Chapman’s Oar-powered Maltese Galley

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Maltese Galley from Chapman’s Architectura Navalis Mercatoria

 

Fredrik Henrik af Chapman, the author of “Architectura Navalis Mercatoria” was an internationally renowned naval architect. Vessels he designed included the Swedish King Gustav III’s ship “Amphion,” the cabin of which is preserved at the Swedish National Maritime Museum.

Starting in 1765, Chapman devoted himself for two years to creating Architectura Navalis Mercatoria, a volume of drawings which he beleived exemplified the best and most interesting vessels of the time. The work was published in 1768. Several original copies of the book, together with the copper plates originally used to print the illustrations, are in the collection of the Swedish national Maritime Museum.

The book contains 62 illustrations of vessels from around the world. Some were designed by Chapman himself, but many were vessels he had encountered on his travels. The book includes everything from warships to small fishing craft. This particular plan is of an oar-powered galley from Malta.

Chapman’s description:

La Capitana, Gallere de Malte, de 30 couples de rames, a 5 hommes par rame. Son artillerie en avant est de 1 Canon du Coursier de 36 de fonte, 2 pieces de 8, & deux de 6 livres de balles, & par les cotés 18 perriers de 2 livres de balles & 18 Espingols.
A est le Gavon. B L’antichambre. C sa grande chambre ou logent les Officiers. D Lescandalar pour les provisions du Capitaine. E Le Payol pain & legumes. F Compagne vin & viandes. G La soute aux poudres H. La Taverne. I chambre au voiles & cordages. K. L’hopital & le Tola_ des malades. LL. chambre de proue, & gavar de pion. M est une section de la gallere au maitre gabarit.

Rough translation:

The Capitana, Gallery of Malta, of 30 pairs of oars, 5 men per oar.  Forward artillary is one 36-pounder long gun, two 8-pounders, & two 6-pounders; along the sides 18 2-pounders and 18 pivot guns. In the accomodation plan, A is the Gavon (stern quarters);  B the rear cabin;  C The great cabin and lodging for the Officers;  D Hold for the provisions of the Captain;  E The stores of bread and vegetables.  F Storage of wine & meats.  G The powder magazine; H The saloon;.  I Storage for the sails & ropes.  K. The sickbay & medical stores.  LL. The forecastle and anchor locker.  M is a section of the galley amidships.

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