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Loveman Noa log


Technical Pages



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Description                  The United States Battleship Kentucky was built between 1896 and 1900 by the Newport New[s] Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company of Newport New[s], Virginia. Her sister ship the Kearsarge was built at the same time and place, and launched on the same day. The Kentucky was put in commission on May 15, 1900. She is the largest and most powerful ship in the Navy. The following are her principal dimensions and equipment:


                        Length between perpendiculars                                   368 ft.

                        Length over all                                                             375 ft. 4-3/8 in.

                        Breadth extreme, at normal L.W.L.                             72 ft. 2-1/2 in. Ratio 5.20

                        Draft, mean, normal L.W.L.                                        23 ft. 7-3/8 in.

                        Displacement to normal L.W.L.                                  11,600 tons

                                                            Per inch L.W.L.          47.74 tons

                        Screws, diameter                                                          16 ft. 9 in.

                        Boilers: — 3 double, 2 single-ended Scotch; pressure 180 lbs.

                        Engines: — right  & left handed, triple expansion, stroke 48”; I.H.P.

                        Speed on trial trip

                        Height of masts                                                           120 ft. 10-3/8 in.

                        Top of chart house                                                      44 ft. 2-3/8 in/

                        Flying bridge at side                                                    37 ft. 8-3/4 in.

                        Area immersed midship section to L.W.L.                  1,620 sq. ft.

                        Area L.W.L. plane                                                       20,070 sq. ft.


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Keel                             The keel is constructed of two flat and one vertical plate. The outer flat plate is 48” x 30 lbs; the inner 38-1/4” x 25 lbs; the vertical plate 39” x 20 lbs. Along the bottom of the vertical plate rim angle irons 4” x 4” x 30 lbs and along the top angles 3” x 3-1/2” x 8 lbs. This is at the midship section. The parallel middle body of the ship extends from frame 40 to frame 52 — a length of 48 feet. Forward and aft of this middle body the flat heels gradually narrow, and from frame 77 aft, and from frame 15 forward they are turned gradually up, slanting to meet the bottom plates.

Frame                          Frames are spaced four feet apart. At the midship section there is a dead rise of nine inches.


                        The ship is wall sided to the top of the armor, but the frames tumble home from the armor shelf to the bottom of the superstructure armor, and from there up they are vertical again. Fore and aft, respectively, of frames 15 and 81 the sides flare out above the Main Deck.

Longitudinals or floor plates

                                    There are six longitudinals, on each side of the keel, below the belt armor shelf. They are 39” x 17-1/2 lbs, strengthened on the lower inboard and upper outboard edges by angle irons of various weights according to situation. There is one lightening hole between each two frames. The holes are elliptical, 15” x 23”; longitudinals continuous.

                                    Floor plates of 12-1/2 lbs are worked along each frame between the longitudinals. Each ordinary floor plate has two lightening holes 18” x 21”,

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                        and is lined at the bottom by a continuous angle iron riveted to the frame and passing through notches in the longitudinals. Along the upper edges of plates are angles joining them to the inner bottom.

Double Bottoms

                                    Amidships, along every sixth frame the floor plates are watertight, forming transverse watertight double bottoms. The plates are made watertight by having continuous angle irons worked about them, or box frames. The double bottoms extend to the armor shelf on either side, and from frame 17 to 75; but they are watertight only to the 5th longitudinal, at the turn of the bilge. This longitudinal is therefore watertight between frames 28 and 64, and fore and aft of these frames the watertight double bottoms extend only to the fourth longitudinal, which from there on, are watertight to frames 17 and 75. There are 19 watertight double bottoms thus formed.

Plating                         The larboard strake[i] is riveted inside of the outer keel plate; the strakes are then put on alternately with the even numbered ones overlapping the two on its sides. Amidships there are fourteen strakes. Going forward and aft some of these become stealers[ii] and are worked down to a point and disappear behind others.

