Page 62 - Dutch Asiatic Shipping Volume 1
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 (4155) had already been built to this length and could carry nearly fifty last more. Their colleagues found this far too drastic. Such long ships would become too slender, would sag and get a so-called katterug (hog's back) and have much too deep a draught. Apart from this controversy, the Zeeland chamber wanted a decision for three-deckers to be built as a matter of course and no longer on an experimental basis. The outcome of it was that in 1772 the Heren Zeventien decided that the building of three-deckers was to be suspended. First more research and discussion were called for. The other chambers could not cope with ships like the EUROPA - the camels in the Zuiderzee were calculated for ships of 150 ft at the most!40
The following years saw endless argument. Many a naval officer gave his opinion. Masters and mates who had sailed on a three-decker praised its manoeuvrability, the separation between the guns on the lower and middle deck and the running rigging on the upper deck, and no water being made in the waist. Notably the Amsterdam commis­ sioner of the shipyard Adriaan Arend Titsingh (1758-1795) advanced all sorts of defects of the three-decker ships. The two Udemans put up a strong defence. The EUROPA's hog's back was due not to its design but to a stranding, the RIJNSBURG (7842) had capsized in the South China Sea in 1772 not because of its slenderness but because, in heavy seas, water had entered through the gunports which had not been secured. Large gratings ensured sufficient ventilation inside the ships. The stench of livestock was not a problem because pigs and hens were kept in pens on the upper deck between foremast and belfry, and sheep in the boat or between the guns along the boards. The Zeeland director Daniel Radermacher put up money for a competition on the best type of East Indiaman. Udemans and the ship's surgeon Ezechiel Lombard had little trouble in demon­ strating in 1779 that for technical as well as medical reasons three-deckers were superior.41
In the end the Zeeland chamber achieved recognition of the three-decker's qualities. But it took a long time. In 1780 it was decided that each chamber had to decide for itself whether to build ships without or with a waist. Zeeland immediately converted the GOU­ VERNEUR-GENERAAL D E CLERCK (4430), still on the stocks, into a three-decker. A number of others followed. Resistance on the part of the other chambers declined, and on 28 December 1793 the Heren Zeventien declared that 'sufficient and experiential' evidence was available that 'ships with stretched decks or three-deckers'... were to be given 'preference over the deep-waisted ships'. The latter were no longer to be built.4 2 After thirty years the Udemans family had been vindicated.
One reason why the Amsterdam chamber gave up its resistance may have been the failure of an experiment of its own. In 1784 this chamber wanted to introduce a new rate of ships o f 160 χ 42V2 χ 19V2 ft with corresponding camels. The other chambers raised objections on practical grounds, for one, their shipyards being too short.4 3 Yet Amsterdam was allowed to build such a ship, the ADMIRAAL D E SUFFREN (4543), of 1300 tons. This very large deep-waisted ship was not a great success. On its maiden voyage it sank
40 ARA,VOC61, id.of 25.3.1767; VOC65, id.of 18.4 and3.10.1772; VOC 66, id.of 9.4.1773; VOC 133, res. Heren 17 of 5.4.1770.
41 ARA, VOC 187, res. Heren 17 of 20.4.1779; VOC 66, documents added on to minute resolutions; VOC 11356, Memorandum by Udemans with supplement; ARA, Coll. Radermacher 295. Lom­ bard and Udemans, Antwoorden op de vraagen; Mulder, 'Het vergaan', 625.
42 ARA,VOC144,res.Heren 17of28.12.1793;ARA,Library,C.S.Matthaeus,KortgevatJaar­ boek.
43 ARA,VOC 77, minute of res. Heren 17 of 13.5.1784.

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