Sea History 039 - Spring 1986

Page 41

first flush of saving them is easy. There is excitement in that. But the further task of preserving them is not easy at all. There isn't much excitement in the process called maintenance. I wonder what will happen next. A register that says that more than seven hundred vessels have been saved

"a rushing sense of history in which the race and its good works must be preserved.'' tells us that there has been a mighty upsurge in the last decade or so. I remember much leaner times . Can we sustain the seven hundred? Can we dredge up enough of that much duller stuff called maintenance? Dull and frighteningly expensive if we are really going to do a thorough job. I am totally optimistic. I think the innate romance in men and the sentiments of women are going to o'erflood the situation. There is almost enough of this now and an exponential advantage exists. The will to preserve is bound to increase , but the number of restorable ships has a limit. But maintenance doesn't have to be dull--or even expensive. With good leadership it can be joyous and satisfying. Witness the Australians not fitting new bulwarks and fantail to the eighty-fouryear-old tug Waratah the easy way , by welding, but doing the job to original specs, all rivetted. And all done by volunteers!* Anyway , the whole world scene is to be found in Mr. Brouwer's book. Each of the seven hundred odd craft is described by a satisfying formula the author has devised that tells us what we need to know. What was the vessel , what was her use , what was her size, her rig , her propulsion, who built her, when , who owned her originally, who owns her now , what is her condition, what is her significance, what are her prospects? There has never been a book like this , although it is good to see Mr. Brouwer citing earlier works covering portions of the subject such as Graeme Andrews Veteran Ships of Australia and New Zealand, Otmar Schauffelen 's Great Sailing Ships, and, of course, Harold Underhill. I, for one, never expected to see them all between covers-three seagoing monitors from the 1860s , sixty-five har*The only ship rivetters currently on tap in New York Harbor are in the Wavertree Ganga volunteer group dedicated to the restoration of another iron ship under the leadership of Honorary Trustee Jakob lsbrandtsen. ED .


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JACK NASTYFACE Memoirs of an English Seaman By Dudley Pope The real Jack Nastyface writes from the viewpoint of th e ordinary

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SEAFARING UNDER SAIL The Life of the Merchant Seaman


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Edited by Brian Lavery Published here for the first time. th is detailed trea tise was written in 1670 as the first lucid exposi tion of a complete system of naval arc hitecture. 128 pages. 88 iII us. 4 apps.

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!or !h~ North f\)k

By James E. Valle A captivating book that offers an intimate glimpse into the disciplinary practices and social structure of the U.S. Navy in the days of sail. 339 pages. Ill us. Glossary. Index.

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THE TEA CLIPPERS Their History and Development, 1833-1875

NELSON'S BLOOD The Story of Naval Rum By Leonard P. Gut/ridge Here is a rive ting account of America's tragic 1879 dash for the North Pole and the cover-up that followed. 296 pages. Illus. Bibliog. Index.

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By David R. MacGregor Famous ships of th e tea trade are described and beautifu ll y illus路 trated in this handsome large路 format book. 255 pages. 247 illus.

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