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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Observer Should women sing chanties (203* d) RE: Should women sing chanties 25 Apr 19

Interesting implication that Royal Navy ships sailed in worse storms than merchant navy ships. Maybe there was a difference in practice, but if so it was because of a difference in attitudes to the workforce and discipline etc. The "Royal Navy ships were better manned" argument scarcely holds water either, unless one assumes that prize crews, or decimated crews that had survived battles & scurvy, were allowed to sing shanties.

Well Jed just an observation but Merchant vessels are engaged in trade and tended to sail with cargoes from point A to point B. They also had smaller crews as they only have to sail the ship and the aim of the vessel owner was to maximise profit. Something like a Clipper had a crew of between 28 and 35 men. On the other hand Royal Navy men-of-war have to be manned so that the ship can be sailed and fought simultaneously. A typical 74-gun ship of the line (smaller than a clipper) had a compliment of 550 men. Men-of-war were also tasked completely differently, they had to remain at sea regardless of weather to maintain blockades of enemy ports and patrol. Only in extreme conditions would they run for shelter, even then frigates would be left on station to keep an eye on things. Merchant crews signed for each voyage, sailors in the Royal Navy signed on for the entire commission of the ship and that could be years. Common sense would tell you that under such circumstances a sailor in the Royal Navy would know his ship far better than a sailor in the merchant service as he spent more time in his ship and far longer at sea in it. No Shanties/Chanties sung in the Royal Navy to work the ship - they weren't needed.

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