I am a little obsessed with the 'Planetary Romance' genre - Edgar Rice Burroughs etc - and especially the idea of a setting in which interplanetary travel is in craft that resemble ocean going vessels. The Setting has magic, but I'm making an effort for it to be quite 'gritty' and realistic in tone.
In the Setting there are the so-called Sky Lands, essentially floating continents that act as the 'planets' of the universe. These are supported by a hand waved mineral that resists being accelerated relative to local gravitation. Nodes of this mineral can be used to support sky-ships, which are moved via magical propulsion, thus sidestepping the mineral's resistance to acceleration under normal circumstances.
The question is this: would such sky-ships be built with open decks? Would they resemble more an ocean going ship, or a real world airship?
The former fits the aesthetic I want a bit better, and allows for fun things like boarding in mid flight, it could also make it easier to transfer cargo etc. However a more traditional airship shape would use less energy to move, being streamlined, and is harder to board. Flight speed is around that of fast steam turbine ships under ideal conditions(flat water etc). However this is straight line speed, and combat speeds are much lower if any kind of manoeuvring is going on.
Any thoughts much appreciated. I'm essentially wondering if anyone who has though up these kinds of fantasy airships before has come to a conclusion that decks are a good or bad thing overall.
EDIT: Lowered Airspeed from WW1 Levels