Building the Wooden Fighting Ship is a fascinating account of the building of an historic ship, as well as a vivid and often surprising account of life and labor in the eighteenth century.
In an age before industrialization, the warship was the most complex object built by man and employed the most advanced technology of its time. Naval vessels of the period were, not surprisingly, so expensive to construct that meticulous records were kept, from the purchasing of timbers to the last details of their furnishings and armament, including even the individual names of some of the shipwrights and craftsmen.
By carefully studying these records, the authors have reconstructed, in extraordinary detail, the building of HMS Thunderer — a two-decked, 74-gun ship-of-the-line. In words and specially drawn illustrations, contemporary prints and paintings, the authors show every stage of the building of this ship, from the purchase and cutting of timbers right through to the launch in 1760. There are descriptions of Woolwich dockyard where she was built and details of all the skills and trades involved in her construction.
First published in 1984, this book is a beautiful and highly informative work on a significant aspect of the Royal Navy and will appeal to enthusiasts, modelers, historians and anyone with an interest in traditional crafts.