Not many people may know, that veyannoy Russian Volga River has what some one hundred years ago sailed the court, in its displacement exceeding cruiser "Aurora", and they were built out of wood ...!
They were called Bielany and entered the history of Russian shipbuilding as the most unique river vessels in the world.
The size of a steamer
First of all, speaking of Bielany, it should be noted that they were very great, at least, for the river boats. There is evidence that there Belyany up to a hundred meters, and the height of the board have reached six meters! Capacity Belyaev corresponded to their size and could be 100-150 thousand. Pounds (pud - 16 kg) in small Belyaev, but at large it reached 800 thousand. Pounds! That is, it was the size though not very large, but still ocean liner, even though they only sailed from the upper and lower reaches of the Volga and up have never been more Astrakhan!
known that to build a middle Volga Bielany took about 240 pine logs and spruce 200. This flat bottom was made of spruce boards and boards - pine. The distance between the frames - no more than half, due to which the strength of the housing Belyany was exceptionally high. At the same time, as it often happened in our past, Belyany built without a single nail at first, and only then have they started to knock together with iron nails.
Housing Belyany was sharpened on both the front and back, and ran it with the help of a huge wheel - the lot, which took most of these kind of plank gate, which turned with the help of a huge length of the log output from the stern on deck. Because of this, lots Belyayev and alloyed downriver no nose and stern. From time to time, moving his huge lot like a lazy whale tail, so she swam with the current, but in spite of all their clumsiness, has excellent maneuverability! In addition to the lot at Bielany were large and small anchors weighing 20 to 100 pounds, as well as a great variety of the most various ropes, hemp and Mochalny.
But the most interesting in Bielany was, in general, its cargo - "white wood", that is, devoid of bark white-yellow timber. It is believed that because of this it is so, and it was called, but there is another point of view, if the word "Belyana" due to the White River. In any case, any Belyana was always white, because these ships served only one navigation and therefore never resins!
But Belyany shipped as cargo and not ship any one ship in the world, as evidenced by even a saying here: "disassemble Bielany one hand, nor gather Belyany all the cities." This occurred because the forest was laid in Bielany not just stacked and stacked with many spans, to have access to her bottom in case of a leak. This load does not touch the sides and not pressuring them. But since then they pressured seawater, between the load and the beads inserted special wedges, as they are drying replaced larger and larger in size. At the same time, once the wood begins to exceed the height board Belyaev, began to stack the logs so that they were in favor of the board, and they laid a new load. Such projections called dissolution or reprimands, which had to be able to be positioned so as not to upset the balance of the ship. At the same time, dissolutions were overboard sometimes four or more meters to the side, so that the width of the top of the vessel is much greater than on the bottom, and reached some 30 meters Belyaev! A log-on luggage in case Bielany is also not solid, and was flown out with holes for ventilation. Therefore, in the old days about the size Belyany judged by the number of hops on it and were Belyany three, four spans, and so on.
"Kasenka" deck and pump
Interestingly, the deck Belyany too is nothing other than the cargo, and any flooring of boards or boards of sawn, and is so large that looked like a modern deck of an aircraft carrier. She put gates 2-4 to lift the big anchors and tensioning ropes holding the auction. But closer to the stern on Bielany for equilibrium is established by two small huts - "kasenka" serving the habitat of the crew. Between the high-roofed huts throws bridge to cross carved in the middle of the booth, which was the pilot. In this booth, all covered with carvings, and sometimes even paint was painted by "gold." Although the ship that was the purely functional, Belyaev, nevertheless, richly decorated with flags, not only the state and trade, but also its own flag of a merchant, often depicting saints bless, or something suitable for the occasion of the characters. These flags are sometimes so great that fluttered over the Bielany like a sail. But with spending on them is usually the merchants were not considered because here the main thing was to declare itself!
Workers at Bielany were 15 to 35 people, and the largest of 60 to 80. Many of them are working on the pump, which pumped water from the body, and these pumps was 10-12 pieces, since the housing Belyany always proceeded slowly. Because of this, Georgia has Bielany. to her nose submerged deeper than the food, and all the water would have flowed back!
Court one navigation
Particularly flourishing construction Belyaev on the Volga reached in the middle of the XIX century in connection with the beginning of the ship's mass movement. Since the ships while walking on the wood (and there were about 500 pieces), it is easy to imagine the huge amount of wood required all this fleet. Firewood imported into the Volga ports exclusively on Bielany only gradually, due to the transfer of oil, the demand for wood fell on the Volga. Nevertheless, even in the late XIX century, here they continued to build up to 150 units per year and downloading forest floated down the river up to Astrakhan.
Then, the court understood the unique, so much so that from them literally nothing left! "Kasenka" sold as ready-made house, went to the forest building material, hemp, matting and ropes, not to mention hardware - everything brought income owners Belyaev! Only small Belyaev, load Astrakhan fish came back, drawn by the Boatmen. But then they also dismantled and sold for firewood. Keep Bielany afloat for more than one season proved unprofitable!
Ingenuity and resourcefulness
Belyaev history interesting by the fact that some of them in a single navigation and assemble and disassemble twice! For example, small Belyaev the place where the Volga comes close to Don, moored to the bank, after which the entire load with their horse carts transported to the Don. Then disassemble itself Bielany, they were taken after the load, again collected and loaded it on a new place. Now the forest they floated downriver Don where Belyany dealt for the second time!
Now judge for yourself how creative and savvy were our ancestors, who managed to create such a huge and lifting riverboats represent virtually waste-free vehicle for one season.