Over the past year Iīve been looking for a system to compare different hulls of 16th - 17th (and also 18th) century sailships with each other.
I wanted to find some kind of (maybe hidden) pattern(s) which would make it easier for me to compare different linedrawings from different shipsizes and to increase my own understanding of the development of ancient shipdesign.
Again, mainly from the end of the 16th century, when my started model of the "Red Lion" 1597 had originally been built - which is still Queen Elisabeth I. time; - and also not too far away from the time of the spanish armada campaign 1588 - up to about 1660-1670, when the 4 english/dutch wars happened.
Why am I especially interested in this particular period of time?
Because during these 60-70 years a significant and rapid change in shipdesign happened! And appearantly throughout all european seafaring nations as well.
But I doubt that this development happened in a continuos way - and at the same "speed" from one nation to the other. It didnīt happen parallel. Definitely there wasnīt only one common "attitude" of what a ship should look like to work properly; - and there definitely also wasnīt only one "school of design" either.
Different nations, different intentions, different strategies and also different ideas how (naval) problems should be solved.
Anyway - my own main problem was/is, that not so many ancient ships are documented precisely. And furthermore, most of the ships which are documented well are the biggest units of each time and nation. The big battleships, as we would say today. But little informations can be found about the development of the smaller units like frigates or corvettes.
There has been an evolution - definitely.
But it either hasnīt been properly documented, or these informations have been lost (or even destroyed) later on.
There are HUGE GAPS between the well documented ships.
There are also lots of things in this evolution, which donīt really make sense.
Why did they do it "that way" in 1637 - and in a completely "different way" in 1660? - and what conclusions happened from 1600 to 1637 to build something like the "Sovereign of the Seas" for example. Which would have been absolutely impossible around 1600!
The more I look at it, the more GAPS I see!
But that even isnīt the worst part of it!
In all these naval books and ship plans I have collected by now several vital informations have been omitted - they simply do not exist or are even false!
I - for example - have one book about the well known "HMS Victory", three different plans at a scale of 1:100 from different sources of it and a big wooden kit of it as well. That kit is "said-to-be" 1:84, but when I rechecked that with the other plans I have I came to the conclusion it canīt be 1:84! More like 1:80
Then I searched for informations of the displacement of the original "HMS Victory" which is the best documented ancient warship, as it still exists in reality.
I even have been aboard her myself in 1992, when I visited Portsmouth during holydays back then - 20 years ago.
I didnīt find the displacement of the Victory in any of these plans, nor in the book about the Victory. But I found this information in another naval book.
Is says: "3300 tons".
So I recalculated that to the size in which I want to build my big galeon...result: 89,1 kg displacement for the model at 1:20.
Then I took the next ship, where I have (relyable?) informations about the displacement - recalculated it to the same length from stem to stern as the Victory has, same width mainframe and identical draft as well, but the result was:
55,3 kg displacement!
Recalculated that THREE TIMES for both ships and rechecked if I had done anything wrong - NOPE!
So it is clear to me, that only ONE of these two informations can be right -
or both are false!
For now I have NO IDEA, how to verify which dispacement my planned galeon hull may have! It could be 89,1 kg - or 55,3 kg - or something in between...
Iīm aware that the "HMS Victory" hasnīt got much to do with the period of time Iīm researching.
When the Victory took part in the battle of Trafalgar in 1805, she was 40 years old allready. Completed around 1765, minus about 2 years construction time makes 1763, minus maybe 1 additional year for designing her makes it 1762. not sure about that. Anyway.
So she is definitely 100 years younger than the end of the period of time Iīm interested in.
I know that!
The ships of the 18th century are much better documented than ships of the earlier or later 17th century - thanks to Mr.Fredrik Henrik af Chapman (Architectura Navalis Mercatoria) for that also!
But Iīm looking for/researching the time between 1600 and 1660 - most of the 17th century.
So I can use the Victory and other ship plans of the 18th century only as a comparison, not as specific plans where I want to build a model.
Mainly Iīm searching for overall design-trends!
Because I want to understand how all these changes in shipdesign came about.
Iīm not looking for a specific ship, Iīm looking for the concepts they used back then -
and why they used them.
The "red line" so to say. Ariadnes red line.
Mr.Minotaur - can you help me out somehow?