Early History

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Indigenous Americans making a dugout canoe, a practice which they had done for centuries.

Dugouts are the oldest type of boats that archaeologists have found, and boats have served as transportation since the earliest times. Circumstantial evidence, such as the early settlement of Australia over 40,000 years ago, findings in Crete dated 130,000 years ago, and findings in Flores dated to 900,000 years ago, suggest that boats have been used since prehistoric times. The earliest boats are thought to have been logboats, and the oldest boats found by archaeological excavation date from around 7,000–10,000 years ago. The oldest recovered boat in the world is the Pesse canoe, a dugout made from the hollowed tree trunk of a Pinus sylvestris and constructed somewhere between 8200 and 7600 BC. This canoeis exhibited in the Drents Museum in Assen, Netherlands. Other very old dugout boats have also been recovered. A 7,000 year-old seagoing reed boat has been found in Kuwait. Boats were used between 4000 and 3000 BC in Sumer, ancient Egypt and in the Indian Ocean.

Boats played an important role in the commerce between the Indus Valley Civilization and Mesopotamia. Evidence of varying models of boats has also been discovered at various Indus Valley archaeological sites. The Uru was built in Beypore, a village in south Calicut, Kerala, in southwestern India. This mammoth wooden ship was constructed using teak, without any iron, and had a transport capacity of 400 tonnes. Such boats were used by the ancient Arabs and Greeks as trading vessels.

More from Wikipedia: Uru, DhowPatamarShips of ancient Greece,
Ships of the Hellenistic period‎, Ancient Roman ships‎.


The famous Trireme – an ancient Mediterranean warship

The History of Ships: Ancient Maritime World

From MarineInsight.com.

In ancient marine times, people used rafts, logs of bamboo, bundles of reeds, air filled animal skins and asphalt covered baskets to traverse small water bodies. To be precise, the first boat was a simple frame of sticks lashed together and covered expertly with sewn hides. These boats could carry large and heavy loads easily. You get to know about examples of such ancient boats among the bull boats of North American plains, the kayaks of the Inuit’s and the coracks of British islanders. Yet another ancient boat was the dugout which is a log that is hollowed out and pointed at the ends. Some of these were even as long as sixty feet.  Here is a brief attempt to traverse lightly over the history of ships and how they evolved to what they are now.

The Usage of Poles and Invention of the Oar

Ancient marine history makes for quite an interesting study of the strength and survival instincts of humanity at large. For instance, in ancient times, the simple oar was not in use. Instead people used their hands to paddle along in their tiny boats. They moved rafts by pushing poles against the bottom of the rivers. Slowly, using creative instincts and ingenuity, man learnt to redesign the poles by flattening them and widening it at one end, and thus the paddle was designed to be used in deeper waters. Later on, it was again ingeniously transformed to become the oar-a-paddle that is fixed on the sides of boats.

Invention of Sails

The invention of the sail was the greatest turning point in maritime history. The sails replaced the action of human muscles and sail boats could embark on longer trips with heavier loads. Earlier vessels used square sails that were best suited for sailing down wind. Fore and aft sails were devised later.

Egyptians take the credit for developing advanced sailing cargo ships. These were made by lashing together and sewing small pieces of wood. These cargo ships were used to transport great columns of stone for monument building.

Phoenicians and their Contribution

History of ships is never complete without mentioning the Phoenicians. They deserve special mention since it is highly probable that they were the pioneers of the wooden sailing vessels that were to sail the high seas centuries later. The Phoenicians fashioned out galleys from the earlier dugouts with sails and oars providing power. As the galleys grew larger, according to specifications and requirements, rowers were arranged at two levels.

These were called the biremes by the Greeks and Romans. They also built triremes that are galleys with three banks of oars.

Types of Ships in Ancient Maritime History

As marine history and along with it, the history of ships unfolds; it draws images of intrigue and amazement at the expert and diligent craftsmanship of the ancient mariners. The medieval ships were clinker built, which refers to the clenching of nail -on technique used for securing planks. The clinker design was adapted from the earlier skin boats which had to be over lapped to make it water tight.

The Irish, in the medieval ages were in possession of more advanced vessels like the Irish curragh. These had wooden frames and a hide covered wicker hull; it is speculated that these ancient ships were fitted with removable masts rigged using primitive sails.

By 1000 AD, the famed Viking Long ship was permitted a travel into the Mediterranean. These ships were wider and had a more advanced mast stepping design.

