18th century sailing times eastbound America-England

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18th century sailing times eastbound America-England

Postby gary1969 » Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:53 am

I'm currently doing a study of 18th century German immigrant ships, which normally sailed from Rotterdam to Philadelphia via Deal, Portsmouth, etc. I'm researching the owners, ships, captains, and crews rather than the immigrants they carried. Sailing times for the westbound leg are fairly well documented, and normally 60-80 days, England to Philadelphia. I can find nothing however documenting the sailing times for the return (eastbound leg). Can anyone suggest a source? Thanks!
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Re: 18th century sailing times eastbound America-England

Postby lwd » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:54 pm

Looking at the current maps at http://www.seos-project.eu/modules/ocea ... 2-p01.html and taking note of:
In the 18th century mail ships from London to New York took 2 weeks longer than merchant ships from Falmouth to Rhode Island.

It looks like they would have been shorter if the ships caught the right current.

There are some text at the bottom of this page that may be helpful http://allsailingvessela.devhub.com/blo ... h-century/
This one suggest looking at period diaries and other such documents http://www.lib.mq.edu.au/all/journeys/ships/
This one also mentions a fair number of sources if you want Bristol to America catdir.loc.gov/catdir/samples/cam031/92027535.pdf
Period news papers and or adds for passenger service as one would expect them to list an expected duration.
This one http://www.studyofplace.info/ModuleCont ... ading.html mentions that an eastward sailing ship could make as much as 70 miles a day more than a westward sailing one and mentions a couple of cross ocean trips by B. Franklin.
This one actually states http://en.allexperts.com/q/Sailing-1650 ... Centry.htm
Account of the sailing vessel Red Jacket's voyage from New York to Liverpool = 3,473 miles / 13 days transit time

And then goes into some general calculations that if combined with the preceding link may prove useful.
This one also has some useful data points http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Shipping+ ... 0194473145
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Re: 18th century sailing times eastbound America-England

Postby tommy303 » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:45 pm

Depending on the route, the trip from the British Isles to North America was longer than the reverse due to the prevailing Westerlies. Going west,one was having to beat into the wind pretty much the whole way as well as into the waves. If one went farther south, below 30*, so as to avoid the westerlies one could take advantage of the trade winds, or easterlies. I believe this was the common tactic, but it meant a longer voyage as one had to go south of the Azores before picking up favorable winds.On the return trip from North America to Britain, one could make much of the voyage with a following sea and a broad reach--that is with the wind on the starboard or port quarter by sailing straight across between 30 and 60*N. One hardly needed to tack or wear.

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Re: 18th century sailing times eastbound America-England

Postby Byron Angel » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:12 pm

WEST-BOUND ROUTES
By far the principal "all season" west-bound route from NW European ports to the Atlantic coast of North America was the "Southern Route" via the English Channel, then SW past the Azores. At about 20degN latitude the route turned W, ultimately veering to the NW or northerly, depending upon which port in the Savannah-Halifax range was the intended destination.

There were two other routes available. In the months of autumn, a "Northern Route" became a possible option, whereby ships would pass to the west of the British Isles, heading for a position approximately 55degN lat / 30degW long, then heading WSW for the Quebex-Halifax range of ports. On rare occasions, it was actually possible to make almost a direct voyage from the SW tip of Ireland to Boston or Newport. Ships following this rare route, but headed for ports in the New York-Baltimore range would veer to the SW about mid-ocean, pass near Bermuda, then approach destination from the SE in order to avoid fighting the powerful Gulf Stream.

EAST-BOUND ROUTES
The route back to Europe followed the ENE flow of the Gulf Stream up the North American coast past Halifax and St John's, then across the North Atlantic to a landfall off Cornwall or the SW tip of Ireland. Ships tended to make a slightly more southerly crossing in spring and summer in order to avoid the very dangerous threat of icebergs.

EAST BOUND TRANSIT TIMES
"Ocean Passages for the World - Third Edition 1973" (which cites sailing records of Messrs Hardie and Company of Glasgow, Scotland) mentions typical passage times from New York to the English Channel "for a well-found sailing vessel of about 2000 tons" as approximately 25 to 30 days, with ships logging 100-150 miles per day on average. Judging from the size of ship described, these data probably refer to mid 19th C to early 20th C. "Harbors & High Seas" by Dean King & John B Hattendorf (which cites "Square Riggers on Schedule", Princeton Univ Press, 1938) gives the following New York to Liverpool passage times for North Atlantic sailing packets in the period 1818-1832 as follows: fastest crossing - 21 days; slowest crossing -29 days. With an average distance of approx 3,000 miles, this equates to a range of about 100 to 140 miles per day, or an average speed over the ground of about 4 to 6 knots.

Hope this helps.

B
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Re: 18th century sailing times eastbound America-England

Postby gary1969 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:46 pm

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. Much appreciated!
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Re: 18th century sailing times eastbound America-England

Postby frankwl » Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:40 am

I'm stunned. Where in hell do you people learn these things? If it wasn't for calendar art the average citizen wouldn't even know that ships once had sails and you're casually discussing the effects of the Gulf Stream on an Atlantic crossing in the 19th Century? God I'm ignorant.
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Re: 18th century sailing times eastbound America-England

Postby Darrel_Hockley » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:04 am

Hello, I am wondering if there were any sailing ships that left England shortly after 29 May of 1724 and had arrived in Philadephia by 27 July of that year? If so, could some one please tell me the particulars of that ship and from what port in England did it depart and what date it arrived in Philadephia and if it carried passengers? Thank you.
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Re: 18th century sailing times eastbound America-England

Postby lwd » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:02 pm

Geneology sites may be your best bet. Here is a google result that might help some:
http://www.google.com/search?q=ship+ari ... 36&bih=719
It's going to take some searching however. Looks like if it had been 1727 or later you would have an easier time, see:
http://www.phila.gov/phils/Docs/otherin ... t/port.htm
If you live in the area the local museums or historical societies may be of some use.
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