Michael Heath-Caldwell M.Arch - HMS IllustriousFeb - March - April 1948 Diary  This is a secret document during Hostilities. This Vessel Specification is the central document from which the Motor Vessel Terrier will be built.
Within the pilot house there are two built-in seats on the port side, with a table between them. The engine space is located under the Pilot House sole and has access via sound proofed hatches above. Pitch and blade area will be determined by propeller supplier after the engine and gear have been selected. Low levels of noise and vibration will be provided via adequate sound insulation and vibration damping. Alternately, a standard shaft may be mounted in cutless bearings within an integrally fabricated shaft tube. Assuming 40 hp, the exhaust line will be 2" inside diameter, and will make use of a low back-pressure muffler. A pyrometer will be provided in the exhaust elbow to insure against overloading of the engine. The specifics of the charging system will be according to the supplier of the charging equipment. The DC system will be a "floating ground" type of system fully isolated from the hull and all the hull fittings. The engine will be electrically isolated from the hull via flexible mounts and flexible coupling.
There will be an Isolation Transformer provided, complying with the most recent ABYC regulations.
The rudder profile, the rudder stock size, and the bearing arrangement are shown on the Construction Drawings. End Plates: An end-plate is located at the bottom of the rudder, also increasing rudder effectiveness. The hull provides an effective "end-plate" at the top of the rudder, so there is no end plate at the top. Long'l cutouts in the frames should be laid out on the lofting floor and should be located as drawn. Transverse frames and longitudinal stringers are mild steel flat bar throughout, spaced as given. For example, a 60% solids epoxy paint applied at 10 mil WFT will dry to approximately 6 mils DFT. If blown-in polyurethane insulation is used on the hull, a fire retardant formulation will be chosen. There will be a fire retardant sealant type of paint coating applied to cover all blown in foam insulation. Silver Mylar surface coating, foam absorption layer, weighted vinyl damping layer, and foam de-coupling layer. Speed and depth information will be provided by a depth sounder (brand to be specified by owner). There will be an autopilot interfaced to the Marol steering system (brand to be specified by owner). Skandvik (or equal) marine sinks and faucets will be provided for head, shower, and galley.
All water drain plumbing will be via ABS schedule 80 pipe except where hose will be necessary. Three large capacity Jabsco electric bilge pumps will be provided, one for each sump compartment. Aqua Signal (or equal) navigation lights will be mounted to meet Colregs requirements for power vessels. The following notes are intended to clarify the design and development of system schematics. Systems will conform to ABYC norms, unless specifically otherwise stated in these specifications. All Web Site Graphics, Layout, and Written Content at this Domain Created by Michael Kasten.
The style of the hull is traditional eliptical stern tug above the waterline combined with a trawler-yacht underbody of much lighter displacement than would be found on a working tug. Hull and deck construction is steel using a radiused single chine hull form while the superstructure is aluminum. The accommodation is comfortable for a couple to live aboard with occassional sleep-aboard guests.
The saloon is open to the galley and comprises a central table with bottle stowage and hinged leaves and settees port and starboard.
Through the aft door is the cockpit which is covered by an extension of the deckhouse roof.
Engine and tankage shown below are as used on the first boat but are variable to suit the cruising needs of any subsequent builders. Please note that our plan prices include for adding imperial measurements to our metric designs if needed by the buyer. Thorough sound insulation will be provided, as has been detailed elsewhere in this specification. The rudder bearing tube will be greased via zerk fittings accessed from within the lazarette.
Minor pre-forming may be required around the stern fantail and around the Pilot House forward end.
The hull is bead and cove strip plank western red cedar, with plywood decks and superstructure.

Her steel hull and deck and aluminum pilothouse enclose a two cabin interior of high gloss western red wood, cherry, and teak. Forward we have the rubber bow pudden, tire bumpers line the side decks, and stacked rubber bumpers protect the stern.
With cushioned seating forward of the pilothouse and at the stern there is seating for everyone.
Devonshire.After and introduction to our “nurse” in the morning we were dismissed to look for our future divisional officers. Large windows provide forward and side views while a video camera shows activity to stern on an overhead monitor. There is Raytheon radar, chart plotter, and depth sounder, Northstar GPS and Loran, Datamarine depth sounder, Robertson auto pilot, SEA HF radio, and Icom VHF radio to aid you in navigation and communication. Consisting of a circular brush made of wire and coir turned by an electric motor, the machine is operated by a pair of handles very much the same as an auto-scythe and cleans the deck up very quickly compared with the usual elbow grease methods in general use.
The Commander (Air) says its just another of the new-fangled gadgets which are tried out in the ship; he doesn’t think its much good. A nearby Brewmatic coffee maker provides the morning coffee while the wood burning fireplace can remove the morning chill. RAVEN is equipped for all climates with three Marine Air reverse cycle HAC units, electric heaters, hot water radiators, and the pilothouse stove. It’s a full galley with commercial grade appliances housed in high gloss cherry cabinets.
