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Papers from the Transactions of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects

Since 1860, over 5000 papers have been published in the Transactions of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects, providing a fascinating history of the design and construction of marine vessels and structures of all types.  Many of these papers, such as Willian Froude's paper  On the Rolling of Ships in 1861, were and milestones in that development with a lasting impact on maritime design and construction. Others, such as Lieutenant E Goulaeff's  paper On Circular Iron-Clads on the development by the Imperial Russion Navy of circular warships may not have had such impact but nonetheless provide provide a fascinating read for all those interested or involved in maritime design and construction.

These two papers are the first in a regular series of past papers from the Transactions, selected for their importance to maritime design and construction, or simply for their novelty and interest.   

By Lieutenant E E Goulaeff, Imperial Russian Navy.  Published in 1876


 One of the most important conditions for the defence of the Black Sea coasts limited the draught of the vessels to about 13 feet. The only then existing type of vessel which fulfilled this condition was that of unarmoured gunboats, since any armoured ship, if built of ordinary form, and if designed to carry heavy guns and thick armour, required much great immersion. Unarmoured gun boats, however, were not considered efficient, because a single shot from an insignificant gun is sufficient to penetrate their sides and sink them with all hands on board. Therefore an entirely new class of vessel was requisite to admit of the heavy guns and efficient armour protection, combined with the very small draught of water. To satisfy those conditions, no type of vessel could have been better adopted than the circular, because with no hull of any other form and of the same weight could so great a displacement upon the same draught of water have been obtained.

By W. Froude, ESq., Assoc. I.N.A.      Published in 1861

I feel some diffidence in bringing before the experienced members of this society what assumes to be a tolerably complete theoretical elucidation of a difficult and intricate subject, which has hitherto been treated as if unapproachable by the methods of regular investigation.

I may, however, perhaps, bespeak some attention to it, by mentioning that it is the result of an inquiry undertaken at the request of the late Mr. Brunel, with whom I frequently discussed its fundamental principles, while he was engaged on the design and the construction of the Great Eastern, receiving, as no one could fail to receive who discussed such principles with him, the greatest assistance from his broad and masculine perception of their real bearings and of their mutual relations.


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