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18th century ship performance effect on industrial revolution

bruce d

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An intriguing article for anyone who is interested in how 18 - 19th century sailing ships performed:



It is headed "The speed of Europe’s 18th-century sailing ships is revamping history’s view of the Industrial Revolution" and cites sources and gives performance charts.




A model shipwright and an amateur historian are heads & tails of the same coin

current builds:

HMS Berwick 1775, 1/192 scratchbuild; a Slade 74 in the Navy Board style

Mediator sloop, 1/48 - an 18th century transport scratchbuild 

French longboat - CAF - 1/48, on hold

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  • 3 weeks later...

Very interesting information. I had no idea sailing performance improved so much in this period. Truly a "maritime Revolution"

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Yes, an interesting observation. The original paper has some images ... https://voxeu.org/article/speed-under-sail-during-early-industrial-revolution Not sure I see a difference between the two images in Figure 1?


The observation ties in nicely with the post from Bruce D on Monday ... Captured Spanish Ships and Their Influence on the British Royal Navy in the 18th Century ...https://modelshipworld.com/topic/25968-captured-spanish-ships-and-their-influence-on-the-british-royal-navy-in-the-18th-century/?tab=comments#comment-756785 


That post relates to a Thesis on how the British Navy eventually embodied superior French and Spanish design (from captured ships) in the 18th century.  Although the British seamen were more experienced and better trained and could generally hold their own against somewhat better armed French and Spanish ships but with less experienced crew, the addition of better design elements into British ships tilted the balance very much in favour of the British. Combining better general design with faster sail power, then it's no wonder the British did rule the waves for a lengthy period.







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