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Shipboard Conditions

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  • Avery Austringer
    Now Charles - you you would have come to Elizabeth s Kingdom with me (rather than the Magic Kingdom) you d know all about this. :) Oh the HMS Victory, some of
    Message 1 of 9 , May 3, 2006
      Now Charles - you you would have come to Elizabeth's Kingdom with me
      (rather than the Magic Kingdom) you'd know all about this. :)

      Oh the HMS Victory, some of the officers had beds - mostly they had
      hammocks. The bed's, incidentally, sounded an awful lot like the
      wicker construct that was described earlier, but were made of wood.
      They also, aparently doubled as your coffin if you died at sea. (I'm
      not sure why they thought you needed a coffin - maybe fish like the
      challenge).

      The question I have is, how much evidence would hammocks leave vs how
      much beds would leave? Given what a full crew looked like and as
      cramped as the Victory was, giving everyone a bed would have left
      little room for things like guns and masts, much less working space
      around them.

      The other question I have is how long were sailors actually ship board
      in the middle ages? Most of our impresion of shipboard life comes from
      an era when trans-Atlantic voyages were a regular thing. Most medieval
      sailors were probably never more than 300 miles from dry land.

      Avery
    • James Winkler
      ... much beds would leave? Given what a full crew looked like and as cramped as the Victory was, giving everyone a bed would have left little room for things
      Message 2 of 9 , May 3, 2006
        >> The question I have is, how much evidence would hammocks leave vs
        how
        much beds would leave?  Given what a full crew looked like and as
        cramped as the Victory was, giving everyone a bed would have left
        little room for things like guns and masts, much less working space
        around them.  <<
         
        Yep... space on a ship was a precious commodity...  the fighting ships (post 1600) that I do have some familiarity with normally things in areas where they could be cleared away easily when everyone was called to quarters.  (... and walls that could be removed, grates relocated, etc. so that the ship could be reconfigured for battle)...  while the officers had somewhat better accommodations.   I can't picture 'crew' going to sea with a bedroom suite.  
         
        ... and if space was that precious on a combat ship... would a merchantman value its space less???  Space = money...   Don't know... but the curiosity is rising...

        >> The other question I have is how long
        were sailors actually ship board
        in the middle ages?  Most of our impresion of shipboard life comes from
        an era when trans-Atlantic voyages were a regular thing.  Most medieval
        sailors were probably never more than 300 miles from dry land. <<
         
        Good point... and it makes me wonder what the crew compliment was on merchantmen v men-o-war...   Of course all of this would vary from ship type to ship type...  but...  and while we're at it... where the heck did Lief Erickson's boys nap when they were traveling across the briney in search of Minnesota???
         
        Oh, dear... more places for the curiosity to wonder...  more research to do...
         
        Chas.
      • Geffrei Maudeleyne
        Message 3 of 9 , May 3, 2006

          <<I seem to recall that on a ship that did use hammocks, that they were on the gun decks, in between the guns and taken down and stashed during battle. I do not remember the reference or any documentation, sorry. Geffrei>>

           

          Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] Shipboard Conditions

           

          >> The question I have is, how much evidence would hammocks leave vs. how
          much beds would leave?  Given what a full crew looked like and as
          cramped as the Victory was, giving everyone a bed would have left
          little room for things like guns and masts, much less working space
          around them.  <<

           

          Yep... space on a ship was a precious commodity...  the fighting ships (post 1600) that I do have some familiarity with normally things in areas where they could be cleared away easily when everyone was called to quarters.  (... and walls that could be removed, grates relocated, etc. so that the ship could be reconfigured for battle)...  while the officers had somewhat better accommodations.   I can't picture 'crew' going to sea with a bedroom suite.  

           

          ... and if space was that precious on a combat ship... would a merchantman value its space less???  Space = money...   Don't know... but the curiosity is rising...

