S-2, second of the "S" class submarines, was a "Lake-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-3 as the "Government-type". This was the last Lake designed submarine.
The Lake design was circular section forward, with the centers placed on an upwardly curved axis. To the aft the circular sections were faired into oval sections with a horizontal main axis. The superstructure was watertight and formed part of the ballasting system. With the superstructure drained of water and the drain ports shut, surface buoyancy was gained to make the boat dryer than the Holland design. The ballasting system and dive characteristics made the boat a slow diver from the fully-surfaced condition. Lake designed the boat to run awash to achieve a quick dive.
The design featured a pair of Busch-Sulzer Model 6M150 engines. The engines, shafts, main motors and screws were low in the ship, below the main axis: a feature taken into the Bureau design. The rudder and planes were below the stern as in a surface ship. The battery was forward of the Control Room, balancing the weight of the engines, placed aft.
The flooding of the ballast tanks differed from the EB designs. Lake designed his boats to dive with neutral buoyancy and on an even keel (zero bubble). His ballast tanks were centered under Control and were below the centerline. EB owned the patents for the keel duct type ballast and Kingston arrangement as well as the patent for the U-shaped ballast tanks. This allowed a high pressure ballast pump to be placed well aft, and the ballast tanks to be lower in the hull, allowing more headroom in Control with a smaller hull. Lake could not use the keel duct form. He placed the ballast pump in the Engine Room and had large ballast tanks under Control Room.
It seems that Lake kept tinkering with design, trying to make a better submarine, which led to increased costs which contributed to the demise of his business. Electric Boat froze an adequate design and put it into production. This kept the costs of production down, which was better for business.
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