Jump to content
Game-Labs Forum

The Pirate Ship: Hot Rods of the Age of Sail


Recommended Posts

Regarding a ship organization, granted there is a similar structure but remember that a war commissioned vessel has more officers and more specialized artisans, carpenters for example. So wages and prize cash is higher.

Another big difference is the maintenance and outfit of a trader or a war ship. One will minimise costs, the other will minimise chances of losing a battle.

 

A trader ship exists to make profit. A warship exists to destroy the enemy ships.

A privateer exists to disrupts enemy trade ( doing profit from looted cargo ) and also to destroy any enemy ships feasible. A pirate ship is like a privateer except everyone is a enemy.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 113
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Except that the fastest ships of the day were naval frigates, and navies operated low-draft sloops and cutters in droves. The navy killed Blackbeard in a vessel pretty much identical to the one he was

Average Pirate Ships Osprey - The Pirate Ship 1660 - 1730 Angus Konstam Illustrated by Tony Bryan   Charles Vane's Ranger

The ships that pirates used to practice their deadly craft were unique in their own right when compared to standard navy and merchant vessels. Very rarely did pirates actually build their own ships fr

the captain need to be sure what were is going ( i presume you understand why ) everything need to pass trough the eyes and the hands of the captain ( in our modern times there is daily , weekly and monthly information notes needed to be signed by the captain to be sure that he read them and know what is going on - even the menu for the cook , similar forms was used by the navy and the merchant ships at XVIII and XIX centuries ) , when you backer ask - were are the money for the 6 month voyage you need to show him how is spent . There is so many things are missed and give completely wrong picture , but on ship no matter what you can not have debates other way everything become ( how to express my self better ) disarray .

But this is what I'm telling you. Caribbean pirates did vote on the destination of the vessel and did  have debates on aspects of shipboard life/organization.

 

And this was possible precisely because pirates did not have backers to answer to. Neither did they 'voyage' in the usual sense. They had no destination except prize money, and any area of the ocean with prey was destination enough. They could also steal new sails and entire ships at any time, so no real need to keep up the current vessel.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think 'democracy' is the correct term, because it (nowadays) holds certain presumptions about equal vote weight, not being allowed to intimidate other voters, etc. etc. Yet, there is more than enough evidence that pirate ships where a far from the autocracy found aboard non-pirate ships.

Each pirate had a say in things and if the majority of a pirate crew thought the captain to be a coward, it was their 'right' to relieve him from command (methods varied). I'm a bit sceptical about how a bunch of half drunk (there is more than enough evidence on the rum-drinking part) criminals would allow for dissenting opinions on such matters, but that does not take away the fact that the 'pirate society' aboard a ship was a lot more egalitarian than any other society in 'the civilised world'.

 

So a pirate crew, as mentioned by @maturin, had a say in just about anything, from where they would be cruising to when they would next sail into a harbour. (Between 1650 and 1680 Tortuga for example did become a free-haven for buccaneers, which was not in a small part because of the English governors of Jamaica the time). There 'rights' where not uncommonly written down (although one has to keep in mind that almost none of the common sailors could read or write) in a code of conduct, now known as the 'pirate code', some have even survived to this day and are now in museum.

 

~Brigand

Link to post
Share on other sites

Each pirate had a say in things and if the majority of a pirate crew thought the captain to be a coward, it was their 'right' to relieve him from command (methods varied). I'm a bit sceptical about how a bunch of half drunk (there is more than enough evidence on the rum-drinking part) criminals would allow for dissenting opinions on such matters, but that does not take away the fact that the 'pirate society' aboard a ship was a lot more egalitarian than any other society in 'the civilised world'.

 

One of the pirate codes of Bartholomew Roberts was that his crew was not to be found drunk (on duty). Although not incredibly liked by the crew, if they agreed to it, they (tried) to follow it.

