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Old 11-06-2008, 10:01 AM   #5
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Chillicothe, OH
Default Re: Vehicles and Weapons from Fantasy giving me problems

Originally Posted by Icelander
The oared galleys all look like they might have a shade too much top speed, but I freely concede that Im no expert in the field. But nonetheless, as a standard for a fair wind, a Crusader ship making 10 knots under sail and a Trireme making 12 knots under sail? Given exceptional circumstances and the rowers straining, perhaps, but as the standard top speed? And the way its phrased suggests that a Trireme is faster and handier under sail than oars, which I find unlikely. Galleys go fastest with all sails spread and the rowers hard at work.
My resources on Mediterranean galleys are in paper, somewhere in the piles of paper around here, but the speeds for the galleys sound about right to me. Remember that top speed in the real world is proportional to the square root of the length (see wikipedia article, and galleys are always long vessels.

I can't imagine a galley using both oars and sail at the same time outside of a fantasy novel. Under fast sail, I'd expect the ship to be heeled over, blocking some of the oarports on the lee side and unusably high on the windward side.

The trireme would be under sail for long-range movement under good winds, but in combat would be only under oars.

The Crusader galley is designed for the weather of the Mediterranean, with the predictable mid-day lulls and frequently contrary winds. The ship would use sail when practical, but use oars at mid-day and against the wind.
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