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'Le Muiron' Venetian/French frigate 1797 (With Plans)

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Only claiming to be moderately versed in maritime architecture but that extra-sharp bow means her keel runs almost her full length, and like a good French frigate she doesn't have that much bulk below the waterline (not like the long-term storage capacity built into a British ship). A fine-hulled ship of her length with minimal water resistance would be faster under ideal conditions, but she would be more stable and weatherly. At the same time, she'd be faster than a broader or fuller ship of her length while still probably being more stable (though only in terms of roll, rather than roll and heel together) and weatherly.

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I would like to know more about why the bow would have given such fast sailing qualities

 

 

What 'fast sailing qualities' you´re talking about? Got a source with knots etc? :)

 

And never, ever judge the sailing qualities of a ship by it´s hull shape, it doesn´t work. They were a combination of many things and the hull shape was only a small part of it.

The fastest frigates (15 knots) in the late era of the age of sail, like the british Inconstant and the danish Gefion, had a relatively full bow, for example.

 

And a sharp bow may be an advantage in a light and 'flat' sea, but it made the ship prone to severe pitching as soon as the sea got up with a considerable impact on it´s max speed.

Hogging would be another problem as there´s not enough buoyancy fore to support the structure.

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Look at the bow again, both on the model and on the plan - it's not sharp as in 'pointed' like a wave piercer or a galleon, its sharp as in 'edged.' Her bow isn't particularly full, not apple-cheeked or rounded, but her keel length is pretty close to her waterline length and the bow isn't insubstantial or unsupported. As for judging her sailing qualities based on her hull shape, I'm only judging it in comparison to other hull shapes. Her handling, sail plan, condition include marine fouling could easily invalidate every guess I've made, but her hull shape does reveal things about her water resistance which will affect her possible speed and her natural ability to check heel (which will, in turn, affect how manageable she is close-hauled and how much speed she can carry).

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For those who are interested I have found a closer look at La Murion's bow, the small anchor is very close to one of the front guns. I may have to plan a trip to Paris to see the real thing :)

SgkjSae.jpg

Edited by Fluffy Fishy
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On 5/6/2016 at 7:22 PM, Fluffy Fishy said:

I would treat the French records and Gerard Delacroix with some very careful footing, The Venetian ship building was surprisingly different from the Atlantic nations, coming from reliance on Galleys changed the way naval technology developed significantly. I'm not surprised the French would have said that but then they come from a very different path. The two worlds are very different and if you look at how a Venetian light galley, and to a lesser extent the great galleys were built and operated it reflects on the Venetian ships of later date, this is why you get the Atlantic nation line ships taking on a very different form from the Venetian super heavy frigates, Venice could design and operate ships on the level of 3rd rates that behaved more like super frigates while still maintaining the strength and rigidity of their line ship counterparts.

The real restrictions on Venice as a nation during this period was cost, they could still create ships beyond the level of any other nation, but due to their income being restricted by loss of trade because it being easier and cheaper to navigate spices around the cape of good hope, and also the restrictions that are in competing as a medium size city in a world of superstates, never really quite escaping the threat of the Ottomans or Austrians.

Relating that back to La Muiron, you wouldnt try to break and run a blockade in a ship if you were told it was flimsy, especially with the most important person in France on board, I think the concern over the build strength by the French contemporaries is one that reflects the french ship building industry at the time, while in france it was scientific and ahead of its time it still lacked the technological advantages living wholly a maritime lifestyle and how naval technologies change when you are working primarily on Galleys for the majority of naval history, the Venetians also had a lot more records to relate to when it comes to ship design and what worked due to their excessive bureaucratic nature and the record keeping of the Lords of the Arsenale and other such positons. :)

Apologies for making the above paragraphs so long winded and fairly poor english :D

I think you're disregarding the very obvious aspect at work here.

The French built ships to cross entire oceans and face the North Atlantic in winter. The Venetians only needed to send their warships on short cruises in an inland sea. Of course they were lightly-built by Atlantic standards.

 

And if the French say your ships is built flimsy, you can be sure that it is. Flimsy for their purposes, but not for Venice's.

 

Quote

Venice could design and operate ships on the level of 3rd rates that behaved more like super frigates while still maintaining the strength and rigidity of their line ship counterparts.

What ships are you referring to here? I get lost in all the links.

 

Quote

it still lacked the technological advantages living wholly a maritime lifestyle

And can you elaborate here?

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On 2/24/2017 at 8:40 PM, maturin said:

I think you're disregarding the very obvious aspect at work here.

