints and proce- dures were fully developed and adopted. Given the satis- factory condition of the hull and the successful comple- tion of the repairs, Constitution was ready to sail in celebration of her bicentennial. On July 21,1997, for the first time since 1881, Constitution made passage under her own sail; sailing in Massachusetts Bay under topsails, jibs, and spanker, which is her battle configuration, Figure 12.

    All of this type of information and procedures are to be captured in a SIB, so that the information will be recorded for the l ie of the ship and the wheel will not have to be reinvented, since the information will be read- ily available.

    F I G U R E 1 1 . Portable Toilets

    Maintenance and Repair

    TOOLS OF THE TRADE The tools used by Constitution are different from any other active duty naval ships. Maintenance personnel have had to manufacture their own unique tools in order to perform the varied maintenance and repair tasks such as driving cotton and oakum into wooden deck seams and pulling pins, Figure 13. The tools can be very differ- ent from the standard Navy tools used on regular naval ships. By far the most sigmficant differences between the other ships of the active duty Fleet and Constitution are the sails, rigging, masts, and wooden hull that must be cared for. When not installed or furled (rolled up and tied

    F I G U R E 1 2 . Operation Sail 200 on July 21,1997

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  • The USS Constitution Ship Inlormation Book: A Means lo Keep History Alive

    F I G U R E 1 3 . Pin Puller

    off) on the ship, these sails are stored in the sail loft of the maintenance and repair shop. Cranes and special rigging configurations are used to raise and lower these sails, yards, and masts. A SIBS role would be to document these special tools and equipment necessary for the proper maintenance and repair of Constitution.

    MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR TECHNIQUES There are two main methods for maintaining a ship: pre- ventive maintenance and repair of which component replacement is a subset. To reduce total ownership cost and maintain the historical fiber of the ship, engineer- ing methods must be in-place to eliminate waste and conduct only the required amount of repairs. Preven- tive maintenance, including routine upkeep and visual inspection, must be conducted for early identification of potential damage. Preservation techniques are the bread and butter of the maintenance that must be per- formed on a regular basis. Ventilation and painting are the primary preservation techniques and are deemed crucial maintenance functions to ensure that the ship receives constant attention and is kept in sound mater- ial condition. When the ventilation is not adequate to properly circulate the air, some areas in the hull become too dry while other areas remain too damp. Dryness leads to the cracking of the paint and wood. This allows dampness to enter the wood and cause dry rot. Damp

    ness also causes surface decay, which can quickly spread. Preventive maintenance starts with the daily routine to eliminate dirt by sweeping and maintaining wood tightness. Salt water wash downs ensures the decks are sealed and the wood preserved. Next, proper preservation, painting and caulking insures that water does not get into the wood to be absorbed and ultimately cause decay. Coats of paint can trap water inside the wood, preventing natural drying and leading to internal decay rather than preservation.

    Operational techniques can also aid in preventive maintenance. The majority of the exterior hull surface being painted black has posed a problem of ultraviolet ray damage that causes surface cracking of the paint. Likewise if the ship is oriented in the same direction to the sun continuously, the yards and masts of oneside dry out more quickly than the other side causing checking (major splitting of wood). Turnaround cruises were insti- tuted so as to equalize the weathering. Currently the number of turnarounds is between three and five a year but must always be an odd number so that each winter the ship faces in the opposite direction from the season before.

    In 1985 during a hurricane and again in 1997 from a winter storm with high winds, the royal mast (the very top portion of the forward mast) broke off. Subsequent procedures have been instituted for lowering the topgal- lant and royal mast and yards during inclement weather and for the winter months. This reduces the risk of fail- ure by reducing the load on the rig while at the same time offering an opportunity to inspect and maintain the removed members into a protective environment of the maintenance shop.

    Repair can be a simple replacement of a single com- ponent or the complete rip out and replacement of a par- ticular item. Sometimes the repair is extensive and much of an areas planking must be removed to adequately effect the repair. Special tools are used to cut out or drill out sections as required so that new sections can be added as dictated by the condition found. Key to ade- quate repair is the early detection and removal of prob- lem areas. A common repair technique is to remove the decayed portion and add a graving piece (makeup com- ponent) that is pinned into place. An extensive visual monitoring program exists to quickly identify and respond to items that need to be repaired or replaced on the ship.

