The Master Shipwright's Secrets

How Charles II built the Restoration Navy

The Master Shipwright's Secrets cover

The Master Shipwright's Secrets

How Charles II built the Restoration Navy



'This splendid book will appeal to maritime historians, archaeologists, model-makers and nautical enthusiasts across the board.' - Colin Martin, The Nautical Archaeology Society

'A remarkable piece of work.'- J D Davies, Historian and Author

Inspired by the recent discovery of mathematically calculated digital plans for a fourth-rate ship by the Deptford master shipwright, John Shish, The Master Shipwright's Secrets is an illustrated history of Restoration shipbuilding focused on the Tyger, one of the smaller but powerful two-deck warships of the period. It examines the proceedings of King Charles II in deciding the types of ship he wanted and his relationship with his master shipwrights.

This fascinating book reveals the many secrets of Charles II's shipwrights through an analysis of John Shish's plans for the Tyger, revealing innovative practical calculations which differ significantly from the few contemporary treatises on the subject and the complicated process of constructing the moulds necessary to make the ship's frame. All the other duties performed by the master shipwrights, such as repairing ships, controlling their men and keeping up with the latest inventions are also discussed in detail.

The Master Shipwright's Secrets is replete with beautiful and detailed illustrations of the construction of the Tyger and explores both its complicated history and its complex rebuilding, complete with deck plans, internal sections, and large-scale external shaded drawings. The title also explores associated ships, including another fourth-rate ship, the Mordaunt, which was purchased into the Navy at the time and underwent a dimensional survey by John Shish. A rare contemporary section drawing of another fourth-rate English ship and constructional drawings of Shish's later fourth-rate ship, St Albans, are also included.

Table of Contents

Foreword: Charles Berkeley
Introduction: The Master Shipwright's Secrets in Relation to the Tyger

1: The Master Shipwright's Considerations
2: Inventions and Innovations
3: No Such Thing as the Tyger
4: Planning a New Tyger
5: John Shish's Account of the Dimensions of a Ship
6: The Draught of the New Tyger
7: Building the New Tyger
8: The New Tyger Commissioned
9: The Tyger's Guns
10: Contemporary Shipbuilding Contracts Unveiled

Appendix 1: The Medway Warrant
Appendix 2: The Mordaunt Survey

Product details

Published 05 Mar 2020
Format Ebook (Epub & Mobi)
Edition 1st
Extent 304
ISBN 9781472838391
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations More than 150 ships' plans, and colour illustrations.
Series General Military
Short code GNM
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Richard Endsor

Richard Endsor is an engineer by profession, but h…


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