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Ship Design And Energy Use, 1350–1875

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Chapter Summary

While the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries saw dramatic changes in ship design the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries saw only incremental improvements. Advances in general came slowly because shipbuilders could work only on the basis of trial and error, and error had a very high cost. It is emphasized that there were changes in all three categories all of the time under each of the five regimes. One method is based on the performance of vessels using diesel engines in the twentieth century, taking the amount of energy those engines have to put out to move tugboats. Even if it is certain that ships used more energy and more effectively from 1350 to 1875, it is extremely difficult to calculate how much energy they did in fact use. It concludes that advances in ship design could only be of value and use when certain conditions prevailed.

Keywords: eighteenth centuries; energy; fifteenth centuries; ship design



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