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Author Topic:   About that Boat - Noah's Ark
Mespo
Member (Idle past 1168 days)
Posts: 158
From: Mesopotamia, Ohio, USA
Joined: 09-19-2002


Message 1 of 296 (17897)
09-20-2002 2:08 PM


I'm interested in a discussion about the Ark itself, not it's cargo or human crew. For this discussion, I'm using the smaller definition of a cubit, the Egyptian short cubit of roughly 18 inches. That makes the Ark about 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high.

So, how do you build a boat to those dimensions when no wooden boat before or since has come close to that size?

Here are some concerns that have shaped my thinking.

* Successful maritime merchants discovered long ago the economics of size. The bigger the boat, the more cargo you can carry and the more money you can make in one trip. However, when a wooden hull reached somewhere around 250-300 feet in length, marine architects ran into the "hogback" problem. The bow and stern sagged without massive longitudinal (bow-to-stern) structural bracing. Without it, the hull simply split under it's own weight. And this is using keel and rib construction. Greater hull length had to await the advent of iron and steel construction.

* It has been suggested that the Ark resembled a barge. A large keel was unnecessary because the Ark was not propelled, either by sail or oars or sweeps. That's fine except that the Ark's height of 45 feet, would in itself be a "sail". This large sail area would cause the Ark to swing broadside to the wind and yaw (swing back and forth on its turning axis) with no rudder control.

* It has been further suggested that a barge design is capsize-proof.
You don't have to capsize to sink. Let's say that the load water line on the Ark was 1/3 it's height. That makes for 30 feet of freeboard. What happens when a 40 foot wave encounters a 30 foot hull? Or a 50 foot wave? Or a 60 foot wave? The Global Flood was not a summer shower. It was a violent event.

I don't care about the Ark did / did not happen angle. I'm simply interested in discussions of the practical feasibility of such a craft. If you believe it happened, so be it. If not, then "pretend" for a while.

This is my first post, so don't be kind, be honest.

(:raig Miller


Replies to this message:
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John
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 296 (17899)
09-20-2002 2:50 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Mespo
09-20-2002 2:08 PM


quote:
Originally posted by Mespo:
So, how do you build a boat to those dimensions when no wooden boat before or since has come close to that size?

I hate to side with the bad guys but it looks like the Chinese were able to build some cargo ships which at least approached the size of the ark. Historical records record a length of over 400 feet, and one bit of reverse engineering suggests over 500.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sultan/explorers.html

http://www.chinapage.com/zhenghe.html

Another source, though I have some doubts, suggests 180 meters which is nearly 590 feet.

http://scalemodel.net/Chineseship.htm

------------------
www.hells-handmaiden.com


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Mespo, posted 09-20-2002 2:08 PM Mespo has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Mespo
Member (Idle past 1168 days)
Posts: 158
From: Mesopotamia, Ohio, USA
Joined: 09-19-2002


Message 3 of 296 (17900)
09-20-2002 3:37 PM


Fascinating John.

Giving the Chinese the benefit of doubt about the size of their ships, their vessels were still controlled craft with standing and running rigging, masts, sails and a RUDDER.

Call me Euro-centric, but I have trouble believing that the Chinese overcame the hogback problem of large wooden ships 400 years before the Europeans NEVER did. I can picture a Chinese junk towing other junks or barges. I can even picture them rafted together. I guess I need more convincing.

(:raig


Replies to this message:
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nos482
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 296 (17901)
09-20-2002 3:51 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by John
09-20-2002 2:50 PM


quote:
Originally posted by John:
quote:
Originally posted by Mespo:
So, how do you build a boat to those dimensions when no wooden boat before or since has come close to that size?

I hate to side with the bad guys but it looks like the Chinese were able to build some cargo ships which at least approached the size of the ark. Historical records record a length of over 400 feet, and one bit of reverse engineering suggests over 500.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sultan/explorers.html

http://www.chinapage.com/zhenghe.html

Another source, though I have some doubts, suggests 180 meters which is nearly 590 feet.

http://scalemodel.net/Chineseship.htm


There is even some evidence that they may have beaten Columbus to the New World by maybe a thousand years.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by John, posted 09-20-2002 2:50 PM John has not yet responded

John
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 296 (17902)
09-20-2002 4:06 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Mespo
09-20-2002 3:37 PM


quote:
Originally posted by Mespo:
Fascinating John.

Giving the Chinese the benefit of doubt about the size of their ships, their vessels were still controlled craft with standing and running rigging, masts, sails and a RUDDER.

Call me Euro-centric, but I have trouble believing that the Chinese overcame the hogback problem of large wooden ships 400 years before the Europeans NEVER did. I can picture a Chinese junk towing other junks or barges. I can even picture them rafted together. I guess I need more convincing.

(:raig


Look up Cheng He on Google. The Chinese did manage to built ships that dwarfed European ships.

------------------
www.hells-handmaiden.com


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Mespo, posted 09-20-2002 3:37 PM Mespo has not yet responded

Mespo
Member (Idle past 1168 days)
Posts: 158
From: Mesopotamia, Ohio, USA
Joined: 09-19-2002


Message 6 of 296 (17903)
09-20-2002 4:06 PM


Well, I'm getting closer.

Here's Great Republic

She was 325 x 53 x 40 and was cross-braced with iron.

Still have to find something build completely out of wood, bracing and all.

Pity about the Chinese and the New World, nos482. We could have had Chinese take-out several hundred years earlier. But then what would the Colonial Boston rebels have dumped into Boston harbor?

(:raig


Replies to this message:
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Mespo
Member (Idle past 1168 days)
Posts: 158
From: Mesopotamia, Ohio, USA
Joined: 09-19-2002


Message 7 of 296 (17904)
09-20-2002 4:29 PM


John,

I followed your Google suggestion and found 4 sites giving the length of the largest Chinese ships as 400, 475, 600 and 444 feet respectively. *sigh*

But I'll concede that they were bigger than European ships.

(:raig


Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by John, posted 09-20-2002 4:38 PM Mespo has not yet responded

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 296 (17905)
09-20-2002 4:38 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Mespo
09-20-2002 4:29 PM


quote:
Originally posted by Mespo:
John,

I followed your Google suggestion and found 4 sites giving the length of the largest Chinese ships as 400, 475, 600 and 444 feet respectively. *sigh*

But I'll concede that they were bigger than European ships.

(:raig


I don't know how much information you found, but part of the trouble we have in determining exactly how big these ships were, is that shortly after the expiditions began the Chinese government started returning to a xenophobic international policy. Eventually this attitude became so extreme that the construction of ocean-going ships was forbidden and the plans for them destroyed.

------------------
www.hells-handmaiden.com


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Mespo, posted 09-20-2002 4:29 PM Mespo has not yet responded

nos482
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 296 (17907)
09-20-2002 7:19 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Mespo
09-20-2002 4:06 PM


quote:
Originally posted by Mespo:
Well, I'm getting closer.

Here's Great Republic

She was 325 x 53 x 40 and was cross-braced with iron.

Still have to find something build completely out of wood, bracing and all.

Pity about the Chinese and the New World, nos482. We could have had Chinese take-out several hundred years earlier. But then what would the Colonial Boston rebels have dumped into Boston harbor?

(:raig


The world would have been a much different place if the Chinese hadn't turned in on themselves. Well, they still could have dumped tea.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Mespo, posted 09-20-2002 4:06 PM Mespo has not yet responded

allenroyboy
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 296 (52070)
08-24-2003 9:06 PM


The comparison of the Ark to modern (or rather 19th century) wooden ships has problems. When it comes to ship design and strength, a boxy barge is the strongest design. The weakest design is the streamline shape, especially when constructed of wood. However, sailing vessels need to be streamlined so thier stength compared to a barge shaped Ark will not be applicable

Hogging: Hogging is a problem primarly for streamlined ships -- steel or wood. Barges ususally do not have that problem. For wood ships the problem is increased when the primary structural members are pieced end to end the length of the ship as the typical 19th century sailing vessel was. The best way to reduce the effect of hogging is for the top and bottom structural members to be full length (from 'bow' to 'stern') of the vessel.

Draft: It is thought that the draft of the Ark was 15 cubits (1/2 height). With this draft and barge shape the vessel would be very stable. The height of the wave in comparison with the height of a wave is only half the story. The heigher the wave, the longer the wave length. The wave that will cause the worst problem is the wave that has the a wavelength the same length as the ship because the ship will experience the worst sagging or hogging. Even large crosswise waves would not be the problem often imagined.


Replies to this message:
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John
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 296 (52140)
08-25-2003 11:41 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by allenroyboy
08-24-2003 9:06 PM


quote:
The comparison of the Ark to modern (or rather 19th century) wooden ships has problems.

Indeed. We should actually be comparing it to ships built 5000 years ago, but since there aren't any that come even vaguely close in size, what can you do? Comparing the ark to recent wooden vessels is actually giving the tall tale a lot of leeway.

The 19th century didn't contain the largest known wooden ships, by the way. The largest known such ships were built in Ming China in the 14oo's for the explorer Zheng Ho. His flagship was 400 feet long, and some evidence suggests there were larger ships still. No one in the west has been able to duplicate the feet ( hee-hee ).

quote:
When it comes to ship design and strength, a boxy barge is the strongest design.

Prove it. I can think of no reason this would the case.

quote:
Hogging: Hogging is a problem primarly for streamlined ships -- steel or wood.

This makes no sense. If you support a structure in the center and leave the ends dangling there is going to be stress on the frame, especially when talking about a structure as large as the ark.

quote:
Barges ususally do not have that problem.

Perhaps because barges are not typically run in the open ocean under storm conditions worse than we can imagine?

quote:
For wood ships the problem is increased when the primary structural members are pieced end to end the length of the ship as the typical 19th century sailing vessel was. The best way to reduce the effect of hogging is for the top and bottom structural members to be full length (from 'bow' to 'stern') of the vessel.

umm... right. The ark was 450 feet or so. The tallest tree now living is 367.5 feet. It is short by nearly a 100 feet, and is in California, not mesopotamia. It is also only 10 feet 4 inches across. With a length to width ratio like that, it would snap like a twig in storm waves. Milling would further reduce the tree and thus weaken it.

Were is the evidence that such lumber even existed for Noah to use?

quote:
Draft: It is thought that the draft of the Ark was 15 cubits (1/2 height). With this draft and barge shape the vessel would be very stable.

So you consider rolling round and round like a pencil to be stable? Everything inside would be beaten to a pulp.

quote:
The height of the wave in comparison with the height of a wave is only half the story.

I see???

quote:
The wave that will cause the worst problem is the wave that has the a wavelength the same length as the ship because the ship will experience the worst sagging or hogging. Even large crosswise waves would not be the problem often imagined.

What is the point?

------------------
www.hells-handmaiden.com


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by allenroyboy, posted 08-24-2003 9:06 PM allenroyboy has not yet responded

Admin
Director
Posts: 12630
From: EvC Forum
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Message 12 of 296 (52147)
08-25-2003 11:54 AM


Thread moved here from the The Great Debate forum.

  
allenroyboy
Inactive Member


Message 13 of 296 (52264)
08-26-2003 4:33 AM


We should actually be comparing it to ships built 5000 years ago, .... Comparing the ark to recent wooden vessels is actually giving the tall tale a lot of leeway.... The largest known such ships were built in Ming China in the 14oo's for the explorer Zheng Ho.

****Comparison between ship designs should be made between similar styles regardless of era -- i.e. apples with apples, oranges with oranges, etc. It is usually the critics of Noah's Ark, et. al., who do the comparisons between 19th century sailing ships and Noah's Ark. In this post, I was simply pointing out that a comparison between a barge and a streamlined vessel has problems.

>>When it comes to ship design and strength, a boxy barge is the strongest design.

Prove it. I can think of no reason this would the case.

****This is very easy for you to check out. Simply do a search on the internet for Naval Architects (or Naval Architect Companies) then email them the questions about which shape is stronger when built out of the same material. (I can save you a lot of time: The barge is much stronger.)

>>Hogging: Hogging is a problem primarly for streamlined ships -- steel or wood.

This makes no sense. If you support a structure in the center and leave the ends dangling there is going to be stress on the frame, especially when talking about a structure as large as the ark.

****All ships and barges hog and sag -- flexing as they travel through the water and waves. However, hogging, is a permanent change in the shape of the ship over a long period of time. ALL wooden streamlined vessels will eventually ended up hogged (if they didnt sink first) Many early steel ships also hogged. Now days the ships are over designed to reduce the effect of hogging on a streamlined ship.

Hogging happens over time because the streamlined shape of the vessel provides greater boyant support in the middle of the ship because that is where it is deepest and widest. There is very little boyant support at the bow and stearn because of the need to streamline the ship. So, the ends of the ship hang down from the middle of the ship.

On the other hand, barges have the same boyant support from stem to stern. So, they won't end up hogging.

>>Barges ususally do not have that problem.

