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Encyclopedia > Cog (ship)
Excavated cog from 1380
Excavated cog from 1380

Cogs or rather cog-built vessels came into existence around 12th century AD. They were cheracterized by flush-laid flat bottom at midships but gradually shifted to overlapped strakes near the posts. They had full lapstrake planking covering the sides, generally starting from the bilge strakes, and double-clenched iron nails for plank fastenings. The keel, or rather keelplank, was only slightly thicker than the adjacent garboards and had no rabbet. Both stem and stern posts, were straight and rather long, and connected to the keelplank through intermediate pieces called hooks. The lower plank hoods terminated in rabbets in the hooks and posts, but upper hoods were nailed to the exterior faces of the posts. Caulking was generally tarred mosses that was inserted into curved groves, covered with wooden laths, and secured by metal staples, called sintels. Finally, the cog-built structure could not be completed without a stern-mounted hanging central rudder, which was a unique northern development (Hocker, 1991; Crumlin-Pedersen, 2000). Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1469x984, 626 KB) en: cog from 1380, in shipmuseum Bremerhaven de: Hansekogge von 1380 im DSM, Bremerhaven photo taken by de:User: Uwe H. Friese in 2002 first upload: Dec 10, 2004 - de:Wikipedia File links The following pages link to... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1469x984, 626 KB) en: cog from 1380, in shipmuseum Bremerhaven de: Hansekogge von 1380 im DSM, Bremerhaven photo taken by de:User: Uwe H. Friese in 2002 first upload: Dec 10, 2004 - de:Wikipedia File links The following pages link to...


Cogs were generally built of oak, which was an abundant Baltic timber. This vessel was fitted with a single mast and a square rigged sail. Even though this type of rigging prohibited sailing into the wind, it could be handled by a smaller crew, which also reduced operational costs. These vessels were mostly associated with sea-going trade in medieval Europe, particularly in the Baltic Sea region. A mast is a pole which holds a sail of a boat, see mast (sailing). ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... The Baltic Sea is located in Northern Europe, from 53 deg. ...


The earliest development, according to the current archaeological evidence, directs us to the Frisian coast, Western Jutland, as the possible birthplace of this vessel. The transformation of the cog into a true seagoing trader came not only during the time of the intense merchant exchange between West and East, but also as a direct answer to the closure of the western entrance to the Limfjord. For centuries, Limfjord in northern Jutland offered fairly protected passage between the North Sea and the Baltic. Due to unusual geographical conditions and strong currents, the passage was constantly filling with sand and was completely blocked by the 12th century. This change produced new challenges. Bigger ships that could not be pulled across the sand bars had to sail around the Jutland peninsula and circumnavigate the dangerous Cape Skagen to get to the Baltic. This imposed major modifications to old ship structures, which can be observed by analyzing evolution of the earliest cog finds of Kollerup, Skagen, and Kolding. The new and improved cog was no longer a simple Frisian coaster but sturdy seagoing trader, which could cross even the most dangerous passages. Later on, fore and stern castles were added for defense against pirates, as well as to use these vessels as warships. a bridge over Limfjord (Aalborg/Nørresundby) The Limfjord is a shallow sound in Denmark that separates the island of Vendsyssel-Thy from the rest of Jutland Peninsula. ... A pirate digging…perhaps to bury treasure, perhaps a grave. ...


The need for spacious and relatively inexpensive ships led to the development of the first workhorse of the Hanseatic League, the cog. Eventually, around 14th century, cogs reached its structural limits, thus providing the desperate urge for a quick replacement. The replacement, however, was already in place and only waiting for the reconditioning. Even though there is no evidence that hulk ships descended from the cogs, it is clear that the 14th and 15th centuries witnessed an intense technological interchange of ideas between the two (Crumlin-Pedersen, 2000). In essence, the transition from cogs to hulks was never a linear function. According to some interpretations (Gardnier, 1994), both vessels coexisted for many centuries but followed diverse lines of evolution. The Hanseatic League (German: die Hanse, Dutch: de Hanze) was an alliance of trading cities that established and maintained a trade monopoly over the Baltic Sea and most of Northern Europe for a time in the later Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, between the 13th and 17th century. ...


See: Sailing ship. Traditional wooden cutter beating. ...


Further reading

  • A History of Seafaring: Based on Underwater Archaeology (1972) - George F. Bass, Thames and Hudson Ltd, ISBN 0500010773.
  • Crumling-Pedersen, O., To be or not to be a cog: the Bremen Cog in Perspective. IJNA (2000) 29.2: 230-246
  • Hocker, F., 1991, Cogge en Coggeschip: Late Trends in Cog Development. Proceedings of 5th Glavimans Symposium on Ship Archaeology. Groningen
  • Gardnier, R., 1994, Cogs, caravels and galleons : the sailing ship, 1000-1650. Annapolis.

