What Ship Is That? The Clipper, Cog & Collier

A Modern-day Clipper?

Could This Be A Modern-day Clipper?

As you may know by now, the Link Ship Chandlers team tends to geek out over historical ships (to put it mildly). We’ve been sharing some info and fun facts about our favourites over the past few months. The last installment took at look at the Catamaran, Catboat, and Chebec. Today we journey onwards into the fascinating world of historical shipping by taking a look at the long-haul Clipper, curvy Cog and rough-and-tumble Collier.

The Clipper – The Long-Haul Marvel

The Clipper was a reaction against the advent of steam power. The European maritime trade took some time to return to normal after the Napoleonic war, and when they did the skippers found that they had to compete with the rates of steam-power ships. To make their sail-powered vessels go faster, they made it longer so they could add more sails, making it ideal for long-haul journeys. In this arena, they easily outwitted their steam-ship counterparts, since these vessels would have to stop to re-coal along the way.

DID YOU KNOW? Steam power had a big hand in changing naval tactics and strategy when it came onto the scene in the 1700s. Because ships fueled in this way did not have to rely on wind to sail, they could navigate anywhere at any time. It also had a big impact on maritime warfare, since steam-propelled warships could be fitted with a steel body, screw propellers and shell guns.

The Cog – The Curvy Trade Vessel

The first ever historical mention of a Cog is noted near Muiden in the Netherlands. The word itself means ’rounded’, and harks back to a hybrid Dutch/Flemish term. These ships were characterised by a single square sail, flat bottom and the rounded bilge that gave it its name.

DID YOU KNOW? Muiden was the centre of gunpowder production in the Netherlands during the 1700s when the production of the hazardous substance was removed from the city of Amsterdam. It provided a steady source of income for the citizens of the area until the early 1900s and was only closed in 2001 after a big fire and ongoing concerns over the safety of the premises.

The Collier – The Rough & Tumble Coal Hauler

The Collier was designed for use by the English coal trade. The mines on the Tyneside of England required cheap and effective vessels to transport their coal to London, and the Collier Brig fit the bill. There was no needless ornamentation, and the ships normally traveled in a convoy to make them less vulnerable to pirates who would try to poach the Black Gold as it made its way inland.

DID YOU KNOW? Coal is our planet’s most abundant fossil fuel. Largely made of carbon, it also features other elements like hydrogen, sulfur, and nitrogen. It starts out as plant matter at the bottom of water sources and presents in different colours, depending on how much carbon it contains.

Check back soon for Part Nine that will delve into the intricacies of the Corvette, Cutter & Dhow. respectively.


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