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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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1answer
247 views

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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177 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 ...
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244 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 ...
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Did the HEIC operate in the West Indies as well as the East Indies?

Did the Honorable East India Company (HEIC) 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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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 ...
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537 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 "...
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1answer
336 views

Did Anza find evidence of a Japanese wreck?

Through the age of sail Japanese sea drifters involuntarily crossed the Pacific. The sengokubune ship which tended to lose its rudder in storms and drift nearly endlessly. Several made it to North ...
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373 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 ...
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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 ...
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212 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?
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What did Fyodor Shtein report after his voyage?

In 1820 The Russian admiralty sent two pairs of ships to explore the polar regions. The southern ships, Mirny and Vostok, circumnavigated Antarctica, and the northern ships, Otkrytie and ...
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What type of provisions would seafarers use in the mid 19th century?

What was the composition of seafarers' provisions in the mid-19th century? What types of items would they have taken with them for a long trip? For example — for just travelling on a light trip from ...
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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 ...
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Did Ferdinand Magellan circumnavigate the globe?

As we know, Magellan died on the Philippines, so he did not circumnavigate the globe. However, I found an opinion claiming that he actually did, because he'd made some travels to east Asia before his ...
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552 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 ...
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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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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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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 ...
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1answer
244 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?
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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5answers
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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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398 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 ...
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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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Did anyone in Europe predict the existence of the Americas?

According to the answer of this question, Columbus was pretty much unique in his belief that the world was small enough and Asia was big enough to make sailing west to Asia possible. Everyone else ...
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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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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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1answer
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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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242 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. ...
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207 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, ...
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506 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, ...
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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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1answer
280 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?
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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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1answer
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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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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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1answer
246 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 ...
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1answer
100 views

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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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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1answer
263 views

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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2answers
135 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 ...
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1answer
101 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. ...