In addition to providing stability, safety, and sailing comfort, the main focus of the design was on achieving a speed of 14 nodes in the new ship. According to the results of experiments with the second round vessel Popov on the Black Sea, as well as the model tests conducted in England, the main dimensions of the yacht with the 1,9 draft, which meets all the requirements, were determined. To verify the results obtained, at the request of the designers and future builders, paraffin hull models at the beginning of 1879 were subjected to new tests under the leadership of Tideman in Amsterdam. Tideman, who is the chief engineer of the Netherlands fleet and a very well-known shipbuilder, Froude’s conclusions were confirmed and guaranteed that the ship would reach speeds in 14 units, provided the power of the power plant is more than 8500 horsepower .
In the middle of the year, the project, agreed with the shipbuilding company John Elder and Co. (England), was finalized. In August, after the chief builder of the Pierce firm had assured in writing the possibility of creating such a ship, the personal permission of Emperor Alexander II to build a yacht in England followed. Pierce and Kazi M.I., a famous Russian shipbuilder, 5 September signed a contract. This document had unusual conditions. Their essence consisted in the obligation not only to build the yacht itself according to Russian drawings, with installation of steam mechanisms of its own manufacture on it, but also in guarantees of achieving speed in 15 nodes. The firm had to pay heavy fines for each undeveloped 0,1 node, and if the ship reached a speed of less than 14 nodes, the customer had the right not to accept it at all, but to take only the power plant, for which he pledged to make contract payments during the construction. Calculation of the yacht in the success of the test followed after it was handed over. For speeding in 15 nodes and power 12 thousand liters. with. builders received impressive awards. The latter was supposed to stimulate the company to create perfect power plants, which were intended not only for the new yacht, but also, if successful, for future Russian ships and the battleship Peter the Great, because its cars, like the cars of the retreat, could not develop design capacity.
The ship’s construction period was short in English: the final date of delivery is 1 July 1880. Moreover, after signing a contract during an audience with the Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich, Pierce offered to surrender the yacht ahead of schedule! Work at the shipyard, which was located in Ferrol (on the outskirts of Glasgow, on the River Clyde), began immediately after the signing of all documents. A month later, the author of the project, E.E. Gulyaev, who was appointed to oversee the construction, reported on the manufacture of templates for metal structures and the completion of the preparation of the building berth. Two-thirds of the set of the second floor to the beginning of November were riveted ... Then again Popov AA intervened, having achieved the highest permission to produce in England the yacht's premises. Popov explained this by the fact that “it is advisable to try the ship in its finished form” and carrying out such work in the Nikolaevsky Admiralty will be too expensive. An additional contract was signed on November 10: shipbuilders received not only additional fees, but also a real opportunity to postpone, if necessary, the yacht's readiness dates. Despite this, work continued on the original plans.
5 January 1880, the yacht called “Livadia” was added to the fleet's ship lists, and after 10 days a commander was appointed - captain 1 of rank Vogak I.K. (the former first commander of both Novgorod and Peter the Great) ... The official laying of the vessel took place on March 25; At this time, the hull paneling was already mounted. Four months later - June 25, the yacht was launched. The ceremony was attended by the Grand Duke Alexey Alexandrovich (who later became General-Admiral of the Russian Navy, a consistent detractor Popov AA).
The yacht "Livadiya", which was launched in a high degree of readiness, with a helical-steering complex and add-ons, had such an original appearance that the "Time", which traditionally did not put domestic ships on its pages, made an exception. This two-hulled vessel was figuratively described by newspapermen as a “bullhead on a halibut”. In fact, the yacht (upper hull) was a ship cut to the waterline 33,53 m wide and 79,25 m long, installed on a pontoon semi-submerged in water, which had an elliptical shape, maximum 46,63 width and 71,63 meter length. The height on the midship bar was no more than 5,49 meters, the bottom was flat, and had three keels: the middle in the median plane, as well as the side boards, each of which was at a distance of 5,49 meters from the middle one. According to Gulyaev E.E. "... the yacht could be longer ... to satisfy the taste of the majority ...", but this led to the need to increase the power of her cars and reduce stability. The small draft was defined by the designer as an “outstanding feature” that allowed to reduce the wave resistance, which at high speeds in ships, such as backing, was by definition Froude most significant. Hence it is clear that this design was applied in order to reduce the draft of the vessel in order to achieve the specified speeds. In this form, the combination of the above design features of the yacht "Livadia" really proves the originality of the ideas of its designers.