The French built ships to cross entire oceans and face the North Atlantic in winter. The Venetians only needed to send their warships on short cruises in an inland sea. Of course they were lightly-built by Atlantic standards.

This is simply untrue, Venetian warships were built mainly to protect Venetian trade interests, something that is vastly misunderstood, although the lions share of the Venetian navy was generally based out of Corfu or Venice during the period it was expected to be able to protect shipping convoys all over Europe and deal with the Atlantic, with their ships often frequenting the ports of Amsterdam and London. There is also protection work with regard to Atlantic crossings, Venetians had some significant trade interests in the Americas, mainly trading in glass, instruments, oriental goods and fine clothing in return for colonial goods like tobacco. The Venetian navy's ships were also expected to circumvent Africa now and again as part of its work maintaining the key Venetian trade in the red sea, protecting deliveries of Venetian vessels so as to be able to take part in this trade.

To accomplish dealing with these issues the government bodies (mainly the Venetian equivalent to the Admiralty) responsible with this frequently staged various deep sea trials, usually off the coast of Iberia, mainly off Portugal due to the easier proximity to harsher seas than that of Spain, making sure their ships were viable for deep sea, but also helping their sailors could train and maintain experience in these sailing conditions.
 

On 2/24/2017 at 8:40 PM, maturin said:

And if the French say your ships is built flimsy, you can be sure that it is. Flimsy for their purposes, but not for Venice's.

I would treat every French source from the late 18th and early 19th century on Venice and her ships with a great deal of care, there are some very deliberate and deep feeds of misinformation from the French with regards to the subject. The French records seem to note down grossly untrue dimensions of Venetian ships, Muiron for example is for whatever reason, 2 metres longer overall, with a 5m longer keel and being a metre wider, where as other ships Venetian seem to be consistently distorted with similar false figures. What make these French figures seem even more unreliable is that Austrian, and English statistics taken after capturing Venetian ships from the French seem to reflect Venetian measurements too. After the capture of Carrare the British wrote incredibly praising things about her and her qualities, with nothing reflecting flimsy build quality.

On a whole the French were incredibly dismissive of Venice and her way of life, including her maritime ability, despite Venetian advances in the 17th century forming the skeleton to the advances the French made in the 18th. The Venetian state was something that caused a sour taste for revolutionary France for multiple reasons, Venetian sailors often fought as mercenary sailors for the British and Dutch fleets, The Venetian Arsenal still boasted more potential and productive capacity in 1797 than any French shipyard, even Toulon, The Venetian way of life of excess and sin upset the uptight revolutionary leaders for the same reasons they fought against the French aristocracy and probably most importantly as long as Venice existed as a state, France would not be able to be considered the benchmark republic in Europe...

France set out on a major political campaign following 1797, during which they dismissed the Venetian lifestyle, disregarded her creations and history. Venetian ships became distorted, Venice was completely looted, with the entirety of the Arsenal paperwork being shipped back to Paris for major study, and then to try and make out that Venice was worthless she was simply given away in the treaty of Campo Formio something France would later regret as Venice is demanded back in the peace of Pressburg, when the French invested in the huge resources of the Arsenal.

Taking this back to Venetian ships, one of the key part of the issues faced by the records kept by French officers was that the cabins were rather spartan and compact, especially in comparison to the spacious and large French built boats, they therefore made up poor reports. Interestingly if you compare a report from Venetian captains over their ships then compare them to what is said of the French captains its like chalk and cheese. Also its important to remember if Venetian captain's reports were doctored or considered false they would be subject to intense scrutiny from not only the Venetian "admiralty" but also likely come under fierce inspection by the senate and inquisitors.

On 2/24/2017 at 8:40 PM, maturin said:

What ships are you referring to here? I get lost in all the links.

Pretty much all the larger ships Venice produced in the 18th century, especially the largest Fregata Grossa rated ships. The only large ship where this isnt so much the case is La Corona (1714). The Venetian doctrine produced fairly similar ships to that of the Dutch, where compactness was important, however Venice took more aim to create ships that were able to operate independently with great shock value.

On 2/24/2017 at 8:40 PM, maturin said:

And can you elaborate here?

Its not easy to elaborate on a point that was made almost a year ago, so I'm not sure what I was originally saying to be honest, sorry.

