Brief history of Russian ships



In development of sea shipbuilding and navigation our ancestors east Slavs have played an outstanding role. The most ancient means for overcoming of water spaces were лодья. Kiev was the centre of old russian shipbuilding, from beginning of a ХII century it was Novgorod. Vessels in Novgorod were more perfect, than vessels in Kiev. They had special premises for crews ("attics") and were richly decorated by a carving. Aspiration to development of the new earths and trade activity have resulted новгородцев at coast of the White sea. Поморы (so were immigrants named) vessels were adapted to swimming in ice water. Ancient Russian лодья has been improved and has turned to a sea three-mast deck sailing vessel.
The first seagoing ship of the overseas design "Frederik" has been constructed in 1634 in Nizhni Novgorod and intended for trade with Persia. First russian military sailing ship "Eagle" has been constructed in 1669 on shipyard in village Dedinovo for protection of Russian trading interests on Caspian sea. The further development of Russian fleet is closely connected with Peter I.
In the end of a XVII century the Azov fleet has been created. Basically it consisted of galleys and the sailing-rowing artillery ships. The beginning of creation of regular Russian navy fleet is October, 20t, 1696 when the Boyar’s Duma under Peter's insisting has published a sentence (decree) in which has decided: «Seagoing ships to be». Russian regular fleet has been created for 30 years (1696-1725). 111 linear ships, 38 frigates, 60 brigantines, 67 galleys, to 300 small courts are constructed in total.
On fighting and seaworthy qualities the Russian linear ships, which building has begun since 1708, did not be inferior to overseas ships, and galleys successfully operated on Baltic sea against the Swedish ships.
The furniture of the ships of regular Russian fleet of Russia was more modestly, than furniture of courts of the western countries. Bow’s statues represented basically Christian Saints - patrons of seamen, and also mythological gods, heroes. As a rule, the bow’s ornament has been connected with the ship name. Galleys and small vessels had defined form of a decor: in the stern centre there were the arms which was supported by figures of mythological heroes, the vessel name was located slightly more lower. Boards painted in yellow, green or dark blue colour. Only from the XVIII-th century end uniform colouring of the military ships has been entered. Their boards began to paint of a black paint with wide white strips along lines of the gun ports which were below a main deck. Covers (or hatches) of gun ports were coloured in black (from the inside red). Thus, the number of black squares on white strips of boards spoke about quantity of guns in the closed batteries of the ship. From the end of 70th years of a XVIII century have started to apply a copper covering of the bottom of the ships. Thanks to it speed of a course of courts has increased.
In furniture of the ships the baroque was changed into classical style. The ships constructed at that time had austere aspect. Black-and-white boards were in harmony with refined simplicity of not numerous details of a carved decor. The carving was gilded or became coated with ochre. The sharp bow part, a low stern superstructure and the considerable sizes - were that differences of this ships from their predecessors.
In 30th years of a XIX-th century the European sea powers and the USA began to build the ships which had steam-engines and simultaneously of a sail. In spite of that there was prosperity of sailing fleet all over the world in the middle of century. Shipbuilders of that time have created unbeaten to this day the sailing ships. The XIX-th century was marked by a magnificent victory of Russian Black Sea fleet. In sea battle the squadron of the ships of vice-admiral Nakhimov has destroyed the Turkish fleet standing on anchors in the Sinop bay. And still after this battle transition from sailing wooden fleet to the steam armoured has begun.

Novgorod ship

In 1136 the Novgorod earth was formed the independent feudal republic in lake Ilmen pool. Its capital Great Novgorod became one of the important points of foreign trade and original shipbuilding in Russia. Commercial relations of Novgorod have extended from Flanders and cities of the trading-political union of Hansa to Astrakhan and Constantinople. Ship builders of ancient Novgorod used such instruments as axes, chisels, drills. Length of the Novgorod vessel was about 20 m, width was 4,5-5,5 m, a draught was 2 m. There is one direct sail with the stylized cross on a demountable mast. In case of calm oars were used. The vessel contained 25-30 persons of crew and 15-20 soldiers.

Sea-hunting ship from Russian North

For swimming in ices поморы built especially strong vessels intended for long voyages. The case was divided by crosscut partitions into three compartments with hatches on a deck. In a stern compartment there was a captain cabin and nautical tools were stored, command (25-30 persons) took places on the ship’s bows and there was a brick stove for cooking. On the average compartment there was a cargo hold depth to 4 m. Load-carrying capacity of the big castle was to 200 t, length was 18-25 m, width was 6-8 m. On a castle were a bowsprit and three masts: first two were with direct sails. There were two anchors in weight to 0,5 t everyone and there was one spare anchor on the big sea-hunting ships. Anchors lifted manually by a usual collar.
In beginning of a ХV century Russian sea-hunting ship quite corresponded to the requirements shown to a sea sailing vessel. Such vessels could overcome distances to 2000 km and successfully made long voyages round Scandinavian peninsula to a mouth of Neva and further. Building of this ships was stopped in Russia in beginning of a ХVIII century.

Coch from Russian North.
Coch was ancient sailing-rowing vessel of XI-XIX centuries. It had characteristic contours for ice swimming, has been equipped by a mast, a hinged wheel and oars. The length of such vessel was 10-15 m, width was of 3-4 m, a draught was 1-1,5 m. At a fair wind this vessel could gather speed of 6-7 knots. In XVI-XVII centuries this class of ship has extended for Ural Mountains to Siberia having undergone large changes. The length has increased to 20-25 m, width - to 5-8 m, a draught - to 2 m. Vessel contained 10-15 persons of a command and to 30 fisheries. Big three-mast ships have started to build in XVI-XVII centuries. On these courts was steering wheel. There was a collar (a manual spike) for lifting of an anchor from water. At fair winds the vessel passed under a sail to 250 km a day.


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