1. Irish87
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    Irish87 Contributing Member

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    Boats!

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Irish87, Jul 7, 2009.

    Hello.... I need info on boats.

    Let me extrapolate a bit. I'm not writing to be published, just to write because I'm in that sort of mood. That being said, I want to know everything that I can about boats of all kinds. There must be some way to reference this sort of knowledge. I'm sure its sitting right in front of me, but I cannot see it to save my life. As for what exactly I'm looking for, I need info on the very design and how each sort works as well as they do. I must admit that the newer modern version of a boat is... well, I don't really care about them, honestly.

    The story I'm writing revolves around a seagoing society and I figure they would most likely take advantage of a boat or two. If anyone has any pointers or places they know where to look I would be extremely appreciative. I realize this is most likely exceedingly easy to research, but the honest truth is that I know absolutely nothing (not a thing) about boats. I've never even been on one.

    Again, thanks for any help.
     
  2. A2theDre
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    A2theDre Active Member

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    My advice is to read some books (not necessarily non-fiction) that have boats in them, and also check out the "Glossary of nautical terms" article on wikipedia. It will give you some sort of idea.

    You can also go on wikipedia and just link through different boating articles to learn more.
     
  3. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Patrick O'Brian is a fantastic writer of maritime fiction. You should check out his Aubrey/Maturin series, as well as the film Master and Commander: Far Side of the World.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    don't you google?
     
  5. Irish87
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    Irish87 Contributing Member

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    Yes, I do Google... at times with an obsessive quality. You're missing my point though: I have absolutely NO clue how to clue where to begin. I'm essentially looking for an encyclopedia of every type of boat design that has been recorded.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Try ships history, ship designs, ship classification as aearch terms for google. That at least should give you some overviews plus some more specific terms to search for more detail.

    You might also want to consider a visit to a real library. I'm sure you will find encyclopedic volumes on ships and seafaring.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    for warships and merchant marine vessels, the "jane's" series is the most comprehensive listing you'll find anywhere...

    since there are so many types of boats, from canoes to carriers, i doubt you're gonna be able to do it the 'easy' way and find them all in one volume...
     
  8. Irish87
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    Irish87 Contributing Member

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    Hey, hey, that's what they said about information in general and then POOF, we have the internet. Now I can know everything... it may not always be true. In fact, I would probably say most of it is false. But I can pretend like it's true.

    Sorry, I'm feeling facetious. I've found most of the information need (thanks to your guys' replies) and now I'm swimming in information. So thanks again for all the help.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    well, the internet isn't the same as 'one volume' now, is it?...
     
  10. Operaghost
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    Operaghost Contributing Member

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    Firstly, what are are you plannign to set this? Maritime history is rich and varied and will be very specific as to the type of Boats/ships that are used or described, and the setting will also be a factor, as different countris ships will be different, also its more than just teh boats themselve, but you also need to encapsulate the lifestyle, as there are many nautical terms which would seem alien to most people but are used in nautical circles naturally. Finally as i'm sure cogito will suggest anyway the only way to truly research something is to experience it. For my script set in trafalgar for instance i spent many hours in the portsmouth dockyard on board the HMS Victory to get a sense of scale and what it woudl be like,and if set in present day then actually get out there on the water or attend a boat show, the more information you get the more believable it will be
     
  11. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    To help you narrow your search, decide the era in which your story needs boats. The evolution of hull design, propulsion, navigation and seamanship is directly related to the technology of very narrow time periods.

    For example, my great grandfather was an owner/captain of a three-masted cargo schooner out of Nova Scotia at the turn of the century. He delivered passengers and cargo from Florida to Nova Scotia along the east coast. In 1906, he took his wife and seven of his daughters with him on a trip to Florida. He wanted them to see this "wonderful land full of strange creatures". His 8th child (my grandmother) had rheumatic fever and was left behind in the care of his brother, my great Uncle George.

    As the ship sailed past Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, they ran head-on into a major hurricane and the ship went down with all hands and passengers. A few months later, someone found a corked bottle on the beach with a letter from my great grandfather. It identified him as captain and the ship's registry information. It then gave navigational coordinates for their location at the time when the bottle was employed. The letter said they had lost all three mainmasts, and caulking in the hull was "springing". They could not launch lifeboats and would try to last out the storm in the listing ship after offloading the heavier cargo to improve buoyancy. Some of his words were smeared as the ink had been hastily dried under a candle (soot was on the back side of the page) and not completely dry when the paper was rolled and inserted into the bottle. The letter was eventually forwarded to my grandmother's care givers and she treasured it for her entire life. My mother has it now.

    The point is, a story set in a sea-based environment would relate to a very narrow period of technology. The good news is that once you select your era, the research should be easy because it will be quite specific.
     

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