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Warships in the age of sail are nothing more than gun platforms. ( let's exclude trader vessels for the moment being ). They were designed with usage of certain guns in mind. So the framing, planking and woods to be used all were focused on being able to transport into battle a certain set of guns. My proposal is this: - tie the structural strength of the ship - mainly the woods used can reflect this - with the size of the guns than can be equipped. For example, a USS Constitution built of Live Oak and Oak would be able to carry the heaviest guns for her - the 24's and the