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    Model of a twin-hulled ship

    17th century
    Stephen Worlidge (British) , Goldsmith
    Object type
    Archive reference number
    length: 390mm
    Content object
    Model of a twin-hulled ship, comprising two narrow hulls of equal size, positioned in parallel beneath a decorative bow and a clear deck, with gold guilding on each side. On a mahogany presentation stand. Rigging is now missing.

    The twin-hull design was described by Petty in his 'Description and Excellency of the Double-Keel Vessell' [EL/P1/34a]: 'The two bodies are made long and slender because they are apt to move swifter on the water than such that are short and bluffe.' Petty designed several twin-hulled ships between 1662 and 1684, Europe's first catamarans. They were able to sail closer to the wind and in shallower waters, but sailors were sceptical about the unusual design and it was not a commercial success.

    William Petty (1623-1687) natural philosopher and administrator in Ireland was a founding member of the Royal Society, elected in 1660.
    Object history
    Presented to the Royal Society by John Houghton FRS ( 1645 - 1705) on behalf of Stephen Worlidge in 1685 [JBO/8].
    Associated place
    <The World>
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          > United Kingdom
    © The Royal Society
    Image number
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