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Max_Writer

19th Century Ship Plans?

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Max_Writer

I've been trying to track down some basic deckplans for 19th century (circa 1875) ships and have come up blank.

 

I purchased Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860-1905, which helped fill in the gaps for at least some ideas of military vessels of the era, but I can't find much in the way of merchant ships or their plans.  

 

I hope to adapt The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh and the subsequent scenarios for a short Down Darker Trails campaign in the future, but I would like a more modern ship for the Sea Ghost (which is a medieval cog, essentially).

 

Can anyone aim me in the right direction?

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RogerBW

Doing an image search for 1875 steamship plan is giving me quite a bit - mostly liners, but adding "tramp" gives Semiramis which seems fairly appropriate:

 

314df9fa6eed3b046c2a08c6e7df72e7--deck-p

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Max_Writer

This is a 20th century steamship.

 

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yronimoswhateley

I'm not familiar with the scenarios involved and, for Down Darker Trails, I'm not sure whether a riverboat or sea ship would be more appropriate for your purposes, but in addition to the great tramp steamer plan above, you might get some use out of this riverboat plan - this particular paddle boat was launched in the 1920s, but I should imagine the basic plan hadn't changed much since the 1800s:

 

gcg-stateroom-plan-large.jpg

 

 

There's also this sort of ship, which seems to have been typical of emigrant ships from the 1800s - this particular ship appears to have been launched in 1884 and scrapped in 1909 after many voyages between Liverpool UK and New York NY:

 

etruria-color.jpg

01umbria-etruria-plan-cun.jpg

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Helen

What about the Cutty Sark? It’s in Greenwich and a quick Google found some deck plans. It’s a clipper rather than steam but was built in 1869 which fits with your period.

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yronimoswhateley

And, though it wasn't asked for at all, I can't resist sharing this fantastic article from Harper's New Monthly Magazine in 1870 describing ocean travel between New York and Liverpool on the steam ships of the era, along with some evocative period sketches: (link)

 

The great saloon, which serves the purpose of parlor, study, dining-room, drawing-room, and even to some extent of invalid-chamber, all in one, for the whole company of passengers during the voyage, suggests, even before he ship leaves the dock, an idea of the heterogeneousness of the purposes to which it is to be appropriated. Near the entrance a group of young men, with the air of men of business, are taking leave of one of their friends, a passenger, over a bottle of Champagne.

Farther in is sometimes to be seen a pale and emaciated lady, out of health, who has perhaps just been brought on board by her husband, and is resting on one of the cushioned settees, supported by pillows and attended by her maid while she looks around upon the novel scene before her with an expression of countenance in which curiosity and languor, apprehension and hope, are strangely mingled.

Other gentlemen and ladies are choosing places at the table, and pinning their cards upon them to mark them as "reserved seats."

Here and there a young man making his first voyage is seated at a table, with a portable writing apparatus unfolded before him, and is busily engaged in writing his last farewell to the family circle, or perhaps to some nearer and dearer object of affection. In some still more retired part of the cabin may sometimes be seen an invalid gentleman, who is leaving family and friends on the usually forlorn hope of recovering his failing health by a European tour.

His wife comes with him, perhaps, to take leave of him on board, being forbidden by domestic and maternal exigencies from accompanying him on his voyage. You see her struggling bravely to swallow her tears, and to let her husband carry away the impression of a smile upon her face, as his last recollection of it - if it should unhappily prove to be the last.

As the hour for the departure draws near the crowd increases on the decks and in the cabins until, at length, it becomes difficult to make one's way through the throng. Then comes the sound of the great bell, with the call of the steward, "All ashore!" This brings on the leave-takings - some given in jokes and laughter, and some in silence and tears.

 

 - Excerpt from:  Harper's New Monthly, August 1870:  "The Ocean Steamer"

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Hardrada55

Im1888EnV65-p459.jpg

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Max_Writer

These are helpful, thanks.  I've picked a year that is less popular or at least has less information.

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Karloff

You might try Osprey Publishing. I picked up New Vangard's Confederate Blockade Runner 1861-5 from them; if Osprey covers a topic as obscure as that, it may have something else you want. Or just nick the Blockade Runner plans and pretend it's a period passenger/freight packet.

 

Edit {browsing through Osprey's back catalogue] Dracula conquers America by eliminating Lincoln's government, presented as an 1875-era skirmish game? Ye Gods.

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Max_Writer

Thanks.  I'll look into that.

 

So, conversely, if I get to run these old D&D scenarios in Down Darker Trails, would the Sea Ghost (a cog) be a ship that might be used in 1875.  I can't find any information that verifies it.  

 

Sea Ghost.png

 

The more I think about this, though, the more I like the idea of the ship being one of the old steam Confederate Blockade Runners.  Hmmm ...

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RogerBW

AIUI there are some pure sailing ships still in use by then, but mostly they've gone over to hybrid (steam plus sail) propulsion.

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yronimoswhateley

The heyday of the cog seems to have been the 10th-14th centuries; it seems to have reached its structural limitation, and been replaced by the hulk until the 15th century, which in turn met its limit and saw replacement by the caravel and to a lesser extent the carrack and galleon, which seemed to hang on until the 17th century, and were followed by the fluyt up to the 18th century and the schooner and barque up to the 19th century, then the clipper and windjammer up into the steam era.  (Note that this is a simplification, and no doubt I missed some important developments here and there, and that the later ship designs were not necessarily a 1:1 replacement for earlier ones.)