    Critical to identifying problem areas are tests and inspections. As part of routine visual monitoring, the Structural Monitoring Plan and keel profile measure- ments are executed at least twice a year at the beginning and end of the summer operating season. Tracking weight additions and removals and tensioning the rig- ging is essential to assessing changes in hog. The changes in hog track well with changes in weight and rig- ging. Figure 14 shows this hog depicted as a graph

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  • The USS Constitution Ship information Book: A Means to Keep History Alive

    HOG 3/96 - 8/99

    7

    5

    4

    I L 0 3 E

    2

    1

    0

    =I

    station

    + 312111 996

    II 9/20/1996

    311 811 997

    6/3/1997

    - X 8/3/1997

    --c 511 311 998

    5/28/1998 1 - 1011 711 998 - 11/17/1998

    812311 999

    F I G U R E 1 4 . HogGraph

    between the years 19961999. Hog appears to be under control and will be continually monitored, so that it will not have an adverse effect on Constitution in the future. To align the keel profile, berthing deck (lower deck) deflection readings are taken on a monthly basis to develop trend analysis on deflections of the deck that result over time.

    Corrosion in copper pins is still an issue of concern for Constitution, since the amount of hog that has been experienced in the past has caused enlargement of pin- holes. It is unknown how well these pins will hold if placed under dynamic loading such as the working of the hull in a seaway. Therefore, the overall structural integrity of the hull is generally unknown in a working environment. This is one area that requires future inves- tigation.

    Besides the visual inspection program, maintenance personnel now have the opportunity to perform tests to determine wood and pin condition through non-destruc- tive test methods. These tests include sonic and ultrasonic inspections, radiography, stress-wave tests, and chemical analysis. The past method of test boring to determine the condition often resulted in damaging and weakening of the wood unnecessarily and is now rarely used.

    When tests and inspections detect the presence of dry rot, the area has to be repaired. Dry rot left unchecked, spreads. It must be neutralized or removed completely to prevent this spreading. When a repair is not sufficient to adequately maintain form, fit, and function, i.e., loss of shape and strength, then replacement is required.

    Routine monitoring, repair and inspection will be required to keep the ship in good condition. These main- tenance techniques, which have evolved over time, should be permanently documented in a SIB for future use and reference.

    MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR DOCUMENTATION To better document the condition of the ships hull, several steps have been recently undertaken. A photo- graphic survey was made in 1998 and distributed on CD-ROM depicting the ship hulls structural com- ponents from a pictorial point of view. Approximately 15,000 images have been taken and produced on an inter- active software program. These photos document cur- rent configuration as well as current material condition of the ship. These photos can be used to track changes against the baseline configuration and condition. This CD-ROM will be a reference in the SIB.

    Another accomplishment in 1999, was the cataloging of all available ships drawings on a single CD-ROM. Over 1300 images have been permanently recorded, which include historic as well as current ship drawings. This CD-ROM will be included as a reference in the SIB, pulling together all of these various documents which depict Constitutions detail design and configuration. Notes and references should be linked to the official doc- ument providing the background of these drawings and technical data for future reference and clarification.

    NAVAL E N G I N E E R S J O U R N A L July 2000 275

  • The USS Constitution Ship lnlofmation Book: A Means to Keep Hisfory Alive

    The SIB is important to describe components, iden- tify current configuration, and detail how the ship is oper- ated and maintained. The on-going effort to publish a useful SIB has required the efforts of many people to pre- pare the book as a practical and useful reference. Much of the research necessary for this undertaking was gen- erated by the operational and technical team, which was organized to prepare the ship for sailing. This SIB is going beyond the original scope of updating the mainte- nance manual, which mainly documented the historic maintenance techniques. Though still in the preliminary development stages, five volumes of the SIB are currently planned. Its goal is to be a single reference document to be used by a variety of people for main- tenance and repair, education, research and historical documentation.

    SIB Development

    CONTENT DESCRIPTION At this time, the SIB is planned to be divided into five s e p arate volumes. Table 3 summarizes what each volume contains and the type of information to be included as individual manuals. It will be accessible on the Internet and available on CD-ROM. Sections will be linked to other volumes and references as necessary. Also not shown, would be a comprehensive glossary for the entire SIB. Another purpose of the SIB will be to gather this information into a concise form with all of this informa- tion clearlv referenced and auicklv found.

    Ship Systems Descriptions contains a description of the ship from top to keel, fore and aft using the official ter- minology for the ships components and spaces instead of the modern or slang terms commonly used today. A prime example of this is the name for the decks. The lower deck has routinely been called the berth deck and the upper deck is commonly referred to as the spar deck. Each deck is described in some detail with the entire associated individual components are described as to their function and a brief description. Ship Operating Procedures are the official procedures signed out by the Navy to be used by the ship during normal operations and emergency conditions. It also contains the ships procedures used for daily routine. These procedures run the spectrum of working aloft and over the side to how to start and alian a generator.