          >> The other question I have is how long were sailors actually ship board
          in the middle ages?  Most of our impression of shipboard life comes from
          an era when trans-Atlantic voyages were a regular thing.  Most medieval
          sailors were probably never more than 300 miles from dry land. <<

           

          Good point... and it makes me wonder what the crew compliment was on merchantmen v men-o-war...   Of course all of this would vary from ship type to ship type...  but...  and while we're at it... where the heck did Lief Erickson's boys nap when they were traveling across the briny in search of Minnesota???

           

          <<The Vikings were the most advanced naval merchants in Europe up until the Venetians. They traded in Kiev, the Near East, Italy, Greece, Iberian penn. North Africa and India. A golden Buddha was found in one ship grave. They slept on their rowing benches or on the floor below them.>>

           

           

          Oh, dear... more places for the curiosity to wonder...  more research to do...

           

          Chas.

           

        • Barbara Dodge
          Hmmmm, bed doubling as your coffin. Is this maybe where the phrase about Davey Jones s locker comes from? As far as everyone having a bed, couldn t they have
          Message 4 of 9 , May 3, 2006
            Hmmmm, bed doubling as your coffin.  Is this maybe where the phrase about Davey Jones's locker comes from?
             
            As far as everyone having a bed, couldn't they have half as many beds thereby saving room.  The men would sleep in shifts/duty sections.       
             
            Barb
            SCAdian/Woodworker/Sailor's Wife
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Wednesday, May 03, 2006 5:08 PM
            Subject: [MedievalSawdust] Shipboard Conditions

            Oh the HMS Victory, some of the officers had beds - mostly they had
            hammocks.  The bed's, incidentally, sounded an awful lot like the
            wicker construct that was described earlier, but were made of wood.
            They also, aparently doubled as your coffin if you died at sea.  (I'm
            not sure why they thought you needed a coffin - maybe fish like the
            challenge).

             Given what a full crew looked like and as
            cramped as the Victory was, giving everyone a bed would have left
            little room for things like guns and masts, much less working space
            around them. 

          • James Winkler
            Ah... *hot bunking*... still practiced in fine submarine fleets almost everywhere... Chas. (Who once discovered that the sail locker was a *very* comfy place
            Message 5 of 9 , May 3, 2006
              Ah... *hot bunking*... still practiced in fine submarine fleets almost everywhere... 
               
              Chas.
               
              (Who once discovered that the sail locker was a *very* comfy place to kp-out for the night...  but that was on a MUCH smaller vessel... with softer sails...)
              ===================

              Hmmmm, bed doubling as your coffin.  Is this maybe where the phrase about Davey Jones's locker comes from?
               
              As far as everyone having a bed, couldn't they have half as many beds thereby saving room.  The men would sleep in shifts/duty sections.       
               
              Barb
              SCAdian/Woodworker/Sailor's Wife
            • Ralph Lindberg
              ... about Davey Jones s locker comes from? ... Actually the hammocks were used as coffins also. You were wrapped in your hammock, it was weighted and over the
              Message 6 of 9 , May 3, 2006
                --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, "Barbara Dodge" <awench1@...>
                wrote:
                >
                > Hmmmm, bed doubling as your coffin. Is this maybe where the phrase
                about Davey Jones's locker comes from?
                >
                Actually the hammocks were used as coffins also. You were wrapped in
                your hammock, it was weighted and "over the side".

                > As far as everyone having a bed, couldn't they have half as many
                beds thereby saving room. The men would sleep in shifts/duty
                sections.
                >
                ...em hot racking, bad, very bad. Last time they tried that on me I
                pointed out my position and that, by regulation, I couldn't be asked
                to hot-rack. Suddenly we had fewer "observers".

                As to the mention of ships crew size merchant vrs warship. From the
                day there was one of each, the crew sizes have been different. A
                merchant ship used as few people as possible, while a warship always
                carried extra "bodies". The examples of this can be seen in every era.

                OK, there is an exception, the DD-21 (DD-X) program of the US Navy,
                which reduces the crew of a Destroyer from 200 to 300 to (about) 95.
                First US warship, where the plan is each crewmen will have a (private)
                room!