The solid surface counter top has large stainless steel double sink with pressurized hot & cold water. Besides that he told us about trials in general and how the wardroom has to put up with these hordes of ?800 a year spivs who seem indispensable to aircraft trials if they are only screw turners.Lieutenant Wall paid the gunroom a visit in the evening. Of course most people agree that something should be done and that this is one way of doing it, perhaps the best way.
RAVEN is equipped with a 165–hp Caterpillar diesel engine for long-lasting dependable power with trawler-like economy. Mechanical features include a Northern Lights 12kW diesel generator, and Cruise Air reverse cycle HAC.
Foredeck features include Danforth and CQR anchors, Galley Maid windlass, flood light, and remote controlled spot light. We had a talk on the Air Department of the ship and its organisation by the Commander (Air).
Very soon he started talking solely about the trials themselves and what our future programme may include providing nothing very unusual happens before we have had our repairs completed.I had the afternoon watch with Lieutenant Grayson. Call now for more information and to schedule a showing of this custom Knapp Island Boatyard Steel Tug. Someone thought he was trying to wrangle more hands to bring the ships company up to a more workable minimum.If the officers heads (?) were not on the dock there would have been very little to do indeed. As it was these officers streamed back during the ‘dogs.’ I found it was very monotonous saying “Carry on” or words to that effect when about fifty petty officers went ashore at ten minutes to four just as the last notes of (carry on [correction – secure]) and coops(?) had died away. At both watches for exercises the bugler made a very queer call which was apparently due to his instrument being blocked up, according to him. The Quartermaster spent about a half hour explaining to us how the doctors discovered that his right kidney was not working and that he had a stone there which suddenly stopped growing.
Most of the Wardroom was in the rounds party as it was a mess decks inspection and the route was not definitely fixed before hand.Read a very interesting story in Saturday Evening news called “This is my Sa” by Clarence Budlington Kelland. All other American serials seemed rather dull, anyway I never seemed to be able to read them through without skipping large and boring pages.The Government today announces that the prices of coal, electricity and gas will be pegged, as all other commodities, in order to check, or to attempt to check, the ever spiralling cost of living. Hagannah announces that its forces will in future resist arrest by British forces, following an incident in which four Jews were killed after being set free in an Arab stronghold form an army lorry, and killed a few minutes later by armed Arabs.
The congregation in the Chapel this morning was very small indeed, consisting entirely of officers. It is not at all surprising that clergy these days are very dispirited.Part of the dockyard power supply to the ship was cut off this evening and half the ship put in darkness.
A lead coming aboard over the Starboard side onto the Lower Gallery deck overheated causing the rubber insulation to melt. That mucked up my fire main chasing programme, however I had decided that the only way to make a plan was to draw a large seals layout of each deck first, then put in the main and branches later.
Spent at least two hours searching for pipes at the expense of a layer of oil and filth all over my hands and on my reefer.Reached the HMS Boxer by jeep just before tea. After tea we walked round the ship and paid a visit to the bridge where we were struck by its size and openness. There we also noticed that the evening was very cold, so we decided unanimously to walk back to Illustrious and muster all our warm clothing.There are three Sub-Lieutenants onboard. To get the stern out we went ahead on a back spring then, when clear astern and round to Port.
As soon as we were clear of the harbour we started directing planes from Ford and Lea-on-Solent.
It had been decided that a ship,which could direct large numbers of planes onto shore targets and enemy planes, should be built for fighting in the Pacific.
This specialised ship, a floating Fighter and Bomber Direction Unit, was to be used within about ten miles of Japanese islands to direct planes from aircraft carriers which would be about 70 miles off shore in order to be less accessible to land based planes.
Boxer was passing through the Mediterranean when Japan capitulated, on her way to the Pacific. The weather became rowdier still as we steamed up to the Needles to enter the West Solent and anchor off Yarmouth.
Nigeria is to be sent to the Falkland Islands where the Argentinos and Chileans are busy setting up a military base in the Falkland Island Dependencies. Possibly it is Peron’s idea to direct his countrymen’s thoughts from internal affairs to something more dramatic.

Nigeria will alter the situation when she arrives mainly because she is so heavily outnumbered and also because the distances over which the other ships would have to be send, are so great. The Argentine papers have been very insolent about the whole thing, the trouble is that they know or are pretty certain that we shall not be able to do anything decisive. We are all very glad we went back to the HMS Illustrious on Monday evening to take some more sweaters, scarves, gloves etc. Today we were directing Barracudas and an Anson, which every now and again come in on a torpedo or bombing run at us.
