Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Prinses Roijaal Marie and the Eenhoorn were very similar in size

You would not know it from Vreugdenhil, but the Rotterdam ship Prinses Roijaal Marie, completed in 1643, was very similar in size to the Noorderkwartier ship Eenhoorn, built in 1625. The reason you are likely not to know that is because Vreugdenhil gave dimensions for Rotterdam ships built before 1653 in Maas feet of 308mm. They were divided into 12 inches. Amsterdam feet were 283mm, and were divided into 11 inches. The inches were similar in length. The dimensions of the Prinses Roijaal Marie, in Maas feet, were 114ft x 27ft x 12ft, while length given for the Eenhoorn of 1625 was124ft in Vreugdenhil's list. My converted dimensions for the Prinses Roijaal Marie, in Amsterdam feet, are: 124ft x 29.5ft x 13ft. We actually know from one of the versions of the Staet van Oorlog te Water for the year 1654 gives the dimensions of the Eenhoorn as 125ft x 29ft. We also have seen the size in lasts listed variously as 200 or 220 lasts. Sizes in lasts were often just estimates, so that is one possible explanation for the variation. In any case, if the Eenhoorn were 200 lasts, we could estimate that the hold was about 12ft. The rationale is that by using a last figure that works in other example ships, you can estimate dimensions.
200 lasts = 200 x K
If we chose as K = 217, then 200 = L x B x H / 217
200 x 217 = L x B x H
43400 = 125 x 29 x H
H = 12ft
Of course, the hold depth is entirely contingent on the last factor we chose. Ab Hoving, in his article on Dutch ships in The Heyday of Sail book has a good discussion of lasts and their computation (or non-computation).

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