Maritime sources

pmmg

Istar
So, I find myself looking up things along these lines a lot.

What kind of shop did such and such culture have at some point in time, how many did it carry? how much crew did it require? and how fast could it go?

My question is, does anyone have a good resource for this type of information?
 

skip.knox

toujours gai, archie
Moderator
There are a ton of resources. Here are some sites
Bibliography of Maritime History – Medieval England Maritime Project
https://nautarch.tamu.edu/class/612/PRECLASS.htm
Nautical Bibliographies
Those are all scholarly. This was the search string
medieval naval history bibliography site:edu
You can substitute whatever you wish in place of medieval
There's also Archie Lewis' book
https://www.amazon.com/European-Maritime-History-300-1500-Midland/dp/0253205735
which is pretty standard (I had the good fortune of taking a readings class from him, once upon a distant time)
And this one, which I've not read
https://www.amazon.com/Medieval-Maritime-Warfare-Charles-Stanton/dp/1781592519/

And a few website, in case you don't have ready access to academic resources (but ILL will get you most)
External website and information Links - Global Maritime History

Then there's simply searching by country
maritime history denmark
or time period
maritime history early modern

Have fun!
 

pmmg

Istar
This is helpful, but also a lot of reading. I feel there must be a way to say all of this in a more brief fashion. I used to have a Dragon Magazine article on the stuff I was looking for, but I lost it, and last time I looked it was not what I remembered. I have been thinking for years of making this myself to post for others. I am still winging it.

Maybe I can put something together. Maybe with the sources above.
 

ThinkerX

Myth Weaver
I have an old 'Time-Life' series of print books collectively termed 'The Seafarers' that goes into exhaustive detail on ships through the ages, the emphasis being those in the western hemisphere. Readable. lots of illustrations.
 

skip.knox

toujours gai, archie
Moderator
>(Secretly, still wishing Dragon Magazine was still around).
Agreed!

Yes it's a lot of reading. The question is not simple. It's akin to the question of how fast people could travel on horseback. It's a simple matter to find a table or two with numbers in it. Such tables make horse people wince. So too with ship capacities and speed. Reality varies so wildly, you can pretty much do as you please.

On a more practical level, I'd do this. First, extract all those tables and arrange them to suit your needs. Then consult the Web as to ship types. Even if Dragon doesn't show a barqentine or a cog, it will have something close enough. You could then make a new line in your table and adjust the numbers in a way that seems to make sense to you. Given the wide variability in actual sailing ships (I'm less sure of steam ships), chances are high you'll be correct enough.
 

Aldarion

Inkling
So, I find myself looking up things along these lines a lot.

What kind of shop did such and such culture have at some point in time, how many did it carry? how much crew did it require? and how fast could it go?

My question is, does anyone have a good resource for this type of information?
I would suggest first defining whether you are looking for merchant ships or warships, and then looking for relevant history science magazines, although you obviously shouldn't ignore books either.

And even if you are interested in both, splitting up search may prove beneficial as more focused articles may prove more useful.
 

Mad Swede

Inkling
If you can, go and look at real examples. What you won't get from any written sources is a feel for what those ships were actually like. As an example, it was only when I saw the replica of John Cabot's ship Matthew that I appreciated just how small it was, just how much courage it took to sail the Atlantic in it and just how difficult trade across the sea must have been in those days. Ships of that age couldn't carry much cargo and their size made them vulnerable to storms, which made trade extremely profitable - if the ship arrived safely.
 
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