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bruce d

Ship careened for cleaning

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This is a painting I had not seen before despite being by one of my favourite maritime artists. The detail of the spars and winches is very well portrayed and may be useful to someone. Also, below the waterline, note the contrast between the greenish patina of the old copper and the (presumably) cleaned sections of the hull.
 
Artist: Edward William Cooke (British, 1811–1880)
Title: An armed vessel careened on the beach with its cannon ashore and workers cleaning its hull
1055590688_COOKE-shipcareened.png.f2cd3cb97d61e2862a12b80fda3dce39.png
I count 14 cannons. This artist worked in many locations so I have no real evidence but the majority of his work of this type was from England's south and east coasts.
 

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Don't think the patena was removed, it acts as a sealer, marine growth was the problem, it created drag. Here is a photo of the Ammen DD 527 in 1960, she is steel but the color of the dried sea growth is there to see, no seaweed growing so her hull would be considered clean. Screws are damaged from a collision. The photo showing 20 feet of the Colletts bow in our after fire room was on sea trials, with a clean freshly painted bottom.491488201_DIRECTFROMCEARCLICK033.thumb.jpg.82d8390671ae9bbb3ea6b418980f0830.jpg129946522_DIRECTFROMCEARCLICK041.jpg.aaac4887d3ca9d477c2090df89ac8dd9.jpg

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That is an interesting painting but I suspect that they were carrying out some repair work on the hull. Not only did coppering prevent a shipworm infestation but also prevented the growth of various types of marine vegetation. Copper is I believe poisonous to plants.

 

Dave :dancetl6:

 

 

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You can see the Seamen with tools in hand doing what appears to be scraping and scrubbing the hull, granted, they may be just taking advantage of the situation. Did that once on the Cape Race, a King Salmon Troller in Alaska. We were short of full size charts and wanted to take a well used chanel as a shortcut, cautiously approached and entered, noticing the chanel had been dredged and the tailings were placed to our Starboard as we going, Skipper got too confident and opened the throttle, I was on the bow watching the water. About half way through, I spotted rocks in our path and let the Skipper know, he throttled down but it was to late, we bounced over a boulder, the heavy keel took the blow and the hull was sound but the hull fitting for the rudder shaft was broken and letting in water, we began a 3 day every two hour bilge pump out and the tailings were now to Port all the way out. Got to town and acquired a new fitting and found a sand beach with pilings used to hold grounded boats, beached her at high tide, secured to the pilings and waited for the tide to go out, one man job on the fitting, so the skipper did that, while I wiped down the hull and applied a new coat of antifouling paint. You may be correct that the careening was done to repair damage, but from what I read, ships on long voyages often careened themselves for cleaning and inspection, rudders were probably inspected and preventive maintenance done during those times.

 

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Update: the replies above suggested that it was not common practice to clean the copper on a ship. I thought differently but had to admit I could not point to anything that confirmed the practice. Today I stumbled on an entry in the description of a document held at The National Archives UK which clears up the matter.

Document ID:

 

ADM 359/47C/72, dated August 13 1827

 

'Copy letter from the Sheerness Officers stating that it has been the general practice for the scrubbing of ships' bottoms to clean the copper to be carried out by the crews of the ships. Mr Abethell states that while he was a Foreman in Plymouth for 7-8 years, it was the invariable rule to have the copper cleaned by the ship's company. This was the case with the Prince Regent, the flagship of the Port Admiral when he docked here last August. Captain Horton said that when the Gloucester docked here in July 1825, no such requisition was made by Mr Lang, the then Master Shipwright.'

The original is held by the National Maritime Museum and is included in the catalogue of The National Archives. Perhaps other navies had different views on the subject but this shows that the practice in England was to clean the copper.

HTH

Bruce

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For whatever reason the ship is being careened, that’s a great picture, and the artist has carefully recorded the details: the slack shrouds on the side being hove down, the chains across the deck, and the deck details not usually seen.  This would make an interesting model.

 

Roger

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