Down the Hatch!

Written by Bill Sainsbury on Friday, 04 January 2013. Posted in Blog


In December blasting the interior of the fin was finally completed. It took a lot longer than had been anticipated. Now that we can get inside you see why it took so long; it has a complex internal support structure combined with all the masts rising up through it. At the base is the CO’s cabin which uniquely to A-boats was a barrel like cylinder welded on top of the main pressure hull.

The contractors have had to cut three temporary holes in the side of the fin so that work can be carried out inside. In the picture you can see the upper hatch tower that leads down to the cabin and the control room; behind it you can see the shiny post blasted aluminium plate of the inside of the fin.     


Unfortunately there’s not much left of the steel supports that hold the cabin in place so it going to be the subject of a lot of welding. The problem with welding onto the cabin is that like the rest of the pressure hull although it is very think plate the heat from the welding rapidly starts to burn anything flammable on the inside starting with the paint. Inside the cabin the joiner Gavin has been tasked with carefully removing the bunk and other timber fittings prior to the welding starting. With all the banging and grinding to the outside of the cabin going on this has been a memorable if not entirely pleasant task!          

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About the Author

Bill Sainsbury

Bill is the Marketing, PR & Events Manager at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum

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