Reply To: Eighteenth Century Galleys

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Sam Willis

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    Sue Paul:
    Not only did galleys use oars when becalmed or entering/leaving port, other types of vessels did as well. A French privateer snow was recorded as rowing into Portsmouth and tryng to head off the “Mary Galley” by the galley’s commander, Joseph Tolson in 1705. The galley, however, made better time and avoided being taken by the privateer. Toson was pleased that she could reach two knots under oars.

    Peter Nack:
    Peter Nack Describing vessels by rig didn’t become the norm into later in the century. The term galley, as I recall, would refer to a flush deck, long and low hulled vessel. That said, oars were carried on smaller vessels, even naval vessels; not much used, but carried.
    Then there were the galleasses — hull built heaver than the galley, with a better sailing rig and qualities, and gun on the broadside, yet also more row-able than a purely sailing vessel its size. Galleasses led the Christian lines at the Battle of Lepanto in 1570. I am speculating. I don’t think the “Mary Galley” of 1705 would have been a galleass, rather a galley-built hull sailing vessels.