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12th century sailing ships

by John
(Charlotte, NC)

Han, I need to understand detail for the construction of The White Ship, sank off the coast of France in 1120, killing William, Duke of Normandy and only legitimate heir to Henry I.

Specifically, I believe it would have been about a 70 ft clinker construction cog powered by 16 oars and a single rectangular sail. Where could I learn more about it's dimensions, type of wood, height of mast, position of galley and captains wheel, etc? What types of steel and iron would be used and for what purpose?



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Dec 31, 2010
Another Dear John letter...
by: Han

Dear John,

It's quite clear you didn't search through all my articles on these kinds of subject, but if you'd have googled The White Ship 1120, you'd have certainly struck, and seen that it could certainly NOT have been a cog (a Hanseatic ship, straight-stemmed and -sterned) but a nef, one of the ship-types that sailed from The Cinque Ports (Five Harbours, on the southern side of England), see
Captain's wheel? Not for another few centuries, only a steering-oar and helm. Galley? No fixed position. Clinker-built: it took some more centuries to see carvel-built ships. Height of the mast: a little less than length of hull. Single square sail: never heard of another kind of rig. Wood used: oak (what else?) Iron and/or steel: weaponry.
You see: I took all possible trouble to research and write my articles, but if you don't read them I'm sorry for you.
Happy new year,


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