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Sino-French Trade at Canton, 1698-1842$
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Susan E. Schopp

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9789888528509

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888528509.001.0001

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East India Ships and Chop Boats

East India Ships and Chop Boats

(p.41) 3 East India Ships and Chop Boats
Sino-French Trade at Canton, 1698-1842

Susan E. Schopp

Hong Kong University Press

Chapter 3 focuses on two types of watercraft that were essential to Sino-French trade at Canton. East India ships were built to withstand the rigors of the long-haul voyage between Europe and Asia; the three-masted square-riggers of the second French East India Company (1719–1769) are the best known, and were subject to regulations regarding fitting out and laying up, sea routes and ports of call, logbooks, crew composition, training, wages, discipline, inventories of the deceased, interloping vessels and prizes, and more. Chop boats [西瓜] were the lighters that transported incoming and outgoing cargo between the East India ships at the Whampoa [黃埔] anchorage and the city of Canton, 20 kilometers (12 miles) upriver. Their design readily facilitated the loading and unloading of cargo, as well as the transport of traders and their possessions between Macau and Canton at the beginning and end of the trading season. Swift-moving and operated by highly capable crews, they well commanded the respect of other operators on the Pearl River.

Keywords:   East India ships, tonnage or cargo capacity, ship layout, ship’s crews, shipboard life, passengers, intra-Asian (country) vessels, chop boats, lighters

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