The Guy That Wrote This (uhlrik) wrote in little_details,
The Guy That Wrote This

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A Question of Speed

Google and have failed me. All I've found on the topic has been a collection of different RPG rules that contradict each other.

My question? How fast would a renaissance-era sailing ship like a galleon move under typical conditions? I'm trying to calculate some rough travel times.

I can deal with answers expressed in either MPH or knots, given that the conversion (roughly 1:1.15, if memory serves) is easy enough.

Thank you very much!

Edit: I finally found stats on a couple of ships from roughly the period I'm looking for. On her famous voyage from Plymouth, England to Provincetown (which took 66 days and was against the gulf stream), it has been calculated that Mayflower averaged about 2 knots. On her return voyage to England, she appears to have averaged just over 3 (3.75 mph). The fastest clippers of a hundred years later were averaging about 3 knots along the same route from Britain to New England, so Mayflower appears to have been a fair sailer for her time rather than the leaky tub that some writers have attempted to characterize her as.

Now, if only I could find numbers on some slightly older vessels. Time to get back to digging.

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