Page 119 - Dutch Asiatic Shipping Volume 1
P. 119

 Madagascar, the continuous upper deck proved to be the ship's preservation41 where on many occasions the deep waisted ship was irretrievably lost.
Safety and speed in shipping between the Republic and Asia deteriorated again during the seventies and eighties. Examples have already been given. The ships came once again under full discussion around 1790. The introduction of the three-decker was a case in point, as was the decision on copper-bottoming. Next to the shallow draught of estuaries the high cost of shipbuilding began to play a role in this discussion. Hired and purchased merchantmen remained in service, but turned out to be expensive.42 Eventually in 1793 a solution was found for shallow draught as well as high costs.
Albeit without the unanimous approval of the master shipwrights, it was decided to opt for the building of cheaper threemasted pinkships with their considerable carrying capa- city, shallower draught and small crews. Six pinkships were completed, among them the already mentioned ZUIDPOOL. This ZUIDPOOL illustrates the fact that a copper-bot- tomed three-decker ship under a permanent master who was not hampered by sailing instructions and the duty to call at the Cape, could make a number of fast and safe voyages to Java and China during the French period, under Danish flag,43 in the same way as the Danes and Swedes used to do. The pinkship of 1793 was as it were a nod to the future - a future the Company itself was not to live to see.
41 A R A , V O C 4446, Governor-General and Council to China-Committee 23.9.1791 and Canton toid.24.11.1791;Stavorinus,VoyagesII,34.
42 Steur, Herstel of ondergang, 169, 179 and 184.
43 The GRAAF CHRISTIAAN BERNSTORFF (formerly the ZUIDPOOL) under captain W .
Stuart (born in Doornik) made the following voyages: March 1798 left Copenhagen, in August at Batavia and on 12 October ,1798 at Canton, departing end December and on 20 May 1799 at Dordrecht; on 28 May 1800 with 64 crew left Elseneur, on November 1st at Surabaja and on 12 January 1801 at Canton, departing end February, and on 27 July 1801 at Emden; 26 December 1801 left Emden/Delfzijl, 14 May 1802 at Batavia, 26 July at Canton, departing 18 December 1802, 3 June 1803 at Delfzijl (see note 17).

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