HC Deb 29 January 1891 vol 349 cc1278-9

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether it is true that the repairs and alterations arising out of the defects in the new crusier Barracouta have extended over a period of nine months, and that the Admiralty have accepted the ship with a speed, under natural draught, of 13 knots, in place of 16.5 knots, as originally designed and contracted for; if so, whether any, and what, reduction has been obtained from the contract cost; and if, in consequence of the danger attending the working of forced draught to ships and men, the Admiralty intend abandoning the system?


With regard to the Barracouta, the interval between the time at which she satisfactorily passed her trials and the accident which occurred at her first trials was 11 months. The delay was owing to the Coroner's inquiry after the accident, and to the time required to carry out experiments with boilers of a similar type to those of the Barracouta, which resulted in certain alterations being made in her boilers. The Barracouta's natural draught trial, as it is termed, developed a horsepower estimated to drive her at 14¾ knots, or a quarter of a knot under the original estimate. It is not intended to abandon forced draught, but only to more strictly regulate and limit its application.