External links

Other types of sailing vessel

Types of sailing vessels and rigs

Bark | Barque | Barquentine | Bilander | Brig | Brigantine | Caravel | Carrack | Catamaran | Catboat | Clipper | Dutch Clipper | Cog | Corvette | Cutter | Dhow | Fluyt | Fore & Aft Rig | Frigate | Full Rigged Ship | Gaff Rig | Galleon | Gunter Rig | Hermaphrodite Brig | Junk | Ketch | Mersey Flat | Multihull | Nao | Norfolk Wherry | Pink | Pocket Cruiser | Polacca | Pram | Proa | Schooner | Ship of the Line | Sloop | Smack | Snow | Square Rig | Tall Ship | Thames Sailing Barge | Trimaran | Wherry | Windjammer | Windsurfer | Xebec | Yacht | Yawl Wooden sailing boat Sailing is the skillful art of controlling the motion of a sailing ship or smaller boat, across a body of water using wind as the source of power. ... This article is about the rigging of ships, and is based on the detailed article in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, now in the public domain. ... In the 18th century, the British Royal Navy used the term Bark for a nondescript vessel which did not fit any of its usual categories. ... In the 18th century, the British Royal Navy used the term Bark for a nondescript vessel which did not fit any of its usual categories. ... This article is about the ship. ... A bilander, also spelled billander or belandre, was a small European merchant ship with two masts, used in the Netherlands for coast and canal traffic and occasionally seen in the North Sea but more frequently to be seen in the Mediterranean Sea. ... In sailing, a brig is a vessel with two masts at least one of which is square rigged. ... Description In sailing, a brigantine is a vessel with two masts, at least one of which is square rigged. ... A caravel is a small, highly maneuverable, three-masted ship used by the Portuguese and Spanish for long voyages of exploration beginning in the 15th century. ... The Santa Maria at anchor by Andries van Eertvelt, painted c. ... A traditional Tamil catamaran on a Chennai beach. ... // Description The occupied boats are catboats, but with a mast and boom rig A catboat (alternate spelling: cat boat), or a cat-rigged sailboat, is a sailing vessel characterized by a single mast carried well forward (, near the front of the boat). ... A model of a vessel of the clipper type, the four-masted barque named Belle Étoile A clipper was a very fast multiple-masted sailing ship of the 19th century. ... While the majority of the clipper ships sailed under British and American flags, more then a hundred clippers were built in the Netherlands. ... French steam corvette Dupleix (1856-1887) Canadian corvettes on antisubmarine convoy escort duty during World War II. A corvette is a small, maneuverable, lightly armed warship, smaller than a frigate. ... For other meanings, see cutter (baseball), cutter (tool) and self-harm. ... A Dhow near Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. ... A fluyt or a flute (pronounced as flight) is a type of sailing ship originally designed as a dedicated cargo vessel. ... A fore-and-aft rig is a sailing rig consisting mainly of sails that are set along the line of the keel rather than perpendicular to it. ... Frigate is a name which has been used for several distinct types of warships at different times. ... A full rigged ship or fully rigged ship is a square rigged sailing vessel with three or more masts, all of them square rigged. ... Gaff rig is a sailing rig in which the mainsail is a four-cornered fore-and-aft rigged sail controlled at its head by a spar called the gaff. ... A Spanish galleon A galleon was a large, multi-decked sailing ship used primarily by the nations of Europe from the 16th to 18th centuries. ... In sailing, a gunter is a wire that leads from one end of a gaff to the other. ... A hermaphrodite brig, or brig-schooner, is a type of two-masted sailing ship which has square sails on the foremast combined with a schooner rig on the mainmast (triangular topsail over a gaff mainsail). ... The Junk is a Chinese sailing vessel. ... Square Topsl Gaff Ketch Hawaiian Chieftain on San Francisco Bay A ketch is a sailing craft with two masts: A main mast, and a mizzen mast abaft the main mast. ... A Mersey flat is a two masted, doubled-ended barge with rounded bilges, carvel build and fully decked. ... A multihull is a sailing ship with more than one hull. ... The Santa Maria at anchor by Andries van Eertvelt, painted c. ... The Norfolk wherry is a black-sailed trader, type of boat on the Norfolk Broads and Suffolk Broads, now part of The Broads National Park, in Norfolk, England. ... There are two classifications of Pink. ... A Pocket cruiser, Microcruiser or Pocket yacht is a small sailboat with a cabin, whose length is at or under 20 feet (6 m), with some examples as short as 10 to 12 feet (3 to 3. ... A polacca is a type of seventeenth-century sailing vessel, similar to the xebec. ... A pram or pramm was a ship, during the Napoleonic Wars that carried 10-20 guns on 1 gun deck. ... A Proa is a two hulled vessel with unequal parallel hulls, superficially similar to an outrigger canoe. ... Two-masted fishing schooner A schooner (IPA: ) is a type of sailing vessel characterized by the use of fore-and-aft sails on two or more masts. ... Ships of the line were 1st, 2nd, or 3rd-rated ships in the rating system of the Royal Navy. ... A sloop-rigged J-24 sailboat In sailing, a sloop is a vessel with a single mast on which is hoisted a fore-and-aft rigged mainsail and a single jib, plus extras such as a spinnaker. ... The Smack was a English sailing vessel that was used to bring the fish to Market for most of the 19th Century and even in small numbers up to the Second World War. ... This article is about snow, the merchant vessel. ... Square rig is a generic type of sailing vessel in which the main horizontal spars are perpendicular to the keel of the ship. ... Kaskalot at the 2004 Bristol Harbour festival in England. ... The distinctive sailing barges that were once a common sight on Londons River Thames, were commercial craft relying on sail power alone. ... A trimaran is a multihull boat consisting of a main hull and two smaller outrigger hulls (amas), attached to the main hull with lateral struts (akas). ... A wherry (meaning boat) is a boat used for carrying cargo on rivers and canals in England. ... A windjammer is a type of sailing ship with a large iron hull, usually used for cargo in the nineteenth century. ... Windsurfing in Essex, England Windsurfing (also called boardsailing) is a sport involving travel over water on a small 2-4. ... XEBEC is a subsidary of the anime studio Production I.G. that specialises in the production of television anime. ... A yacht A yacht was originally defined as a light, fast sailing vessel used to convey important persons. ... A yawl is a two-masted sailing craft similar to a sloop or cutter but with an additional mizzen mast well aft of the main mast, often right on the transom. ...


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