    Y Y

    rn Sailing Procedures are the actual commands and actions used to sail the ship in the past and during the last sailing event in 1997 and are as historically accu- rate as can be researched and documented. Individ- ual procedures for each of the sails will be provided and fully illustrated with all of the narrative commands.

    rn Maintenance Manual is the newly updated methods used to maintain the ship incorporating many lessons learned. This volume will contain the procedures used

    SIB Volumes

    8 Ship Systems Descriptions contains a description of the ship from top to keel, fore and aft using the official ter- minology for the ships components and spaces instead of the modern or slang terms commonly used today. A prime example of this i s the name for the decks. The lower deck has routinely been called the berth deck and the upper deck is commonly referred to as the spar deck. Each deck is described in some detail with the entire associated individual components are described as to their function and a brief description. Ship Operating Procedures are the official procedures signed out by the Navy to be used by the ship during normal operations and emergency conditions. It also contains the ships procedures used for daily routine. These procedures run the spectrum of working aloft and over the side to how to start and align a generator. Sailing Procedures are the actual commands and actions used to sail the ship in the past and during the last sail- ing event in 1997 and are as historically accurate as can be researched and documented. Individual procedures for each of the sails will be provided and fully illustrated with all of the narrative commands. Maintenance Manual is the newly updated methods used to maintain the ship incorporating many lessons learned. This volume will contain the procedures used to maintain and repair the ship to include drydocking and winterizing the ship, how masts are lowered, and the other maintenance and repair functions. Historical Documentation will contain all of the other relevant historic or reference information which needs to be recorded and archived for future use. This volume has miscellaneous information on the ship.

    to maintain and repair the ship to include drydocking and winterizing the ship, how masts are lowered, and the other maintenance and repair functions.

    rn Historical Documentation will contain all of the other relevant historic or reference information which needs to be recorded and archived for future use. This vol- ume has miscellaneous information on the ship.

    FORMAT DIFFICULTIES Constitutions SIB does not fit nicely into the standard technical manual format for a SIB. One could force the ship to fit the format by saying the sails are propulsion, but with limited electronic and auxiliary components, the proportions of the various sections would be inconsis- tent. These smaller sections would be lost in the much bigger sections on the hull and rigging, which is the case for the current outdated maintenance manual. It is eas- ier to just come up with a new format for Constitution that will fit her unique configuration and allow for a better explanation of the ship. Nomenclature and components are so different that even reference documentation becomes difficult to cite, since it would be necessary to explain in every reference what relates and what does

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  • The USS Constitution Ship lnlormalion Book: A Means lo Keep Hislory Alive

    not. Therefore, one volume will describe the ship and ship systems.

    Also, combining maintenance with system descrip- tions and operating procedures is not standard Navy formatting for a SIB. A preliminary plan of linking all vol- umes and having one comprehensive glossary may assist in overcoming some of these format issues, but it will definitely not be easy. The format will undoubtedly be as unique as the ship is herself. This is fitting for such a special ship.

    DEVELOPMENT STATUS Constitution has never had an official Navy SIB prepared, so it has been a challenge to assemble one now after so many years since she was constructed. There has been a lot of independent documentation subsequently written on the ship. The first major amassing of data by a group research effort was for the 7th restoration in the early 1990s. The efforts in the late 1990s to get the ship ready for sail resulted in another amassing of data and infor- mation. The SIB development efforts were begun as an byproduct of the maintenance manual with all of the dif- ferent volumes being formulated simultaneously. This proved to be a monumental task and the team was refo- cused on each individual volume separately. Consider- able work is still needed. to get the SIB into final draft.

    Recommendations Recent analysis shows that Constitution was in a good state of repair and was capable of withstanding conditions within the bounds of constraints established in 1997. In order to keep this high state of readiness, a focused and balanced degree of naval engineering is continuously needed. Lessons learned during the twentieth century include such things as the best way to inspect Comtitu- fion by other than intrusive means; identification of oper- ational constraints; problems associated with hogging and how to combat them; what type of material and preservative agents are most effective and are environ- mentally safe; and how can the ship be tested safely and accurately. These lessons listed inTable 4 have been doc- umented while maintaining and repairing Comtitution.

    All this information needs to be captured in a single place easily accessible instead of in a very long listing of hard copy technical papers and archives. A SIB could be used in this role and be organized in such a manner that it can be easily read and allow for future configuration changes. A SIB should provide sufficient detail to give the reader the necessary amount of information and the direct source references of that information. Procedures and lessons learned from working on Constitution were recommended by NAVSEA to be captured in a SIB. The SIB would be a baseline document describing the ship in great detail for historical and technical reference pur-

    poses. It is recommended that every effort be made to complete the SIB.