Anyway, while, yes, should you compare pirate ships to modern day connotations of democracy, you will find little to be comparable. However, for a time and world ruled by absolute monarchies, the emergence of even pseudo-democracies was something to be considered. Places where sailors otherwise considered slaves were allowed to sail equally (again, not completely equal, but enough to be considerable for the time). And even compare this to the predecessors of Athens, where only the Land owning Male Athenian who could prove his citizenship AND his parents citizenship (and their parents citizenship, and so on) could vote, and then the Roman iteration which was slightly more lenient (differing levels of voting power and citizenship), take all that into consideration, and you have a type of democracy that is quite unique to the western world.

 

The same goes when comparing Golden Age and Later Pirates to Modern day pirates; the mentality and stigma attached to each is both very similar in some ways and very different in others.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think 'democracy' is the correct term, because it (nowadays) holds certain presumptions about equal vote weight, not being allowed to intimidate other voters, etc. etc...

...There 'rights' where no uncommonly written down (although one has to keep in mind that almost none of the common sailors could read or write) in a code of conduct, now known as the 'pirate code', some have even survived to this day and are now in museum.

~Brigand

...Anyway, while, yes, should you compare pirate ships to modern day connotations of democracy, you will find little to be comparable...

...The same goes when comparing Golden Age and Later Pirates to Modern day pirates; the mentality and stigma attached to each is both very similar in some ways and very different in others...

I'm very puzzled, at first theres posts about pirate code to be compared to constitution, then a law, now it seems that this code didnt even exist as a common set of rules, it was just a random agreement between captain and sailor. And it was the captain who build the rules (some might be negotiated, but I haven't seen any documents about things being so, so I assume it was captain who build the code), which crewmembers had to accept when joining? Or did I miss a point somewhere?

Sorry for quoting myself, but somehow I let myself think, that some players on this thread were hinting that this pirate code and democratic agreement meant that pirates could build/buy/steal big fleets with some/many 1st rates and stuff which normally could be considered as "strong nations" only.

"Atleast in those silly hollywood movies pirates are portrayed as lonely rangers, wild dogs or boars at best. Like a pack of hounds, running together, but biting each other if they saw an opportunity.

I'm puzzled about these posts, which seem to portray pirates as a community builders with common rules and values trying to build a society which might have formed later to a nation with great fleets and democratic values? It's pretty much against everything I thought pirates were about.

I would love to get information about plans, how pirate captains cooperated or how the societys of pirates worked? How they act as a fleet, build ports, hospitals for wounded pirates, who could use their compensation to medicate themselves, banks and shipyards etc. It sounds really interesting."

I really would like to play as a pirate, if that kind of social/communal support was really available for them at some points. If they were lonely hunters who couldnt cooperate and build the needed infrastructure, then I'm not interested in life of piracy.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

List of all historic pirate ships and captains. 

 

SHIP NAME                         SHIP TYPE        GUNS & CREW               DATELINE  SHIP CAPTAIN

 

Adventure                            Sloop                  10 cannon                       1718       Edward Teach (Blackbeard)

Adventure Galley                 Merchant            34 cannon /150 men       1697       William Kidd

Adventure Prize                   Merchant            unknown                          1698       William Kidd

Bachelor's Delight                unknown             40 cannon                       1684       John Cook & Edward Davis

Black Joke                            unknown             unknown                         1827       Benito de Soto

Blanco                                  unknown            6 cannon /80 men            1718       LeBour

Bravo                                   Guineaman        unknown                           1760s     John Power

Cassandra                           East Indiaman    unknown                           1719       John Taylor

Charles                                unknown             10 cannon                        1705       John Halsey

Charles                                Brigantine           unknown                           1703       John Quelch

Cinque Ports                        Galley                16 cannon /63 men           1703       Charles Pickering

Cour Valant                          unknown            unknown                          1668       La Vivion

Delight                                  Sloop                 12 cannon                       1720s     Francis Spriggs

Delivery                                unknown            16 cannon /50 men         1721       George Lowther

Desire                                  unknown             unknown                        1586       Thomas Cavendish

Duke                                    unknown             unknown                         1708       Woodes Rogers