The general location of the yacht "Livadia": a - longitudinal section; b - plan of the hold; in - cross section along the mid-frame
The design of the lower hull (the sailors called it "pancake") was unique. Designed with the experience gained during the construction of the backs, it provided an unprecedented level of unsinkability. The second bottom, separated from the skin at the middle of the middle to the height of the 1,07 meter and in the tips of the 0,76 meter, extended to its full length. It was divided into 40 waterproof compartments; two longitudinal vertical bulkheads ran along the entire side; the space between the side and the bulkheads was also divided into 40 sections. Covered with a convex deck shaped like an inverted saucer, the pontoon served as a ring-shaped solid foundation for the upper part of the vessel where the living quarters and royal apartments were located, and the second bottom served as the foundation for three vertical steam engines of double expansion of steam (design capacity of each 3500 hp .) and 10 cylindrical boilers. The pontoon housed coal pits, auxiliary mechanisms, ship stocks ...
Significant difficulties had to be overcome in determining the local and overall strength of steel structures of the pontoon, the junction of the buildings (ring stringer), which gave rise to those. problems of their provision. To the credit of the British and Russian engineers, these difficulties were largely overcome. The entire set was made of “Simenson” soft steel, the bulkheads and pontoon trim were made of iron sheets; the trim of the yacht itself and the decks are pine. The height of the yacht from the keels to the roof of the upper superstructures was equal to 14 meters. The issue of application of the driving force has been given special attention. During the construction of the yacht "Livadia", by the end of 1879, the self-propelled steel model on the scale of 1: 10 was assembled and tested until spring of the next year. The scale model worked out the location of the screws, dimensions and pitch. The test method was developed by Tideman, and the experiments were conducted by both English and Russian engineers. As a result, the deadwoods of the shafts were removed in such a way that the yacht's screws were mostly below the bottom, and the middle screw, as on Vice Admiral Popov, was installed on the 760 mm further from the stern and deeper than the side. The diameter of each screw having four blades was 4,72 meters, the average pitch was 3,81 meters, the rest were 6,25 meters; Manganese bronze served as material for them.
The premises were illuminated with electric “Yablochkov candles”; Electrical equipment was supplied from Russia. Throughout the yacht there was plumbing, 23 auxiliary steam mechanism and steering wheel drive. Similarly to the backstage, a device was placed on the bridge for maneuvering the vessel using onboard machines. In England, three large steam boats of mahogany, whose length was 8,5 m, 9,8 m and 11,9 m, were ordered as raidships of Livadia in England. Rowing ships were used from the dead Livadia. The total volume of halls, lounges and cabins intended for the king and his retinue was 3950 м3, which is 6,7 times as large as its predecessor. The immense “reception” of the emperor, having a height of about 4 meters, resembled the rooms of Louis XVI in Fontainebleau. The reception also housed the existing fountain and the flower beds surrounding it ... The living room, located on the middle deck, was furnished in the Crimean Tatar spirit, and the rest of the rooms were decorated in a modern English style. The decoration of command rooms and officers' cabins was not included in the contracts and had to be carried out after the arrival of the yacht on the Black Sea.
Despite the “original design”, the vessel looked superb, the smooth hull was covered with brilliant black lacquer, and the light gray pontoon almost merged with the surface of the water.
The completion of the yacht afloat took almost three months. In August, all the boilers were loaded (8 three-furnace boilers were installed across the pontoon, two more semi-boilers - along the sides behind them), and in early September - the main machines that 10 – 19 of August tested on mooring lines. Major-generals A.I. Sokolov, summoned to England, took part in these works. and Zarubin I.I. - the most experienced engineer-mechanics of the fleet.
On September 24, the yacht Livadia, led by Pierce and the factory crew, left the shipyard's pool and headed for Greenock under the middle car down the river; just in case she was defeated by three tugboats. The ship went out to the bay on the same day, and easily reached the speed of the 12 node.
Tideman, the chief consultant, noted that the ship was well on course and how the boat listened to the helm. The next day, factory tests were conducted. Several Russian officers were invited to the yacht, as well as 12 sailors from the crew assigned to the yacht. According to A. Sokolov managed to develop speed in 15 nodes, while the wind was a headwind!
