Ship model Arabian Chebec
Origin of the chebecs
This is a model of an 18th century Arabian chebec. Chebecs were
originally Arab constructions that were famous for their speed and
maneuverability. They were primarily fast, light sailing warships, but
in calms could also be rowed by means of oars through smaller ports in
the bulwarks between each two adjacent guns. They are thought to have
originated in Algeria, and were used by corsairs of the Maghreb from the
beginning of the 17th century. The chebecs proved very useful as fast
raiders, despatch boats and merchant ships.
The Barbary States of that time were to a large extent autonomous
outposts of the Ottoman Empire and attacked the ships of the merchant
fleets of those nations, which unlike England and France did not have
strong navies. This was true for the young US navy in the 1790er years.
After 1793 hardly a ship of the extensive US merchant fleet could be
seen in the Mediterranean. From 1801 to 1805 the US navy was engaged in
the fight with the Barbary Deys of Tripoli, Tunisia and Morocco. In 1803
the US lost the frigate Philadelphia, which ran aground before the port
of Tripoli when pursuing a corsair and was taken as prize.
With their pronounced slim and hydrodynamically advantageous hulls the
chebecs belonged to the fastest and most agile ships of the
Mediterranean in 17. to 19. century. As crew were 300 - 400 men on
board, the armament of 16 - 24 cannons.
Frederik Henrik af Chapman described a 50 m long Algerian chebec in his
"Architectura Navalis Mercatoria", Plate LVIII, No. 17 (published in
Stockholm in 1768, see
literature list). This ship model as well as the ship's boat were
built according to the drawings of Chapman.
Chebec model ship, photos, description and dimensions
Please take your time to have a good look at the set of photos. There
are 47 photos in groups: several
views of the entire ship model, several
views on the deck, of the
the hull, and some
very close views of details.
If you click on a photo you will get that photo in high resolution. Only
these high resolution photographs show how much work and handicraft
ability were put in the model. (If you use Microsoft Internet Explorer
or Firefox, press F11 to minimize navigation bars and have a larger
screen with the photos.)
This excellent model of an Arabian chebec is 1 : 50 scale. Length is
97 cm, width 25 cm, height 79 cm.
This model has been already sold. The pictures and the data are shown in
gallery of the ship models sold only to let enthusiasts and model
makers enjoy the photos and maybe get ideas or some guidance, if someone
builds such a model by himself.