That one girl, you know, who does that thing (kahteh) wrote in little_details,
That one girl, you know, who does that thing

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Questions about a VERY small sailing ship

This post reminded me of some questions of my own I'd been meaning to ask.

Unfortunately, I keep realising that I'm trying to write about something I don't really know a great deal about. Namely pirate ships.

1. I've found a good deal of information about maximum crew sizes for different types of ship, but not really anything about the minimum size. Would a crew of six to nine men be able to run an early 18th century schooner capably? (NB Because this is a fantasy story, I get a bit of leeway as one of the characters is an engineer who could probably jerry-build something to help them.) I can add more characters if need be, but I only have nine established characters who could work on the ship.

2. If a schooner is too big, are there any other smaller ships that I could give them instead?

3. How many guns would these six to nine men feasibly be able to use, and indeed have on their ship in the first place? (This is one of the situations I can fudge by using the engineer character.)

One thing I should probably point out now: in this story, pirate ships are very rarely seen by themselves. They generally tend to band together in packs, sharing whatever they acquire, because the constant warfare between several of the world's biggest nations means that while the navies are usually preoccupied with fighting each other, it is harder for lone pirate ships to pick them off. This is turn means that there are usually lots of smaller pirate ships, rather than a few big ones. Although six men is still small, even by their standards.

Thanks in advance!
Tags: ~boats and other things that float

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