Collier (ship type)

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Collier USS Merrimac (1894)

Collier is an English umbrella term for ships that were intended for the transport of coal in coastal voyages. In the history of the navy, coal-fired ships were also given the same name.


Hard coal had been transported from coal mines in the north of England to London since the 13th century , where it was called sea coal to distinguish it from charcoal. A Sea Coal Lane can be found there as early as 1226 . A simple type of coastal glider developed for this traffic, which changed along with the general development of shipbuilding . While around 1370 around 100 ships transported quantities of around 50 tonnes each on the English coast and to several European ports, around 250 tonnes of coal could be carried on each of the 300 ships that were engaged in this traffic in the 15th century. Another decisive step in development was the Collier Brigg , which was the dominant type of ship in this trade for a long time.

From the middle of the 19th century, there was a switch to steam ships , which could take water ballast and accelerate traffic a lot. The further development of the necklace eventually led to ship types such as trunk deckers , tower deckers and later bulk carriers .


A necklace that achieved great fame was the coal transporter Bethia of the Royal Navy , built in 1784, which left the British port of Portsmouth on a trip to the South Seas under the name Bounty under the command of Lieutenant William Bligh in 1787 to pick up cuttings of the breadfruit tree of Tahiti to bring to the Antilles . Due to the mutiny led by Fletcher Christian , the ship gained worldwide fame. Among other things, a short story by the French author Jules Verne was published about the incident in 1879 under the name Les Révoltés de la Bounty .

Necklaces were also used as research vessels. For example, James Cook used the Colliers-built ships Endeavor , Resolution and Adventure for his South Sea expeditions .


  • Michael J. Freeman, Derek H. Aldcroft: Transport in Victorian Britain . Manchester University Press, Manchester 1991, ISBN 0-719-02333-5 (English).
  • Alfred Dudszus et al. a .: The great book of ship types, ships, boats, rafts under oars and sails, steamers, motor ships, marine technology . Weltbild, Augsburg / Pietsch, Stuttgart (license from Transpress Verlag , Berlin 1983) 1995, ISBN 3-89350-831-7 (Weltbild) / ISBN 3-613-50313-1 (Pietsch).

Web links


  1. Alfred Dudszus (1928–2008), professor for the design and construction of ships at the Technical Faculty of the University of Rostock (1973–1992): On the theory and practice of the development of ship types , Rostock 1984, DNB 850028299 (habilitation thesis (dissertation B) University of Rostock 1984 , 129 pages); For the development of cybernetic design and project planning methods in the system of socialist scientific and economic organization, Rostock 1970, OCLC 916915061 (dissertation University of Rostock 1970, 487 pages).