                                    The inner plating over the floor plates is of 14 pounds. The plates are all on the same surface and the edges are bent up to be lap riveted.

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Armor Shelf                The armor shelf is horizontal and worked as a seventh longitudinal about the ship, four feet below the normal load water line. The shelf itself is 13” wide, for 9-1/2” or armor and 3-1/2” of wood backing; it is of 25 lbs and extends inboard for support, forming the bottom of the upper wing passage. The shelf is supported at each frame by a bracket of 15 lbs, with lightening holes, riveted by means of angle irons to the frame and shelf. The strake of side plating behind the belt armor is of two plates of 20 lbs each, inclined inboard. It is backed by a framework consisting of a 12” x 20 lbs horizontal tie at its middle and a vertical tie of the same weight along the reverse bar of the inner bottom — the reverse frame ending at this point. These ties and the stringer plate of the protective deck are joined by lightened plates. The whole is further backed by the construction of the wing passage with lightened plates, seven feet by 2 feet at each frame.


Main Belt                    The main belt is 16-1/2” thick at six inches from its top, and tapers to 9-1/2” at its bottom. It also tapers forward where it joins the ram to 4” thick, and aft at frame 72 it is discontinued. This belt is 7-1/2 feet in height, and extends four feet below the L.W.L.

Casemate                     The casemate armor is 5” think; it extends from one turret to the other and crosses the ship transversely, meeting the turrets at their middle line. This armor is just above the main belt and extends from the protective or berth deck to the main deck, 7-1/2 feet. It is pierced for two torpedo tubes on each side.

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Superstructure Armor

                                    The superstructure armor is 6 inches thick, 6 ft 6 in wide, extending from Main to Upper Deck and the entire length of the superstructure. At its ends the armor crosses the ship diagonally. There are ports for seven 5” guns cut in this armor, on each side; and four armored doors, two forward and two aft, open out on the main deck.

Turrets, Barbettes

                                    There are two circular barbettes,[iii] situated on the center line of the ship, one forward and one aft. They rest on a circular lightened framework, built up from the keel, and extend from the protective deck to two feet above the Main Deck. They are 15” thick in front and 12-1/2” thick behind.

                                    Built up in continuation of the circular support of the barbette is a roller path, five feet from the top of the barbette.  On the circular platform is a layer of wood, [illustration] and bolted through this the iron path on which turns the turret. The wood is used to give elasticity. The path is a hard steel ring (A) whose surface slopes down toward the outside of the barbette. (B) A somewhat similar ring supports the weight of the turret and transmits it to the rollers (C), conical in shape, with flanges which extend over the edges of the paths. At (D) are trunnions [iv] or axles which extend into a frame or cage designed to hold the rollers apart and in place; the axles support

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                        no weight other than that of the frame. The turret is fixed to the ring (B) by means of an iron framework which holds it up over the barbette so that it can turn above it.

                                    The 13” turrets are elliptical, 17” think in front and 15” thick behind; 3-1/2” on top. The two gun ports in each turret are elliptical, long diameter 5-1/2 feet.


                                    The turret is turned by two 50 H.P. motors, either of which is capable of turning it alone. The motors are placed in that part of the framework of the turret which extends down into the barbette. They are placed on opposite sides of a shaft (E) and geared to the shaft so that both turn it in the same direction. The shaft, by means of worms (F), turns the worm wheels (G). The cogs (H) are 3 feet vertically below (G), connected to it rigidly by an axle. There is an [?] ring of cogs, extending around the lower framework of the turret, and fixed to the barbette, just above the ring (B) p. 11. The cogs (H) gear into this ring and thus turn the turret.


[i] A continuous band of hull planking or plates on a ship (Webster’s Collegiate).

[ii] The endmost plank or plate of a strake that ends short of the stem or stern (Webster’s 3rd International)

[iii] an armored structure protecting a gun turret on a warship

[iv] a pin or pivot on which something can be rotated or tilted; especially : either of two opposite gudgeons [pivot] on which a cannon is swiveled

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