Fame                                   unknown             unknown                         1703       John Pulling

Fame's Revenge                 Guineaman          unknown                        1726       William Fly

Fancy                                   Man of War        46 cannon /150 men       1694       Henry Avery

Fancy                                   unknown             34 cannon /180 men       1720       Edward England

Flying Dragon                      unknown             unknown                           1719       Christopher Condent

Flying Horse                        unknown             unknown                            1719       Robert Sample

Flying King                           unknown             unknown                             1674       John Rhoade

Fortune                                Sloop                  10 cannon                        1720s     Edward Low

Fortune                                unknown             26 cannon                         1720       Bartholomew Roberts

Fortune                                Slave Ship            40 cannon                       1683       Laurens de Graff

Gift                                       unknown             unknown                            1602       John Ward

Golden Hind                         Galleon                unknown                           1578       Sir Francis Drake

Good Fortune                       Brigantine           18 cannon                          1721       Bartholomew Roberts & Thomas Anstis

Great Ranger                       Warship               32 cannon                          1722       Bartholomew Roberts

Happy Delivery                     Merchant            16 cannon /50 men             1721       George Lowther

Indian Queen                        unknown             28 cannon /90 men            1720       Oliver LaBouche

Jacob                                    unknown             unknown                            1690s     William May

La Fortune                            Unknown            14 cannon /100 men            1684       Michel Landresson (Breha)

Le Hardy                               Unknown            50 cannon /300men             1685       Sieur de Grammont

Le Neptune                           Unknown            54 cannon /210men             1600s     Laurens de Graff

Liberty                                   Unknown            unknown                              1690s     Thomas Tew

Little Ranger                          unknown             10 cannon                           1722       Bartholomew Roberts

Margaret                                unknown             unknown                             1699       Samuel Burgess

Mary                                       unknown             unknown                             1721       Philip Roche

Mary Anne                              Sloop                 8 cannon                              1716       Samuel Bellamy

Mocha  Frigate                       unknown             unknown                             1697       Ralph Stout & Robert Culliford

Morning Star                           unknown             32 cannon/100 men            1721       Thomas Anstis & John Fenn

Most Holy Trinity                     unknown             unknown                             1681       Bartholomew Sharp & John Watlins

Night Rambler                        Sloop                    unknown                            1725       Cooper

Oxford                                     unknown             34 cannon                          1668       Edward Collier

Pearl                                       unknown             16 cannon                          1693       William May

Prosperous                             unknown             36 cannon                          1702       Thomas Howard

Queen Anne's Revenge         Guineaman        40 cannon /200 men           1718       Edward Teach (Blackbeard)

Ranger                                   Sloop                  10 cannon /60 men            1720s     Charles Vane & George Lowther

Revenge                                 Sloop                 10 cannon /70 men             1717       Stede Bonnet

Revenge                                 Merchant            20 cannon                          1724       John Gow

Rising Sun                              unknown             35 cannon /135 men          1717       Christopher Moody

Rover                                      Sloop of War      32 cannon                           1720       Howell Davis & Bartholomew Roberts

Royal Fortune                         Frigate               42 cannon                           1720       Bartholomew Roberts

Royal James                           Sloop                    unknown                           1719       Edward England

Saint James                            Unknown            26 cannon                           1718       Howell Davis

San Pedro                               unknown             unknown                             1670       Manuel Rivero Pardal

Scowerer                                Sloop                    unknown                            1722       John Evans

Sea King                                 Brigantine           30 cannon                           1721       Bartholomew Roberts

Sea Nymph                             Sloop                   unknown                            1725       Philip Lyne

Snap Dragon                           unknown             unknown                            1710       Thomas Goldsmith

Soldado                                   unknown             28 cannon                          1696       Dirk Chivers

Speaker                                  Guineaman        50 cannon /200 men            1700       George Booth & John Bowen

Speedy Return                        unknown             unknown                             1702       John Bowen

Sudden Death                         Man of War        70 men                                1700s     John Derdrake

Sultana unknown                     unknown            unknown                              1717       Sam Bellamy

