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Questions tagged [age-of-sail]

The Age-of-Sail relates to be the period of European naval history between 1650 AD and 1850 AD.

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Murder–suicide by sinking the ship

Humankind has a sad, horrible history of intentional mass murder and murder–suicide by airplane and road vehicle. Are there known cases of a sailor or an officer on a ship trying to kill himself and ...
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How much gunpowder could the average Napoleonic ship of the line carry?

I've run across a few references to a ship's magazine detonating during combat, and by all accounts the explosions were massive. I'm trying to put them into context a bit by figuring out how much ...
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Kabris, the “half-wild Frenchman”, in Kamchatka

A Frenchman who had gone native in the Marquesas Islands, Jean Cabri or Kabris, returned to Europe in the early 1800s and became a well-known attraction and swimming teacher. His return voyage ...
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Did any age of sail ship have a “back-bone cannon”?

Did any age of sail ship have a "back-bone cannon"? What I mean by "backbone-cannon" is a cannon too large/heavy to be carried other than by having the ship being essentially built around it. This ...
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How old were the youngest employees of the Russian-American Company?

The Russian-American Company, founded 1799, employed some real lowlifes. Golovnin about 1810 found them "composed for the most part of dissolute persons, many of whom have been flogged with the knout ...
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Which STD did adults & children have in Kamchatka?

In 1817 Vasili Golovnin sailed a ship named Kamchatka from Kronstadt to Kamchatka and met there its governor, Rikord. In "Around the World", he wrote that: Almost all the local common people of ...
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Who owned the ship Ensayo, and what were they doing near Baja California in 1842?

According to Plummer's The Shogun's Reluctant Ambassadors, in 1842, sea drifters from the Eijū-maru were picked up and by the Ensayo, a "Spanish pirate ship" with a Philippine crew. It was "carrying ...
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What was the tonnage carried in the Triangle Trade?

I'm interested in metrics regarding trans-atlantic trade in the era of the sail. The specific timespan doesn't matter. The specific cargo also doesn't matter. I've searched but not found any ...
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Wreck of the Juno

K.T. Khlebnikov wrote a biography of his boss, Baranov: Chief Manager of the Russian Colonies in America. In this book he described the wreck of the Juno as taking place November 3, 1811 (O.S.), "not ...
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Has a failure to procure a supply of timber for naval shipbuilding led to the failure of a nation-state through history?

The English navy is the first example that comes to my mind of states that built-up large wooden navies with limited access to a supply of timber conducive to ship-building. As I understand it from ...
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Why did Europeans (and not people in other regions) dominate oceans?

Having a brief look at civilization history, I find that Europeans have a significant dominance over other regions when it comes to sailing. This becomes more obvious after the 15th century when ...
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When was the potato introduced to Mexico?

There are wild potatoes in Mexico, but eating potatoes are generally cultivars imported from the Andes. They became popular elsewhere after Europeans with sailing ships took them around the world. ...
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Six bulls for ship's provisions

The Ortega family at Rancho Refugio did a brisk business in clandestine trade with visiting ships. According to Katherine Plummer, in March of 1815, the Forester stopped there and loaded firewood, ...
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Couldn't Japan have solved the problem of drifting at sea?

The Edo period shogunate received annual tributes from local clans, on the order of the rice to feed a thousand people. The sengokubune ships used on this route were suited for calm inland waters, ...
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What sorts of things would a 16th century explorer document?

For a project, I must re-create a journal of a [made up] 16th century explorer. They were a sailor who sailed to the Pacific Ocean via the Cape Horn route in the 16th century, similar to Willem ...
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Compare skeleton crew to normal crew on a galleon

Consider a typical galleon used for cargo around the 18th century. How would the number and roles of the crew differ between a normal, full crew, and a "skeleton" crew, on a voyage of a few weeks?
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Californian ocean-going ships

Rosaura Sánchez's Telling Identities contains this statement: Except for two very brief periods, the California territory had no ships of its own to travel up and down the coast or to San Blas and ...
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The Russian-American Company in Valparaíso

The Russian-American Company bought a lot of grain in Spanish and Mexican California. In 1829 or 1830, not enough was available, and the ship Baikal under captain Etholén continued south to Chile. ...
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How many Manila Galleons were sacked and by whom?

From the 1500s into the 1800s New Spain operated the "Manila Galleon" trade route across the Pacific. Something over four hundred huge, wealthy ships sailed, and of course they did not all arrive. ...
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Did Peter the Great support a Russian circumnavigation?

Peter the Great modernized Imperial Russia, reforming both its army and navy. He was keen to catch up with other European powers and built the Baltic port Kronstadt, a shipyard at Arkhangelsk, and the ...
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Which English ship was in Kamchatka in 1793?

In 1795, Alaskan colonial supremo A.A. Baranov sent a letter to his bosses in Irkutsk. The text in Tikhmenev's History, Volume II, Documents, says: An English ship wintered in Kamchatka in 1793.... ...
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When did independent Mexico start trading with Asia?

Throughout the 17th and 18th century Spanish galleons shipped Chinese goods from Manila to Acapulco. After Mexican independence, Spain retained the Philippines and the galleons no longer crossed the ...
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Cabin space on the Nadezhda

Nikolai Rezanov was Russian's envoy to Japan in 1804, sailing there in Russia's first circumnavigation aboard the Nadezhda. This originally English ship was outfitted for the voyage at government ...
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Did Japanese castaways land in Spanish California?

George Lensen's "The Russian Push Toward Japan" says on pp. 261: In 1815 the transport Pavel under the command of Navigator's Apprentice Srednii left Okhotsk with six Japanese castaways, three of ...
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Did Herman Melville help write his uncle's book?