The 26 numbers went through an official six-hour test for which Pierce invited the commission of the Maritime Ministry, headed by Vice-Admiral Likhachev I.F. The average speed of "Livadia" was 14,88 node at a power 10,2 thousand liters. with.; Because of the pitch difference of the screws, the machines worked at different speeds: airborne on 84, average 90 revolutions per minute. Tideman noted that during operation, the circulation radius of all three cars was “somewhat too big”, however, he recognized this as irrelevant, since there was a possibility of turning with the help of side screws “in a much smaller space”. The test of the yacht on the measured mile took place on September 27: according to averaged 6 data, the maximum speed was 15,725 knots, and power - 12354 horsepower. And this provided that during the completion of the hull of the vessel was somewhat overgrown and sat somewhat deeper than expected, due to the heavier interior decoration and superstructure. Draft was 2,1 meters, and displacement - 4420 tons.
Calculations and experiments were confirmed. Everybody was happy. The company was paid 2,7 million rubles, including 414 thousand rubles of premiums. In all European newspapers they wrote about Popov A.A. and Gulyaev E.V.
Upon completion of the tests, the Russian team arrived in Livadia, which arrived in August from the Baltic Fleet (the staff was exceeded and the 24 officer, the 321 lower rank) were numbered. September's 30 yacht was taken from the factory, and she immediately, raising her guys and pennant, began her campaign.
During the ferry to the Black Sea, it was planned to conduct crew training. Back in August, Popov A.A. reported that the transition must be carried out: “with such development of the power of the machines, to enable the machine personnel to look around and be well acquainted with the control and operation of the machines”. Greenock's raid yacht left Oct. October. As guests of honor, on board were shipbuilders Pierce, Reed and Tideman, as well as Admiral Steward, controller of the English fleet. The Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich came on board in Brest and, “Livadia” under the general admiral's flag, on October 3 continued sailing to Cadiz through the Bay of Biscay. By this time, the draft of the yacht was: the nose of the 7 meter, the stern - 2,9 meter (taking into account the submerged, average deadwood - 3,0 meter).
The campaign until midnight October 8 took place at a speed of about 12 nodes under favorable conditions. The wind that had risen at night quickly grew stronger, and a strong swell appeared. From two o'clock in the morning the waves began to strike the nose of the pontoon - these blows, at first rare, with the increase in the height of the waves and the strengthening of the wind, became more frequent. They were forced to reduce the stroke to 4 nodes, but the strikes did not stop. Reed, who was very restrained in his assessments, wrote: “The blows to the flat bottom were terrible at times ...” IK Vogak in the report reported the same thing: “... one of the blows was particularly strong, and everyone was impressed as if hit by a hard object ...” At 10, it was revealed that at first o'clock the first double bottom compartment was flooded; urgently had to change course and head to the port of Ferrol (Spain).
The height of the waves, according to eyewitnesses, reached 6 — 7 meters, while the side roll did not exceed 3,5 degrees aboard, and keel — 9 degrees in the span of 5,5 degrees in the bow and 3,5 degrees in the stern. Screws are not exposed. “Nothing fell on the ship,” the commander’s report said: the tall candelabra and table setting remained unmoving as with calmness, neither the water in the glasses nor the soup in the plates were spilled.
How did Livadia, led by experienced sailors, land in the very center of the storm, and at the same time go against the waves? It’s even more incomprehensible if we consider that there were shipbuilders on board who, even on trial, hinted that the yacht was good “with not too big waves”. As the second rank captain Verkhovsky V.P., a member of the selection committee, noted, “the yacht was never intended for ocean sailing, and therefore it is enough to judge the qualities of the Black Sea ... in any case, there is no reason to subject it to daily impacts storm even on the Black Sea. The greatest passage to Poti from Odessa ... a yacht will easily make in 30 - 35 hours, and there will be no absolute need to leave the harbor in the storm itself ... "
Reed refers to the Admiral General, who believed that we should not miss the opportunity and "carry out a thorough test, and therefore the yacht was sent to the very mouth of the Biscay Storm." Verkhovsky also writes this, but more diplomatically: “there were those who wanted to meet ... a storm, they wanted to be patched, and the excitement and the wind were stronger ... and without this ... a full judgment about the qualities of the vessel is impossible ... ". Whether the head of the voyage himself decided on such a "test" or was advised and helped to him remained unknown.
Divers in Ferrol Bay found from the left side of the nose of the pontoon, a dent with the length of 5 meters with cracks and tears in the skin sheets, broken and bent frames. One double bottom and five side compartments were flooded. The cause of the damage was initially considered a collision with debris, which was sent to the “Government Gazette” message, but after a more thorough examination, both foreign and Russian experts came to the conclusion that the damage was caused by the impact of the waves!
