Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ron van Maanen's dimensions for the Wapen van Nassouw seem very odd

We now know that the ship provided by the Rotterdam Chamber of the VOC was named Wapen van Nassouw (Nassau). The ship was commanded by Jan Arensz van der Werff, and carried 32 guns and had a crew of 124 men in May 1653. The dimensions given by Ron van Maanen are pretty extreme: 130ft x 43ft x 12ft. The beam is very out of line with typical practice. A more reasonable beam would be 33ft, not 43ft. The VOC ships that served with the fleet in 1653 were generally cruisers. For example, Pieter de Bitter's ship Mercurius had dimensions of 123ft x 30ft x 12ft. The large East Indiamen built by the Middelburg Chamber of the VOC were typically 170ft x 38ft x 18ft. For a much shorter ship to have a beam of 43ft is without precedent among the ships that served with the fleet. By the way, Ron has the guns carried by the Wapen van Nassouw: 12-12pdr, 10-8pdr, 8-6pdr, and 2-3pdr. Sources:
  1. James C. Bender, unpublished manuscript "Dutch Ships 1600-1700", 2006
  2. Ron van Maanen, unpublished manuscript "Oorlogsschepen" van de admiraliteit van de Maze in de zeventiende en achttiende eeuw, undated
  3. Witte de With, journals from 1652 to 1658, Archive E8812 from the Riksarkivet, Stockholm

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