By 800 AD an alternative form of the north European ship design, the hulk came into vogue. The Utrecht ship is an example of the hulk. Its planks are flush, butted end to end and tapered in order to draw up at the sides and at the bow and stern.

Improvements in Marine Vessels

Ships continued to develop as overseas trade became increasingly more important. By late 1100’s a straight stern post was added to ships to facilitate the hanging rudder. This aspect improved greatly the handling characteristics of a ship. The rudder permitted larger ships to be designed. It also allowed for ships with increasingly higher free boards to be built.

As years passed, in order to avoid risk of water damage, cargo was transported in large gallon barrels called tuns. The crew could now sleep on big leather bags on deck; the passenger space was termed “steerage” and this term is still in use today to refer to passenger accommodation of minimal facilities.

The British relied heavily on the nef, a term used for ships. At this point of time, ship design took a different turn – the first distinctive feature was the plank on frame construction. This allowed for much larger ships to be built. With more ships at sea, trade occurred from nearly all ports and there arose a need for a ship that could sail from anywhere to anywhere.

The carrack was designed and she was truly one of the tall ships. It has its origin in Genoa and sports the design of three Mediterranean vessels set to sail north through the Atlantic trade in the Bat of Biscay. The carrack was almost exclusively built of carvel, a type of construction that had its uses in both skin and frame built ships. In this design, the planks are fitted edge to edge rather than overlapping. In fact the carrack was the first to use the full skeletal design with planking framed on ribs the entire way to the keel.

More from MarineInsight.com.


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      BOAT BUILDING & REFITTING » Boat Equipment » Propulsion » Engines » ∨∨
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      Lees, Lehman, Mermaid, Parsons, RenaultSabre, Thornycroft, Wortham Blake »
      DO-IT-YOURSELF » DIY Boat Building, Refitting & Repair » DIY Schools & Classes »
      MEDIA w/Creator Directory » Documentation, BooksMagazinesVideosWebsites »
    2. (The "»" symbol shows the chain through the page links.)
    3. (A "," comma between page links in the chain indicates pages are not subordinate, but are instead at the same level. See engine brands in the example above.)
    4. (The "∨", "∨∨", "∨∨∨",+ symbols indicate that the path line continues with whatever follows the "∧", "∧∧", "∧∧∧",+ symbols respectively. "∧" Precedes each MAIN TOPIC Page.)
  2. PAGE CONTENTS (Table of Contents with links to each main section on the page).
  3. PAGE BODY (The type of page determines the contents of its body as follows:).
    1. TOPIC PAGES (Topic Treatment: Introduction, Overview, Background, Details,+).
      • (Many Topic Pages contain Directories of Vendors with Links).
      • (Most Directory Listings are Alphabetical and/or by Locale).
    2. VENDOR PAGES (Vendor's Profile, Contact Information, Products, Services,+).
      • (Manufacturers, Resellers, Refitters, Yards, Surveyors, Clubs, Schools, Authors,+).
      • (Boating & Travel Destinations are treated as Vendors on their own Vendor Pages).
    3. PRODUCT PAGES (Product Features, Vendor Links, Specifications, Documentation,+).
      • (Media created by a vendor is often treated as a Product on its own Product Page).
      • (Boating & Travel Events are often treated as Products on their own Product Pages).
  4. RELATED RESOURCES (Topics, Vendors, Products, Media: Books, Websites,+ with Links).
  5. PAGE TAIL Contains the following Anchors Aweigh Academy & EAB Website Features:
    1. The Anchors Aweigh Academy's EverythingAboutBoats.org Header.
    2. A link to our Featured Articles EAB Home Page.
    3. Top 20 Most Popular Articles. (The section that appears right above this section).
    4. Layout of the EverythingAboutBoats.org Website's Pages. (This very section).
    5. What we have accomplished so far. (The very next section below).
    6. Members must Sign-In to gain full access to Expanded Pages & Programs.
    7. Sign-Up (if not already a member).
    8. Public Comments (about the website & about this page).
  6. RIGHT SIDEBAR (Website Contents menu with links to Main Topic & Subtopic pages).

3
Website Pages are categorized under the following 16 MAIN TOPICS:

The MAIN TOPICS follow a natural progression from building of the vessel thru its
marketing, survey, financing, insuring, transport, moorage, use and upkeep.
The MAIN TOPICS (all Caps) below are followed by their Main Subtopics.