Repairs had to be carried out by the crew afloat under the guidance of shipboard mechanical engineers: the European docks could not accommodate the Livadia, and Standfilsky was only equipped in Sevastopol.
Only seven and a half months later the yacht left the Spanish port, continuing its 26 transition on April 1881. Now the campaign was led by Vice-Admiral I.A. Shestakov. They walked carefully and leisurely, hiding from the weather in the ports or under the shore. In the Sevastopol Bay "Livadia" entered the morning of May 27. 3890 miles were covered in 381 running hours, with more than 2,9 spent thousand tons of coal. Shestakov I.A. in a special note, he noted the ease of control, straightness, lack of pitching and comfort. However, he stated that even with a slight swell, regardless of speed, “from the blows to the cheekbones of the pancake twitched,” and with the onset of excitement “the blows to the nose were very noticeable, while the superstructures vibrated. Despite this, the admiral considered a carefully and well-made yacht "worthy of existence", but ... after testing "in different weather conditions".
“Livadia”, while its fate was determined, performed, as it turned out, its only flight across the Black Sea. Yacht 29 May, under the flag of the Black Sea Fleet commander, moved to Yalta and, having received the admiral general and his brother, Grand Duke Mikhail Nikolayevich, went to Batum on board, from where she returned three days later. Passengers were unlucky: there was a storm and superstructures shook from the blows to the pontoon of the waves.
In mid-June, the yacht was raised in the Standfilsky dock. There she was examined by members of the commission that was appointed by the Grand Duke Alexey Alexandrovich, the new head of the maritime department. Confirming the opinion prevailing in Ferrol, the commission recognized that the damage was caused by the impact of the waves. The design of the pontoon hull, especially in the bow, was considered unsatisfactory for resistance to such blows. The Maritime Technical Committee agreed with these findings. It was prescribed that “for sailing safely” replace all damaged parts with new ones with reinforcement in the nasal tip of the set.
During the stay in the dock (three weeks), the underwater part of the pontoon was only cleared of greenery and shells, and then painted. The repair work was not carried out, only three strips were laid on the discovered cracks in the cladding sheets. The leadership of the ministry by this time decided to conduct repeated sea trials according to specially developed instructions.
3 – 12 August the yacht “Livadia” 136 once passed a dimensional mile near Sevastopol. In the process, 312 diagrams were taken, trim and draft carefully maintained constant. Before the test, the yacht was prepared for several days for several days, however, it was not possible to reach the speed at the 15 nodes. With the greatest power developed by machines (9837 horsepower), the average speed was a 14,46 node. Such an affront caused confusion in the ranks of the commission, and it came to the fact that the builders were accused of cheating. But a member of the commission captain second rank Vlasyev G.A. proved the inaccuracy of the test instructions, as well as the lack of appropriate skills of the machine team in maintaining the maximum steam capacity of boilers. The Marine Technical Committee supported Vlasyev, also noting the poor quality of the coal used. The manager of the Maritime Ministry, drew attention to the fact that the difference in the values of power when bringing tests in England and Russia, reaches 2,5 thousand liters. p., and irritably remarked that this fact "completely destroys any technical considerations and calculations when designing new ships with a known task."
In Nikolaev, the yacht left on August 15, where it was soon “disarmed”. In September, her team was replaced by the Black Sea and sent back to the Baltic. Property and furniture was slowly brought to the port warehouses; the vessel in the press was delicately referred to as the "former ... yacht".
The official conclusion about the weakness of the hull in the underwater part served as a new type of vessel sentence. However, this “weakness” was only a consequence of the main drawback: the heavy blows of the hull of the yacht on the waves, noted during all the voyages, but in Biscay manifested with the greatest force. It is this phenomenon, which later received the name "sleming", deprived the yacht "Livadia" seaworthiness.
The inventor himself realized this one of the first. In May, in response to the note by Admiral Shestakov IA, he honestly admitted: “about this shortcoming ... I can say that the small deepening of the yacht, due to the limited displacement, is an error that I had not foreseen to such an extent in which it affected in practice ... ". In the letter Popov A.A. Admiral said it was even more accurate: “The pitching of the yacht, due to the small dimple and flat bottom, produces a phenomenon that other ships do not detect in such dimensions as the construction of the yacht has ... during pitching at angles more than 3 1 / 4 degrees in the stern, the bottom of the bow is exposed, from which there are: perfect destruction of buoyancy, which causes stress on the yacht hull system; hitting the bottom of the waves, .. so strong that the convenience and safety of navigation are completely disturbed ... "