Ship Types

This page serves as glossary of the type and classes of ships that may be found in the world.

For clarification on armaments see Naval Weapons and Combat

Caravel: A quick, maneuverable craft of medium size with a main mast and a secondary aft or fore mast (some larger variants may have both) and lanteen sails. Caravels are the vessel of choice for reliable intercontinental travel and exploration due to their speed and ability to reliably weather heavy seas. Caravels typically range from 12 to 18 m in length and a cargo capacity of about 45,000 kg. A typical caravel is crewed by 7 to 15 sailors. Caravels are utilized as cargo ships for smaller, valuable cargos but generally don’t have the carrying capacity to be profitable with lower margin goods.

Caravels may be fitted with modest weaponry, typically 6 ballista or 4 ballista and a mangonel. Additionally, they may carry 25 to 35 marines/archers, although this may make any longer journey a trial for all aboard.

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Carrack: A larger, more cumbersome variant of a caravel. A carrack is a three masted ship utilizing large, square main sails and a lanteen fore-sail. Carracks are generally 20 to 30min length, but with a considerably wider hull than a caravel. A carrack has a cargo capacity of up to 150,000 kg. A carrack is crewed by 20-30 sailors. Carracks are the work horses of intercontinental trade. Large and robust enough to reliable traverse deep seas, they also have the cargo capacity to reliably earn a profit even with relatively mundane goods. The cost of their increased cargo capacity is that they are considerably less maneuverable than the more agile caravels and have considerably slower acceleration.

A carrack may be outfitted with a considerably armament, and most of the world’s heavy warships are of this design. A merchantmen will typically carry complement of 8 ballista. However, a carrack outfitted as a warship will typically carry two onagers and 12 to 16 ballistas. A carrack will hold 75 to 150 soldiers and marines.

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Wind-Runner: The wind runner is a similar to a large caravel, with a long, narrow body that rides high out of the water and a complex system of numerous lanteen sails flying from the three masts. The wind-runner is highly specialized ship-design, know only to a select few Diipaa master ship-builders. Wind-Runners are the pinnacle of Diipaa shipbuilding, and they guard the secrets of their construction, as well as the actual ships, extremely jealously. Although various ship-builders have attempted to replicate the design, the who attempt to sail the replicas tend to find that the confusing system of sails works against itself, and that the high, narrow ships are prone to keeling over when making turns. Several scholars have theorized that the construction process involves complex magical rituals that give the ship an ability to ride the winds and waves that mere constructs of wood and sail cannot replicate. True Diipaa Wind-Runners in the hands of an experienced captain and crew are capable of speeds, acceleration, and tight maneuvers that no other ships can match. The current generation of wind-runners tend to be 20-25m long and have a cargo capacity of 55,000kg. They are crewed by 10-20 sailors.

Wind-Runners are usually outfitted as warships, used for exploration, pirate hunting, patrolling and escort missions. Their high construction allows them to mount siege weapons on two decks, and the usually carry one or two onagers and 10 to 14 ballistas, matching the fire-power of a fully armed Carrack in a much smaller, more maneuverable vessel. A Wind-Runner can accommodate 45 to 70 marines/archers.

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Lateen Cutter

Galley: A long, shallow ship powered by a combination of sails and oars. Although they’re shallow draft makes galley poorly unsuitable for deep sea crossing, the galley is still a staple of near shore and defensive navies, being considerably easier and cheaper to construct that caravels or carracks. Galley’s can vary considerably in size, from 15 and 40 oars to as much as 40 m and 100 oars. Although they usually only carry a stern onager, galleys can carry up 18 ballistas and as many as 100 marines/archer, in addition to the rowing crews who may be armed, if they can be trusted. Most galleys also carry a heavy ram at their bow, usually a heavy work of sharpened metal. Due to its crew of oarsmen, a Galley is capable of short-term straight line acceleration that few ships can match, especially on calm waters. Galleys will attempt to ram larger warships at speed, and either cripple their hulls or even keel them over directly. Any captain in a naval engagement must keep a close eye on any enemy galleys to avoid such a fate.

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Cog: A simple, wide-hulled cargo ship outfitted with a large, square sail. Cogs are cheap and simple to construct have a large carrying capacity of up to 125,000 kg. While more robust than galley’s, cogs are still poorly suited to long distance, deep ocean journeys as their simple construction and rigging make them poorly equipped to handle high waves and serious storms. However, cogs are the default cargo ship for near shore and shallow sea journeys. Most large scale shipping also utilizes cogs for their large cargo holds and affordability. Cogs have a crew of 10 to 20 sailors. Due to their simple design and limited maneuverability, cogs are outfitted as warships only in times of desperation.

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Steamer: After the invention of the steam engine, it did not take long before Tagatan and Kashebi craftsmen fitted them to large paddle shafts and used them to propel boats. Such a ship is independent of both the winds and the need for rowers, and is capable of producing power that no other ship can match, although such ships are capable only of relatively sedate speeds, limited to the rotation of the paddle-wheels. Steamers have very low hulls by necessity, as the achievable size of the paddle wheels limits how far above the water line they may be, and the large heavy boilers must sit and stable. This makes steamers poorly suited for the harsh seas of the open ocean, and they are normally found on rivers and near coastlines. Steamers run the length from 25 to 40m, although the longer they are the slower they tend to be as the achievable boiler size is limited. Steamers may be crewed with only 4-6 sailors and have a cargo capacity of up to 150,000 kg. Steamers are expensive and difficult to build, and as such their is little economic incentive for their use, except as prestige pieces. As such, may our outfitted as pleasure cruisers, with small hotels built upon their decks.

Steamers have also been outfitted as warships, the fact that they can be crewed by only a handful of sailors and have no need of sails or oars makes them tempting for this purpose. Instead of luxury accommodations, fortifications and small towers may just as easily be built upon their wide, steady decks and as many as 150-200 marines/archers can crowd their decks. The major drawback to steamers as warships, is the instability of their boilers. A large shock can rupture a boiler under high pressure, in some cases causing the entire ship to explode. For this reason, the boilermaster must immediately vent pressure if a collision looks imminent, essentially leaving the ship standed until a new head of steam can be built up, a process that can take as long at 10 to 15 minutes; an eternity in a battle. For reason steamer battleships also tend to mostly be show-pieces, with most admirals extremely hesitant to risk one in an actual confrontation.

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