00 – HOME: CONTENTSABOUT EAB: Contact EAB, Abbreviations & Symbols, FAQ, GLOSSARY, ADs,+.
01 – ABOUT BOATS w/Museum Directory: Early History, Recent History, Modern Vessel Types,+.
02 – BOAT BUILDING, OUTFITTING, REFITTING & REPAIR: Materials, Equipment, Builders,+.
03 – BOAT MARKETING: Boat Shows, Dealers & Brokers, Importing & Exporting, Auctions & Sales,+.
04 – BOAT INSPECTION: Types of Marine Surveys, Marine Surveyors, Schools, DIY Inspections,+.
05 – BOAT TITLES & VESSEL REGISTRY: Boat Title & Registration, Vessel Registry, Title Co's,+.
06 – BOAT FINANCING: Conventional (Banks, Credit Unions,+), Unconventional (Creative),+.
07 – BOAT INSURANCE: Maritime & Recreational: Coverage, Carriers, Agents,+., Claim Processing,+.
08 – BOAT TRANSPORT: By Sea (Piggyback, Delivery Skippers & Crews, & Towing), Over-Land,+.
09 – BOAT HAULING & LAUNCHING: Drydocks, Ways, Lifts, Cranes & Hoists, Launch Ramps,+.
10 – BOAT MOORAGE & STORAGE: Builders, Anchorages, Marinas, Yards, Racks & Stacks,+.
11 – BOATING ORGANIZATIONS: Yacht Clubs & Sailing Clubs, Paddling Clubs, Boat Owners,+.
12 – BOATING & TRAVEL: Events, Destinations, Boat Rentals & Charters, Cruises, Voyages,+.
13 – BOATING & MARITIME EDUCATION: Recreational Seamanship, Ship's Master & Crew,+.
14 – MARINE LAWS & REGULATIONS: International & National LawsLawyers‚ Investigators‚+.
15 – DO-IT-YOURSELF (DIY): Boat Building & Refitting, Boat Sales, Boat Inspections, Classes,+.
16 – MEDIA w/Creator Directory + Academy eLibrary: pDocs, Books, Magazines, Videos, Websites,+.

The MAIN TOPICS and a more detailed listing of Subtopics can be found
on the Website Contents page and on the Right Sidebar.


What we have accomplished so far.
Anchors Aweigh Academy and its EverythingAboutBoats.org website.

  • Published over 300 website main topic webpages, many with full articles on the topic. See our Website Contents or the Right Sidebar for the listing of the main topic pages.
  • Published over 9,000 marine vendor webpages, all with their contact information, most with a description of their products and services, many with product documentation, specifications and independent reviews. (incl.: Boat designers, boat building tools, material and equipment manufacturers and suppliers, boat builders and dealers, yacht brokers, marine surveyors, boat insurers, boat transporters, skippers and crews, boatyards and marinas, yacht clubs, boat rentals and yacht charters, boating, seamanship and maritime schools, marine law attorneys and expert witnesses, boat refitters and repairers, book authors, magazine publishers, video producers, and website creators)
  • Acquired over 120,000 pages of product documentation including Catalogs, Brochures, SpecSheets, Pictures, Serial Number Guides, Installation Manuals, OpManuals, Parts Catalogs, Parts Bulletins, Shop Manuals, Wiring Diagrams, Service Bulletins, and Recalls. And have made all viewable to Academy Members through our EAB website eLibrary.
  • Acquired over 1,200 books and magazine back issues in our academy library and so far have made over 700 viewable to Academy Members through our EAB website eLibrary.
  • Published over 500 DIY How-To articles about boat design, construction, inspection, operation, maintenance, troubleshooting and repair. We are working hard to do more.

We are currently formatting and polishing the Anchors Aweigh Academy online and hands-on courses. Our Marine Surveying course has proven to be excellent for both the beginner and the seasoned surveyor, and especially helpful to the Do-It-Yourselfer.


Current Academy Members must SIGN IN to gain FULL access to this
website including expanded pages and valuable Academy programs
like our Academy eLibrary and our Ask-An-Expert Program!

If your membership has expired, CLICK HERE to Renew.

IF YOU ARE NOT YET AN ANCHORS AWEIGH ACADEMY MEMBER,
CLICK HERE to discover how you can become a Member and gain FULL access to
thousands of expanded pages and articles, and dozens of excellent programs
WITH JUST A SMALL DONATION!