As we entered the Solent past Nab Tower we passed the black funnelled Dutch liner Wilhelm Huys.When being lowered, shortly after we had anchored, the Starboard Motor Cutter was nearly wrecked. The sea was very rough, there being a high short swell, and when the boat was nearly lowered to the water, instead of slipping it was pitched up on a creast of a wave and flung down again onto the falls. Started to snow in the morning and the wind, as usual, was Easterly and even colder than before. The ship apparently handles very well.A jeep was supposed to be at the jetty to bring us back at 1630. Ministers are accused left, right and centre of making self-contradictory statements about the various nationalised parts of our economy. The Sunday Chronicle has a long article on the Falkland Islands incident headed “The Lions Tail,” with the Lion in rather an awkward position at present.
Illustrious .Spent the whole day going in and out of compartments on the Main Deck looking for the fire main pipes. A rumour was started that the British had caused the outrage, and the Jewish crowds became very hostile to our men helping in the rescue work so that after a short time all British police and troops were withdrawn.
In the Dogs it was returned alongside by a tug after going aground and getting stuck just off the pontoon at dead low tide.An escort was sent off to London [correction – to catch] by 1920 train to collect two deserters picked up by the Naval Section of Scotland Yard. The leave for the ship’s Company is from 19th March – 12th April for the watches in succession. At Commanders requestmen(?) this morning six men were granted afternoon leave to watch the Navy-Civil Services football match. Sheffield has been ordered to Belize from Cartagena, Columbia where she was on her spring cruise. Devonshire was ordered away because of reports that British Honduras was about to be invaded.
Just before lunch an airman rating was brought up before the Officer of the Watch on a charge of disobeying his superior officer, namely by refusing to sweep out his mess when ordered to by his leading hand. Illustrious - Lectures on Divisional Matters and another lecture on Operation of Carriers were given by Lieutenant Commander Hamer and Lieutenant Turnbull.
The latter’s lecture was mainly about carrier warfare in the Pacific and of course the accent was on flying, as Lieutenant Turnbull is a pilot.In the evening Few, Lemon and myself went ashore mainly to have our hair cut.
The first barber’s shop was shut, and later when we came back after walking along the Southsea front we passed another shop which had also closed.
Today we had a more interesting time than usual.After Stand Easy a party of officers from all the services came onboard for an outing in their Photographic Interpretation course. Illustrious was docked.Owing to the mist and cloud at the time of sunset we were able to see sunspots on the face of the sun through our telescopes. Illustrious - Lieutenant Commander Hamer gave us a very interesting lecture on the Middle East.
He explained the reason why it was so important to England and the Empire was because it was on our main East-West sea route, besides being a road between North and South.
Jews will probably pour into Palestine, the Jewish part of which would soon be overpopulated, and then the immigrants would have no other course to take than to attempt to beat back the arabs by force of arms. The Arabs have the advantage in desert warfare, as they know their country and have all the Moslem countries from which they can expect to receive modern arms and volunteers, to help in the cause.
The Jews may have a well trained and organised army but all their arms are supplied from abroad. The help that is given by the American Government depends on the political parties in power and whether elections are in the offing, in which case the candidates in the Government in power will pander to the Jewish electorate. At present, however, the Americans can either please the Jews and endanger their oil pipe lines across Arabia, or dissatisfy their Jewish electorate but safeguard their oil, or, as they are doing now, make vague and noncommittal statements about their policy which generally annoys all the parties concerned.Trouble in our colonies has now spread to the Gold Coast where riots have broken out in Accra. There, a native party, demanding self government for the colony, has incited ex-servicemen to agitate for better living conditions. After a short visit at Salisbury I caught the Bath train which took me to my home town, Warminster. After waiting at the station for a car a little while the mist started to come down reducing visibility to about two yards. Eventually I reached home after a hair raising drive, mostly on the pavement at the right side of the road. Saturday 6th March 1948Warminster - Another very fine day with clear sky and hot sun. Both sides seem to be organising themselves for the time when British forces leave the country, in the mean time the position of our soldiers and police in Palestine becomes more insecure every day. Sunday 7th March 1948Warminster – The King and Queen and Princess Margaret are to visit Australia and New Zealand in 1949.
The Navy is not as strong as it should be, and the Government has not exaggerated its state. Illustrious - School in the morning and Organisation, a lecture by the Commander in the afternoon. After a second long walk, it seemed very long carrying a heavy grip, we arrived at Hornet.Before Stand-Easy we were shown round the establishment, Gun Boat Yard, the two German E-boats there and several captured enemy craft, including one with a hydrophane attachment and an Italian explosive motorboat.
2012, a Long boat, called Dog boats by the officers on them.As we went past the forts outside the harbour in the Solent we saw an E-boat leave the harbour behind us. We were developing full speed, but very soon we were overtaken by the other boat which, we were informed afterwards, was only developing ? power.

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