Early Hudson’s Bay Ships and Greenland Whalers 1670-1825

Home Forums Nautical Research: 1500 – 1830 Early Hudson’s Bay Ships and Greenland Whalers 1670-1825

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    I am researching the early ships of the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC). I assume that these ships would be strengthened to avoid being crushed in the sea ice as would Greenland whalers. I note in the HBC archives generic references to ‘dimensions and scantlings agreed’ but no details. I am looking for scantling and planking sizes, bowing versus doubling, and heating of these or similar ships.
    Has anyone seen this information for early English or Dutch whalers? I make a very broad assumption that the early HBC ships would be relatively similar to whalers in strength but not necessarily in form.

    Brian D. H

    Although I have no particular reference to the vessels of the early period you request for, I have recently noted that dimensions of the scantlings and planks used for doubling, trebling or fortifying whaling ships of around 350 tons and used in the Greenland Fishery of the early 1800’s can be found on pp. 189-194 of volume 2 of William Scoresby, An Account of the Arctic Regions with a History and Description of the Northern Whale Fishery, Edinburgh 1820, repr in 2 vols by David & Charles 1969.
    The fortifying is carried out using ‘ice-beams’ of 12″ square construction, and there are associated pointers, riders and stanchions for support. Also considered are “False” or ice stems, ice knees and ice plates. Hope this is helpful.

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