Sketch Designs and Constructors Notebooks

uk 75

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27 September 2006
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In the many discussions on what-if Royal Navy ships mention
is made of "sketch designs" and "constructors notebooks".

Am I right in thinking that these in fact refer to various calculations
and lists of statistics rather than conveniently sized drawings of
I ask because most of the drawings in published sources
like Friedman and Brown/Moore have come from re-drawings rather
than the original.
I was fortunate enough many years ago to see the final plans for
CVA 01 at the National Maritime Museum. The drawings were huge
but is was possible to make out from them that the ship looked
different from the many drawings and artists impressions. Notably
the island bridge and hull features looked less modern and more
like Ark Royal and Eagle. It is a shame that there is no facility
to scan these drawings, may be one day....
UK 75
I once accidentally came across one of these for the early Nelson design in the NMM. They are a mix of sketches, drawings, calculations. Sometimes it will not be clear from the drawings what was intended.

- RP1
The sketch designs were small scale plans which they used at meetings to illustrate a proposed layout. The ones I have seen were 50ft = 1" so a 750ft battleship would be 15" long.
These can be sometimes found in the ships covers at the NMM Plans section at Woolwich, but I believe there are more in the National Archives at Kew.

The constructors workbooks are where the constuctors sketched out ideas and did their calculations as they worked on a design.
These were supposed to be neatly completed as they were to be looked at by the section heads on a regular basis. More usually they are not very tidy and hard to follow.
They do sometimes contain information that you cannot get from the completed plans or other 'official' sources.

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