Roamy here. I know it has to be different for every ship, but I was wondering just how much list could a ship handle before it capsizes or breaks up? I would think that the old sailing ships had to have a lot of ballast, and a list would be expected with full sail.
On this day in 1941, the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal was part of a convoy to supply Malta when she was torpedoed by a German U-boat off the coast of Gibraltar. The torpedo tore a 130 × 30 ft hole on the starboard side below the bridge island, between the fuel bunkers and bomb store. After the ship started to list, Captain Loben Maund gave the order to abandon ship.
The Ark Royal was part of Force H that had sunk the Bismarck the previous May; now other ships of Force H, led by Admiral James Somerville, came to her rescue. Unfortunately, damage control was too little, too late, and hatches and covers had been left open during the crew evacuation. The Ark Royal listed 45°, capsized, broke in two, then sank on November 14. All but one of the 1,487 officers and crew survived the U-boat attack – Able Seaman Mitchell was killed in the initial explosion. Captain Maund was later court-marshaled for negligence.
The Ark Royal did have several design flaws that were corrected for the Illustrious– and Implacable-class carriers. There were no backup generators, so when the boilers went out, so did the bilge pumps. There was a boiler room flat that ran the width of the Ark Royal, so the bulkhead and boiler intake designs were changed to prevent that kind of flooding.
I think the aircraft onboard are Fairey Swordfish; please correct me if I’m wrong.