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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Begins by defining the ‘Tramp!’, 27 Jan 2014
By 
Ned Middleton (British professional underwater photo-journalist & author) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Tramp Ships: An Illustrated History (Hardcover)
Every so often I find a book which is a sheer delight and the arrival of this particular work was such an occasion. This is a beautiful product with historic B&W pictures of the highest quality on almost every page. Overall, the book tells the story of different ship types through time and the way in which their design evolved. To support that story the author skilfully includes the right picture to match the text - at exactly the right time, often using whole or half-page images.

Warships (especially those which became famous) and the battles they fought throughout history are the subject of countless books from which experts hope to glean yet another snippet of ‘new’ information. By complete contrast, however, the many hundreds of thousands of ordinary Tramp Ships, their histories, technical details and lives are so often overlooked.

From a scuba diver’s perspective; I study shipwrecks as a profession. It’s what I do. Many countries promote their own accessible wrecks as tourism assets - with some deliberately sinking new wrecks for that particular purpose. With the single exception of Bikini Atoll (for obvious reasons), however, far more merchant vessels exist in any country’s underwater fleet of attractions than naval vessels. Nevertheless, few books contain the details we seek.

The author’s Preface begins by defining the term ‘Tramp Ship’ which, put simply, is a cargo vessel of any description or size which goes wherever in the world it can find a paying cargo. Divided into 13 chapters over 175 pages, this book goes on to teach far more than I could ever have expected. Whereas I may get annoyed when people say “midships” (the word is ‘amidships’), this is a work which explains all such matters so clearly. Commencing with those early steel-hulled merchant vessels, we learn of the way in which various designs progressed to provide increased carrying capacity and of the problems which had to be overcome. To this end we are introduced to early deep sea tramps, the addition of the raised quarterdeck, two decks, spar decks, awning holds and all the other innovative developments as and when they came into being. That theme continues throughout this excellent work - almost as though each ship was laid down in the 19th Century and remained ‘a work in progress’ with every modification being applied as and when it came along, until we end up with a completely different vessel altogether.

Roy Fenton is a full-time researcher and author who has written over 25 books on shipping history. I was so impressed with this particular item, I found myself immediately looking for more of the same from this man - but those are something for another day. Suffice to say I really cannot recall ever having read such an educational and informative product about steel-hulled ships and the evolutionary process they underwent. In addition, I will never tire of looking at photographs of historic ships and this work had provided enough interest to last me a very long time indeed.

NM
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have, 15 Jan 2014
This review is from: Tramp Ships: An Illustrated History (Hardcover)
Very good material and an indispensable companion to Cargo Liners by ambrose Greenway.
Outstanding photographs , and very intersting text .
Do buy this one
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great buy, 27 April 2014
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This review is from: Tramp Ships: An Illustrated History (Hardcover)
Bought as a gift. Great price, arrived in excellent condition. Quick look through before being wrapped revealed an excellent book with fantastic photos and detail.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Otherwise excellent and well up to normal, 2 July 2014
This review is from: Tramp Ships: An Illustrated History (Hardcover)
Had hoped for some underground phots by Ordish, and propulsion plant data SHP et al from fenton. Otherwise excellent and well up to normal expectations
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 19 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Tramp Ships: An Illustrated History (Hardcover)
Good coffee table reading
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 9 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Tramp Ships: An Illustrated History (Hardcover)
fine
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Tramp Ships: An Illustrated History
Tramp Ships: An Illustrated History by R. S. Fenton (Hardcover - 17 Oct 2013)
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