    Conclusion Constitution is indeed a national treasure that needs con- tinued naval engineering support to maintain her for gen- erations to come. A key element to do this is to overcome the challenges of researching and recording historical documentation. The documented data such as a SIB, will provide a basis and benchmark to build upon. Mistakes that were made in the past should not be repeated. Better constraints, regulations and requirements should be mandated that impact how the ship is operated, main- tained and repaired in the 21st Century. The lessons learned in her past must drive her continued preserva- tion rather than allow her to return to another state of dis- repair. Methods should be performed for form, fit and function with minimal change to the historical design configuration. Constitutions mission is to offer the Amer- ican public an awareness of Navy traditions and an under- standing of U S . naval history and naval engineering. She can do this adequately but we, the American people, and

    SIB Volumes

    Ship Systems Descriptions, contains a description of the ship from top to keel fore and aft using the official ter- minology for the ships components and spaces instead of the modern and slang terms used commonly today. A prime example of this is the name for the decks. The lower deck has routinely been called the berth deck and the upper deck is commonly referred to as the spar deck. Each deck is described in some detail with the entire associated individual components are described as to their function and a brief description. Ship Operating Procedures, are the official procedures signed out by the Navy to be used by the ship during normal operations and emergency conditions. It also contains the ships procedures used for daily routine. These procedures run the entire spectrum of working aloft and over the side to also how to start and align a generator. Sailing Procedures, are the actual commands and actions used to sail the ship in the past and during the last sail- ing event in 1997 and are as historically accurate as can be researched and documented. Individual procedures for each of the sails will be provided and fully illustrated with all of the narrative commands. Maintenance Manual is the newly updated methods used to maintain the ship incorporating many of the lessons learned. This volume will contain the procedures used to maintain and repair the ship to include drydock- ing and winterizing the ship, how masts are lowered, and the other maintenance and repair functions. Historical Documentation will contain all of the other relevant historic information or reference to which needs to be recorded and archived for future use. This volume has miscellaneous information on the ship.

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  • The USS Constitutlon Ship Information Book: A Means to Keep History Alive

    specifically us, as naval engineers need to give her all of our support. This must all be done under the direction of Public Law 83-523 and within available funding. The establishment, on July 1, 1976, of the USS Comtitution Maintenance and Repair Facility (now known as NHC Det Boston) and being placed under the immediate supervision of the Director of Naval History, Naval His- torical Center was a great step in the right direction. The Navy is now maintaining the historical artisan skills that built our original navy so many years ago. The history of this nation rests on Constitution as a unique example of American advanced technological know how. Comtitu- tion has become a lasting national symbol and a product of the ships original long lasting naval engineering design. A well-developed SIB will help record this and allow for future generations enjoyment and the historic preservation of our American naval heritage. In the words of Franklin Roosevelt: May. . . (Constitution) long continue as a living inspiration to the Nation.

    Acknowledgments The authors would like to thank all those who have in the past and will in the future support USS Constitution for representing our American freedom and for the inspira- tion of the many who served upon her. Special apprecia- tion goes to the NAVSEA team, which helped to make OPSAIL 200 a success and another major milestone in her incredible life. Also a thanks to USNA Hydrodynam- ics Lab and NSWGCD for support and the PMS325 Pro- gram Office of PEO EXW and the Naval Historical Center Detachment Boston that provided valuable infor- mation used throughout this paper. Thanks to Ms. Wasalaski for providing permission to use her photo-

    graph of the ship used as Figure 1. But mostly, Old Iron- sides herself deserves the greatest acknowledgment as she has withstood the true test of time and still enlight- ens us today with her symbolism and beauty. May she continue to serve the US. Navy well forever. .I.

    Bibliography Gillmer, Thomas C. Old Ironsides: The Rise, Decline, and Res-

    Constitution. International Marine, 1997. Marden, Luis. Restoring Old Ironsides National Geographic,

    Martin, Tyrone G. A Most Fortunate Ship: A Narrative History

    Naval Institute Press, 1997. Program Executive Office, Expeditionary Warfare Program-

    urrection of the U S

    June 1997.

    of Old Ironsides.

    matic papers.

    Robert G. Wasalaski is a 1971 graduate of the University of Michigan with degrees in naval architecture, marine engineer- ing and aerospace engineering. He has a masters degree in engi- neering administration fiom George Washington University earned in 1986. He is a Ship Design Manager (SDM) in the Engineering Directorate of the Naval Sea Systems Command and an Engineering Duty officer captain in the USNR. Since March 1996, he has been assigned as the SDM for USS Consti- tution and is a lifetime member ofASNE.

    David R. Stevenson is a 1984graduate of Virginia Mili- tary Institute with a bachelors of science degree in civil engi- neering. He completed the Naval War College Non-Resident Program in 1992. He has a masters degree in business admin- istration fiom Averett College earned in 1995. He served in the N a y for five years and is currently a support contractor sup- porting USS Constitution since May 1998. He has been a mem- ber ofASNE since 1989.

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