Mick F wrote:That is a long and involved subject!
I'll try and be short.
In the old days, ships had more sailors per ship than they have nowadays. Even in my time, we reduced the manning levels, and by the time I was serving in my last ships, the reduced manning was down to a level where the cleaning and domestics was saved up until we came into port where contract cleaners would come on.
Since the demise of steam power and coal, we didn't need stokers and engine room staff 24/7. This, as well as automated machinery, meant that you didn't need engineers below working the propulsion system.
The weapon systems require few operators. Gun crews aren't needed as everything is automated. Computers control the early warning equipment and we don't need lookouts and upperdeck crews with binoculars 24/7.
All this, means far fewer than half the crew for a given size of ship. This means there is more space for accommodation and hence they can have cabins and bunks and a central galley and dining halls and recreation rooms.
Hammocks used to be slung in the messdecks. When the hammocks were stowed, the tables were laid for the meals. Same space, same room. No other place as there was no space.
I can quite see that one advantage of hammocks as sleeping accommodation is compactness and another stowability, neither of which is needed nowadays, but you were pointing out that they can be more comfortable in some circumstances.
I was watching Hornblower and I suppose you might have regretted the end of the rum ration, but not of flogging!