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I think towing would be an awesome add to the game! here's what I think.

 

1. The ability to Tow or be Towed by your friend that way you can go AFK or whatever while his ship is pulling yours and sailing towards the destination. 

 

2.The ability to Tow one of your own ships whether it be to port or to store goods in when you are hunting down traders etc. 

 

3. How it would work in combat is you'd get the option to choose which ship you want to use in battle during the countdown until the battle begins. You only get to use that one ship and if you lose you can't use the other ship as back up that way no one is going to have the problem of having to sink more than one ship each time he/she fights a person who is towing a ship. I imagine the type of ships that would be towed around would be player owned traders(to store goods like I said) the majority of the time. This would only apply to those towing their extra 3rd rate or what have you to another port for storage. One ship choice at the start of battle if you sink you sink no "two lives" per say.

 

4.Obviously this would make things easier so the penalty of towing your own ships only(not when you are towing a friend or being towed) would be sacrificing some of your lead ships crew members to man the wheel etc on the ship being towed. That amount of crew given up to man the ship being towed making sure the "rope" doesn't detach from the lead ship and wander off into the wrong direction would be determined by it's size of course! 

 

 

Many sailors/Navy during this era conducted Towing of ships and I think it's not an unrealistic thing to add to the game.

 

-Cheers Mates!

 

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Towing was generally only after a battle or storm when a disabled vessel was towed (very slowly) to port for repairs or salvage.  Additionally, in case of heavy weather there was a good chance that the tow would have to be cut anyway (happened a lot after Trafalgar).  Towing not only slowed down the vessels considerably, but also made them much less weatherly and increased leeway, making a lee shore much more dangerous.  In the day, if a vessel was fully operational, it would be much more efficient to have them sail minimally crewed.  This is why many merchant vessels were 'cut down' from a loftier rig in order to save on crew and spar costs.  She'd be slower especially in light winds, but it ultimately didn't matter.  Realistically, towing was not done all that much as it was dangerous and there was really no benefit if the vessel being towed was not disabled.

 

I don't think you should be able to tow your own vessel and then chose which one to use in any given battle (fast one to get away, frigate to prey on smaller craft, etc.) or as 'extra cargo space'.  If you want to trade, then sail a trader and keep clear of major hunting grounds, or sail with friends in armed vessels as a convoy.  I do like the idea of being able to join up with a friend and go AFK while he navigates his fleet (with you in it), but I'd be okay without it as well.

 

Also, to edify on a point of pedantic nautical terminology, the towing 'rope' is called a hawser.

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I think if this sort of ability were to be added (towing your own trader ships, so to speak) then any additional ships should appear in-battle and sit there so that the enemy can attack and sink/board it, since if it's being towed then it isn't crewed to allow it to operate independently. Pay for the convenience with some additional risk.

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