Page 58 - Dutch Asiatic Shipping Volume 1
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 2264, 2277 and 2306), followed in 1718 by another four (2386, 2388, 2390 and 2396). This last series was allowed a maximum crew of 76 and 66 hands for outward and return voyages respectively. No more were built, for soon changes took place in the European sugar market and in 1721 the Heren Zeventien gave permission for the sugar fluyts to be used for other transport as well. In fact this happended to most of them.2 7
More important was an alteration for technical reasons. Well before 1714 some master shipwrights had been dissatisfied with the ships' width. 'In considering that the aforesaid ships being made wider, will have more body on the water and tread less deeply, moreover can carry more goods', master shipwrights of the Zeeland, Rotterdam and Delft chambers had already made their ships wider. In 1714 an official decision was made to this effect for all chambers. The width of the first rate became 42 ft (was 40), of the second rate 39 (was 36 ft 83/4 in.) and of the third rate 36 ft (was 33 ft 6V2 in.). Lockgates however set limits to this desire to widen ships. In Delfshaven, for one, the first rate could not be built, and the second could not exceed a width of 38 ft! In Zeeland no more than 42 ft was possible. Naval officer Christoffel Middagten predicted that the wider ships, because of their low centre of gravity, would be given to pitching and rolling and that 'too cruelly... and heavily laden ships on such arduous voyages, my good sirs, can not but result in the corruption of your Company and all that appertains to it.'2 8
The master shipwrights had their way, but their products did not give satisfaction. This will be raised again in chapter 6. The ships proved sluggish and unsafe. Although no official decision confirms it, in the Amsterdam chamber the building of ships of 160 ft was more or less discontinued in the 1720's. After the GAASPERDAM (2610) in 1724 only one such ship was put on the stocks in 1733: the HILLEGOM (2930). In the Zeeland chamber too the emphasis was on ships of the second rate. The other four chambers lacked the capacity for building 160 ft ships. It is clear that the largest East Indiaman fell into disuse. For warships, however, lengths of 160 ft and more were maintained.The Zeeland chamber put forward a proposal in 1731 to replace the 160 and 145 ft ships by one rate of 150 ft. There was no support for this.29
The Zeeland chamber, situated as it was by deep and open water, was active for other changes as well. It was not satisfied with ships of the third rate either. In 1736 it obtained permission to build a ship of 130 ft 'built for fast sailing', on condition that such a ship could carry as much cargo as was normal for this rate. It became the ARNESTIJN (3062). The Zeelanders did not wait for the results, but built another three such ships: the LOVERENDAAL (3105), OUWERKERK (3162) and HUIS TER DUINE (3202). For these however the Heren Zeventien had not given permission, and the Zeeland chamber had to suffer a sharp rebuke. Although the ARNESTIJN and LOVERENDAAL had not made very long voyages, members of the Haagse Besogne in 1739 declared the expe- riment a failure. Probably it was not so much the speed of the ships as the small cargo space that made them arrive at this verdict. They had carried out an on the spot inspection. They were convinced that this new type 'doubtless must be smaller of hold, as can clearly be
27 A R A , V O C 221, res. Heren 17 of 18.7.1714, 14.9.1717 and 14.7.1718; Glamann, Dutch-Asiatic trade, 163-164.
28 ARA, VOC 37, minute res. Heren 17 of 9.10.1714; VOC 221, res. Heren 17 of 9.3. and 10.7.1714. Ashipiscalledwreed(cruel)whenitlurchesfastandirregularlywithshortjerks,duetoanexcess of stability, which adversely affects the cargo and is unpleasant for those on board.
29 ARA,VOC43,minuteres.Heren 17of27.3.1731.FordimensionsofwarshipsseeBruijn,De admiraliteit van Amsterdam, 169-170.

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