Reply To: Careen lighters

Home Forums Nautical Research: 1500 – 1830 Careen lighters Reply To: Careen lighters

Malcolm Lewis

    I recall having read that ship owners and the Royal Navy avoided careening ships as the stresses on the wooden hull were such that if careened more than three or four times they had to be condemned.
    In far -off destinations such as Australia, which did not have any dry docks in ports like Sydney and before the coppering of hulls, this must have been a problem for vessels trading around the Pacific coasts where worm ate wooden hulls rapidly. One assumes careening was the only option.
    Shipbuilding on the River Thames was the major local industry for centuries and the home base for the East India Company yet there were few, if any, commercial dry docks as I can ascertain. Coppering of ships must have put big demands on ship yards, especially private yards building and maintaining ships for the Royal Navy. Many naval ships had to be coppered every two years (viz HMS Bellona 74 guns L.1760 b/u 1814).
    Presumably careening was the only alternative…..interesting one for discussion.