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18th Century merchant ship construction


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Hi everyone;

 

As there don't seem to be many examples of warships built with single frames,  does anyone have any information on the construction of 18th century merchant vessels.

 

I am interested in single-frame construction,  without the double frames used in warships.

 

Unfortunately,  while I have a good reference library of Naval vessels,  I have nothing on merchant ships of this period.  However,  I am pretty sure that as the single frame method was used at a later date,  it would have been used earlier.

 

I would be grateful if any fellow modellers could point me in the right direction for a clear illustration,  or a book to enlighten me.

 

Many thanks for any help.

 

All the best,

 

Mark P

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Hi Redshirt;

 

Thanks for your post.  If they used double frames then your suspicions are correct: they would not be what I am looking for,  unfortunately :(.

 

I also forgot to specify that I am looking for examples of English vessels.

 

All the best,

 

Mark P

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Here are a couple of possibilities for you.

 

Hutchinson, William. 1791. A Treatise Founded Upon Philosophical and Rational Principles: Towards Establishing Fixed Rules, for the Best Form ... of Merchant’s Ships ... and Also the Management of Them ... by Practical Seamanship; Thomas Billinge. http://books.google.com/books?id=b00OAAAAQAAJ

 

Hutchinson provides a great deal of discussion concerning form and function, but not much on construction.

 

Steel, David. 1805. The Shipwright’s Vade-Mecum: A Clear and Familiar Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Ship-Building: Including the More Complex Rules of Arithmetic Made Use of in That Art; With So Much of the Principles of Practical Geometry and Mensuration as Are Required in the Practice Thereof. London: P. Steel. http://archive.org/details/shipwrightsvade00steegoog

 

Steel includes some information concerning merchant vessels in his various tables.

 

 

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I suggest that you look into information available from nautical archeology. First, there is the "Ronson Ship." This is an early 18th century merchant ship, probably built in Charlestown South Carolina in 1717. It was discovered in New York City during construction of an office buildIng. Texas A& M press has published a book about the ship. The book is called "The Ship That Held Up Wall Street." This is an overview of the excavation but does include a sketch of the framing system- single floors, double futtocks. A more specialized book focusing on the ship structure is supposedly in the works.

 

Another book that you might find worthwhile it Wooden Ships and rhe Interpretation of Shipwrecks also Texas A & M press. This includes some information about the Ronson Ship including a photo of a model of her salvaged bow framing. These is also some information about one of the transports scuttled off Youktown, VA in 1781.

 

There may also be papers available on the internet about these two vessels.

 

Roger

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Gentlemen;

 

Thank you all for your suggestions;  they are all much appreciated. 

 

Grsjax, I seem to remember seeing this advertised in old issues of Model Shipwright.  I will look into obtaining a copy.

 

Wayne, I had forgotten that Steel dealt with merchant ships in some of his writings.  I have a downloaded copy of the text,  and I will look into it.

 

Roger,  this all sounds as if it would be interesting even if it was not of any help in the framing.  I will have a search and see what I can find. 

 

All the best to you all,  and many thanks,

 

Mark P

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Mark,

 

Ree's 'Naval Architecture' of 1819 and 'Hutchinson on Naval Architecture' (my copy is a reprint of the 1794 edition) may be of some use to you, but they are very light on illustration and have no illustrations of framing.  Do you have a copy of Chapman's 'Architectura Navalis'?

 

John

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