1739411 comments to http%3A%2F%2Fatomictoasters.com%2F2012%2F07%2Ftrireme-cutaway%2FTrireme+Cutaway2012-07-20+22%3A00%3A54The+Professorhttp%3A%2F%2Fatomictoasters.com%2F%3Fp%3D17394Trireme Cutaway
I'll see if I cant just scan in my blueprints for a Trireme.
What is that rolled up rope for in the middle of the ship/boat?
this is just an educated guess, but I imagine it's like those tensioners in old houses that hold opposing walls together. By holding the frame of the ship taught, it would increase rigidity and it wouldn't flex as much in waves. I may or may not be making this up, but I'm convincing myself as I type.
I think that you're on the right track, although I have to admit that I know nothing about triremes either. I was thinking that changing the tension would also change the curve of the keel perhaps, although I don't know what that would accomplish.
When I first saw the twisted rope, I figured that the first comment would be someone saying, "Hey, it has a wind-up propeller!", but I was wrong (this time), much to my delight.
ooh! I like the keel curvature bit. That curvature is called rocker, and more usually means less longitudinal stability, netting easier turns. This is fascinating… these properties really wouldn't be manipulable without a relatively low-tech material like wood, although I can't help but wonder if they'd be able to flex it enough to make a difference.
Hmmm, wooden vessels are flexible by nature, especially long, thin ones like a trireme. With a stout rope and several slaves with winding sticks twisting away at it, I'll bet that you could deform the keel to a surprising degree. Possibly even break it if you went too far, a very bad thing to do in a battle.
Where is our ancient Greek historian? We need answers!
it's not so much the keel that worried me as much as the rails/flanks. They'd have to bow out to accomodate, and that'd probably be the limiting factor.
I also want to point out that this was a culture that not only knew how to use and make pumps (however primitive), but knew how to implement them on a boat (see Greek Fire). Why on Earth don't they have a sump pump? These are warships… the last thing they would want is to have to commit significant manpower to bailing and bucket lines AFTER taking damage in a fight.
My guess would be a lack of room for the pump. There isn't much available space belowdecks, and a pump would be in the way on the main deck once the battle started. They did have a lot of manpower though, so maybe having some of the rowers become bailers was the answer.
good points, all.
Nothing clears water from a sinking vessel more than a scared man with a bucket!