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8 hours ago, Fluffy Fishy said:

I would treat every French source from the late 18th and early 19th century on Venice and her ships with a great deal of care, there are some very deliberate and deep feeds of misinformation from the French with regards to the subject. The French records seem to note down grossly untrue dimensions of Venetian ships, Muiron for example is for whatever reason, 2 metres longer overall, with a 5m longer keel and being a metre wider, where as other ships Venetian seem to be consistently distorted with similar false figures. What make these French figures seem even more unreliable is that Austrian, and English statistics taken after capturing Venetian ships from the French seem to reflect Venetian measurements too. After the capture of Carrare the British wrote incredibly praising things about her and her qualities, with nothing reflecting flimsy build quality.

On a whole the French were incredibly dismissive of Venice and her way of life, including her maritime ability, despite Venetian advances in the 17th century forming the skeleton to the advances the French made in the 18th. The Venetian state was something that caused a sour taste for revolutionary France for multiple reasons, Venetian sailors often fought as mercenary sailors for the British and Dutch fleets, The Venetian Arsenal still boasted more potential and productive capacity in 1797 than any French shipyard, even Toulon, The Venetian way of life of excess and sin upset the uptight revolutionary leaders for the same reasons they fought against the French aristocracy and probably most importantly as long as Venice existed as a state, France would not be able to be considered the benchmark republic in Europe...

France set out on a major political campaign following 1797, during which they dismissed the Venetian lifestyle, disregarded her creations and history. Venetian ships became distorted, Venice was completely looted, with the entirety of the Arsenal paperwork being shipped back to Paris for major study, and then to try and make out that Venice was worthless she was simply given away in the treaty of Campo Formio something France would later regret as Venice is demanded back in the peace of Pressburg, when the French invested in the huge resources of the Arsenal.

Taking this back to Venetian ships, one of the key part of the issues faced by the records kept by French officers was that the cabins were rather spartan and compact, especially in comparison to the spacious and large French built boats, they therefore made up poor reports. Interestingly if you compare a report from Venetian captains over their ships then compare them to what is said of the French captains its like chalk and cheese. Also its important to remember if Venetian captain's reports were doctored or considered false they would be subject to intense scrutiny from not only the Venetian "admiralty" but also likely come under fierce inspection by the senate and inquisitors.

That alleged smear campaign against the building techniques of the Venetian Navy by France sounds very much like a Conspiracy theory

Edited by LeBoiteux
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10 hours ago, LeBoiteux said:

That alleged smear campaign against the building techniques of the Venetian Navy by France sounds very much like a Conspiracy theory

It wasn't just a smear campaign against the Venetian marine it was something that was part of a larger plan to humiliate Venice as much as possible. Its background comes from a mix of Napoleon's Corsican roots, along side his deep hate for indulgence and a desire to pacify a territorial gain. Venice as a republic represented to napoleon everything that was wrong with a society, the city had long since been the original town of sin, similarly to its modern day counter part of Las Vegas. The town was overflowing with pomp, gluttony, lust, greed, pride and sloth, he saw it as one of the main influences that had corrupted the French aristocracy he had overthrown, who frequented the Venetian brothels, gambling and music halls. Venice's history is also one that had stood tall as a republic similar to the campanile watching over the lagoon, Venice was this stable and eternal republic immemorial, having been there, evolving since 421 defiant in a world of monarchies.

Napoleon and his council knew that capturing Venice wasn't enough, they also had to destroy what it was that people admired about what made her different as a city, they shut down the casinos and brothels, imposed laws for excess and cutting down the carnival, which in the late 18th century had stretched out to about 8 months. The Bucentaur was burnt publicly to further symbolise the death of the republic and then the assets of the 1350 year old republic were taken down and shipped to Paris, a lot of which are still there now. Then came the treaty of Campo Formio, where after the impositions of the brief French rule, Venice was treated as worthless and simply given away to Austria.

Following Campo Formio the French took great liberties to dismiss Venetian goods and produce of all kinds, their abilities as shipwrights and in naval architecture was only a tiny part of this, the French put out a campaign of propaganda dismissing everything that Venice produced or marketed, glassware, soaps, spices, fabric and clothes, books, art and music. The campaign was so successful that it was a considerable part of what impoverished the city throughout the Victorian Era, where it was responsible for a long collapse of Venetian industries, the only one left relatively unscathed was the glassblowers, mainly due to their unique skill and techniques.

So its not so much an alleged smear campaign at all, sadly neither is it a conspiracy theory, its just a miniscule layer in a vindictive web, similarly to so much of history where its written down with some creative editing by the victors. Later on the French Bucentaure is thought to be named after the Venetian state barge, something that is said to have come from a vindictive rubbing of salt into wounds more than a mark of respect.

