Launching is the operation by which a ship is transferred from the building ship into the water, and is performed by causing her to rest on a carriage, the cradle, which is allowed to slide along lubricated inclined planes, the ways, that extend from the slip into the water, until she is water-borne. She may enter the water broadside on, bow on, or stern on ; the latter condition only will be investigated. In discussing the statics of launching it is assumed that the ship descends along the ways so slowly that the velocity may be neglected; the effects of the actual velocity will be considered afterwards.
The Statics of Launching
By Assistant Naval Constructor William J. Baxter, U.S. N.