Protecting seaweed

Description[ edit ] Parrotfish are named for their dentition[4] which is distinct from other fish, including other labrids.

Protecting seaweed

Development[ edit ] Deterioration of the hull of a wooden ship was a significant problem during the Age of Sail. Ships' hulls were under continuous attack by shipwormbarnacles and various marine weedsall of which had some adverse effect on the ship, be it structurally, in the case of the worm, or affecting speed and handling in the case of the weeds.

The most common methods of dealing with these problems were through the use of wood, and sometimes lead, sheathing. Expendable wood sheathing effectively provided a non-structural skin to the hull for the worm to attack, and could be easily replaced in dry dock at regular intervals.

Weed, however, grew rapidly Protecting seaweed slowed ships. Lead sheathing, while more effective than wood in mitigating these problems, was too heavy and reacted badly with the iron bolts of the ships. There were three main substances used: White stuff, [2] which was a mixture Protecting seaweed whale oilrosin and brimstone ; Black stuff, [2] a mixture of tar and pitch ; and Brown stuff, [2] which was simply brimstone added to Black stuff.

It was common practice to coat the hull with the selected substance, then cover that with a thin outer layer of wooden planking. The first experiments with copper sheathing were made in the late s: The copper performed very well, both in protecting the hull from worm invasion and in preventing weed growth for, when in contact with water, the copper produced a poisonous film, composed mainly of copper oxychloridethat deterred these marine organisms.

Furthermore, as this film was slightly soluble, it gradually washed away, leaving no way in which marine life could attach itself to the ship.

However, it was soon discovered by the Admiralty that the copper bolts used to hold the plates to the hull had reacted with the iron bolts used in the construction of the ship, rendering many bolts nearly useless.

Inbecause of the poor condition of the iron bolts, Alarm's copper was removed. The results were far more favourable this time, but still the problems with the bolting remained.

The onset and intensification from of the war with America took the focus off the bolting issue necessary to allow a full-scale coppering programme.

Protecting seaweed

This would not have happened but for war. This also came about because in a Mr. Fisher, a Liverpool shipbuilder who did a brisk trade with West Africa sent a letter to the Navy Board.

The letter itself does not survive and is obliquely referred to in other official correspondence held by the National Maritime Museum; it may have contained or been coincidental with a critical new technical breakthrough of protecting the iron bolting by applying thick paper between the copper plates and the hull.

This breakthrough was to be what would win over the Admiralty. This effectively turned what was a local civil war into a global conflict. Spain followed in and the Netherlands inand so Britain had to face its three greatest rivals. Middleton took the view that the Britain was "outnumbered at every station", and the Navy was required to "extricate us from present danger".

He understood that coppering allowed the navy to stay at sea for much longer without the need for cleaning and repairs to the underwater hull, making it a very attractive, if expensive, proposition.

He had to expand the Navy but there was no time to add to the fleet, and limited resources available. It could take five years and trees to build a warship. However he could refurbish the existing fleet, he grasped Fisher's solution and on 21 January wrote to the Admiralty.

He also petitioned King George III directly on this "matter of the gravest importance" for the necessary funding. He took with him a model of HMS Bellona showing a coppered bottom to illustrate the method.

The King backed him for what was an expensive process for an untested technology. Each ship on average required 15 tonnes of copper applied on average as plates. All the copper was supplied by British mines the only country in the world at that time that could do sothe largest mine being Parys Mountain in Angleseynorth Wales.

The benefits of increased speed and time at sea were deemed to justify the costs involved. Middleton in May placed orders at the Portsmouth Docks for coppering all ships up to and including 32 guns when next they entered dry dock. In July, this order was expanded to include ships of 44 guns and fewer, in total 51 ships within a year.

It was then decided that the entire fleet should be coppered, due to the difficulties in maintaining a mixed fleet of coppered and non-coppered ships. By82 ships of the line had been coppered, along with fourteen gun ships, frigates, and unrated vessels.

All this was too late to avert the loss of the American colonies, however; meanwhile the French were threatening the lucrative sugar trade in the Caribbean, reckoned at the time as being of more importance to British interests than the 13 colonies.

The Royal Navy's newly coppered ships, as yet untested, were used successfully by Rodney in defeating the French at the Battle of the Saintes off Dominica in By the time the war ended inproblems with the hull bolting were once more becoming apparent. At great cost, the Admiralty decided in to go ahead with the re-bolting of every ship in the navy, thus finally eliminating the bolt corrosion problem.

This process lasted several years, after which no significant changes to the coppering system were required and metal plating remained a standard method of protecting a ship's underwater hull until the advent of modern anti-fouling paint.

Muntz metal had the advantage of being somewhat cheaper than copper. Civilian use[ edit ] With its widespread adoption by the Royal Navy, some shipping owners employed the method on their merchant vessels.Protecting Pollinators.

Protecting seaweed

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