East Indiaman

  • Ship
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

While most associated with Great Britain's ''East India Trading Company'', the term ''East Indiaman'' denoted a type of Shipping Vessel dedicated to Commerce between India and closely related Countries – and the Nation which had established Colonial Trading Ports there. The East Indian Company name can also be applied to Spain, Portugal and The Netherlands. England began it's Commerce Era in the 16th Century. With their eventual dominance over The High Seas, Great Britain would become most associated with the term.


As a way of securing Goods, most East India Companies needed ''stout sailing ships'' that were also capable of defending themselves from Pirates and Privateers. As Private Concerns, sponsored by wealthy backers, these ships featured the ''latest'' in Naval technology of their Era. In addition to more space to transport more goods, such Ships were also formidable ''Ships of The Line'' (often even surpassing their classifications).


As we have seen with the previous discussed ''Seventy-Four''-Class of Warship, ''East Indiaman'' (as these Ships became known), often exceeded 96 to 120-Cannon. Typically, a Company Ship carried between 800 and 1,000 Crewmen. Half of this number was regulating to ''manning The Guns'' – with the rest maintain The Ship's Sail Pattern during both normal sailing and in wartime (combat) conditions.


An ''East Indiaman'' was considered ''massive'', with an average displacement of 1,200 to 1,500 tons. They were often given reinforced (braced) inner Hulls. This not only added in Hull breaches, but helped in supporting their often huge cargo ''hauls''. Dominate from the 16th thru 19th Centuries, it was by the early 19th Century, most East Indiamen were retired in lieu of their massive expense to build and maintain. Much of them were replaced by the Classification of Merchant Ship known as The Blackwall Frigate (1830s).