Hope this helps clear a few things up, apologies for not going into more depth previously, its just that it seemed a bit off topic to do so. :)

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Its not easy to elaborate on a point that was made almost a year ago, so I'm not sure what I was originally saying to be honest, sorry.

You mentioned super frigates earlier. I looked through your fantastic collection of plans but couldn't find anything meeting that description. Plenty of two-deckers equivalent to 4th and 5th Rates in the Royal Navy, though. And they look heavily-armed until you convert to English pounds.

 

I very much doubt that anti-Venice bias extended to deliberate misconstruing of scantling dimensions.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, maturin said:

You mentioned super frigates earlier. I looked through your fantastic collection of plans but couldn't find anything meeting that description. Plenty of two-deckers equivalent to 4th and 5th Rates in the Royal Navy, though. And they look heavily-armed until you convert to English pounds.

I very much doubt that anti-Venice bias extended to deliberate misconstruing of scantling dimensions.

The classes of Sant Andrea 2 (1724), San Michiel Arcangelo (1740), Speranza (1752), Vigilanza (1757), all armed with 40 guns, and Fama (1784), with 66 were all considered Fregata grossa/super frigates, and most of which I would assume better fit your template of what a super frigate might look like although I don't believe I have posted plans for any of them except Fama, so its likely that it partly comes down to a lack of communication on my part. Interestingly Muiron and Carrere at 44 guns, built later were still considered as standard frigates or fregata leggera. I have mainly posted the various classes that are more equivalent to the standard ships of the line used by most western European navies, (The Leon Trionfante , San Carlo Borromeo and "1780").

I'm not sure what point you are trying to make when it comes to how they are heavily armed until you convert it to British pounds, I'm not trying to deceive by making out that those ships had heavier armaments than they did, the reason I try to include both is it shows context of local weight and what they are comparable to by another well known navy similarly to how Russian pounds are much heavier than English or French, so look comparatively lighter as armaments on ships.

It may not be anti Venice bias as you say but to me it looks very likely, there must be a reason for the poor measurements taken and when you add the context of the humiliation campaign following the end of the republican period in 1797 it fits far better than just suggesting the French cant use tape measures properly because they are too busy drinking fancy wine and sleeping with each other's wives. As I have stated above is very real data showing wildly disagreeing data between the collective of Britain, Venice and Austria, in comparison to what is recorded by the French, with numbers being up to 7m in conflict when it comes to lengths, and 2.5m in width, the French records consistently showing the far larger numbers, something is clearly amiss here, and it cannot be the discrepancy between local measurements, as the records I have seen all convert their local historic measurements into metres for easy comparison.

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2 hours ago, Fluffy Fishy said:

It wasn't just a smear campaign against the Venetian marine it was something that was part of a larger plan to humiliate Venice as much as possible. Its background comes from a mix of Napoleon's Corsican roots, along side his deep hate for indulgence and a desire to pacify a territorial gain. Venice as a republic represented to napoleon everything that was wrong with a society, the city had long since been the original town of sin, similarly to its modern day counter part of Las Vegas. The town was overflowing with pomp, gluttony, lust, greed, pride and sloth, he saw it as one of the main influences that had corrupted the French aristocracy he had overthrown, who frequented the Venetian brothels, gambling and music halls. Venice's history is also one that had stood tall as a republic similar to the campanile watching over the lagoon, Venice was this stable and eternal republic immemorial, having been there, evolving since 421 defiant in a world of monarchies.

Napoleon and his council knew that capturing Venice wasn't enough, they also had to destroy what it was that people admired about what made her different as a city, they shut down the casinos and brothels, imposed laws for excess and cutting down the carnival, which in the late 18th century had stretched out to about 8 months. The Bucentaur was burnt publicly to further symbolise the death of the republic and then the assets of the 1350 year old republic were taken down and shipped to Paris, a lot of which are still there now. Then came the treaty of Campo Formio, where after the impositions of the brief French rule, Venice was treated as worthless and simply given away to Austria.

Following Campo Formio the French took great liberties to dismiss Venetian goods and produce of all kinds, their abilities as shipwrights and in naval architecture was only a tiny part of this, the French put out a campaign of propaganda dismissing everything that Venice produced or marketed, glassware, soaps, spices, fabric and clothes, books, art and music. The campaign was so successful that it was a considerable part of what impoverished the city throughout the Victorian Era, where it was responsible for a long collapse of Venetian industries, the only one left relatively unscathed was the glassblowers, mainly due to their unique skill and techniques.

