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  • Captin Kidd's "Quedah Merchant"

    In the assistance of a magazine article that I am illustrating, there is a lack of information on the actual design of the Quedah Merchant. If anyone can enlighten me as to any indication of exactly what this ship looked like, please send me a PM or reply. Any assistance is appreciated. Kinda hard to illustrate a vessel that hasn't been illustrated before .

  • #2
    Originally posted by The Map Maker View Post
    In the assistance of a magazine article that I am illustrating, there is a lack of information on the actual design of the Quedah Merchant. If anyone can enlighten me as to any indication of exactly what this ship looked like, please send me a PM or reply. Any assistance is appreciated. Kinda hard to illustrate a vessel that hasn't been illustrated before .
    Sounds arabic...that ship

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    • #3
      Hmmm...good question!

      In Richard Zacks' words (from The Pirate Hunter: The True Story of Captain Kidd, an excellent yet unillustrated book):

      ...At the time, all that Kidd knew was that the other ship was big, about 400 tons, carrying 18 cannon, showing Armenian colors.
      Kidd, on this huge Moorish vessel...
      But his ride home was this ransacked 400-ton Moorish ship, so exotic with its Moslem carved curlicues and design; an attention-grabber in the Atlantic.
      Gathering the scraps of all sails left, the older sailors sat down to sew enough together to make two sets of sails for the giant Quedagh Merchant. When they ran short, they patched triple-thick layers together using material from the bales of striped calicoes. Some of Kidd's sails were exotic quilts.
      Kidd now had twenty-two men, five boys and a handful of young slaves to sail the 400-ton, three-masted Moorish vessel. If attacked, he could man maybe two or three of the thirty-plus cannon on board. From a distance, however, the Quedagh Merchant looked like a formidable, if somewhat exotic, ship of war.
      The leaky Quedagh was too unmaneuverable and stolen-looking.
      ...and he descended into the canoe to be paddled over to the Quedagh Merchant/Adventure Prize. Any man being rowed over to a giant undermanned Moorish ship...
      I will look around some more for you, now that I am freshly intrigued. *grins* I just happen to have this particular book on my shelf. Good luck, Johnathan!

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      • #4
        I also found this picture of a model, accompanying a brief article which described the Quedagh Merchant as "A 3-masted Armenian square-rigger"...but the cannon count is off, for one thing - so I don't know how accurate a depiction it is (or if it is at all):

        http://www.modelshipmaster.com/produ...kidd%20(2).JPG

        ~Guillian/Dor

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Guillian Teague View Post
          I also found this picture of a model, accompanying a brief article which described the Quedagh Merchant as "A 3-masted Armenian square-rigger"...but the cannon count is off, for one thing - so I don't know how accurate a depiction it is (or if it is at all):

          http://www.modelshipmaster.com/produ...kidd%20(2).JPG

          ~Guillian/Dor
          Looks like a heavy frigate...40+ plus guns

          And those colours are lovely..I want one )

          Comment


          • #6
            If you want you could always contacted the people who found her. Look at the bottom of the article.:

            http://newsinfo.iu.edu/news/page/normal/6997.html

            The information from a local paper lists the ship as a 50 gun vessel, but I'm not sure how much I trust the Indianapolis Star when it comes to maritime history. And, yes, I am that much of a nerd to have saved a 3 month old newspaper article about a shipwreck... this is what happens when you're a history major specializing in this stuff.
            Last edited by Larkaan; 02-15-2008, 12:09 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Guillian Teague View Post
              I also found this picture of a model, accompanying a brief article which described the Quedagh Merchant as "A 3-masted Armenian square-rigger"...but the cannon count is off, for one thing - so I don't know how accurate a depiction it is (or if it is at all):

              http://www.modelshipmaster.com/produ...kidd%20(2).JPG

              ~Guillian/Dor
              Sadly I can't contribute much more here than to point out that, from a shipwright's perspective, that model is a bit off on a plethora of technical points. I can't say whether or not it paints a good picture in broad brush strokes, though. I've been thwarted at almost every turn whenever I've tried to find decent period depictions of Ottoman square-rigged ships. The very, very scant evidence I've seen suggests they were pretty good mimics of European ships. I only have two examples though:


              Action Between the Dutch Fleet and Barbary Pirates
              (Dutch, circa 1670). The Ottoman ship is the large one with white flags, whose mainmast has just gone by the boards.

              An English Ship in Action with Barbary Corsairs (English, circa 1680). The ship on fire is an Ottoman galleon.

              Good luck! If you find anything else keep us posted, because believe me, I've looked...

              Comment


              • #8
                Digging around on the web turned up a lot of articles about the 'finding' of what could be the Quedagh, I liked the National Geographic page although like the rest it is lacking in information - but I also stumbled across the link there for the exhibition abut the Whydah which might be of interest for folks here, and the Educator's Guide .PDF has some nice photographs and artwork too.

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                • #9
                  Hmm sorry all i know is about the ship he was commissioned by the British when he left there. It was The Adventure Galley made in England for Captain William Kidd in 1695. But not your typical Galley. In addition to 46 oars, it had three masts of square sails, 34 guns, and weighed nearly 300-tons, making it more like a Frigate than a Galley. But as for the Moorish ship he took later i don't know any good representations.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Guillian Teague View Post
                    I also found this picture of a model, accompanying a brief article which described the Quedagh Merchant as "A 3-masted Armenian square-rigger"...but the cannon count is off, for one thing - so I don't know how accurate a depiction it is (or if it is at all):

                    http://www.modelshipmaster.com/products/pirate/captain%20kidd/captain%20kidd%20(2).JPG

                    ~Guillian/Dor

                    Looks like a galleon or maybe a race built galleon (a modification with sleeker hull). Possible in Kidd's time but probably aging which fits the other details regarding her condition. Possibly American built keeping in mind at this time period the Americans were building English spec ships. The bump in this is these type ships are a late 16th century ship and even allowing for production lag this design would be getting a bit long in the tooth by Kidd's time.

                    Documentation on specific ships is very difficult to verify, for example Edward Teach's Queen Ann's Revenge or Bartholomew Roberts Royal Fortune. Unfortunately ships built in this time period were built from models not plans of which, apparently, few survive.

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