From: Winnipeg, MB
ok - see not reaching 32, but only 26 seems a bit much.....
I'll look into it, but I did read that her last trials she went to 26.4.... but like most things I could be wrong. Yet, like my own time in the navy, in trials you try to do things under "perfect" conditions so if 26.4 was tops for her on trials, then it might be less under "normal" conditions but slightly more under wartime conditions (27.5?)! Clearly she was in engine room trouble... the moment she got underway until she docked it's my understanding the crew was on "water hours" and for those readers that didn't serve on ships of World War 2 style (let alone World War 1) it means that your fresh water condensers only put out enough potable water to feed the boilers and to drink.... NOT to wash. Hood's steam system was in bad shape mainly due to lack of yard time to put it right (and steam pressure equates in large part to HP which directly impacts speed, along with other factors such as the condition of the hull bottom, etc.). The war came a few years early for Hood, as her "extensive" overhaul was postponed and postponed until the battle with the Bismark but it beyond reach.
I really question why the Hood was used in the neutrality patrol off Spain in 1936-39 when heavy cruisers were enough to ride herd on the German pocket battleships. My guess is that there was no money for Hood's overhaul at that time.
No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth