The Introduction of Copper Sheathing into the Royal Navy, 1779-1786

By R.J.B. Knight, published August 1973


Analysis of the experiments and technical developments carried out by the Royal Navy during the 1770s and 1780s to assess whether the sheathing of ships’ hulls with copper would be beneficial. It was hoped that the coppering would improve sailing performance by reducing weeds and protect the timbers from worms. In spite of setbacks, mainly relating to the method of fastening the copper to the ship’s hull, the practice was adopted across the fleet by 1783.

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Filed under: Other (Eighteenth C) | Other (location)
Subjects include: Navies | Science & Exploration | Shipbuilding & Design

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