Re: More photos of Varyag and Algonquin

On Sun, 13 Nov 2011 10:00:49 -0500, Peter Skelton

Ports or port-holes once were square holes in the side of a ship,
hatches square holes in a deck, and scuttles round holes in either the
side or a deck. (The 1876 version of Admiral Smyth's Sailors Word Book,
a version is on Guttenberg.) Naturally, the world has gone to hell
since, blame the Beresford - Fisher fight, that's what let Churchill
control things, he wrecked everything he touched.

It's probably all gone the way of many traditions, but I was taught

1) horizontal openings are "doors." "Water-tight" added if
appropriate. Marines delighted in being incorrect in this, calling
openings in bulkheads "hatches." Possibly in the same light as
aviators calling ships "boats."

2) vertical openings are "hatches, with rare exceptions as in #3.
Hatches can be on the weather decks, or internally between decks. In
modern USN warships, internal hatches are usually rectangular,
water-tight openings about the size of a refrigerator, with ladders
(never "stairs") connecting them to the deck below. Open they are
propped up by rods, and rest at about 70 degrees of elevation. They
usually have multiple independent latches around the perimeter, but
not centrally-activated dogs.

3) smaller man-sized round openings cut into hatches are scuttles.
They allow access between decks when in water-tight conditions,
without risking opening the much larger hatch. They have a separate
water-tight, round access point with its own wheel and dogs, and
sometimes a latch or two. Scuttles are about the size of a manhole
cover in the street.

I've never heard of a porthole being called a scuttle. The determinant
isn't shape, but size. A scuttle is large enough in diameter to allow
a man to fit through. A porthole isn't. Functionally, portholes are
for light and air, not access. Modern warships use few or no

Just my experience.