Questions tagged [ships]

For questions relating to water-based vessels. Ships in space should use the spaceship tag.

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I have an armada of teleporting sky fortresses. Do I still need a navy? [duplicate]

I'm trying to flesh out the military capabilities of my universe and just started to move into defining sea power. When defining the air power I created a few things, the important ones for the ...
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8 votes
5 answers
3k views

Air(warships) and the 'wet navy'

My early 20th Century (ww1/interwar/early ww2) alternate world has armoured airships (I haven't fully worked out the physics but I assume some sort of handwavium to allow armoured ships not just ...
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4 votes
5 answers
252 views

For how much and for how long would a "Closed Cycle Nuclear Thermal Rocket Engine" generate thrust for a floating ship?

Context/TLDR: The "Closed Cycle Nuclear Thermal Rocket Engine" is just a big nuclear steam engine that in this specific case, uses the (non radioactive) water steam to stay in air, at the ...
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15 votes
8 answers
4k views

When is the earliest that a vampire could have traveled from Europe to North America?

I'm writing an urban fantasy story revolving around, among other things, vampires secretly living in the United States in 1998. And since the first two vampires came into existence in the area that is ...
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  • 6,187
5 votes
5 answers
180 views

How different would water need to be for boats to be impossible?

I mean changing the actual physics behind water (density, and other properties). How different would water need to be, to result in ships being impossible to build? (i.e. the ability to create ...
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15 votes
6 answers
3k views

Are jumping ships feasible? (Not jump drives, but ships that jump)

As mentioned above this is not about jump drives, this is about ships that physically jump. Writing science fiction, trying not to handwave too much, so I want to check if this is a feasible tech. ...
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10 votes
3 answers
269 views

Aircraft Carrier or ship with similar functionality for Dragon Riders?

My World has Dragoons, these are Dragon Riders and the riders are expert marksmen. They use magic arrows like explosive/fire/wind/homing arrows for offensive (basically magic archers) along with ...
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  • 101
15 votes
7 answers
2k views

How many refugees can I pack into a nuclear-powered version of the largest ship ever built?

Countryistan is a large island nation approximately 3,000 kilometers from the nearest landmass. The government of Countryistan is secretly planning on committing genocide and ethnic cleansing against ...
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0 votes
1 answer
105 views

War strategy between cities on the coast of the same inland sea? [closed]

I'm working on a fantasy story where a major empire collapses into a civil war, and many of its most important cities fall in a region called the Cradle—a fertile region of floodplains and woodlands, ...
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10 votes
9 answers
1k views

Why would Mermaids develop ships?

The Context My mermaids are amphibians that have legs that allow them to walk on land. They live in a lagoon similar to the barrier reef. The reef is roughly 1,000 square miles, and its average depth ...
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2 votes
5 answers
197 views

Effectiveness of a modern-built Q-ship in the Napoleonic Wars

Let us suppose that at the beginning of the Napoleonic Wars, we have a 5th-rate ship similar in appearance to the 38-gun HMS Lively with a displacement of approximately 820 tons, and a top speed under ...
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2 votes
2 answers
125 views

A world with WWII warships but more diverse classes/roles

I am trying to build a world where USN, RN, IJN, and KM are companies that build WWII ships that compete for ship components sales with more diverse/versatile roles in armour, turret, shells, rather ...
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5 votes
3 answers
138 views

How large can an oceangoing vessel be made within the constraints of Neolithic technology?

Long story short, I have a bunch of folks with Neolithic technology, and they want to build a big ship - preferably, a ship that's as large as they can make it. How big can these Neolithic folks make ...
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5 votes
5 answers
1k views

Hyper-Agile Submarines?

Building off of another question I asked about the realism of short-range combat in the future, I was thinking about making combat scenarios with small, hyper-maneuverable submarines. These submarines ...
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25 votes
10 answers
7k views

How would you build a harbor in a world with *intense* tides?

