Conning Towers

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  • oldsubs
    Member
    • Feb 2017
    • 66

    Conning Towers

    Conning towers started as vertical cylinders where the 'conning officer' could look out and direct the boat's maneuvers. After the S-Class they became a horizontal cylinder mounted above the Control Room. With the advent of nuclear propulsion having a separate conning tower became redundant and unnecessary. The last US nuclear submarine to have a conning tower was the USS Triton (SSRN-586).
  • wlambing
    SubCommittee Member
    • Feb 2003
    • 842

    #2
    Sometimes, and quite erroneously, the Fairwaters (sail superstructure) are referred to as Conning Towers. The cylinder Jim refers to above was located in the superstructure between the pressure hull and the bridge deck in the base of the sail. An excellent example of the vertical cylinder type is that found in the German Type XXIII, while the horizontal can be found in the ships drawings Jim has posted to that page on this site. It's good to bring up the old "School of the Boat" subjects as time marches on. So much of our history and knowledge base is getting lost along the way. It is sad! Good on you, Jim!!!

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    • oldsubs
      Member
      • Feb 2017
      • 66

      #3
      Thanks. More to follow. Stay tuned.

      Comment

      • ssn705
        Member
        • Sep 2013
        • 282

        #4
        Sitting in Bahrain, intrigued by what may be coming...

        Dave

        Comment

        • wlambing
          SubCommittee Member
          • Feb 2003
          • 842

          #5
          Be careful you don't get sand in your head valve!!!!!

          Comment

          • salmon
            Treasurer
            • Jul 2011
            • 2304

            #6
            I have understood that it is called the sail in modern European subs, is that correct and do we call it a sail in the US modern subs?
            If you can cut, drill, saw, hit things and swear a lot, you're well on the way to building a working model sub.

            Comment

            • wlambing
              SubCommittee Member
              • Feb 2003
              • 842

              #7
              Yes, Tom, it is a sail in USN parlance! At least it used to be! God knows what they may call it now. Perhaps, "The Protuberance"???

              Comment

              • feet wet
                Member
                • Mar 2003
                • 210

                #8
                No, no. You Bubbleheads have it all wrong. You need to check with a rag boater... the sail is that sheet thing that you haul up the mast to make the pointy end go.......

                Comment

                • oldsubs
                  Member
                  • Feb 2017
                  • 66

                  #9
                  Calling the conning tower fairing a 'sail' started with the first Guppy conversions. Coming up the river to the Submarine Base at Groton one had to turn sharply to starboard then shoot quickly into your assigned berth. The older boats really only had to contend with the tidal current. When the periscope shears began to be enclosed the wind coming down river really affected the boats position in the river while aiming for your berth. In addition, while positioned between two piers and possibly having to tie up outboard another boat in these restricted waters the older boats didn't have much sticking up above the other boats to catch the wind. The fairing made this more difficult. Then when the Salmon and Sailfish (both of the SSRs) with their massive fairings were commissioned the sail effect really became pronounced. Northern high 'sails' really were fixed sails. A strong wind athwartships could cause the boat to take on a roll downwind like a sailboat with a beam or quartering wind. The other difference between a rag boater and a real heavy weather sailor on a submarine is that a rag boater is limited in the number of complete submergences they can safely take. Normally this is one.

                  State two sea, gotta go deep.

                  Comment

                  • oldsubs
                    Member
                    • Feb 2017
                    • 66

                    #10
                    And to answer my honorable friends salmon and wlambing, yep it is the sail. Just remember submarines are the only vessels with a sail and a bridge atop it.

                    Comment

                    • tom dougherty
                      Senior Member
                      • Jul 2005
                      • 1354

                      #11
                      Conning tower is a Gato submarine. (Assuming a picture is worth a thousand words...).
                      To the left, the Man Induction Valve.

                      Click image for larger version  Name:	Gato Conning Tower cutaway.jpg Views:	0 Size:	334.5 KB ID:	149907

                      Comment

                      • ssn705
                        Member
                        • Sep 2013
                        • 282

                        #12
                        But if it is a British boat, it is the Fin... And from personal experience, the increased size of the sail on a Virginia combined with its location far forward is a real pain in high crosswinds.

                        Dave

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