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The longboat was usually the largest and strongest boat carried aboard a ship.

Longboats usually had three masts and could be rowed by 8 to 10 oars. They were generally used to carry out anchors and cables, bring aboard ballast, or transport any other heavy items to and from a ship.

As to the size of the longboat used aboard HMS Endeavour, Ray Parkin has discovered that in 1761 the Navy Board prescribed that sloops were to have longboats between 16 and 19 feet (4.9 – 5.8 metres) long. He has calculated that a longboat 19 feet long with a beam of 6 feet 4 inches (1.9 metres) could safely carry just over six full hogsheads of water or an anchor weighing just under 1500 kilograms.


Prepared by: Turnbull, P.
Created: 28 October 2001
Modified: 20 March 2004

Published by South Seas, 1 February 2004
Comments, questions, corrections and additions: Paul.Turnbull@jcu.edu.au
Prepared by: Paul Turnbull
Updated: 28 June 2004
To cite this page use: http://nla.gov.au/nla.cs-ss-biogs-P000092

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