Final Report of the Board of Inspection and Survey.



W ASHINGTON , D. C.,  November 9, 1899


(1) In obedience to the Department’s order of November 3rd, 1899, a copy of which is appended, marked "A", the Board of inspection and Survey has the honor to submit the following report on the trial of the Submarine Boat ‘Holland’ in little Peconic bay, Long island, November 6th, 1899.

(2) The Board met in New London, Connecticut, on the afternoon of November 5th, and took passage in the Light House Tender ‘Cactus’ for Greenport, Long Island.  This vessel had been placed at the service of the Board by the courtesy of the Light house Board.

(3) The representatives of the Holland Company met the board in Greenport and the arrangements were made for the trial at 2.30 p.m. on November 6th.

(4) At 8.30 a.m. on November 6th, the Board left Greenport in the ‘Cactus’ and proceeded to New Suffolk, Long Island, where the ‘Holland’ was lying.  A thorough inspection of the plans and of the vessel was made, and the Board was impressed with the excellent condition of the boat and all its appliances.  At 12:45 p.m., the "Holland" left the wharf at New Suffolk and procedded to the course laid out.

Commander W. H. Emory, Member of the Board, went on board at the wharf and remained during the runs over the measured mile.  Captain John Lowe, U.S.N., and six members of the crew were also on board; making a total of eight (8) persons in the boat during the runs.  The President and the othermembers of the Board took passage in the Company’s tender, and kept abreast the "Holland" during the runs, to note her behavior and speed.  At 2h.  28m.  05s., the ‘Holland’ made whistle signal thatshe was about to dive, and at 2h.  30m.  11s. disappeared, hull and conning tower beneath the surface and at 2h.  30m.  55s., she passed the buoy marking the beginning  of the statute line.  At  2h. 31 m.35 s., she came to the surface, remained in sight (8) eight seconds, when she disappeared, and gradually assumed an even trim at a sub-mergence of about five (5) feet, maintaining this trim and submergence without serious variations throughout the course.  At 2h. 41m. 00s., when near the buoys marking the termination of the first mile, the vessel rose to the surface and changed course, first to port and then to starboard, heading for a target flag on the course.  At the time of rising to the surface, the vessel was within the three hundred (300) feet channel marked by the buoys at end of course. At 2h. 42m. 00s., just before reaching the end of the mile, the torpedo was fired and the helm put hard-a-starboard, and headed for the return run over the course.  This torpedo made a straight run and passed within seventy (70) feet of target and was recovered.  At 2h. 43m. 12s., the vessel was again submerged, and at 2h. 29m. 45s., passed the half-mile buoys ; at 2h. 52m. 50s., the threequarter mile station, and at 2h. 56m. 38s., completed the mile, having risen to the surface twenty-eight (28) seconds before reaching the buoys ; being on the eastern edge of the three hundred (300) feet channel.

(5) Throughout the double run over the mile, the conning-tower was closed and the air within the vessel was quite fresh and pure.  While on the course and submerged, it was very noticeable that the only disturbance of the water was due to the distance poles at each end of the boat.  On one or two occasions, when the vessel dipped forward and the propeller came near the surface, the wake of the boat was quite noticeable, although the vessel itself was not in sight.

(6) After these runs Commander Emory left the boat, and Naval-Constructor Capps and Lieutenant-Commander Henderson went on board.  One member of the crew was also sent to the tender, so that the weight carried was approximately the same as before.  After closing the conning-tower instructions were given to prepare for firing a second torpedo at full speed.  The conditions at the beginning of this experiment were as follows:  Torpedo tube full of water ; two torpedos on deck abaft tube, one centered on batten skids with tackle hooked ready to run torpedo into tube.  Torpedo gate closed.

(7) At a given signal the air valves were opened and water forced from the torpedo into compensating tanks.  The elapsed time from opening air valves to opening breech of torpedo tube was 4 minutes 45 seconds.  Torpedo was in place in tube and breech closed in 1 minute 30 seconds.  The tube was then filled with water from compensating tank in one minute.  The outer gate of torpedo tube opened in 35 seconds.  The total time consumed, from order to load to ready to fire, was 7 minutes 50 seconds.  The vessel was then submerged to a depth of 5 ½ feet and a run at full speed and torpedo fired.

Time of submergence in test was 1 minute 20 seconds.
This torpedo came to the surface and disappeared about seventy-five (75) yards ahead of the boat and was not recovered.  These torpedoes were charged to 1,325-lbs. pressure ; range 400 yards and depth 5 feet.

(8) Log of the ‘Holland’ during this trial.

Voltage at start, 125.

12.45 p.m. - start from wharf.  Electric engine.

Cruising trim.

Commander W. H. Emory, Captain John Lowe, U.S.N., and six (6) members of crew on board.

