Chapter

Killer Boats, the Harpoon, Killer Iron, and Modern Whale Gun

Quentin R. Walsh

in The Whaling Expedition of the Ulysses 1937–38

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780813034799
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039688 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813034799.003.0007
Killer Boats, the Harpoon, Killer Iron, and Modern Whale Gun

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The killer boats employed by a modern expedition were between 160 and 185 feet in length with a 16- to 20-foot beam. They varied from 160 to 200 tons; had a speed of 11 to 16 knots; and had a cruising radius from 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Some of those were built in Germany, but the majority of killer boats were constructed in Norway and England. The price of a modern boat was approximately $200,000. When the expedition was underway to and from the whaling grounds, the killer boats accompanied the factory ships, generally remaining in sight. The factory ship fueled and provisioned the vessels when necessary. The boats possessed a crew varying from twelve to sixteen men, consisting of the gunner, mate, chief engineer, cook, and mess boy; the remainder was made up of the deck and engineering force.

Keywords: killer boats; expedition; Germany; Norway; England

Chapter.  2546 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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