Questions tagged [age-of-sail]

For questions set in the historical period dominated by sailing ships, or an analogous historical period in a fictional world. Usually pertains to transportation.

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2answers
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Age of Sail ship design to face rogue waves?

I'd like to write about the golden age of piracy and this thought came to me: is there a standard way for a 1600's ship to handle a rogue wave, or does this vary by ship design? My inexistent degree ...
59
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20answers
8k views

Why would there be any use for sea shanties in space?

I understand that sea shanties were a type of work song, and often used to help sailors operate in sync with each other. They've survived as an art form, but so far as I know they don't have any ...
3
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4answers
219 views

Sailing Ship Needs to Make a Fast Getaway

Here's the setting I'm working out. The fantasy ship I came up with here (see "Dawn Treader" post at the bottom) needs to leave the harbor in a hurry. A strange "magical" purple ...
6
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7answers
1k views

Fantasy Sailing Ship with Oars Speed and Plausibility

I am looking to fashion a passably believable fantasy ship for a crew of about 30 privateers* (see remark, this could be changed if needed, although I prefer not to have a massive crew in the story). ...
4
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1answer
127 views

Group dynamics, family life and childrearing aboard a generational sailing fleet

Background A while back I posed a scenario of a privately owned nomadic trading fleet that sailed around the world for centuries. A commercial enterprise spanning multiple generations, without any ...
2
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4answers
85 views

Wind Powered Air Sailing Vessel

Using just one fantastical element (a rock that under certain conditions produces a strong buoyant force) how would sail ships in the air be designed? It doesn't need to look like a traditional naval ...
5
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2answers
246 views

Age of sail navigation tools for a planet with a ring

Alright so I have a planet where the locals are about seventeenth century level of technology, meaning sailing ships and single shot black powder weapons are the standard and there is plenty of ocean ...
15
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11answers
5k views

Can a low-tech sailing ship tell how deep the water is?

I'm trying to figure out the challenges faced by a low-tech civilization mapping its world. They have access to roughly Renaissance level technology, plus some (not very abundant) magic. One question ...
15
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7answers
3k views

Is a privately owned nomadic trading fleet economically viable?

A popular trope with some basis in history is the "travelling merchant", who visits remote villages carrying merchandise both common and rare, and many stories from strange lands. I've got a scenario ...
15
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5answers
764 views

An Aztec ship sails east - where does it land?

Given: An ahistorically powerful and advanced Aztec civilisation, anno late 1400s. A set of circumstances much like the ones that led Columbus west: one mad Aztec convinced the world was rather small ...
4
votes
1answer
147 views

How feasible is a mobile city that sails across a salt flat?

Imagine a huge salt flat like Bonneville or Salar de Uyuni. Due to other logistical concerns, commerce between the economic powers on either side of the flat is forced travel across it. This has ...
1
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8answers
548 views

Massive naval cannons on age of sail ships?

So in a related question, I asked about cannons vs ships made of treated (magically) hardened, and while answers weren't as helpful as I hoped, comments provided a direction in which I focused my ...
4
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5answers
231 views

How could wyverns fight effectively if they can't carry stuff around?

So, two nations are in a war, land is off-topic as it's filled with zombies and necromancer zombies. The other logical option is the sea. Now, one nation has these creatures, called wyverns. Wyverns ...
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3answers
243 views

How can my 1.2 km long aircraft carrier catch ships like “Queen Anne's Revenge”? [closed]

Rod Reiss is the name of my fictional aircraft carrier. It's a 1.2 km long, 180 meters wide and 90 meters high slab of metalic foam of an alloy of aluminum, designed to withstand high temperatures. It'...
4
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2answers
215 views

Practicality of a ship-sized twisted-rubber engine

I was considering this answer I wrote: https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/a/21374/75 It got me to wondering... if we had a flying sailing ship with a twisted-rubber energy storage device that ...