Long story short, my world is set on a habitable moon of a gas giant, and as a result has some very intense tides (about 5x those of Earth, averaging a few dozen foot difference between high and low ...
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2 votes
1 answer
228 views

Concrete Warships vs Steel Warships

Humanity in my world has to deal with the invasion of inter-dimensional beings (Their tech level is around WW2 and in certain departments they're more advanced than we were around that period and in ...
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5 votes
3 answers
137 views

How much distance could chained ferryboats traverse?

Chained to the real world If you're used to trek on flat lands with rivers here and there, you might have seen these boats as replacement to bridges : A chained ferryboat, by Ludovic G. (resized ...
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6 votes
5 answers
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What would boats look like on a planet with two moons?

For the purposes of this question, let us assume that one moon is similar in size to Earth's but slightly further away and the other is significantly smaller but approximately the same distance away ...
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5 votes
2 answers
371 views

Could medieval people build an airtight spaceship or space ark using their common resources?

This is set on a fictional alien world with medieval people. However, this world has alien livestock that are capable of flying into outer space and traveling to other worlds. These medieval-age ...
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  • 189
8 votes
2 answers
251 views

Sailing Ships For The Vārẽn Sea

PROJEKT ' ABYDOS ' The (as of yet pretty ill-defined) setting of one of my worldbuilding projects is the Vārẽn Sea (working title). It's a large gulf that opens into waters with a large amount of ...
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21 votes
12 answers
5k views

Pre-Modern Shipping Containers?

Modern international trade basically runs on standardized shipping containers and the infrastructure developed to handle them. Looking at just a small part of it, using crane to unload full containers ...
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3 votes
3 answers
399 views

How hard is it to find ship-sized object via satellite?

I came up with a world that is similar to ours but is recovering from oil reserves depletion. In other words, there is very little to no petrol remaining, so the ones who can use it are mostly ...
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3 votes
1 answer
99 views

How do I get Ironclads/Submarines lifted into an in-atmosphere wormhole that leads into another identical one?

I am working on some lore for an overhaul mod, but I want to try to stay away from handwavium as much as I can, at first. There's two terran planets connected by many stable wormholes, the most ruckus ...
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8 votes
3 answers
354 views

How would a enormous more-than-city-sized ship fare in a fantasy world?

A long time ago in my world, a people, who lived alone in a continent-sized island away from any significant other landmass, had a schism. Half of them departed in a fleet with numerous ships into the ...
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30 votes
12 answers
6k views

In a world where wood is scarce, what are the most important things you need wood for?

In most large civilizations on Earth, wood has been a fairly plentiful resource, so we've used it for all sorts of things: Houses, boats, carts, spears, arrows, bows, shields, barrels, firewood, paper ...
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36 votes
24 answers
6k views

Would oceans filled with long-lived, omnivore, intelligent Krakens make sea travel impossible?

Let's say the oceans' apex predator on a planet similar to Earth is a species of Kraken (octopus, just big huge ones) that live 200 years in average (so they have plenty of time to develop their ...
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  • 777
3 votes
2 answers
195 views

How large could an oceangoing vessel be and still be able to move?

On some far-distant waterworld, the entire human race has been moved to vast city-ships that endlessly traverse the global ocean. Assuming an unlimited supply of fuel, how large could such a floating ...
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7 votes
4 answers
449 views

How would naval battles “realistically” work in a world with magic

In this world, mages can create a wide variety of spells, but they all have the same basis: creating or manipulating an element or both. They all also use mana. Mages are extremely common, as the vast ...
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4 votes
2 answers
108 views

Water/air mages making a ship move faster

In my world, water and air mages/wizards can control any instances of water or air. Moving water or air in one direction would not move the mage in the opposite direction. Using this, what would be ...
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6 votes
4 answers
448 views

Which Neotropical Woods are Best for Shipbuilding?

In my book series, while most of the Aurean Empire has essentially a combination of the plant life of the American West and the Mediterranean, the northern provinces are a bit different because all of ...
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2 votes
2 answers
96 views

Is there a way to cross my volcanic ocean?

