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#2808
Anonymous

    Perhaps the definitive word on naval coppering, and other forms of sheathing for wooden vessels including the use of mailletage (nails), is the detailed article by John Bingeman, John Bethel, Peter Goodwin and Arthur Mack, ‘Copper and other sheathing in the Royal Navy’, International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, (2000) vol 29 issue 2, pp218-229. The very brief abstract reads:
    ‘The Royal Navy’s use of copper and other sheathing on ships as a protection against ‘worm’ is presented against a general
    background of the subject. Manufacturers’, Admiralty and other marks found on metal sheathing are illustrated and identified
    as an aid to nautical archaeologists.’

    Two extracts which indicate the information available are, from page 221:
    ‘In 1761, following the favourable results from
    coppering Norfolk’s and Panther’s keels, the 32-gun frigate Alarm was completely sheathed in 12-ounce (3.66 kg/m2) sheet and deployed for a 2-year trial in the West Indies (PRO, 1763). On
    her return in July 1763, Earl Sandwich, the First
    Lord of the Admiralty, personally went to inspect
    her at Woolwich and the results were sufficiently
    encouraging for further trials, which were made in 1764 on Tartar, Dolphin and Tamar using thicker copper. The Dolphin was alone in having copper
    fastenings and avoided the corrosion problems of
    the other two (Rodgers [sic], 1993: 295).’

    And from page 228:
    ‘The four copper sheets of naval origin are of 28
    ounce ‘weight’, one of the Navy’s 1779 standard
    weights. So too are the non-naval copper sheets.
    All have the Navy’s standard size of 14 x 48in.’

    The article is available via the Wiley Online Library on individual subscription or via a subscribing research institution.

    The references cited in the above extracts are:
    PRO 1763: Navy Board Out Letters to the Admiralty, National Archives (TNA) ADM 106/2195;
    Rodgers [sic] 1993: Rodger, N. A. M., The Insatiable Earl: a life of John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, 1718-1792, London 1993, page 295.