S-3, third of the "S" class submarines, was a "Government-type", one of three S-boats of the same general specifications but of different design types for performance comparison, which were contracted to separate companies by the Navy. S-1 was known as the "Holland-type" and S-2 as the "Lake-type". The government built S-boats had an entirely different superstructure configuration.
The S-3 Class coastal and harbor defense submarine was 231' in length overall; had an extreme beam of 21'10"; had a normal surface displacement of 876 tons, and, when in that condition, had a mean draft of 13'1". Submerged displacement was 1,092 tons. The submarine was of riveted construction. The designed compliment was four officers and thirty-four enlisted men. The boat could operate safely to depths of 200 feet.
The submarine was armed with four 21-inch torpedo tubes installed in the bow. Twelve torpedoes were carried. One 4-inch/50 caliber deck gun was installed.
The full load of diesel oil carried was 36,950 gallons, which fueled two 700 designed brake horsepower Model 8-EB-16 diesel engines manufactured by the New London Ship and Engine Company at Groton, Connecticut which could drive the boat, via a diesel direct drive propulsion system, at 15 knots on the surface in relatively calm seas. Power for submerged propulsion was provided by a Model 35-U 120-cell main storage battery, rated at 1,240 Kilowatt Hours, divided into two sixty-cell batteries, manufactured by the Gould Storage Battery Company at Trenton, New Jersey which powered two double armature and field 510 designed brake horsepower (at 260 RPM) main propulsion motors manufactured by the Westinghouse Electric Company at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The two propeller shaftscould drive the submarine at 11 knots for a short period of time when operating beneath the surface of the sea. Slower submerged speeds resulted in greater endurances before the batteries needed to be recharged by the engines and generators.
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