A lot of the ships used to transport the argonauts up the west coast from Seattle to the panhandle of Alaska on their way to the Klondike were boats that were not terribly seaworthy, to put it politely. Some of them never made it out of Puget Sound, and more sank along the way.
What I need to be able to do is describe what a ship like that would look like from the point of view of a naïve young person who is sailing north on one (and, no, it will not make it to Skagway in one piece). The kinds of things she'd notice about it, at first and as she slowly realizes what a mess she's gotten herself into. And what it would be like to be on a boat like that when it actually sinks. In what order does what happen and so forth. Technical details.