1. Hull design: Would a bow bulb or wings on the bottom of the rudder significantly increase the 13 knot speed? Could the sails be redesigned (all changes must be made with materials of the time) to add more speed or to allow it to sail closer to the wind?
Ships of that period were routinely 'careened' for maintenance and repairs. This is a process whereby the ship essentially grounded at high tide, then allowed to roll on its side as the tide went out to give access to the areas below the ship's waterline. Most modern improvements would not fair well under this treatment.
True enough. Copper would still be the preferred method of anti-fouling. Modern copper alloys might make copper screws tough enough to pierce southern yellow pine possible and hold the sheeting, so that would be one significant improvement over iron or brass. Our understanding of wood framing and joining is not that improved, but our glues and sealers definitely are. We can make the hull much stronger. As to the wake line? I don't know. Not much room for improvement.
The hull of the Constitution was copper sheathed below the waterline. Any reduction in fouling from the copper sheathing was secondary to the purpose of protecting against the shipworm, which could sink an unprotected ship in a few years, even less in the Caribbean Sea which was notorious.
The sheathing was imported from England.
1. True all. Americans could not meet the sheathing bids so the British won the contract. On the cannon, the Americans did, hence American cannon.
2. Weaponry and gunnery: Could the gunnery be improved - accuracy or rate of fire? Again using tools and materials available at the time could the barrels be rifled or could the shot be improved (explosive or incendiary effect ?!?) For example could a crude turntable allow for the advantages of a turret?
This is the area where the greatest improvements are possible by introducing rifled guns with explosive projectiles except for one problem. Unless I am mistaken, the United States did not have the capability to produce cannons domestically. Once you get around that problem, the rest should be fairly straight forward, after you create a lathe big enough to mill the cannon -- take a cannon, bore it out and insert a rifled liner, and install additional reinforcing bands on the breach. Introduce pull type ignition primers if not already in use.
1. We have an arsenal and foundry in time for the frigates. in fact we started cannon foundry work in Salsbury Connecticut.
2. The US 32 pounder carronades already had pull ignition as the Americans learned cannon making from the British.. .
Thanks for the information on the Salisbury foundry, and confirming the use of pull type ignitors.
This is the area where the greatest improvements are possible by introducing rifled guns with explosive projectiles except for one problem. Unless I am mistaken, the United Stat
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