Tally Ho and her Snort Mast

Don Cleavin

H.M. Submarine ‘Tally Ho!’ in 1959 was one of three ‘T’ class and one ‘S’ class boats based on H.M.S. Forth, S/M 1, in Gzira creek in Malta.

Tally Ho Diving

Tally Ho Diving

‘Tally Ho!’ was fitted with a hinged snort mast that lay port side of her after casing when not in use. It was raised hydraulically on a ‘trunion’ bearing when being used and was held vertically and locked up with the Snort mast locking pin, operated from the diving panel in the control room.
The snort mast had a ‘float valve’ on the top of the induction side working on the lines of a toilet flushing tank. If the boat ‘dipped’ then the float would rise and shut off the air intake preventing ingress of water. ( Later classes were fitted with a Ring float valve which worked on a similar principle).

On the engines exhaust side, ‘Tally Ho!’ was fitted with extension pipes on the snort mast, one from either engine, releasing the exhaust gas above the normal sea level, an idea to avoid the phosphorous trail often experienced in the Mediterranean when releasing the exhaust gas below the surface. These extension pipes were arranged one on either side and higher than the induction float valve and appeared like a pair of horns.

Early one morning ‘Tally Ho!’ was operating in the Gozo straights when she was found to be in the midst of a group of small fishing boats that had been working without lights. At the time she was just ‘snorting’ on one engine doing a ‘standing charge’, ( propeller disengaged ) whilst the other main motor and propeller, at ‘Slow ahead’ was used for keeping depth. She was in fact hardly moving and only a fine haze of exhaust rising from just one of the horns.

The Officer-of-the watch, keeping a good lookout on the ‘search periscope’ was suddenly startled when on an ‘All round look’ he saw one of the fishermen was tying his boat painter to the exhaust horn of the stopped engine. Obviously seeking a few minutes respite from his fishing, oblivious of the one thousand three hundred tonnes of great, black, vibrant submarine lurking just a few feet below the surface, and a very amused OOW and the Submarines CO watching in amazement on the ‘Attack’ periscope.

The exhaust pipe of the stopped engine was full of sea water at the time, so that when the order to ‘Blow the snort exhaust’ was given, a great blast of sooty sea water shot high in the air and a very frightened fisherman was seen rowing like a madman to get away.

We then went deeper and moved out of that area leaving a fisherman probably confident that he had encountered some kind of vicious sea monster, which in effect he had.

I served in ‘Tally Ho! ‘ from May to September 1959 doing my Part III, and was on her for her final ‘deep dive’ before going into the Malta dock yard for the DED where she was found to be unfit to dive. I left her at this point, joining ‘Tapir’ and TH! returned home to be an alongside in Dolphin as training boat for several years.



I was the signalman on her final voyage back to the UK. The wettest trip across Biscay I ever had. Arrived back at Dolphin early January 1960.

Peter Lindley

T Boat Snort Masts
I was the Navigator of TOKEN 1959-1961.´TOKEN was a ´slippery T´ which was a standard T boat with a streamlined fin and casing. On slow one on one shaft she could reach 2.5 knots, a whole knot faster than the basic T boat and not to be confused with the converted T´s that had an extra battery section as well as a streamlined casing..

During a DED in Malta, the scratcher I think it was reported to the engineer (Tom Harris) that when the snort mast was partially raised to paint the casing groove where it sat when lowered, the mast wobbled when pushed. On examining the base of the mast which was secured by a number of bolts, probably somewhere between 12 and 16, about 80% were missing i.e. broken off. Had this not been discovered, we could only surmise that the snort induction mast could have floated away one day at sea. Of course we had the snort induction hull valve backed up by the emergency flap valve which would of course have prevented the submarine flooding – wouldn´t they?

It was all fixed and our sister submarines were instructed to check their snort induction mast securing bolts.

Peter Lindley

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