The Half moon is in dry dock, but tomorrow I will bring her home to the wharf to be build.
The discovery ship the Half Moon was a small and lightly armed galleon, although in VOC documents it is called a Yacht. And by Emanuel van Meteren (a Flemish Historian) even vlieboot (flyboat).
The original Half Moon (Halve Maen) was commissioned on March 25, 1609, for the Dutch East India Company. She was a ship of exploration and the spaceship of her age, designed to take a crew of twenty into unknown and uncharted waters.
Hired by the Dutch East India Company to find a Northeast, all-water route to Asia. but only a month out of port, the Dutch/English crew of his ship was disheartened after their passage north of Norway was blocked by Arctic ice floes. Many talked of mutiny.
Sitting in his cabin, the concerned captain considered his dilemma and options. A compromise was made. The course was changed and what began as a search for a Northeast passage became a transatlantic crossing to look for a Northwest passage to the rich spice. trade of China. Of course, some think that Hudson's intention all along was to go Northwest.
Hudson in North America
After reaching the Maine coast and replacing a foremast lost in rough storms during her Atlantic crossing. the Half Moon sailed southward as far as the present day North Carolina Outer Banks. Then, turning northward, Hudson explored the Delaware Bay before arriving at the mouth of a wide river. Could this be a passage to the Pacific Ocean?
Hudson stopped at points on the New Jersey coast before sailing the small ship up the river which today bears the Captain's name--the Hudson River, but it was soon obvious that it was an inland river, not a west-ward passage. Hudson sailed upriver to present-day Albany before returning down river, and claiming the region for the Dutch.
It would be many years before the significance of Hudson s 1609 voyage to America would be understood, and the Half Moon universally recognized as one of the best known ships of exploration.
The Half Moon’s Specifications
The ship assigned to Hudson by the Dutch East India Company was small by 17th-century standards. Built in a Dutch shipyard of German and Danish lumber with a high forecastle and sterncastle, she resembled the so-called Vlie boats the Dutch used on the Zuider Zee. England and the Netherlands were then fierce commercial rivals. The Dutch had a fleet of 1,680 ships, vastly outnumbering the 350 available to the English.
Being lighter and narrower, with their frames spaced much wider apart and using lighter planking topside, Dutch ships were faster than their English competitors, which had tightly spaced frames. Unlike English shipbuilders, the Dutch built their oceangoing vessels with flat bottoms to negotiate the shallow entrance to the Zuider Zee.
Because the original Half Moon was built using a simple geometric method called the tangent arc system, no comprehensive plans have survived. Even in the 17th century, industrial espionage was common; this may also explain why no plans have ever been found.
Although the Half Moon has a large amount of sheer (the upward curve of the longitudinal lines of the hull), the decks remain surprisingly level. Today, boats are built with decks following the sweep of the sheer. A horizontal deck offered many advantages: on warships with gunports in a line, cannons on wheeled carriages could easily be served and moved. Level decks also could be flooded when needed, lowering the risk of fire and explosion.
The rig and sail plan of the Half Moon are typical of square-rigged ships of the period: a square foresail and topsail on the foremast and foretopmast; a square mainsail and topsail on the mainmast and main topmast; a triangular lateen sail hung on a long yard attached at an angle to the top of the mizzenmast. A square spritsail hanging from the bowsprit. In all, the sail area measured about 2,800 square feet.
Type of ship : Yacht
Construction : Build in 1608 for the chamber of Amsterdam at a shipyard in Amsterdam
Purpose : Used by the Dutch East India Company from 1609 to 12/1618
Loading capacity : 80 Tons
Crew : 15-20
Sail Area : 256,13 m²
Length on deck : 25.9 m.
On the keel length : 19.7 m.
Height : 23.8 m.
Width : 5.3 m.
Draught : 2.6 m.
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