Two gunboats, the Dubuque and Paducah, were authorized by act of Congress of July 1, 1902. The Bailey, for several years noted as the fastest boat in the Navy, was built there as well as the torpedo boats Stewart and Wilkes. They also built the gunboats Dubuque and Paducah. This class is of composite construction, i. e., with metal frames and wood planking. The general features of framing the structure present no novelties. The whole outside surface of plank belt is covered with copper from 24 to 28 ounces. This type of construction is not structurally strong and is only applicable to small craft, such as the Dubuque.
The special features of this class, such as the limited extent of shell plating, the fastening of planking to frames, and the making of plank butts are treated in a later chapter. The vertical keel is continuous, non-watertight, 30 inches deep, of 14-lb. plate, with double angles at top, 3" X 3", and at bottom 3^" X 3". The frame spacing is 20 inches, and the inner bottom extends only under boiler room. In inner bottom and under engine room, the frame bar is 3" X 3" angle, with reverse bar 3" X 3", and lightened-plate floors of 12 Ibs., the frame, reverse frame, and floor being continuous from vertical keel to margin plate. Above inner bottom, frames are of channels, 6" X 3" X 3", continuous to main deck, split at lower ends and bracketed to margin. Forward and aft of inner bottom and engine room, the frames are of 6" X 3" X 3" channels, split at lower end, and 10-Ib. lightened floor riveted in and flanged to keel plate. The frames are continuous to main deck. There is no protective deck. There are two longitudinals on either side, consisting of a continuous channel on inside of reverse frame, with intercostal pieces connecting them to shell. The intercostal pieces are of channel where depth from reverse frame to shell will permit, and elsewhere of plates riveted to the continuous channel and clipped to the shell with angles. Special intermediate channels are worked under engine foundations.
These ships, being composite, have no continuous outer bottom plating; it is worked under tanks, shaft alleys, longitudinals, shaft tube castings, struts, etc. There is a flat keel, in one thickness, of 20 Ibs., reduced to 14 Ibs. at ends and garboard strakes in wake of magazines and inner bottom (which is under boiler room only) of 10-lb. plate. The garboard strake is connected to the flat keel by single-riveted laps. Above berth deck, the plating is 14 lbs. for about four-fifths of length, and forward and aft is reduced to 12 Ibs., except sheer strake, which is 14 Ibs. throughout.
Mine laying and sweeping was practiced in Pensacola Bay by the San Francisco and tugs in Novombor and December, 1913. The mining company of the marines had practiced mine laying for advanced base work. Mine sweeping was tried with the destroyers at Culebra in January and February, 1914. 65. Since that date the Dubuque was fitted out as a mine layer and mine instruction ship.
Displacement 1,225 t.; Length 200' 5; Beam 35'; Draft 13' 4"; Speed 11 kts.; Complement 107; Armament one 5"/38 dual purpose mount, two 4"/50 gun mounts and one 3"/50 dual purpose mount; Propulsion two 235psi Babcock and Wilcox boilers, two 1,000ihp Gas Engine Power Co. verticle triple expansion engines, two shafts.
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