                Ralg
                AnTir
              • James Winkler
                ... which reduces the crew of a Destroyer from 200 to 300 to (about) 95. First US warship, where the plan is each crewmen will have a (private) room!
                Message 7 of 9 , May 3, 2006
                  >> OK, there is an exception, the DD-21 (DD-X) program of the US
                  Navy,
                  which reduces the crew of a Destroyer from 200 to 300 to (about) 95.
                  First US warship, where the plan is each crewmen will have a (private)
                  room! <<
                   
                  Oh SURE...  NOW they get around to that... 
                   
                   
                  Chas. "OLD... (like... not quite back to Noah)... Navy" Oakley
                  (Who... come to think of it... never set foot on a ship until two years after he got OUT of the Navy...  Winking smiley emoticon , huh... go figure...)
                   
                • Ralph Lindberg
                  ... years after he got OUT of the Navy... , huh... go figure...) ... Almost sounds like my ol man-at-arms, he spent 6 years in and the only time he was on a
                  Message 8 of 9 , May 3, 2006
                    --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, "James Winkler"
                    <jrwinkler@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > Oh SURE... NOW they get around to that...
                    >
                    >
                    > Chas. "OLD... (like... not quite back to Noah)... Navy" Oakley
                    > (Who... come to think of it... never set foot on a ship until two
                    years after he got OUT of the Navy... , huh... go figure...)
                    >
                    Almost sounds like my ol' man-at-arms, he spent 6 years in and the
                    only time he was on a ship of a tour of a Boomer. Of course he
                    -almost- ended up with a tour on the Mercy, for Gulf-War-One.

                    My dear wife, Dame Ellen, gets a big kick of the fact that I make my
                    living on ships, but would never own one, and wouldn't miss them for a
                    moment.

                    Ralg (who got interrupted typing this with his third call of the
                    evening, where the caller-id said "US Navy")
                    AnTir
                  • C N Schwartz
                    And hammocks are a Caribbean island invention that predates Columbus, so you have to figure... Columbus or his colleagues brings back to the Old World a novel
                    Message 9 of 9 , May 3, 2006
                      And hammocks are a Caribbean island invention that predates Columbus, so you
                      have to figure... Columbus or his colleagues brings back to the Old World a
                      novel way of sleeping.... but sailors can be conservative people, so it will
                      take a little time before the new THING is adopted. Then the innovation has
                      to overcome nationalistic prejudice before it is (perhaps) adopted from the
                      Spaniards and Portuguese by the British... So the Mary Rose is a little
                      early to see hammock hooks on and English ship. Give them a little more
                      time. 17th Century, then, makes some sense.



                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                      [mailto:medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Ralph Lindberg
                      Sent: Wednesday, May 03, 2006 7:32 PM
                      To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: [MedievalSawdust] Re: Shipboard Conditions


                      --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, "Barbara Dodge" <awench1@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > Hmmmm, bed doubling as your coffin. Is this maybe where the phrase
                      about Davey Jones's locker comes from?
                      >
                      Actually the hammocks were used as coffins also. You were wrapped in
                      your hammock, it was weighted and "over the side".

                      > As far as everyone having a bed, couldn't they have half as many
                      beds thereby saving room. The men would sleep in shifts/duty
                      sections.
                      >
                      ...em hot racking, bad, very bad. Last time they tried that on me I
                      pointed out my position and that, by regulation, I couldn't be asked
                      to hot-rack. Suddenly we had fewer "observers".

                      As to the mention of ships crew size merchant vrs warship. From the
                      day there was one of each, the crew sizes have been different. A
                      merchant ship used as few people as possible, while a warship always
                      carried extra "bodies". The examples of this can be seen in every era.

                      OK, there is an exception, the DD-21 (DD-X) program of the US Navy,
                      which reduces the crew of a Destroyer from 200 to 300 to (about) 95.
                      First US warship, where the plan is each crewmen will have a (private)
                      room!

                      Ralg
                      AnTir





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