Monday, August 02, 2004

More about the Convertine

One wildcard in the process of accessing ship dimensions and the origin of the Convertine is that on July 21, 1653 (NS), Captain John Taylor reported that he had lengthened the Convertine (as well as the Welcome). Did that lengthening affect the keel length, or did he just extend the length from stem-to-sternpost? That would have meant just disassembling the bow and extending the timbers, then replanking. He could have just moved out frames, accordian-like. The goal was to make to make it possible to have more guns on the broadside of both ships. He wanted them to be able to comfortably mount 40 guns on each ship. That seemed a rather odd statement, as the Convertine was quite large, and ultimately mounted 54 guns. The Welcome was a rather odd ship and was quite small. The English measurements were 82ft x 29ft x 10ft-7in. My estimate is that translated to Dutch dimensions of no more than 114ft x 32ft x 12ft. The combination of short length and broad beam is unusual for a Dutch ship. Not infrequently, you would see length-to-beam ratios of 5:1. It seems that the Welcome, captured in 1652, would have to have been a merchantman, but I have not been able to confirm that. It still seems likely that the Convertine was just a captured Portuguese merchantman, although one that was strongly armed as if for the trade to the East Indies.

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