 

However, I don't think I saw anything to indicate that no cogs were being built or sailed after the 14th century, so why not?  They seem to have been simple, economical, sturdy and well-built ships for their time, the height of ship technology for a long time, and well-suited for commerce in the north Atlantic.  It doesn't sound like a broken design, just one that was showing its age and limitations... surely some descendant of the cog would have been in at least limited use well into later eras of ship evolution?

 

Edit to add:  looks like a Mediterranean variation on the cog lasted until at least the 17th century? 

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Max_Writer

Thanks yronimoswhateley.  I like that idea.  I've found some plans for the CSS Alabama that might do and am now leaning a little more towards that, though have by no means made a final decision and might turn back to the cog.  I kind of like the idea of a sister ship to the Alabama (CSS Mississippi perhaps?) that disappeared in 1863 or 1864, her captain having decided to seek greener pastures by heading south, making his way around the horn, and renaming the ship before going into transport and smuggling on the west coast.  Thanks for the alternate possibilities.

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yronimoswhateley

You're quite welcome!

 

It seems the cog did last at least up to the 17th century as a popular design in the Mediterranean in a different variation from the northern cog - it definitely seems to have been a case of an "it's not broke, don't fix it too much" design over the centuries!

 

For something in the Pacific, there's the Indonesian djong, if you're interested in anything exotic - Greeks in the 3rd century apparently remarked on the huge ships of the far east in their time, and some truly monstrous examples of the djong were apparently built for local Asian trade up to the 17th century, before a paranoid government burned all the giants out of fear of their use as warship in the event of a rebellion.  Much smaller variations on the ship (the "junk") is still in use even today, and some of the older variations are believed to have sailed much of the way around Africa to the west, and across the Pacific to the Americas in the east. 

 

300px-Djong_Pati_Unus.jpg

A monstrous djong compared to a western Galleon....

 

These beasts were supposed to be able to transport hundreds of passengers and hundreds of tons of cargo and up to a year or more supply of grain, with families of sailors/traders living on board (supposedly some living their entire lives on the ships from birth to old age), wandering with the winds and currents around the Pacific looking for trade, the crew replacing the boards of the ship's relatively simple construction as they age while the ship travels without thought of returning home, with the crew's family raising chickens and other food on the ship, slaughtering and curing livestock on board, making and aging wine onboard, etc.  Navigators kept their own unique charts of the wide-ranging areas they sailed, and apparently westerners who were able to take the charts considered them great prizes, revealing much about the Pacific such as where lands and hazards could be found, what could be traded where, etc.

 

It seems to have been a relatively simple structure:  no frame, no nails, teak boards held together with wooden pegs, sails and rope made from woven bamboo, steered with two oar-like rudders at the sides of the ship (the rudders described in accounts as "tens of feet tall")....  I can't find any deck plans that seem representative of the design - judging from sketches of the things, they seem to have been pretty individual, so perhaps anything you can imagine might work (I should think it probably wasn't as elaborate a design as western ships would have been:  livestock were kept on board, I assume alongside cargo on large open lower decks, and no doubt passengers and crew similarly shared open spaces, I imagine separated from each other and from common spaces by little more than screens for privacy....)  The wide, flat-bottomed, frameless, rounded design seems to me roughly comparable to the western cog in spirit.

 

To me, this type of ship suggests something out of the Dreamlands more than a typical ship of the 1800s, but still, it seems a fun idea to work with, in the right setting....

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Max_Writer

Nice.  And more information I didn't have before.  Thanks.  Here's the Alabama (Mississippi):

 

Alabama_plans_2.jpg

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yronimoswhateley

I rather like that one!

 

I think this is a partial internal plan of the same Alabama, unfortunately labeled in some variation on German (German? Dutch? Danish? Austrian? I don't know, I barely speak my own language!):

 

21039d7b37051c0f73a6f75c87e813e2.jpg

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Max_Writer

Yes!  I found that one in English.

 

alabama-plan.jpg

 

I also found some other plans.  If I fiddle around with them in paint I should have plans enough to use it.

 

Alabama_plans_1 (1).jpg

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IbnGhazi

The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh? It has a ghost ship in it - ?

I've been looking for inspiration for Down Darker Trails scenarios and ideas and came across this haunting little tale:

 

The Death Ship of the Platte River

https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/wyoming/wy-death-ship/

 

A good tip if you are still hunting for an apt choice of vessel for the time period - check out naval/pirate related video game sites and forums. The developers at Game Labs (that do 'Naval Action') often put deck plans of late 18th century ships up on their forums. 'Buccaneers Reef' is dedicated to Age of Pirates and earlier 16th-17th c. sailing ships and also there is 'Pirates Ahoy' website that caters to a wide range of sailing games. Point is, those communities have lots of modders (that track down high quality design construction plans to render models for ships in games) and veritable experts on all things nautical. Their knowledge is by no means restricted to certain time periods and includes civilian and commercial shipping as well as military.  If you are polite and know what you are looking for, I'm sure they will point you in the right direction and maybe come up with some cracking ship draft/deck plans for you.

Hope that helps :)

 

943045269_Steam_Engine_Elevation_plan_and_section_of_a_steam-boat.thumb.jpg.cc52951ed33df11be21e772aea046936.jpg

SS-Savannah.jpg

Diagram_of_SS_Savannah.jpg

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IbnGhazi

Forgot to say  - above ship (last 2 images) is the SS Savannah.

 

And after posting I then discovered this fantastic resource

 

https://prints.rmg.co.uk/collections/ship-plans

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Max_Writer

Very cool!  Thank you.  I'll look into all of these.

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