Page 61 - Dutch Asiatic Shipping Volume 1
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 two chambers built their ships along these lines from then on, although the 1749 rate remained officially unchanged. It is owing to this discussion that from 1763 onwards technical drawings, in particular drawings of the timbers, were regularly included with the minutes and resolutions of the Heren Zeventien, much to the researcher's benefit.
Much more drastic changes were launched by the Zeeland chamber. For some time other Asiatic companies had used so-called three-deckers in their service. The East India Company was probably the first in 1748 with the 'Boscawen', though it did not change over to this type altogether. The Swedish Ostindiska Kompaniet did actually do so in 1753.37 So in 1764 master shipwright Willem Udemans (1750-1780), together with his son and successor of the same name (1780-1795), wanted to start building such ships.
Three-deckers were not a new type of ship. Normally East Indiamen had two continuous decks, the lower and the upper deck. Over the upper deck in the fore part was the forecastle and in the after part the halfdeck. These were connected by walkways. The open space between the foremast and the mainmast was called the kuil (waist). Here, among other things, the boat was kept. On three-deckers another complete deck was built above the now middle deck, so that the waist disappeared. They were sometimes called gladdek (stretched decked) ships. It was put forward as the great advantage of these ships that in heavy storms and 'dreadfully high seas' they did not become filled with water amidships. Many a deep-waisted ship had not proved equal to this or had lost m en and goods. Hurricanes in the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, and near the Cape during the winter season, were deeply feared because of this.
Father and son Udemans emphasized that their proposal did not imply a change in rates: 140 ft ships as well as 150 footers could be built as three-deckers and 'the entire run and fashion of the ship remains as it is.' Acceptance of their proposal would enable them to finish the PALLAS (3917), still on the stocks, as a three-decker after launching. Apart from the safety factor they argued that there would be far more room for men on board. In view of the high mortality rate en route and in the East this touched a very important point. A three-decked 150 footer could if required accommodate 450 souls, a deep-waisted vessel 360 to 370 only.3 8
The master shipwrights of the other chambers would not accept the Zeeland plan. Their objections were not concerned with the technical aspect, but on the grounds that three-dec- kers would be too stuffy and the distance between crew and officers would become less: these two groups were of course kept apart at halfdeck and forecastle. Respect for officers might disappear! Without an increase in draught the crankiness would increase. V an Zwijndregt in particular was worried about the first.3 9
Zeeland was given permission to complete the PALLAS as a first threedecker and in 1767, after favourable reports on the maiden voyage, to obtain more ships of this type. This had in fact already been the case since 1765. Up to the end of 1772 the Zeeland chamber obtained the use of some nine three-deckers (3997,4023,4025,4055,4095,4155, 4166,4189 and 4208). The ST A VENISSE (4208) was to be the last one for the time being, as the controversy surrounding the three-decker ship started up again around 1770. In 1770 father and son Udemans proposed to lengthen the 150 ft rate, for deep-waisted vessels as well as for three-deckers, keeping all other dimensions the same. The EUROPA
37 Sutton, Lords of the East, 52; Koninckx, Swedish East India Company, 161. 38 ARA,VOC58, minute res. Heren 17 of 4.4.1764.
39 ARA,VOC59, id. of 18.10.1764.

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