SHIPS of PORT KAR

Researched and Submitted by Bolt Sarakai

Tal and greetings…

 Port Kar is a city ruled by the Council of Captains, of which is made up of about 120 Captains, headed by the Senior Captain. These Captains are entitled to wear a crest of sleen hair. In the city itself there are about 1500-1600 other Captains that do not qualify to be on the Council. In this city to become a member of the Council one must have at least 5 ships, of medium class or bigger. All in all Port Kar’s naval strength is around 5000 ships of which half is in the hands of the Council. They operate extensive fleets in Oil, Grain and Slaves, plus many patrol and escort ships.

 There are three different types of ocean faring ships mainly present here and they are the Round Ship, the Medium class, and the Heavy Class Ram-ships. Its worth noting that all ships that ply the thassa are given eyes, as sailors believe that the ships are a living thing, and thus need to be able to see their way.

  The Ram Ship

Ram-ships are long narrow vessels of shallow draft; they have a single removable mast that is lateen rigged (the mast is taken down and stored away before naval combat). Mostly the ram-ships are oar driven and have a single bank on either side; they have 2 steering oars or side rudders located at the stern. A ram with shield is located under the water at the prow of the ship. Ram-ships of Port Kar have shearing arms, of steel, like half crescent moons, forward of the oars used for shearing the oars of other ships. A keleustes (copper drum) with a leather-cushioned mallet is employed to dictate the speed at which the men on the oars pull. The ram ship is always crewed by free men.  Keel length and width of beam are what distinguishes different classes of ships.

  Medium Class:

            Keel length: 80-120 feet

            Beam width: 10-15 feet

Heavy Class:

            Keel length: 120-140 feet

            Beam width: 16-21 feet

 Most ram-ships have a crew of between 150-250 (depending on their respective size), of which about half would be at the oars. There are 4 different types of lumber used for these ships and they are tem wood (rudders and oars); turwood (galley frames, beams, clamps, posts and hull planking); kalana (capstans and mastheads); needle trees (masts, spars, cabin and deck planking). It is common for the ships of pirates to be coloured green. Ram-ships can be beached, and this commonly occurs at night time, with the ship returning to the sea at dawn.

  The Round Ship

The common cargo vessel that ply’s the thassa also comes in different classes, the most common being of medium class. The round ship is not actually round but is wider in its beam than the ram-ships that are her nemesis. They have deep holds for merchandise, and carry around 7500 Gorean weight, which works out to be around 100-150 tonnes. They are commonly two masted, with heavier, permanent rigging, but they are predominately oared vessels, having between 100-200 slaves who man them. There is generally a crew of around 20-25 sailors and their officers that are free.

Various cargos could include: precious metals; jewels; rugs; tapestries; medicines; silks; ointments; perfumes; prize slaves; spices; canisters of coloured table salt; tools and stone; dried fruit; dried fish; bolts of rep cloth; tem wood; turwood; kalana stock, horns and hides.

I wish you well

Bolt Sarakai

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