In my world there is an ocean that separates the two main continents. The problem is that I think it's impossible to navigate these waters as there are active volcanoes on the bottom of the ocean that ...
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61 votes
20 answers
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 ...
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6 votes
2 answers
369 views

Sea traversing ecosystem/ship?

I'm writing a fantasy story with a race of intelligent dragons who can increase the growth rate of/manipulate plants. If we pretend this is possible, what methods could these creatures utilize to keep ...
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28 votes
17 answers
6k views

How could medieval ships protect themselves from giant mermaids?

Long ago when apes and hominids split off a third group began to live in the seas and became mermaids/seafolk. Among several species of mermaids, there is a species of "giant mermaids" who ...
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3 votes
4 answers
269 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 ...
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6 votes
7 answers
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). ...
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23 votes
21 answers
4k views

What would make sailing difficult?

I'm looking to write a story where the world is a lot of islands separated by rather small water expanses (about the width of the Mediterranean or maybe that and a half) and I am struggling to find a ...
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17 votes
13 answers
5k views

A Sailing Ship With Cylindrical Sails

In a dream, the image came to me of a modern / future ship driven by ring / cylinder sails. (Well, technically I saw something different, but this is what I knew it was supposed to refer to...) That ...
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25 votes
11 answers
6k views

How would sailing be affected if seas had actually dangerous large animals?

In the real world, sailing is undoubtedly dangerous, but 90% of that danger comes from either the weather, your mistakes, or other ships. Animals don't really count as a factor, unless you fall ...
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20 votes
7 answers
3k views

What kind of ships would an amphibious species build?

To give a bit of background and ground the question in context: I'm concerned with the technology level from prehistory to Renaissance, or thereabouts. Analogous to Earth history, the 'normal' land-...
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12 votes
4 answers
1k views

Passive distancekeeping for sea platforms

There's this archipelago of artificial floating islands. These vary in size from less than 10 meters to about 100 meters in diameter. Is there a passive way to keep them close to each others without ...
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5 votes
6 answers
379 views

How would a wind generating stone change sailing and the anatomy of a ship?

The ship in question is a cog or a carrack, double-masted, and the technology and ways of sailing available are similar to those found during the renaissance (1300-1400). In comes a wind-generating ...
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  • 795
6 votes
5 answers
468 views

Undead Powered Boats- Oars vs Paddlewheels

Assuming magically animated skeletons capable of projecting the same muscle force as an average human (note: not someone who has trained a bunch or such, average) that are tireless and unceasing, what ...
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5 votes
3 answers
210 views

need help regarding warship design to sail on quicksand?

so i want to make a world where theres no river or ocean but instead replaced by quicksand or the similar type. the people get water from rain and water spring or well. and so i want to create warship ...
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  • 8,809
3 votes
1 answer
263 views

How many ships would a late medieval/early modern port see in a year? [closed]

I'm working on a story that involves a character searching through logbooks from a seaport in a mid-sized, bustling city (think a largish city in late medieval/early modern Europe, pre-industrial ...
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  • 41
12 votes
4 answers
408 views

Would submarines be well defended from space based lasers? What about railguns?

When a planet is under seige, obviously its airports, missile silos, and launch sites are the first targets of bombardment, to prevent a counterattack. It thus seems that submarines, which can fire ...
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9 votes
6 answers
2k views

Are there plausible planetary conditions that make aircraft less effective weapons against ships?

IE, atmosphere density, gravity, chemical composition of land, air and sea... Somewhat of a counterpart to my own Are there *plausible* planetary conditions where jet aircraft just don't have ...
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10 votes
7 answers
966 views

Ships suitable to sailing in monster infested fantasy waters

I'm planning a Dungeons and Dragons 5E campaign for my friends where they're going to take on the role of divers who use magic to explore the ocean's depths in search of sunken treasure and they need ...
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6 votes
1 answer
191 views

How many crewmen and what type of ship are needed for medieval arctic travel?

The fantasy world is set in medieval times (1100 A.D - 1400 A.D). The mission is to travel from the mainland to an ice continent using a ship, a distance of say from England to the North Pole. The sea ...
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  • 795
15 votes
5 answers
889 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 ...
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