One torpedo in tube, one amidships, and one in starboard wing.

12.48 p.m. - Substituted gas engine.  Making for the course.  Revolutions of the screw by gauge, 250.

Pressure in all air tanks, 2,100-lbs.

1:10 P.M. - Slowed down to 170 revolutions.

1:12 P.M. - Stopped and changed to electric engine.

1:14 P.M. - Closed conning tower.

1 h. 14 m. 30 sec. - Ahead on electric engine.

1 h. 23 m. 00 sec. - Filled after tank.

1 h. 25 m. 00 sec. - Stopped.

1 h. 27 m. 00 sec. - Filled middle tank.

1 h. 28 m. 30 sec. - Filled forward tank.

1 h. 30 m. 00 sec. - Went ahead.

1 h. 30 m. 30 sec. - Dive.  Revolutions, 212.

1 h. 37 m. 00 sec. - Rose to surface and blew out amidships tank.

1 h. 43 m. 00 sec. - Stopped.  Turret open, awaiting arrival of consorts at course.

2 h. 19 m. 00 sec. - Start for official run.

2 h. 26 m. 00 sec. - Amidships tank filled and conning tower closed, and ran awash.

2 h. 28 m. 30 sec. - Dive.  Revolutions, 226.

2 h. 35 m. 00 sec. - Got ready to fire torpedo.

2 h. 41 m. 00 sec. - Rose to surface.

2 h. 42 m. 00 sec. - Fired torpedo.

Turned and headed for return run.

2 h. 43 m. 12 sec. - The dive was made.  Vessel steered well in both vertical and horizontal planes.

2 h. 56 m. 10 sec. - Rose to surface.

2 h. 57 m. 00 sec. - opened turret.  Stopped.

Two air tanks down to pressure of 1,300 lbs.

Commander Emory and one of the crew left the boat. Their places were taken by Naval

Constructor Capps and Lieut.-Comdr. Henderson.

3 h. 20 m. 00 sec. - Closed turret and went ahead awash.

3 h. 35 m. 00 sec. - Dive.  Ahead full speed, and fired torpedo at submergence of 5½ feet.  Rose to surface,

and the members of the Board left the boat.

Maximum inclinations during these runs 10° by the head, 9° by the stern.

Voltage at start, 125.  At finish, after the surface run at 3 h. 50 m. P.M., 123

Trial ended.


(a)     Have three torpedoes in place.   Fulfilled.

(b)     Have all arrangements made for charging torpedoes without delay.   Fulfilled

(c)     Be prepared to fire torpedo at full speed when submerged, as well as when on the surface.   Fulfilled.

(d)     Have crew exercised by actual practice, so as to be able to make required submerged runs and steer a straight course.  In order to make a trial submerged run of 2 miles, it is recommended that two marking buoys be placed in lower or Sandy Hook Bay, a mile apart, and that a boat to serve as torpedo target be anchored near one of these buoys, so that the “Holland,” after running a mile under water, can come up to the surface for observation, discharge her torpedo and then diving again can return to the first buoy.  This would complete her two mile under water run.  A measure of her efficiency will be shown by the number of times it is necessary for her to come to the surface for observation.

(e)     The buoys necessary for the above runs could readily be placed in proper positions before the trial by the Light House tender of the New York District.

These requirements were fulfilled by the performance of the "Holland" on this trial.  The target used was a buoy instead of a boat.

The course was one statute mile in length, with a depth of four (4) to five (5) fathoms low water.

The ends of the course were marked by two buoys three hundred (300) feet apart, and each quarter-mile by buoys one thousand (1000) feet apart, as shown in the accompanying sketch.

The performance of the “Holland” during this trial showed a marked improvement, as compared with that of November 12, 1898.  This development in the capabilities of the “Holland” appears to have been reached:

(1)     By re-arrangement of some parts of machinery.

(2)     Change of all the rudders to the usual position abaft the propeller, instead of forward of the latter, thereby much increasing the steering qualities of the boat in both planes.

(3)     Adjustment of the compass, whereby the vessel was enabled to steer a straight course when under water.

(4)     Drill and practice of the crew, resulting in their familiarity with all the duties assigned them, giving them confidence in the vessel.

9.   A copy of the "Specifications and Description of the ‘Holland,’" furnished the Board by the builders, is enclosed, marked "C."

A copy of Report of Trial of November 12, 1898, is enclosed, marked "B."

The skecth of the Course is marked "D."

Papers relating to the "Holland" are herewith returned.

Very respectfully,


Rear-Admiral, U. S. N., President.


Commander, U. S. N., Member.


Commander, U. S. N., Member.


Naval Constructor, U. S. N., Member.,


Lt.-Comdr., U. S. N., Member and Recorder.