Queens Regulations & Admiralty Instructions 1861
Queens Regulations & Admiralty Instructions 1861

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The Queens Regulations and the Admiralty Instructions - 1861




When a Captain or other Officer is first appointed to the command of a Ship fitted with steam machinery, he is to use all possible diligence in making himself acquainted with the principles and construction of the boilers and engines, and the uses of their various parts; he is also to ascertain the age of the boilers and engines, and the nature and date of any extensive repair they may have received; and he is to obtain such other information as may be calculated to make him thoroughly acquainted with the history and capabilities of the machinery.


Officers in command are, when their Ships are fitting out, to make themselves acquainted with the position, dimensions, and uses of the external valves, more especially of those under water, and the Superintendent of the Dockyard will, on application, furnish any information on the subject that may be required.


To prevent accidents by fire from spontaneous combustion of coals, the Captain is, when fitting out, to see that the whole of the woodwork of the coal-boxes, whether it form part of the side of the Ship, or otherwise, be securely lined with iron or copper sheathing. He is to order the greatest care to be taken that the coals are never shipped wet; and that, when shipped, they be kept as dry as possible.

Whenever a fresh supply is received on board, he is to give directions that those remaining in the coal-boxes be, as far as may be practicable, so trimmed as to ensure their being first used.


The Captain is, when leaving the port at which the Ship, under his command has been fitted out, to take with him every article of spare gear belonging to her establishment. If any article be accidentally left behind, he is to report the same to the Secretary of the Admiralty, for the information of the Storekeeper-General.


Whenever the Chief or senior Engineer may report to the Captain the necessity of removing the incrustation and deposits which form in the interior of boilers after service under steam, the Captain is to allow the necessary time for performing this work.


As a considerable saving in the consumption of fuel may frequently be effected by reducing the engine power, so as not materially to diminish the speed of the Ship, the Captain is to make himself acquainted with the principle and effect of the expansion of steam - observing that the expansion gear should at all times be employed when the engines are not worked up to their full power.

In order to ascertain the capabilities of the Ship under his command, he is, as soon as he proceeds to sea, to make careful and repeated trials of using the steam expansively under every variety of wind and weather, draught of water, and other circumstances, so as to be at all times enabled to apply the principle of expansion according to the nature of the service on which he may be engaged, and to calculate with accuracy the number of days and hours the Ship can be under steam (according to the different steps of the cam, or other means of gradation, at which the steam can be cut off) without being obliged to put into port for a fresh supply of fuel.


Except for the experiments ordered in the foregoing Article (and which will be necessary only when the information required cannot be obtained from reports of the performances and capabilities of the Ship on former occasions) the Captain is most carefully to avoid getting up, or keeping up, the steam in any case where the use of sails alone would enable him to perform, in a satisfactory manner, the duty on which he is engaged. For the slightest neglect of this part of his instructions, - a neglect which might perhaps cripple the resources of his Ship at the very time that her services may be most urgently required, - he will be held responsible. The engine-room fires are not to be lighted, without the permission of the senior Officer present, except in cases of emergency or danger, where such senior Officer cannot be conveniently communicated with by signal or otherwise.


The Ships of Her Majesty's Navy being now generally fitted with steam machinery, and liable of course to perform long voyages, and to be engaged in distant parts of the world whore fuel is expensive and difficult to be obtained, it has become a matter of the utmost importance that Officers in command should give their best attention to, and thoroughly understand, the most economical and efficacious modes of using steam either as a principal or an auxiliary power of propulsion, whenever occasion may require them to have recourse to it.

Instances have occurred in which ships have been improperly forced head to wind by the full power of steam, and have expended all their store of fuel before the end of the voyage, whereas if sail and a moderate power of steam had been used, not only would a saving of fuel have been effected, and the voyage performed in less time, and with less wear and tear, but the delay and other evils incident on putting into port to obtain a fresh supply would have been avoided. From the experience obtained of late years in the management of steam ships, especially of those propelled by the screw, it is to be hoped that no such instances will occur for the future; but with regard to the use of sail, either with or without the aid of steam, or the power at which the engines are to be worked under certain circumstances, it is impossible to lay down precise rules; each Officer must be guided by his own judgment in these matters, remembering that he must be prepared to justify every expenditure of fuel for steaming purposes, should he be called upon to do so. His judgment will necessarily be based upon a consideration of the urgency and nature of the service to be performed, of the wind and weather, as well as of the difficulty of the navigation, and of the sailing and other qualities of the Ship; but he is to take care, - 1st, that steam be never used at all when the service can be equally or nearly as well performed without it. - 2ndly, that sail be never dispensed with when it can be usefully employed to assist the steam, - and 3rdly, that full steam power be not employed when reduced power would answer the purpose required.