Captain John D'Wolf II (1779-1872), member of a prominent slave-trading family of Bristol, Rhode Island, was the uncle of author Herman Melville (1819-1891). D'Wolf informed Melville's view of life at ...
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What was Captain Vozdvit's real name?

The Russian-American Company and the Russian Imperial Navy, deeply connected shipbuilding and seafaring organizations, both employed lots of foreign captains. In Richard A. Pierce's translation, K.T. ...
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How did Bligh navigate during his open boat voyage after losing The Bounty?

How did Bligh navigate during his open boat voyage after losing The Bounty? Did any of the men have previous experience in these areas? What did he have at his disposal to aid in navigation?
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How did Spain justify building a major port at San Blas, Nayarit?

The Spanish empire and its agent José de Gálvez founded the port of San Blas, Nayarit in order to communicate with the Californias. However, the site is not particularly favorable and it did not ...
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When was the first sauna on a ship?

Heat baths or sweat lodges such as the Russian banya and the temescal of the Mesoamericans are common around the world, especially where it gets cold. These insulated, purpose-built structures are ...
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Did the British East India Company operate in the West Indies? [duplicate]

This question in the Science Fiction and fantasy stack exchange asks about the British East India Company operating in the West Indies. According to Wikipedia, there were a number of East India ...
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Convict stowaways crossing the Pacific in 1796

According to H.H. Bancroft's "History of California", in 1796, English convicts stowed away on the Otter in Botany Bay, and were forced ashore in California at gunpoint. Governor Borica was ordered by ...
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How much evidence is there regarding the naval punishment of keelhauling?

Keelhauling is a famous naval punishment under which the offender would by dragged beneath the hull of the ship. This would have been encrusted with shellfish such as barnacles which would - at the ...
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How did sailing technology improve during the Age of Sail? [closed]

Wikipedia article on the Middle Passage says: while an average transatlantic journey of the early 16th century lasted several months, by the 19th century the crossing often required fewer than six ...
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How cheap were sailing ships in Gold Rush California?

Many ships were abandoned in San Francisco during the California Gold Rush as their crews and passengers headed straight for the gold areas. Some became semi-permanent buildings and some became ...
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Which trade ship did not return to California from China?

The Baltic German captain Otto von Kotzebue wrote (from "California Through Russian Eyes", Gibson, ed.): An attempt was even made to launch, at the Californios' own risk, trade with China, but it ...
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Did geologist Fyodor Shtein ever write up his findings in California?

The German scientist Fyodor Shtein (Friedrich Stein) was the naturalist on the voyage of the Blagonamerenny to California in 1820-21. His purview included geological and botanical research, and his ...
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How long did it take mail to get between Madrid and Mexico?

Spain administered its main colony Mexico from across the Atlantic. Ships crossed regularly between Cadiz or Seville and Vera Cruz (both capital cities are inland). At the time of Mexican independence,...
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Did the HEIC operate in the West Indies as well as the East Indies

Did the HEIC (Honorable Eeast India Company) operate in the West Indies as well as the East Indies and if so, did they face competition from other English or British chartered companies?
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Why was the last battle of the War of 1812 fought fully half a year after the official end of the war?

As part of my research to answer this question, I came across a mention of the June 30, 1815 battle between the USS Peacock and the East India cruiser Nautilus (in the Indian Ocean) as being ...
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Which ships arrived at Novo-Arkhangelsk between 1810 and 1815?

The Russian-American Company's colonial headquarters were at Novo-Arkhangelsk, today's Sitka. Occasionally, supply ships from Russian ports to the west (Okhotsk, Petropavlovsk, Kodiak) would arrive. ...
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How much did brigs of 200 tons vary in 1800?

I am researching the LYDIA, a brig of 200 tons, built of teak around 1800. I think it had a crew of around 20. (Details on the ship are in Judge Howay's "List of trading vessels in the maritime fur ...
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Which Irishman worked at Mission Santa Cruz?

Kirill Khlebnikov was a Russian business agent who made several visits to Alta California. His "Travel Notes" from 1820 describe negotiations to buy grain from the Franciscan priest in charge of ...
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Who cataloged the ships that visited Alta California?

I know I have seen a reference to a comprehensive list of ships that visted Alta California in the Spanish and Mexican eras, but I need help finding it again. Here is an incomplete list without any ...
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Were shipboard gardens ever typical?

La Pérouse brought fruit trees and an herb garden on his fatal voyage; his gardener also tended the root cellar. Through the ages, how common or uncommon has it been to cultivate plants aboard a ship?
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What plumbing did well-equipped sailing ships have?

Late period sailing ships (around 1800) had potable water supplies and also pumps, at least some with wooden impellers. Water must have been stored low to keep the center of gravity low. What source ...
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Why wasn't sauerkraut used to combat scurvy?

While reading about age of sail, I've read about scurvy and how it was 'cured' by 'acidity' of citrus. It come to my mind - why didn't they try to use sauerkraut? It seems that it should be more ...
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Capturing a much larger ship?

In Master and Commander (book 1 of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series), the 54-man, 14-gun Sophie captures the 319-man, 32-gun Cacafuego. Is this really plausible? How would it work? Is it the ...
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Help me recognize this naval action

I recall reading a Wikipedia article about an Age of Sail naval combat incident between two vessels, the smaller one being attacked by the larger one. I don't remember anything about the participants ...
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Why were ships-of-the line not supposed to open fire on frigates during fleet actions?

Found this passage in the book Patrick O'Brian's Navy (p. 57) In the era of fighting sail there was an unspoken convention that line-of-battle ships did not fire on frigates during any fleet action ...
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Why didn't Native Americans have big sailing ships?

Many European and East Asian powers had very large sailing ships: clippers, junks and the like. Polynesians had sailing capacity, although theirs ships weren't as large. Why didn't Native Americans ...