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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
3
votes
4answers
179 views

Sail Plan For A Flying Vessel

What precisely is the ideal sail placement for a ship that flies? Anti-Ballast which is basically a rock that pulls up is the key technology here, allowing the construction of a framework (essentially ...
0
votes
0answers
71 views

Can I make a functional wingsail out of pre-industrial materials?

Definition of a wingsail, from Wikipedia: A wingsail, twin-skin sail or double skin sail is a variable-camber aerodynamic structure that is fitted to a marine vessel in place of conventional sails. ...
4
votes
1answer
138 views

What would 17th century warships look like if gunpowder had not been invented?

In our age of sail, more or less every ship used cannons as their primary weapon. However, suppose that gunpowder had not been invented, but sail technology still advanced to the point that massive, ...
5
votes
5answers
808 views

All the crew of an airship drop dead, how long does it remain airborne?

I’m currently working on a scene for a book where the heroes stumble across a seemingly abandoned Age of sail airship. After a brief investigation they find that the entire crew seems to have ...
2
votes
2answers
98 views

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
votes
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
votes
4answers
235 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
138 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
votes
4answers
92 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
votes
2answers
292 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
votes
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
votes
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
votes
5answers
816 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
150 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
vote
8answers
638 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
votes
5answers
241 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 ...
-1
votes
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
votes
2answers
225 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 ...