History of British Ship Building
A fun look at the time when Britain Ruled the Waves 14 Questions.
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A whole range of trades were employed by shipbuilding yards when ships were made mainly from wood. Some of the youngest workers were 'oakum boys'. What did they do?
Carried oak planks
Shredded old rope.
Drew circles on oak
The old rope shredded by the 'oakum boys' was called 'oakum'. What was it used for?
Packing into gaps between timbers before sealing
Cleaning tools after use
Laying on the ground to soak up water.
The adze was a sharp tool used by shipbuilders to shape timber. How was it used?
Swung downwards like an axe
Swung sideways like a sythe
Swung upwards like a croquet mallet
What was 'the gingerbread' in relation to shipbuilding? It is the origin of the saying "taking the gilt off the gingerbread" meaning to do something to make a situation less attractive.
An iced cake eaten at breaks
Elaborate carving on the stern, often painted gold
The nickname for a deck and the 'gilt' was tar.
The 'Humber Keel' was a style of ship that carried cargo along British rivers and on short coastal voyages. How many sails did this type of ship have?
The first semi-official Naval Base was established by King Richard in the later part of the 12th Century. Where was it?
One of the earliest ways of measuring the size of a ship was by 'tunnage'. How was this calculated?
By the weight of the unladen ship
By the number of 'tuns' or barrels it would hold
By the weight of the cargo it would hold
Marc Brunel, father of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, invented a machine which revolutionised the making of what?
The block and tackle used to hoist and lower sails
The planks used for decking
The ships wheel
'Knees' were curved supports used to strengthen a ship's hull. Large ships were constructed using numerous 'knees'. How many 'knees' were used in the construction of Nelson's flagship "The Victory"?
Early steam powered ships also retained sails. Why was this?
The boilers were unreliable
They could only carry enough coal for short distances
Both of the above
Thomas Roberts was given an award in 1807 because of an idea which was considered revolutionary. What was it?
Using iron 'knees' instead of wooden ones.
Using a gun turret that pivoted instead of cannons
A new design of a dry dock
What was the name of the first ship built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel?
City of New York
The Great Western
The Great Britain
"The Great Britain" built by Brunel was revolutionary in many ways. Can you pick out the reason below that is not this ship's claim to fame?
It had the first British ship with an all iron hull
It was the first steamship to cross the Atlantic
It was the first to use 'Screw Propulsion' to cross the Atlantic.
When HMS Warrior was commissioned she was the largest warship in the world. Which year was this?
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