Comments for Public Viewing

Submit any comments for public viewing via email To: Comments♥EverthingAboutBoats.org (Replace "♥" with "@")
Please remember to put this webpage's title in the subject line of your email.
All comments are moderated before they appear on this page. See Comment Rules.

General Comments About the Website

FROM Donald: "This is an awesome website. I found the information that I needed right away from one of the over 20,000 free articles that you provide as a public service. I'm surprised that so much if this site is free. But I still signed up so I could access the thousands of expanded pages, interesting articles, and dozens of valuable programs! The member's library of books, magazines and videos that I can view online is really terrific! I understand that you and your staff are all unpaid volunteers. Please keep up the good work. And I commend you for your plans to add another 10,000 free informative articles over the next year. I'm thrilled to support you in this endeavor with my small membership donation. Thanks again for all your hard work."

FROM Huey: "I agree with my Uncle, I too have found the articles to be very enlightening. They say that it will take about 100,000 articles to cover the full scope that they have envisioned for the website. They have over 20,000 articles so far and that's doing pretty well, but it could take several years to get the rest. I also noticed that many of the Main Topic Pages and some of the article pages are still in the rough draft stage. I guess that they will fill in as they can get volunteers to work on them. But what I can't figure out is why anyone would spend the time writing informative in depth articles just to give away free to this website for publication? What's in it for them?"

FROM Dewey: "Well Huey, to me It looks like most of the articles on this website are written by very informed people, like boating instructors, boat designers, boat builders, riggers, electricians, fitters, marine repair technicians and marine surveyors. Writing such articles helps establish them as knowledgeable professionals. After all, this website was originally created by a school for marine technicians and marine surveyors. The website is growing in content every day. They even had to move to a bigger, more powerful server because the website's traffic has been growing exponentially."

FROM Louie: "I agree with everyone above. This site is quickly becoming the ultimate reference resource about every aspect of boats and ships for everyone from the beginning recreational boater to the seasoned professional mariner. I use the topic pages on the right sidebar to browse around the website. It's like a Junior Woodchucks' Guidebook for Boaters. Their Members' Library of over 300 popular and obscure books and over 200 magazine back issues that can be viewed online is fabulous. The Academy's magazine is especially informative. On top of that, there is the "Ask-An-Expert program for members where you can get an expert's answer to any of your boat questions. And a whole years membership is only $25. What a deal! I really love being part of this "Everything About Boats" community and help provide thousands of helpful articles free to the public. I think that I'll sit down right now and write an article about my experiences boating with my uncle."

FROM Scrooge: "You rave about this website like it was the best thing since sliced bread. Well, I think it stinks. Sure, it has a lot of good information for boaters, and they're adding more every day, but it will probably never be finished. Furthermore, I don't even own a boat. And I wouldn't have a boat even if someone gave me one. Boats are a waste of money and time and energy and money! They're just a hole in the water you pour money into. If you gave me a boat, I'd sell it quicker then you could say Baggywrinkle. Then I'd lock up the cash with all my other money so I could keep my eye on it and count it every day. Bah humbug."

FROM Daisy: "I'm just so glad that Donald got the boat so we and the boys could enjoy boating — together. And of course all of the girls, April, May, and June, love to be on the water too, especially when that is where the boys are. Oh poor Scrooge, boating is more fun then you could possibly imagine."

FROM Scrooge: "After seeing how much fun you all have on the water together, I regret that I didn't have that much fun when I was young. I've had a change of heart, and I'm giving each of you a Lifetime Academy Membership."

FROM Editor: "For those of you that have stayed with us this far, many thanks, and we hope that you found this little narrative informative. Your faithful support inspires us to keep working on this phenomenal website. We know that we have a lot more to do. Ultimately, we hope that we can help you enjoy the wonder filled world of boating as much as we do. We are all waiting to see what you have to say about this webpage article. Submit any comments via email To: Comments♥EverythingAboutBoats.org (Replace "♥" with "@"). Be sure to include this page's title in the subject line. Also, your corrections, updates, additions and suggestions are welcomed. Please submit them via email To: Editor♥EverythingAboutBoats.org (Replace "♥" with "@"). It has been truly amazing to see what we have been able to accomplished when we've worked together. Thanks to all those that have donated their valuable time and energy, and a special THANK YOU to all that have supported this cause with their membership donations."

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