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LeBoiteux

French barque longue "La Belle" 1680 (With Plans) (updated 6.2.15)

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La Belle (1680)

 

Small french ship (barque longue, 6 guns).

Part of the disastrous expedition of René-Robert Cavelier de la Salle sent from France in 1684 to explore the mouth of Mississipi.

Wrecked during a storm on the Texas banks. 

 

 

01.jpg

 

 

03.jpg

 

 

02.jpg

(copyright)

 

Tonnage : 40-45

Length : 54 ft 4 in (16,56 m).

Beam : 14 ft 9 in (4,50 m)

Draft : 8 ft (2,4 m)

 

Shallow draught and high maneuverability allow coastal navigation for explorers and privateers. Small crew.

 

About late XVIIth-century to early XVIIIth-century french freebooters, Jean-Baptist Labat (1663-1738) wrote :

To attack merchant ships, "they favoured small ships that were more manoeuvrable — mostly barques ; also corvettes and brigantines —

with no more than 6 cannons (even when the ship could carry more)

because they were convinced that four muskets could kill more enemies than one cannon".

 

Plans :

http://ancre.fr/en/monographies-en/30-monographie-de-la-belle-barque-1680.html

(monograph (20 drawings) and website with plans)

                  Download (587.64k)        

http://www.editions-ancre.com/plans026.htm

(excerpt)

 http://nautarch.tamu.edu/Theses/pdf-files/Grieco-MA2003.pdf 

(master's thesis with plans on Modeling La Belle, p. 56, 58, 153)

http://www.academia.edu/9817712/The_Model_Reconstruction_of_La_Salles_Ship_La_Belle 

http://nauticalarch.org/documents/quarterly/V30%20No4.pdf

(article with plans, p. 5-6, 13)

 
Pictures :

http://modelisme.arsenal.free.fr/artdumodelisme/La%20Belle/indexgb.html

http://nautarch.tamu.edu/model/report1/belleinprogress.htm

http://nautarch.tamu.edu/model/report1/amcomplete.htm

http://nautarch.tamu.edu/model/report1/rockport.htm

http://gerard.delacroix.pagesperso-orange.fr/barque/barq-index.htm

 

Multimedia

http://www.musee-marine.fr/programmes_multimedia/construction_navale/

(click on "Construction virtuelle de La Belle)

 

(3d shipmodel tutorial video clip, 10 min., B. Huc)

 

Modeling La Belle, a 17th Century Gun and Carriage

http://nautarch.tamu.edu/model/report4/

 

 Archaeology of La Belle Shipwreck

http://www.texasbeyondhistory.net/belle/laboratory.html#reconstructing

http://www.thc.state.tx.us/preserve/archeology/la-salle-archeology-projects

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/lasalle/

http://nautarch.tamu.edu/CRL/Report7/hull.htm

http://nautarch.tamu.edu/pdf-files/West-MA2005.pdf

Toni L. Carrell PhD Thesis - University of St Andrews

 

QO3FuPN.jpg

Guéroult du Pas, "Barque longue for exploration, escort and trade during wars", 1710 (gallica.bnf.fr)

 

About La Belle

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Belle_(ship)

http://www.texashighways.com/history/item/7670-landing-of-la-belle-exhibit-la-salle

 

LaSallesExpeditiontoLouisiana.JPG

Theodore Gudin, La Salle's Expedition to Louisiana in 1684 (1844)

Edited by LeBoiteux
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I like that becuase we need more ships that isnt heavily armed

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I like that becuase we need more ships that isnt heavily armed

 

Got a question though.  Do you really think people will actually sail such a lightly armed ship?  That is kind of a critical question that the devs need to ask before spending time and resources on adding a ship into the game.    I mean this ship would obviously be rather cheap to own and operate but how much cheaper to own and operate than say owning a Snow that has 22 guns instead of 6.  Also what advantage does it have over a Brig with 16-18 guns?  Does it have more cargo room?  Is it faster?  

 

Basically I guess I could see something like this maybe being used as a cheap throw away trader if it had decent cargo capacity and was ultra cheap to acquire but it just seems that there will be tons and tons of options providing much better firepower, while still having decent or even better cargo capacity while being not massively more expensive.    If this is the case, no one will use this ship, ever.  At the end of the day, the ship needs to have a purpose, not just be added because it's heavily armed.

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Of course people would own it, and i would personly have it becuase the feel of it makes me want to have it more than a heavier vessel, and im going to be a merhcant so a low cost vessel with cargo space is a great bargain

Edited by Mass

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Of course people would own it, and i would personly have it becuase the feel of it makes me want to have it more than a heavier vessel, and im going to be a merhcant so a low cost vessel with cargo space is a great bargain

 

That may be for you but my point is, if there are other, more heavily armed ships that can do the same thing even if they are moderately more expensive, then only a rare few individuals such as yourself would invest on such as ship.   I mean lets be honest here, with only 6 guns, even a Lynx likely would be able to best it each and every time and you know it won't be a lively as a Privateer or Yacht both of which have double the guns.  

 

On the other hand, I guess something like this might be great a trader captains starter ship.  More heavily armored than the Lynx, much more cargo with only slightly less firepower. 