Perhaps because barges are not typically run in the open ocean under storm conditions worse than we can imagine?

****Again, a simple search on the internet will find that there are several ocean going barges and companies that construct them. Go ask them a few questions.

>>>...The best way to reduce the effect of hogging is for the top and bottom structural members to be full length (from 'bow' to 'stern') of the vessel.

umm... right. The ark was 450 feet or so. The tallest tree now living is 367.5 feet. It is short by nearly a 100 feet, and is in California, not mesopotamia. ... Were is the evidence that such lumber even existed for Noah to use?

****To be sure, no one knows precisly what was the ecology of a preflood world, however, There is interesting evidence in the gologic record that many plants and animals were larger than they are now. While one cannot point to any specific tree fossil being large enough to do the job, the general trend in largeness supports the idea that there could have been trees large enough.

...With a length to width ratio like that, it would snap like a twig in storm waves. Milling would further reduce the tree and thus weaken it.

****Lets see some facts and figures that would show that a box-girder designed barge shaped vessel constructed of hundreds of such pieces would "snap like a twig." Design calculations that I've done indicate that given the proper crossectional area of stress bearing members, a wooden ship the size of the Ark could handle most stresses it may encounder.

>>Draft: It is thought that the draft of the Ark was 15 cubits (1/2 height). With this draft and barge shape the vessel would be very stable.

So you consider rolling round and round like a pencil to be stable? Everything inside would be beaten to a pulp.

****I just said that the barge design at the ratios of 300x30x45 at that draft would be very stable. Experiments have shown that a barge like this would be quite stable. It would right itself, even if tipped to near 90 degress. Certainly, not like a pencil, or some round-bottomed boat.

>>The wave that will cause the worst problem is the wave that has the a wavelength the same length as the ship because the ship will experience the worst sagging or hogging. Even large crosswise waves would not be the problem often imagined.

What is the point?

****I figured you were smart enough to see it for yourself. The larger the wave (the higher it is), the longer the wavelength. Large waves who's wavelength is longer that the length of the vessel will causes less stress on the ship than those waves who's wavelength is the same length as the ship. Ships that are designed for waves who's wavelength is the same as the ship will be designed for the worse case. All ships are designed for this case.

So, even if one proposes that there were waves during the flood cataclysm that were much larger and longer than the Ark, it is the waves which have a wavelength the same length as the ship which would cause the most stress on the vessel. Big waves are not a problem so long as the Ark was designed to handle waves of the same length as the ship.


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Admin
Director
Posts: 12630
From: EvC Forum
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Message 14 of 296 (52313)
08-26-2003 10:32 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by allenroyboy
08-26-2003 4:33 AM


Hi, Allenroyboy! Welcome aboard!

There's a little reply button at the bottom of each message. Please see This Message.

There are quoting UBB codes that are pretty easy to use. Please see this page on UBB Codes.

Again, welcome to EvC Forum!

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--Percy
EvC Forum Administrator

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Mespo
Member (Idle past 1168 days)
Posts: 158
From: Mesopotamia, Ohio, USA
Joined: 09-19-2002


Message 15 of 296 (52317)
08-26-2003 10:50 AM


Hi Allenroyboy,

One year later, the topic is still alive. Amazing. So to continue, you said...

"Big waves are not a problem so long as the Ark was designed to handle waves of the same length as the ship."

So, Noah and his sons were naval architects. They knew from experience between goat and sheep herding and farming what type of waves they would encounter on an ocean they had never seen. But their expertise in calculus, trig, geometry and algebra easily overcame their misgivings about such a huge undertaking. They most likely used their irrigation ditches as model boat basins to test their theories between spring planting and fall harvesting. They also knew ahead of time exactly what their load factors on the ark would be, the type and quantity of provisions needed and exactly who or what was going to show up.

Not only is there a problem of comparing 19th century wooden vessels with those built 5000 years ago, there is a HUGE problem with applying 21st century logic and thinking to people who lived 5000 years ago.

BTW, Allenroyboy. I would venture to guess that you have never been on the open ocean in a storm. Try it sometime. Join the Navy and sit out in the Pacific during typhoon season. Watch what 40-50-60 foot waves do to your ship and everyone and everthing inside. More fun than the greatest roller coaster ever built and a 1000 times more lethal. Can you say, "so frightened I shit my pants"? Now apply that to every creature on the ark; pants, skirts or fur.

(:raig


Replies to this message:
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