Philip Watts

(1846—1926) naval architect

Show Summary Details

Quick Reference


Naval architect and the director of naval construction for the British Admiralty from 1902 to 1912. Watts was born on May 30, 1846, at Deptford, Kent, the son of John Watts, a shipwright at Portsmouth who came from a long family line of shipwrights. Philip Watts’s own ability as an apprentice at Portsmouth Dockyard won him a place at the School of Naval Architecture at South Kensington. After a period in Pembroke Dockyard, Watts was sent to work under William Froude at the new ship-model test tank in Torquay. He won high praise from and a lasting friendship with both William Froude and his son Robert Edmund Froude. When Watts returned to the Admiralty, he was responsible for the novel torpedo ram Polyphemus. He designed an antirolling tank for the battleship Inflexible, and during rolling trials he became friends with Captain, later Admiral, John Arbuthnot (“Jackie”) Fisher.


From The Oxford Encyclopedia of Maritime History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Maritime History.

Reference entries

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.