So basically how would the major naval powers of the 14-15th century react to modern built trading schooners and clippers that are a lot faster than their 14-15th century counterparts if by any chance those ships started trading on their trade lanes without prior origin?

Basically those ships time jumped to the age of exploration.

The ships that I mention specifically are

  1. Tea Clippers
  2. 5 Masted Schooners

Lets say that these ships are flag or under a certain trade guild that not even superpowers of that time can oppose directly in risk of a trade embargo

Schooners and Clippers are perhaps the fastest sailing ships of their time, so how would the major powers react to the existence of these ships?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Probably by trying to capture any that weren't flying the right flag $\endgroup$
    – Separatrix
    Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 11:18
  • $\begingroup$ it seems i will need to clarify my question more! $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 11:27
  • $\begingroup$ The wars of the time were about who controlled the trade routes. The Hanseatic League who best fit your requirement had to fight a lot of wars before they were broken by the Dutch. $\endgroup$
    – Separatrix
    Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 11:56

1 Answer 1


Surprised and amazed, and not just about the speed. Do the naval powers get to inspect them, or are the schooners just passing by?

  • These ships would be built with an awesome amount of iron structural parts even if they are nominally wooden-framed. Or they were entirely iron-framed with a wooden hull.
  • When it comes to really big schooners, they would have steel hulls and masts.
  • The big schooners might be unable to enter any port because of their size and draft.
  • A really smart shipbuilder might conclude that cannon are the way of the future, not boarding actions, from their lack of bow and stern castles, but that is stretching things.
  • The sail plan of the clippers might be something they can copy. They won't want to copy the sail plan of the schooners because saving manpower is not an issue for them.
  • $\begingroup$ Its specifically trades high priced goods so they'll be able to see and inspect them and the schooner is iron framed wooden hull ... just the medium to big size one $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 11:34
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    $\begingroup$ @micovillena, does the schooner have steam-powered pumps and capstans, a generator, ...? The marvels are endless. How about the clock, the compass, and the sextant? Or are those hidden away? $\endgroup$
    – o.m.
    Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 11:40
  • $\begingroup$ purely sail powered, clock, compass and sextant is integral part of schooner so it is there on broad daylight, not that they know how it works $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 11:43

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