Tigre                                       Frigate                 26 cannon                           1679       Laurens de Graff

Two Brothers                           Sloop             18 cannon /90 men                  1730       Henry Johnson & Pedro Poleas

Victory  Galley                          unknown                unknown                          1719       Edward England

Victory  Sloop                           unknown                30 cannon                       1721       Oliver LaBouche & John Taylor

William Sloop                           unknown                6 cannon                          1720       Calico Jack Rackham

Whydah                                 Guineaman        28 cannon                              1717       Samuel Bellamy

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Complete list of all historic pirate ships and captains. 

 

SHIP NAME                         SHIP TYPE        GUNS & CREW               DATELINE  SHIP CAPTAIN

 

Adventure                            Sloop                  10 cannon                       1718       Edward Teach (Blackbeard)

…..

I wouldn't quite say it's a complete list, for example its grossly missing pirates from the pre-Spanish Succession-Peace of Ryswick interim, i.e. Van Hoven, Kelly, and Elding, Lambert, Kercue, Samson to name a few. Rather, it could be said this ais a completel list of pirate ships and captains featured in Johnson's General History of the Pirates. Overall tho, a very good list that gives a comprehensive idea of what they sailed.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey William, to get back to your original post, I would think there are going to be modifications available to anyone in the game. As someone else said, I don't think any of these would be pirate specific per say though it would be interesting to know what modifications there were in comparison to say which ones merchants would actually dole out the cash for. Please tolerate my lack of knowledge but I'm not sure how much military captains modified their ships or even if they were permitted to do so. I guess what I'm saying without actually knowing, I wonder how many modifications were made by pirates just because it made more sense for them to do so because of reason A or B etc. What I do know from a fair bit of pirate research over the years is that many, if not most, ships taken and kept by pirates were retrofitted. At the very least every cannon that could be added were added. Someone mentioned pirates wouldn't want to damage ships thus they never needed lots of cannons. Pirates are like criminals today, the more firepower the better whether you need it or not. It seems they wanted as much as they could get just in case they needed them, probably for defense or to bring a defiant merchant to heel etc. Someone also seemed to dress pirates up as more gentlemanly than they were. Just from the "rock star" pirates which are written about most often, many have documented cases of cruelty to captives, killing captives, killing whole crews, stealing ships and burning ships after they had been looted. I believe that in the early days of Caribbean pirating it may have been a rule for some pirates to treat captives fairly so their reputation spread as a decent pirate thus prizes in the future may give up more easily but when the times changed to pirates being hunted by privateers, many of which were ex-pirates, and navies they would kill crews and burn vessels so as to not leave behind evidence of the crime and evidence of their whereabouts.

Edited by 5KnuckleChuckle
Link to post
Share on other sites

For a lot of good information on piracy, including great discussions with actual experts (not just internet "experts"), I'd recommend people check out http://pyracy.com/.  There you'll find years worth of discussions, so we don't have to do all of it here.  There are probably more myths pervading about piracy than actual known facts.  Thanks to literature and hollywood glamorizing pirates, there has been a move to find anything that might be good about them and inflate it.  For example, few pirate vessels actually practiced any sort of democracy on board.  They did not treat everyone, regardless of race, equally.  There were very few female pirates (which is why the few that there were are so popular), and often they were expressly forbidden on ships.  There was no 'pirate code'.  In general, each pirate ship was run differently, so it's impossible in most cases to say "pirates did/did not do _____."  Many pirates were hanged, many were pardoned, many died of disease, some were very religious, some were not religious, some had political connections, some had political leanings that affected their actions, some ended up being knighted and governing their own islands.  Heck, John Paul Jones was called a pirate by the British, who didn't acknowledge their colonies' ability to appoint him as an officer, but he's now considered the United States' first Naval officer.  Both sides were technically correct.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

List of all historic pirate ships and captains. 

That is a bit of a statement... All? with no limitations on time period, geographical area? In that case I do think you list is missing some somali pirates...

