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posted 12-12-2004 11:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for auachmann   Click Here to Email auachmann     Edit/Delete Message
What is known about ships used around 1200?
Sails, yes. Manned by rowers? How many? Volumtary or forced? And if they were chained, what about ... well, "relieve"
Were there ferries for shorter distances, up to 20 miles? What did they look like, is that known? Or did they also use regular ships on short routes?

I am doing some serious research on castles and life around that time, leading to a story I hope.

Senior Member
posted 12-06-2005 12:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Steve-O-Gerst   Click Here to Email Steve-O-Gerst     Edit/Delete Message
Well, I know in England shipping was very important, and the roads were so dangerous that it was often easier to send things by sea, even short distances. Not much help on what the ships looked like.

I know river barges were often pulled from the shore by oxen teams...

posted 12-22-2005 03:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glaive     Edit/Delete Message
English vessels of the 13th century were of the same two types that existed in the viking ages:cogs purely sailing ships and barges moving from place to place with sails but using oars in battle or when caught in a stall.They were built out of oak and both types had only a single mast with a single yard and one large square sail.Barges generally had fore and aft castles which could be detached as they looked a little like a modern wooden guard tower and primative crowsnests atop the mast.The castles gradually were built as part of the barge.The mast itself could be taken down and could be replaced with a trebucket to attack a wall or tower from the sea.I think balingers were also in use at this time;but am not sure,their name comes from "balleen" and they were some sort of whaling vessel;but other than their name and purpose I can't give you a description.

The vessels themselves were brightly painted(just as before and afterwards) with equally colorful dyed woolen sails.I don't know whether the dyes were engrained(expensive) or whether their dyes would have "run" when wet.The sail itself could bemoved about from side to side by the rigging.The vikings used walrus skin for their rigging and I don't know whether or not hemp had replaced it at this time.

The nef seems to have been simply a huge cog,the ordinary cog and barge were pretty small 40-80 tons being the typical size.Vessels this small could have easilly made short 20 mile trips;but the celtic "boats" made out of hide were still in use as were numerous types of boats.

posted 12-28-2005 05:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glaive     Edit/Delete Message
there's a serious limit on how many oars can be used on a galley.once once starts to go above 15 "room"(the original meaning of a room is a seat for an oarsman) on a side the vessel starts to be too big to be completely stable structurally(though one can have 30-45 rooms to a side and still be able to use it).

Were they free? there's really not enough info to tell at this period.The call of nature(buttocks over the gunwall or a bucket with straw to clean oneself with.

The officers were also not called what we call them:the "captain" was a "rector" and the "first mate" was a "constable".

Senior Member
posted 12-29-2005 01:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Steve-O-Gerst   Click Here to Email Steve-O-Gerst     Edit/Delete Message
Rector, and Constable? Sounds like prison and police terms to me. Maybe that in itself is some indication that the crew was not free. Of course, that's just my theory.

posted 12-29-2005 10:51 AM           Edit/Delete Message
I found these two articles on the subject of ships or boats.



posted 12-29-2005 07:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glaive     Edit/Delete Message
look at the seal of hastings here:http://medievalwriting.50megs.com/decoration/seal12.htm

One should remember that a "constable" in the middle ages was the chief military official of a king or lord and that he and the marshal were responsible for arranging the movement of a noble household from place to place.It makes perfect sense for the second officer of a ship to be called a "constable" as moving about was both what a vessel was doing and it's voyages were dangerous and the perils faced often needed violent solutions if the crew ws to survive the pirates and wreckers.

All times are PT (US)

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