Sunday, May 09, 2004

The indispensible book: De Vierdaagse Zeeslag 11-14 Juni 1666

Dr. Weber's book is exteremely useful to my research about 17th Century Dutch warships. For many of the Dutch prizes used by the English at the Four Days Battle, there are both the Dutch and the English dimensions. For that matter, he also has dimensions for almost all of the Dutch ships, as well. They are all in Amsterdam feet, so they resolve some of the lingering problems caused by Vreugdenhil's publication in Lists of Men of War.

Anyway, what this book points out is that something Frank Fox has told me, as well. The Dutch ships have very upright stems, while the English generally have a good deal of rake. Given that, I will need to give up and create a separate entry type for Dutch prizes, with different calculations, in my English ship spreadsheet.

A case in point is the Zealand (ex-Wapen van Zeeland). The Dutch dimensions were: 116ft x 28ft x 11-1/2ft. The English dimensions were: LK: 93ft, B: 28ft-6in, D: 9ft (LK=length of keel, B=beam outside the planking, and D=depth in hold measured English style). The ratio between the Dutch length from stem-to-sternpost to the English length on the keel is about 1.28. To put that into perspective, the Dutch length, in English units is 107ft-7.5in. Thus, the ratio between the length from stem-to-sternpost to the keel length is about 1.157:1. That means that there is a very small rake.

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