 

 

Generally this topic have a near total lack of sources. What to make statements about history? back it up with proper sources.

Like books that itself use sources that can be looked up and verified... 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

There are probably more myths pervading about piracy than actual known facts.  Thanks to literature and hollywood glamorizing pirates, there has been a move to find anything that might be good about them and inflate it. 

 

It's true that the information that we do have about piracy is very subject, and that Hollywood no doubt does "romanticize" and distort the images of pirates (as it does with pretty much anything it portrays), however there is also the fact that often times there is some truth to myth. Many things deemed "Hollywood-esque", such as eye patches, peg legs, and the rum swilling pirate, all have basis in historical prevalence. The second issue is to understand that most primary sources from the era are most often times biased against pirates and piracy, and with good reason! These accounts were usually written by the powers that were actively hunting pirates down, so they would most likely not want to paint pirates any any type of redeeming light. (We know that Herodotus most likely embellished his account of the Battle of Thermopylae in order to have the Spartans successful against greater odds initially, in what is today considered one of the earliest instances of fudging facts for propaganda-ish effects)

 

With any historical study, it is key to understand that a text is not always 100%, and that by using multiple sources and accounts, we find the things most common are usually the closets to the truth. Archaeological evidence used in tandem with literary ones can paint a completely different picture than the literary supplies alone. 

 

There was no 'pirate code'.  In general, each pirate ship was run differently, so it's impossible in most cases to say "pirates did/did not do _____.

 

As discussed earlier, while there was no single, universal pirate code, each ship and captain had their own code, and often these had similar elements as others. Again, a romanticized idea that has historical roots. 

 

Many pirates were hanged, many were pardoned, many died of disease, some were very religious, some were not religious, some had political connections, some had political leanings that affected their actions, some ended up being knighted and governing their own islands.  Heck, John Paul Jones was called a pirate by the British, who didn't acknowledge their colonies' ability to appoint him as an officer, but he's now considered the United States' first Naval officer.  Both sides were technically correct.

 

I agree with this whole-heartedly. It is my general observation that we are often presented with two images of pirates: the Hollywood Pirate and the Heartless Cutthroat Pirate, and are told that we can only agree that one or the other is the truth, with no in-between. This, in my opinion, is a fallacy, and that in truth, the majority of the average pirate did in fact populate the middle ground between these two images (although most probably leaning heavily in the cutthroat direction).

The blurry line between pirate and privateer also did not help this concept.

 

 

Ah bless you my lad! I been searching high and low for this!

 

Generally this topic have a near total lack of sources. What to make statements about history? back it up with proper sources.

Like books that itself use sources that can be looked up and verified... 

 

The above was the main source that I used for this piece, however I used some others in its place (again, avoiding wikipedia at all costs). I also point to the common themes throughout the sources as the biggest factor. While I do not have the written books to back it up (I'm in the process of reading a few primary sources now, however, as a university student, my free time is limited and heavily strained), I believed the testimony by professors in the videos would approach a descent substitute. 

Edited by William the Drake
Link to post
Share on other sites

For written sources, I would recommend the following as good places to start.  I've added the amazon links just because it's easier than doing a full bibliography.  The three sources I've chosen are good examples of the three ways we know about pirates: primary sources, secondary sources, and archeology.  Sure, some stereotypes are accurate about pirates: many did suffer from venereal disease for example, but without some evidence to back up the claim, it's completely unverifiable and likely blown out of proportions myth.  Of course, for my example, there are plenty of contemporary accounts of ports frequented by pirates having plenty of less-than-virtuous ladies, and we know that Blackbeard once blockaded Charleston, SC and demanded medicine as ransom, and we know that urethral syringes were found at the Queen Anne's Revenge's wreck site.  Put that all together, and we can say with confidence that many pirates likely suffered from venereal disease, and possibly even Edward Teach himself.  However, the other side of the coin that needs to be watched for is looking for evidence that backs up a myth.  For example, saying that pirates were in favor of equality for all is completely false.  For example, some people claim that Blackbeard left Topsail inlet in Revenge with a 'crew' of 40 white men and 60 black men.  However, many sources make it clear that the black men were slaves, not crew.  Additionally, just because something may have happened once or twice does not make it 'normal among pirates'.   