Officers in command of Ships ordered home from abroad are to be careful not to take on board any more fuel than may probably be required for the passage; if they have more on board at the time than will suffice, the surplus quantity is to be landed at one of the Admiralty depots, or transferred to one of Her Majesty's Steam Ships, provided the nature of the service on which they are employed will admit of their doing so without causing any material delay.


A list of places abroad where coals may be obtained from established depôts, or under local contracts or agreements, is inserted in the Appendix for the information of Commanding Officers. A half-yearly return is to be made by the respective Captains, relative to the quality, &c., of the coals supplied for steaming purposes; - they are to make themselves acquainted with the terms of the contracts, (copies of which will be lodged with the Officers in charge of depôts,) and to report to the Admiralty, through their Commanders-in-chief, any infractions that may come under their notice with respect to such contracts.


Whenever steam is used, the Captain is to cause a notification, underlined with red ink, to be inserted in the log-book, of the service on which the Ship is employed, or of the emergency of the occasion, which rendered it necessary to have recourse to that power; he is also to cause the distance performed under steam to be marked upon the track chart in red ink; and on every occasion of his rejoining his Commander-in-chief or senior Officer, after having been detached from him on any service, he is to make a return to such Commander-in-chief or senior Officer, showing the time, &c., during which the Ship has been under steam.


The Stokers are not to be called out of the engine-room when the Ship is under steam, except in cases of actual necessity. In all such cases the order is to be given through the senior Engineer on duty at the time, so that he may take such precautions as may be necessary.


When a Steam Ship puts into any port on account of defective machinery, the Captain is to require the senior Engineer Officer on board to state, in writing, the reasons which may have rendered such a step necessary, instead of making the requisite repairs at sea; and the Engineer's statement is to be appended to the list of defects for the information of the senior Officer at the port at which the Ship arrives, who is to transmit these documents, with any remarks he may have to offer thereon, to the Commander-in-chief of the Station or Squadron, by whom, in special cases, they are to be forwarded to the Secretary of the Admiralty.


Whenever the nature of the service on which a Steam Ship may be employed is not likely to require the steam to be got up in the shortest possible time, the fires are not to be kept banked after steaming, but to be drawn when the engines are no longer required, and the ashes are to be used for distillation.


To prevent the injury sustained by boilers by getting up the steam as quickly as possible, the Captain, except in cases of extreme urgency, is to cause the fires to be lighted sufficiently early to allow the several parts to become gradually heated.


The Captain of any one of Her Majesty's Steam Ships fitted with the necessary apparatus for the purpose, is to cause the screw to be raised at least once a-month, or after steaming a distance of two thousand miles, and the result of the examination is to be inserted in. the engine-room register, and in the quarterly report of the state of the engines. Whenever there are surfaces of iron exposed to the action of the water, the screw should be kept shipped, and not suspended in the trunk; but if there should appear to be any particular reason to justify a deviation from this course, the screw is to be lowered at least once a-month, and turned round by the turning gear, to ascertain that the fittings are in all respects in working order, when the result, and the particular circumstances that rendered it desirable to keep the screw unshipped, are to be recorded in the register and periodical return before mentioned.


Her Majesty's Steam Ships being now fitted with every convenience for the purpose, the Stokers, before coming off duty in the engine-room, are to be required to wash themselves properly, and to put on dry and clean clothes, and they are not to be allowed to return to their messes, or to go to bed, without doing so. After each watch they are to be mustered on deck by the junior Engineer who was on duty with them, and he is to report their condition to the Officer of the watch. The Officer of the watch is then to inspect them, and to satisfy himself that this instruction, - on the due observance of which the health and comfort of the men so much depend, - has been as fully attended to as the circumstances of the moment will admit of.


Coal screens, which are included in the establishment for Engineers' s stores, will be supplied to Steam Ships from the Dock-yards, and sails are on no account to be used for that purpose.


