'hull' can also refer to...

Agrippa Hull (1759—1848)


Alan Hull (1945—1995) popular singer and songwriter

Andrew Hull Foote (1806—1863)

Clark Leonard Hull (1884—1952)

convex hull

Cordell Hull (1871—1955)

Edith Maud Hull (1880—1947) writer

Edward Hull (1829—1917) geologist

Eleanor Hull (c. 1394—1460) translator

Eleanor Hull (1860—1935)

George Hull Bowers (1794—1872) dean of Manchester

Harry F. Hull

Henry Hull (1890—1977)


hull insurance

Hull, Papa Harvey, And Long Cleve Reed

Hull Poets

Hull Truck Theatre Company

Hull-House Theatre

Hull-White option-pricing model

John Hull (c. 1624—1683) goldsmith and merchant in America

John Hull (1764—1843) physician and botanist

Jonathan Hulls (1699—1758) mechanical inventor

Josephine Hull (1886—1957)

Kingston upon Hull

Michael Hulls (b. 1959)

Peer Hull Kristensen

pressure hull


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  • Maritime History


Quick Reference

1 Probably from the German hulla or hulle, a cloak or covering, the main body of a ship apart from its masts, rigging, and all internal fittings, including engines, etc. It consists virtually of the upper deck, sides, and bottom of a ship. Hull-down, a ship so far distant that only its masts and/or sails, funnels, etc. are visible above the horizon.

Before the 18th century merchant sailing vessels were traditionally classified by their hulls, not their rigs. In 1768 Frederik af Chapman, a naval architect, published a book, Architectura Navalis Mercatoria. This divided the various hull shapes into five categories: frigate, hagboat (or heck-boat), pink, cat, and bark (barque), and each of these could have any of the rigs by which sailing ships were later identified, i.e. schooner, brig, brigantine, etc.

The change to identifying a ship by its rig was gradual, though by 1769 William Falconer in The Dictionary of the Marine was writing that most of the different categories of hull form were becoming very similar and that the term ‘bark’ was ‘a general name given to small ships; it is, however, peculiarly appropriated by seamen to those which carry three masts without a mizzen topsail’.

2 When used as a verb, to hull a ship is to penetrate its hull with shot; to strike hull, in a sailing vessel, is to take in all sail in a storm and to lie with the helm lashed a-lee so that it could heave to; and a ship is said to be hulling when it drives to and fro without rudder or sail or engine power.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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