Questions tagged [age-of-sail]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
28
votes
4answers
5k views

How difficult was to escape from a naval battle after engaging into one during the Age of Sail?

So, I am designing a board game which includes pirates/imperial battles during the age of sail. While I have found a lot of information on the internet as well as books, papers and of course other ...
2
votes
0answers
156 views

Has it ever been practice to clip to ratlines?

I am reading a story (alt history) where it describes climbing on a ship with the sailors: pausing to clip their safety harnesses to the ratlines every few feet. Now, I used to work on a tallship, ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

If a merchant ship captain joined the Royal Navy during the age of sail, would they be put in command?

If the captain/former captain of a merchant ship joined the navy or was press ganged into the the navy would they be put in command of a ship or would they have to work they way up through the ranks? ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

What are some well-researched books about ships during the Age of Sail? [closed]

I have tried to find well researched and detailed books, but all I seem to be able to find are books about model ships or fiction books about sailors. As a layman, I’ve entertained the idea that I ...
11
votes
1answer
917 views

When was the first intentional ricochet fired from a naval artillery?

Wikipedia states that the first ricochet firing was performed in 1688. This other website says it may have existed in 1587. All those historical events are for cannonballs fired from the ground ...
6
votes
1answer
156 views

Was merchant Hugh McCulloch the first Scotsman to set foot in California?

In June 1822 the Scottish merchant Hugh McCulloch landed at San Diego from the brig John Begg. He was the founding partner of the business McCulloch Hartnell & Co which for three years from 1 ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Was there a way for ships to disengage from boarding actions?

I was doing some research about Naval tactics in Age of Sail - especially in boarding tactics. I read several personal diaries, letters and accounts of these battles written by combatants. From ...
34
votes
2answers
6k views

How were horses disembarked from sail ships?

Back in late 18th century, ship of the line embarked soldiers (e.g. royal marines) that can perform land actions. To disembark, they took place into longboats. If a specific land action was planned, ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

How did pumps work during the Age of Sail?

During the 17th and 18th century, sailing ships were equipped with pumps to avoid flooding. This can be seen during the opening battle of master and commander: the far side of the world. Part of the ...
9
votes
1answer
228 views

How close did a Manila galleon ever come to Hawaii?

Between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, Manila galleons sailed regularly between Mexico and the Philippines. Consistent ocean currents informed their clockwise route. After the Spanish had ...
4
votes
2answers
174 views

How possible was it for colonizers to sail up the Paraná River to today's states of Paraná and São Paulo?

I know that there was a harbor as far as in Porto Feliz (state of São Paulo) on Tietê river. But I wonder whether it was only for the downstream transport, or also the upstream. I have searched on ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What date did Henry Morgan capture his most famous flagship, the “Satisfaction”?

When Henry Morgan captured the French privateer ship, "Le Cerf Volant" he rechristened it the "Satisfaction" and used it as his flagship until it was lost near Panama in 1671 during a mission to ...
7
votes
1answer
468 views

How many ships did the fleet of the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC) possess at its peak (around 1670)?

The Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (1602–1800) was a huge Dutch company primarily earning lots of revenue in the spice trade among other activities. For this work they needed a lot of ships from ...
6
votes
1answer
616 views

Why did sailing ships so often employ Chinese cooks?

During the age of sail, it was common for Western ships to employ Chinese cooks. I don't have any numbers except that there are pages and pages of relevant results from search queries including "...
9
votes
1answer
485 views

In the 18th century, who built ships built using two-pointed nails?

On April 20th 1774, near Carmel, California, Juan Bautista de Anza wrote in his diary about finding the mast of a ship of unknown origin (his compatriot Garcés did not record it). Here is his complete ...
11
votes
2answers
574 views

Communication lag during the Age of Sail: what if enemy claimed that peace agreement was signed?

In the past due to the communication lag the hostilities could proceed long after peace agreements were signed. This was especially severe for the overseas territories and ships. I'm somewhat more ...
2
votes
1answer
507 views

How were old wooden warships with structural damage to the hull repaired at dock?

How were ships, with cannon damage done to the hull, repaired at dock?
39
votes
11answers
9k views

Why did it take so long to abandon sail after steamships were demonstrated?

1807, Robert Fulton's Clermont the first ship to demonstrate the feasibility of steam propulsion for commercial use, but it also carried sail. 1819, The first steamship to cross the Atlantic was the ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Why did people stop building square-rigged ships?

Sailing ships are still being built, but square riggers are a thing of the past. Why? Did fore-and-aft rigging prove superior? If so, why not earlier? Does it have to do with the disappearance of ...
6
votes
2answers
301 views

How did the design of the hull differ between an Indiaman and a frigate?

Indiamen and frigates look similar. The Indiaman seems a little bigger, but both are similar in the following ways: full rigged design for overseas operation (able to cross oceans) armed As indiamen ...
4
votes
1answer
165 views

Range of sailors' ages on a typical Pacific trading ship in 1810

This question is about crew ages on trading voyages in the North Pacific around 1810. The number of crew members on these voyages was often in the low dozens. Funding could come at least in part from ...
1
vote
1answer
256 views

Has there been any big collisions with ice bergs after Titantic or during the Age of Sail? [closed]

Has there been any big collisions with ice bergs after Titantic or during the Age of Sail? What happened? Especially during WW2, wasn't there a lot of naval moments in the Arctic?
4
votes
0answers
65 views

Which ship took Tolman to Kamchatka?

William Tolman was reportedly a mechanic from New England who got to Petropavlovsk on a whaling ship in 1813. Somehow he stayed behind and lived his whole long life in Kamchatka. None of the sources ...
5
votes
1answer
294 views

Why didn't the Trafalgar Way messengers sail up the English Channel?

The dispatches from the British fleet at the battle of Trafalgar were brought by ship to Falmouth. From there, messengers rode by horse over land to the Admiralty in London, following a route known as ...
6
votes
1answer
157 views

Which prayer did sailors in Russian America expect to hear?

Father Ioann Veniaminov (Saint Innocent) was a Russian Orthodox priest who ministered in Russian America. Leaving Sitka, he recorded the following in his journal: Tuesday, June 30, 1836. Having ...
1
vote
3answers
464 views

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 ...
11
votes
1answer
3k views

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
197 views

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 ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
49 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
211 views

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 ...
6
votes
0answers
171 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
456 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
154 views

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 ...
46
votes
11answers
15k views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
531 views

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. ...
4
votes
3answers
214 views

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, ...
10
votes
1answer
561 views

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, ...
0
votes
2answers
189 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
453 views

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?
2
votes
1answer
115 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
189 views

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. ...
6
votes
1answer
474 views

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. ...
6
votes
1answer
296 views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
248 views

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.... ...
1
vote
0answers
93 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
140 views

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 ...
9
votes
1answer
406 views

Did Japanese castaways land in Spanish California?

George Lensen's "The Russian Push Toward Japan" says on p. 261: In 1815 the transport Pavel under the command of Navigator's Apprentice Srednii left Okhotsk with six Japanese castaways, three of ...
3
votes
1answer
126 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
156 views

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. ...