The attention of all Officers is called to the liability to injury to which the machinery is exposed by anything falling thereon when the parts are in motion. Whenever the hatch immediately over the engines is left open, care is to be taken that the lower hatch be never left uncovered by the iron gratings; and should any additional precaution be necessary, the spaces between the bars of the gratings are to be interlaced with wire, or some other effectual means adopted to prevent even small things falling on the machinery.


The Captain is to be very careful that the quarterly report of the state of the hull and machinery contains all the information required in the form; and as it is most desirable that specific information should be given of the probable time during which the efficient working of the machinery and boilers may be depended on without having recourse to a shore establishment for repairs, the word uncertain is on no account to be used with regard to such particulars, but the closest approximation is to be made that the Captain's knowledge, after consulting the Chief Engineer, will admit of. If the time be dependent on accidental circumstances, such explanation should be added as may enable the Admiralty to draw their own conclusions.

The Expenditure of Engineers' stores is to be correctly inserted, and a separate statement made of all coals, oil, tallow, &c., supplied to other Ships, or for other purposes than the machinery or boilers.


The Officer in command of a Steam Ship is to cause a careful examination of the machinery and boilers to be made at intervals of not more than one year; and a special report is to be forwarded to the Admiralty, for the Surveyor of the Navy, through the Commander-in-chief, of the result of the examination.


When one Engineer relieves another in the charge of the machinery of a Ship, the Captain is to apply to the senior Officer present to order a Chief or other competent Engineer of some other Ship to examine the engines and boilers, and all parts of the machinery, and to make, with the Engineer taking charge, a joint report of their condition. This report is to be retained by the Captain, a duplicate copy of it being appended to the next quarterly return of the state of the hull and machinery.

In the event of circumstances rendering it impracticable to make the examination at the time the Engineer is placed in charge, a report is to be made by the Captain to the Admiralty to that effect; but he is to see that the foregoing regulations be complied with as soon as the exigencies of the service will admit.


The Captain will cause the Chief Engineer to devote one or two hours in the course of each week to the instruction of all the Subordinate Officers of the Military Branch, and of such of the Commission Officers of the same branch as may desire to avail themselves of this advantage, in the several parts of the engines and boilers, and in the practical working of the machinery; he will, from time to time, ascertain from the Chief Engineer the progress made by the Officers in this important branch of knowledge, and, with regard to the subordinate Officers, he is to note the result of his inquiries in the half-yearly return of their qualifications.


The Captain is to visit the engine-room once at least in every twenty-four hours; and he is to inspect the engine-room register every day soon after noon, taking care to observe that, not only all the information denoted by the heading of the several columns, but likewise every other circumstance connected with the machinery, &c., of interest to steam navigation in general, or especially affecting his own Ship, be fully and properly recorded. The register, when complete, is to be signed by the Captain, and forwarded by him to the Secretary of the Admiralty, for the Controller of the Navy.


The attention of the Captain and Engineer Officers is directed to the Memorandum in the opening page of the Establishment of Engineers' Stores for each class of Ship, explaining the principles on which the allowances of consumable stores have been calculated, and showing the daily expenditure which is considered sufficient for each class of engine under ordinary circumstances, especially as regards the articles of oil, tallow, and oakum. The quantities of the articles specified, as given in the Tables, are to be taken as the guide for daily consumption: and in the event of such quantities being exceeded, an explanatory note is to be entered in the Engine Room Register.

A competent person is to be selected by the Captain from the complement of Leading Stokers or Stokers, to be especially appropriated, and to be held responsible, under the Chief Engineer, for the periodical issue of Engineer's Stores; and such Leading Stoker or Stoker is to receive the proper pay of his rating, beneath which, on the Ship's Books, he is to be noted as "Engine Room Storekeeper."


Immediately after a Ship fitted with Steam Machinery shall be paid-off, a very minute and careful survey shall be held on every part of her machinery and boilers by the Chief Engineer of the Dockyard, the Inspector of Machinery afloat, and the Chief Engineer of the Ship, presided over by the Captain in charge of the Steam Reserve. A report of this Survey, in duplicate, is to be made, through the Superintendent of the Dockyard, to the Secretary of the Admiralty, for the Controller of the Navy, in the established form; and it is to be observed, that the Chief Engineer of the Ship certifies only to that part of the report which relates to the repairs or alterations necessary, or recommended, in the Machinery or Boilers.

Until the Survey above referred to shall have been held, the Chief Engineer of the Ship is to be borne for full or sea pay on the books of the Guard Ship of the Steam Reserve.

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