 

General History...Notorious Pirates, by Capt. Charles Johnson (primary source, though with its inaccuracies as well.  Often considered a good first place to look).  Sometimes attributed to Daniel Defoe

http://www.amazon.com/General-History-Robberies-Murders-Notorious/dp/1599219050/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1426135381&sr=1-1&keywords=general+history+of+the+robberies+%26+murders+of+the+most+notorious+pirates

 

Pirates of the West Country, by Ed Fox.

http://www.amazon.com/Pirates-West-Country-Ed-Fox/dp/0752443771/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426135243&sr=8-1&keywords=ed+fox+pirate

 

X Marks the Spot, ed. by Prof. Russel Skowronek and Charles Ewen

http://www.amazon.com/Marks-Spot-Archaeology-Perspectives-Maritime/dp/081303079X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426135592&sr=8-1&keywords=X+marks+the+spot

 

 

Lastly, the history channel is not known for it's amazing history these days.  Though satire, there is much to this video's claims: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us52tqtn7TA

Although the History Channel does have some very good, well researched documentaries, there are three words that put their credibility on shaky grounds..."Ancient Alien Theorists"

Edited by AKPyrate
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I tend to fall into the camp of folks that find pirates to be vastly over-romanticized by modern audiences.  Every schoolkid seems to want to be a pirate, because you know "screw authority".

 

In reality we know pirates were not quite exceptional.  They were people, just people.  Everyone seems to be getting worked up over how awesome pirate democracies were.  I'm not.  These guys were bands of highwaymen.  Do you really think no where in the world some group of bandits didn't get together and talk things over?  That suddenly, you put bandits on a ship and they get smacked on the head by a brick that says "LIBERTY" in big bold letters?  I suppose, since they were relatively large groups something could be said for holding some vestiges of democracy.  But well, better informed minds than I have pointed out that not every pirate ship was great soil for democratic ideals.  

 

Again, I think this is a case of pirate inflation.  A few pirates were democratic, so suddenly they all are!  This is sort of what disgusts me about modern views on pirates.  Don't even get me started on the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, I to this day have yet to be able to sit all the way through any of them.

 

 

 

For all your references to pirate kitting out of a ship, well, as folks have pointed out, none of it is terribly special.  Though often I find some of the goals at odds with each other. For instance, if you add guns, you add weight, and are going to sail slower.  Certainly, there was a prime emphasis on speed often, but these ships were customized to the crew/captain's satisfaction with what materials are at hand.  Though I do guess that if you are only planning a very short voyage, you don't need quite as many stores as if you were making a longer one with no landfall.  So perhaps a tiny bit of speed from this.  But I'm not sure it really is trying to increase a ship's cargo hold space as a goal.  

 

I would also remind you there is a major drawback to this method.  You can't choose always what is at hand.  That can mean somewhat a mish-mash of parts.  It also means your ship isn't going to get the high class maintenance naval vessels get.  All this can lead up to a sub-par sailing vessel.

 

Long story short, pirates were not magic.  They were small ships that hid from bigger ships, mostly found in the more remote corners of the world.  

 

 

 

I also have to question to some degree your assertion that these men would often be fine crews due to them being the now un-employed castoffs from the navies.  I have no doubt that many of such men were good seamen, I'm sure they could do all kinds of ship board tasks quite satisfactory.  But there are many things that make a smart ship.

 

Part of performing excellently is in fact, proper discipline and drill.  Do you really picture pirates doing gun drills to any sort of intensity compared to a proper fighting ship?  This goes too for handling, part of sailing smart is good attention to detail and practice.  I contend that as fine as these seamen once were, I expect there performance may have actually suffered a bit.  And this doesn't include any poor souls that lack much training at all, but find themselves reduced to piracy.  

