How were ships & boats brought into & out of water throughout history?

Dec 2013
297
Arkansas
One possibility was to beach the boat at high tide. Then you have a few hours of dry boat until the next high tide. Or you could use the high tide to raise the boat part of the way and reduce the muscle work. Human or animal muscle would then only have to move the boat a few more feet to keep it out of the next high tide. You could do the same thing in Egypt where the Nile floods and recedes at predictable times. Then you would have several months before the next flood to work on your boat.
To this day that is how ships to be scrapped are brought "ashore" at that rather famous place in India where people earn most of their money scrapping ships. They run them hard toward the beach at high tide. When the tide goes out they are well out of the water. Swarms of workers with cutting torches move in and get to work.
 

sculptingman

Ad Honorem
Oct 2009
3,653
San Diego
The simplest means was to drive the ship into shallow water at high tide, during a new or full moon- and wait for the tide to go out to refloat the ship. This was done mostly for purposes of careening- when you were pretty sure you could get the work done in the 10 hours or so you had with the ship on the hard.

Egyptians and Greeks, Romans and Phoenicians routinely pulled ship out of water- to enable them to be repaired and maintained. And they accomplished it by civil engineering what we would call a boat ramp- an inclined plane of stone up which the ship could be pulled on rollers- or nestled in a wooden cradle that would distribute the load on the hull the way a boat trailer had angled pads and runners to support the hull.
earlier cultures used manpower and perhaps block and tackle.
Romans and Greeks used geared winches that were either man powered, or livestock powered.
The Athenians famously kept their warships in "Sheds" built along the waterfront- designed to enable them to be swiftly launched- but keep them out of the elements and easy to maintain most of the time.

Prior to those civilizations, cultures generally built much lighter and smaller craft that could be pulled ashore more readily by manpower alone, and thru all history smaller craft have been similarly manhandled.
 

MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,967
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
I've studied constitutional right and I'd say that Article I, Section 10 of US Constitution is really clear about what states cannot do in absolute [before of stating what is impossible without the approval of the Congress].

To make a present comparison, UK is leaving EU following the procedure written in EU "Constitution" [it's not exactly a constitution, but the substance is the same].
You might want to check which thread you want to post it in since it seems a little off topic here.

The relevance of this escapes me.
I agree. I can only imagine what type of thread,presumably in North American History, this belongs to.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,186
Italy, Lago Maggiore
I've deleted that post. Actually I posted it twice ... and I was just wondering where I had posted it the first time!

It's about the discussion regarding the statues and the symbols of the no more existing Confederation and I was underlining what US constitution says about what states can and cannot do.
 
Oct 2017
339
America ??
I see that we’ve discussed how ships were pulled out of the water & maintained; now how were ships & boats put into the water after being built, which is on dry land I assume?
 
Oct 2017
339
America ??
Unfortunately the wikipedia doesn’t have a history of it.

It’s quite hard to imagine how large ships could use slipways, wouldn’t they be extremely heavy & bulky, & how would they be pulled? & the article says that large vessels would be too large to be pulled back onto slipways from water.

As usual, being able to visualize is very important to understanding effectively.
 
May 2019
215
Earth
Unfortunately the wikipedia doesn’t have a history of it.

It’s quite hard to imagine how large ships could use slipways, wouldn’t they be extremely heavy & bulky, & how would they be pulled? & the article says that large vessels would be too large to be pulled back onto slipways from water.

As usual, being able to visualize is very important to understanding effectively.
Check the "Methods" section of this article: Ceremonial ship launching - Wikipedia

Here's some footage of the "stern-first" and "sideways" methods ca. 1940s:
 
Mar 2019
1,954
Kansas
I see that we’ve discussed how ships were pulled out of the water & maintained; now how were ships & boats put into the water after being built, which is on dry land I assume?
The slipway was on a slope. The hull of the ship was laid down and held in place using chocks. When ready to launch they would grease the slipway, knock away the chocks, let gravity do its thing
 
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