I've read the Wikipedia article on coxswains, which talks primarily about the modern usage of the word and has only a very brief explanation of historical roles. I have also googled "coxswain" combined with various descriptions of the time period, such as "age of sail," "1700's," "eighteenth century," and so on.
For the second question, I have looked extensively at articles and books about sailing ships of this time period, and while I know all about different kinds of rigging, I haven't figured out much about actual types of ships.
Setting: A fantasy universe with technology and society roughly equivalent to eighteenth-century Europe, with most of the characters coming from an England-analogue. (Has nothing to do with my icon.) Not much in the way of magic.
1. One of my characters is the coxswain on board a pirate vessel (see second question for size and specifications of the ship). What exactly do their duties entail? How much sea experience would such a person typically have? And would a non-navy vessel actually use the term "coxswain"? If they wouldn't, what would be the equivalent?
-It has a sick bay, at least two cabins (one for the captain, one shared by the mate and the quartermaster), a galley, and a hold.
-It has a crew of at least twenty men.
-It is capable of making journeys across the open ocean, and surviving a fairly violent storm.
So, what kind of ship might this be? If these qualities are incompatible with each other, let me know so I can fix things.
3. (Didn't know what to search for this one) Is it conceivable to steer a ship of this description while using a crutch? The crutch-using character has both legs, but is supposed to keep her weight off one of them.
Thanks in advance for any help!
Edit: Looks like I'm definitely going for a sloop-of-war.