Ships And Mariners of the Middle Isles

Coaster: Used as a generic term for any sort of small craft generally used around the shallow waters in sight of an island or landmass. They may used for transport, trade, and fishing. They will generally have some manner of oars, but may or may not have a sail. They rarely exceed 6-7 knots per hour.

(Image by Silje L. Bakke)

Dhow: The Dhow is a light, fast ship used more in southern waters. It has a distinctive triangular (lateen sail), and may also be rowed. The Dhow is unique in that the hull is sown together with cords or fibers. It is rarely used for outright war, but has found success as a light trader and raiding boat. It may reach an average speed of 10-13 knots.

Galley: The galley is one of the most common and effective ships used in war, though it may also be used in trade. Galleys rely primarily on oarsmen in battle, though they also carry square sails. The largest of galleys may require hundreds of rowers! The massive (but few) War Galleys of the Orcs are particularly feared. Galleys may carry missile weapons of some sort as well as powerful rams. The galley normally ranges between 5-9 knots per hour, but may do short bursts of speed as high 15-18 knots with its rowers.

Knarr: The knarr is a deeper, shorter ship than the long boat, and is often used for longer sea voyages. The can handle a good deal of cargo, though having a deeper hull means they are not as adept in coastal waters compared to their near cousin, the longship.


Longship: The longship is a very versatile ship. It is used for war, but also for trade and exploration. It is perhaps the most common ship for raiders, pirates, invading soldiers, and small trade. It has a shallow draft and the ability to use both sail and oar. The longship’s average speed can range anywhere from 6-11 knots.

Ships And Mariners of the Middle Isles

The Middle Isles zacharythefirst