So its not so much an alleged smear campaign at all, sadly neither is it a conspiracy theory, its just a miniscule layer in a vindictive web, similarly to so much of history where its written down with some creative editing by the victors. Later on the French Bucentaure is thought to be named after the Venetian state barge, something that is said to have come from a vindictive rubbing of salt into wounds more than a mark of respect.

Hope this helps clear a few things up, apologies for not going into more depth previously, its just that it seemed a bit off topic to do so. :)

That so-called French bias against the techniques of the Venetian Navy in French reports is an unverifiable hypothesis.

It's not because one dislikes his enemy (that's quite common, isn't it ?) that one denigrates his armament. Moreover, those French reports weren't meant to be distributed but were internal documentation for the French Navy, weren't they ? Thus, they weren't part of a "campaign of propaganda dismissing everything that Venice produced" but part of industrial spying to improve French plans.

Your argument, especially about Napoleon's motives, sounds quite passionate and... very subjective.

(btw Napoleon legalized brothels in France in 1804)

Edited by LeBoiteux
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2 hours ago, LeBoiteux said:

That so-called French bias against the techniques of the Venetian Navy in French reports is an unverifiable hypothesis.

It's not because one dislikes his enemy (that's quite common, isn't it ?) that one denigrates his armament. Moreover, those French reports weren't meant to be distributed but were internal documentation for the French Navy, weren't they ? Thus, they weren't part of a "campaign of propaganda dismissing everything that Venice produced" but part of industrial spying to improve French plans.

Your argument, especially about Napoleon's motives, sounds quite passionate and... very subjective.

(btw Napoleon legalize brothels in France in 1804)

It is technically unverifiable but it still makes a lot of sense, when you look at what is going on in the city at the time and how the various actions of French rule are set out to attempt change the ways of the Venetian bourgeoisies. The key to spreading viable propaganda is to start spreading it in and convincing the knowledgable circles, if a collection of those who seem to understand their subject fairly well start to carry on well then the aim of what is set out to achieve requires less prodding in the right direction, it lays the foundation for more impressive bending of the truth. Interestingly very similar circumstances surround Britain and The Glorious Revolution, where misinformation was spread to the right people first, then branching out to everyone else. There also weren't really enough Venetian ships captured to give a broad enough experience to enough people to change this and loudly dismissing Venetian ideas while praising French methods is something indicative of the period, one that relied on unchallenged French Nationalism to keep the war economy going for the survival of the French Republic, which as you probably know spent most its years defending itself from worried monarchistic aggression, then while at peace with those major monarchies, spent the time expanding French borders in search of resources. All while this is going on there is the quiet note taking and reading of the various documents and dimensions acquired with the Arsenal records, noting down anything of value to them, I also believe that the French took the true measurements of Venetian ships quietly during this time too, and those documents along with the true measurements were being distributed internally on a need to know basis, used to enhance French understanding by maritime information from a nation not typically understood by studying captures as was common between Britain, France, Netherlands and Spain during this period.

I don't feel biased against France, or Napoleon's motives, perhaps that is something that reads in the text but its not intended that way, I have a lot of respect for Napoleon, its just that Napoleon seemed to act the most destructive and greedily through his campaign in North Italy, with the most thorough looting happening the Venice, in part due to the fact that the city hadn't ever been looted so had almost its entire history of treasures kept there, something that the financially thirsty fledgling French republic needed to support herself. What is clear is that Napoleon was a total disaster for Venice, Austrian rule wasn't much kinder either. I was unaware that Napoleon legalised brothels in France in 1804 though, it seems very strange in comparison to the zeal he took in trying to create what he considered a moralised Venetian society, but then again 90s Napoleon seems quite different to how he behaved in the 1800s and then again in the 1810s.

Edited by Fluffy Fishy

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It's a bold argument. Were you planning on comparing Venice's own scantling measurements to French/British averages? Seems easy enough to prove your point numerically.

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Playing catch up here, but while Fluffy is providing extensive background for his arguments, I'm seeing very little counter argument being done, would either of you gents mind providing an equally extensive background to your counter arguments please, for the sake of someone who's new to this particular bit of history?

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4924167a-8ac0-4cff-8afa-f1fda546bf5f.jpg

JOSEPH-ANGE ANTOINE ROUX (FRENCH, 1765-1835), Study of the 44-gun frigate ~Muiron~

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