 

As brutal as a navy ship was, what it did do fairly well is work the men into wonderful fighting shape.  

 

I'm sure these men were to some degree capable sailors.  But to think they were crack teams just seems a bit absurd to me, certainly nothing compared to a real fighting ship, especially one at peace time where the officers could better chose men and were not reliant on the press or jailbirds to man their ships.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Lastly, the history channel is not known for it's amazing history these days.  Though satire, there is much to this video's claims: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us52tqtn7TA

Although the History Channel does have some very good, well researched documentaries, there are three words that put their credibility on shaky grounds..."Ancient Alien Theorists"

I actually never seen their shows about Aliens.

I do have a show they made about the vikings, and it is so filled with unsupported statements and exaggeration that I have very hard time trusting them, if they say that the earth is not Flat.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  Sure, some stereotypes are accurate about pirates: many did suffer from venereal disease for example, but without some evidence to back up the claim, it's completely unverifiable and likely blown out of proportions myth. 

 

'Myth' is an odd choice of word here, in my opinion.

 

'Common sense,' might be nearer the mark. Because the prevalence of venereal disease among seamen, including naval seamen who were often confined to the ship for years on end, is very well-documented. The presence of such diseases among pirates scarcely needs verification if you are studying them in the context of the maritime world they lived in. Of course, therein lies the problem. 90% of popular knowledge concerning pirates is fed to people in perfect isolation. The internet is full of pirate experts who couldn't provide you with the barest of facts on the culture and politics of the rest of the world at that time.

 

Read a book from someone like Marcus Redicker, and you will get the proper emphasis on historical context. It can't be stressed enough that an Atlantic pirate is just a disgruntled seaman. Same habits, same worldview, same dialect, and often enough the same dress. Piracy was in many ways a very predictable and reasonable response to the conditions seamen were expected to live in, under invariably predatory authorities.

 

I do agree that the customs of the Caribbean 'Golden Age' pirates (most of whom were all 'related') are too often applied to pirates as a whole. But it's also unfair to minimize the importance of pirate democracy, because in such arrangements they were harkening back to a more egalitarian, collectivist mode of maritime labor relations from the medieval era. They were reclaiming a sort of freedom that had been lost.

 

In the process, they were developing a system that was not to be found anywhere else in the world at the time. Certainly, any band of highwaymen can vote on important decisions. This is not terribly impressive. But it is a different matter when all the finest minds and richest men of the civilized world ignore such ideas, and the highwaymen are ahead of the curve.

Link to post
Share on other sites

And it shows. The History Channel is junk. I know, my best friend's parents made plenty of documentaries for them.

 

There was nothing unique as pirates vessels. As your second sentence immediately demonstrates. They weren't purpose-built, but captured.

 

And neither did you mention any unusual retrofits. Studdingsails were used by naval and merchant vessels routinely. As for increasing firepower and cargo capacity, wouldn't naval and merchant vessels already sail around with maximum firepower and cargo space, respectively?

I agree with sir Maturin on this one 100%.

I try to find any writen document about pirates building their ships by them selfs any could not find any so as sir Maturin said they where captured ships,

or let say bought ships and those ships where standard build ships not some special ships that goes faster,better turning and so on .

Some of you here are saying that some pirates ships where faster and better in handling by a little bit and that is also true.

But those ships where not some sort of special seacret pirate design they where normal ships like any other . What did they do then to go faster and a little bit better in turning.

They razee or retrofit their stolen,captured ships reduced the number of total guns they reduced the poundage of the guns , they throw away all unnecessary heavy things to reduce the total weight of the ships later maybe even add copper platining below waterline so that underwater line was much cleaner from the alges and rest of sea garbage that apply to hull and therefore make the ship slower.

 

Maybe im wrong about this but i really cant find and resource about pirates making their own super fast ship with super tack abilities.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with sir Maturin on this one 100%.

I try to find any writen document about pirates building their ships by them selfs any could not find any so as sir Maturin said they where captured ships,

or let say bought ships and those ships where standard build ships not some special ships that goes faster,better turning and so on .

