Horizontal cut through views
of the decks of a Man-of-war
The highest deck on the ship, the unarmed poop deck was used
mainly by officers. From here, the signal lieutenant hauled up
flags to signal to nearby vessels.
At the stern of the ship, the quarter deck was also normally
reserved for the officers. The Captain slept in a cabin at the
stern of ths deck so he could be on hand quickly in an
emergency. The quarter deck was armed with 12 cannons. They were
called 12 pounders because they each fired an orange sized
cannonball weighing approximately 12 pounds (5.5 kg).
This raised deck covered the main deck at the bows. Gangways
linked it to the quarter deck. Many of the ship's sails were
controlled from here, and there were four guns as well. Two were
cannonades, or "smashers", a type of short gun firing a heavy
shot. They were most effective at short range. This man-of-war
carried two huge 68-pounder (31 kg) carronades.
Upper gun deck
Unlike the lower and middle decks, this deck was open to the
weather in the middle. Three of the man-of-war's small boats sat
on cradles attached to the beams which crossed over the open
space. It was armed with the 24-pounder guns - 15 along each
side! The admiral had his day cabin located on this deck at the
stern of the vessel.
The lighter 24-pounder guns on the middle deck fired smallish 11
kg balls, the size of a grapefruit. There were 14 guns on each
side, and many of the crew slept and ate here. The galley, the
ship's kitchen, was located here, too. At the stern the officers
had their cabins and wardroom (dining/living room).
This was the lowest gun deck. Down eac side there were fifteen
32-pounder cannons, which fired 14 kg balls the size of a
coconut. When the ship was not fighting in a battle, many of the
seamen hung their hammocks between the beams of this deck.
The orlop deck got its name from a Dutch word meaning "overlap",
because this deck overlapped the hold. This deck was primarily
used for storage, and for the offices of some of the ship's crew
who needed access to the hold, such as the purser and carpenter.
Located at the very bottom of the ship, the hold was like a
giant warehouse. Here the crew stored provisions for the voyage, such as
all the food and drink they would require, iron cannonballs, spare ropes
and sails, and materials for repairing any damages experienced while at