Topside Submarine

Topside - External to the ship ( On the deck and on the pier).

Most of the terms above should be familiar to anyone with a boating or aviation background.

The sail is a streamlined fairing that contains the periscopes, masts and antennas, the snorkel, the Diesel exhaust,  and the Control and lookout stations. It is accessed through a water tight tube in the control room.

The Planes act similar to the ailerons on aircraft, and are used to control depth, The Bow or Fairwater planes are the primary depth control surfaces

The rudder controls direction, and the screw propels the sub through the water.


Pictured below Is a basic 4 point mooring, it is shown "singled up" for clarity. "Singled up" means only 4 lines (ropes) are shown, in reality all lines are "doubled up" or, where 2 lines are used for each mooring location. This is done to provide maximum protection should a line break.

The bow and stern lines are used to hold the sub alongside the pier, and are the first lines over when mooring, and the last released when leaving the pier. The spring lines prevent the sub from moving fore and aft (forward and backward) in the berth or mooring.

A 6 point mooring may also be used, using fore and aft breast lines to give additional stability.


The submarine deck is equipped with retractable Capstans, Bollards, Cleats Bulls eyes, and built in line lockers (no details shown). A throwing line called a "heavie" is used to pass the lines on the ship to the the mooring party line handlers on the pier. They follow directions of O.O.D. (Officer of the Deck) in this case the Captain, and moore the ship to to Bollards and Cleats on the pier.

See the drawing below for more detail of Cleats and Bollards.

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