Some of you here are saying that some pirates ships where faster and better in handling by a little bit and that is also true.

But those ships where not some sort of special seacret pirate design they where normal ships like any other . What did they do then to go faster and a little bit better in turning.

They razee or retrofit their stolen,captured ships reduced the number of total guns they reduced the poundage of the guns , they throw away all unnecessary heavy things to reduce the total weight of the ships later maybe even add copper platining below waterline so that underwater line was much cleaner from the alges and rest of sea garbage that apply to hull and therefore make the ship slower.

 

Maybe im wrong about this but i really cant find and resource about pirates making their own super fast ship with super tack abilities.

 

I was always led to believe this was a relatively expensive process that would require access to specialized materials (rolled copper) of which I'm not sure how available they would be in general let alone to a wanted criminal.  It is important to remember that the typical geographic locations that pirates would really thrive in tended to be far from centers of manufacturing.  Yes, you can chop down a tree for a mast, but rolling copper and such would take special tools.  When the US went to first equip it's first frigates it actually imported the copper from England.  Certainly pirates wouldn't need the sheer amount of a frigate, but I have some degree of trouble believing that this would be a common cheap material.  

 

I also understand this is a fairly labor intensive process, it probably could be done on a small ship by a band of pirates perhaps, I'm not sure.  You certainly would need a good safe anchorage.  I don't know if you would need specialized facilities or not.

 

Seems more likely pirates would switch ships around rather than always do this kind of maintenance. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I was always led to believe this was a relatively expensive process that would require access to specialized materials (rolled copper) of which I'm not sure how available they would be in general let alone to a wanted criminal.  It is important to remember that the typical geographic locations that pirates would really thrive in tended to be far from centers of manufacturing.  Yes, you can chop down a tree for a mast, but rolling copper and such would take special tools.  When the US went to first equip it's first frigates it actually imported the copper from England.  Certainly pirates wouldn't need the sheer amount of a frigate, but I have some degree of trouble believing that this would be a common cheap material.  

 

I also understand this is a fairly labor intensive process, it probably could be done on a small ship by a band of pirates perhaps, I'm not sure.  You certainly would need a good safe anchorage.  I don't know if you would need specialized facilities or not.

 

Seems more likely pirates would switch ships around rather than always do this kind of maintenance. 

 

I believe this requires a dry dock and specialized skills and materials that are not readily found floating about the rolling main.  Most pirate ships ended up rotten hulks just a few years after their capture if what I've seen is true.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe this requires a dry dock and specialized skills and materials that are not readily found floating about the rolling main.  Most pirate ships ended up rotten hulks just a few years after their capture if what I've seen is true.

 

That was what I thought was true as well.  I didn't want to say it couldn't be done because I wasn't sure how feasible it would be to roll up a side of a small ship and tack on copper sheeting.  I know even large ships could be keeled up in semi-makeshift conditions, but I don't know if it would be done well enough for you to re-copper a bottom.

 

I honestly would expect that sheer lack of the copper sheeting would for the most part remove this as an option for the crew of even a very small pirate.  Not even mentioning the difficulty of the procedure.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

'Myth' is an odd choice of word here, in my opinion.

 

'Common sense,' might be nearer the mark. Because the prevalence of venereal disease among seamen, including naval seamen who were often confined to the ship for years on end, is very well-documented. The presence of such diseases among pirates scarcely needs verification if you are studying them in the context of the maritime world they lived in. Of course, therein lies the problem. 90% of popular knowledge concerning pirates is fed to people in perfect isolation. The internet is full of pirate experts who couldn't provide you with the barest of facts on the culture and politics of the rest of the world at that time.

 

'Theory' would have been a better word, admittedly.  However, my point was that it could be conceived as a myth until the evidence which I followed up with supported the idea.  You brought up other good evidence with regard to the sailors' health in all stations in the maritime world.  So, with this evidence at hand, we can confidently conclude that many pirates had VD.  However, few said 'Arrrgh!'.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...