 

As for exploration, I guess that depends on a lot of unknown factors right now.  Maybe a ship like this could have some sort of bonus to help with exploration but I am not sure how that fits into a game that is trying to be somewhat simulator-like in its gameplay.  

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Got a question though.  Do you really think people will actually sail such a lightly armed ship?  That is kind of a critical question that the devs need to ask before spending time and resources on adding a ship into the game.    I mean this ship would obviously be rather cheap to own and operate but how much cheaper to own and operate than say owning a Snow that has 22 guns instead of 6.  Also what advantage does it have over a Brig with 16-18 guns?  Does it have more cargo room?  Is it faster?  

 

Basically I guess I could see something like this maybe being used as a cheap throw away trader if it had decent cargo capacity and was ultra cheap to acquire but it just seems that there will be tons and tons of options providing much better firepower, while still having decent or even better cargo capacity while being not massively more expensive.    If this is the case, no one will use this ship, ever.  At the end of the day, the ship needs to have a purpose, not just be added because it's heavily armed.

 

That may be for you but my point is, if there are other, more heavily armed ships that can do the same thing even if they are moderately more expensive, then only a rare few individuals such as yourself would invest on such as ship.   I mean lets be honest here, with only 6 guns, even a Lynx likely would be able to best it each and every time and you know it won't be a lively as a Privateer or Yacht both of which have double the guns.  

 

(First, excuse me for my bad english)

Sure, the use of a ship like La Belle is a matter of gameplay, especially of exploration gameplay.

May be I had the start of an idea about that at http://forum.game-labs.net/index.php?/topic/1534-exploration-gameplay/?p=91172 

 

The Snow is a wonderful ship. I love it. One of my favorite. But isn't it kind of OP ? By the way, it is a replica of HMS Ontario built in... 1780. La Belle was built in 1680 ! They don't play in the same league. They shouldn't fight each other but, above all, they shouldn't be at same costs and shouldn't have the same use. 

 

By the way, I'm not fond of that arms race (you know : the bigger, the better).

 

But above all, I am sure one of the rules of XVII th century exploration in the Carribean was : "Never let an unarmed ship on his own".  

During the expedition of 1684, La Belle and the two other cargo ships were escorted by Le Joly, a 5th (?) rate war ship, of course.

A storm happened, the fleet scattered and one the cargo ships (a flute) ended up alone. Right away, she was... plundered by Spanish privateers.

 

That danger is the point of exploration. That's gameplay (History is a great source of gameplay for NA). I don't like that much a gameplay that can be summed-up by 'I have the biggest gun, so I can kill everybody (protecting myself at little risk or attacking everybody) ".

 

I think (but I may be wrong) that I've read somewhere on NA forum that unarmed merchants could hire escort and that in case of attacks by pirates, enemy nation (...), a kind of arena fight would be set up to defend those merchants. That's what a ship like La Belle needs in the Caribbean, of course : an escort. It's not a lonely wolf's ship. It's a ship for explorations.

 

Just my humble opinion.

Edited by LeBoiteux

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(First, excuse me for my bad english)

Sure, the use of a ship like La Belle is a matter of gameplay, especially of exploration gameplay.

May be I had the start of an idea about that at http://forum.game-labs.net/index.php?/topic/1534-exploration-gameplay/?p=91172 

 

The Snow is a wonderful ship. I love it. One of my favorite. But isn't it kind of OP ? By the way, it is a replica of HMS Ontario built in... 1780. La Belle was built in 1680 ! They don't play in the same league. They shouldn't fight each other but, above all, they shouldn't be at same costs and shouldn't have the same use. 

 

By the way, I'm not fond of that arms race (you know : the bigger, the better).

 

But above all, I am sure one of the rules of XVII th century exploration in the Carribean was : "Never let an unarmed ship on his own".  

During the expedition of 1684, La Belle and the two other cargo ships were escorted by Le Joly, a 5th (?) rate war ship, of course.

A storm happened, the fleet scattered and one the cargo ships (a flute) ended up alone. Right away, she was... plundered by Spanish privateers.

 

That danger is the point of exploration. That's gameplay (History is a great source of gameplay for NA). I don't like that much a gameplay that can be summed-up by 'I have the biggest gun, so I can kill everybody (protecting myself at little risk or attacking everybody) ".

 

I think (but I may be wrong) that I've read somewhere on NA forum that unarmed merchants could hire escort and that in case of attacks by pirates, enemy nation (...), a kind of arena fight would be set up to defend those merchants. That's what a ship like La Belle needs in the Caribbean, of course : an escort. It's not a lonely wolf's ship. It's a ship for explorations.

 

Just my humble opinion.

 

Well I did mention cost.  However I am also taking into account the size of the ship because lets face it, aside from the cost of guns, there potentially isn't a lot of difference in building material requirements between two ships of the size general size.  Of course a purpose build Warship will have heavier planking so more cost for that as well but just how much more costly will a purpose built a tradeship like the Brig (which in game is has been converted to a warship by cutting gunports and mounting more guns) be than the La Belle?  

 

That is my point, for a ship like this to be viable, it would have to be very, very cheap in comparison to other similar size ships or have some special bonus or some other feature that makes it stands out over using a ship like say a Privateer or Brig which is more more capable of defending itself in general or in the case of the privateer, offering much more speed and maneuverability plus having more firepower.

 

Honestly, it is not that I am opposed to adding this ship to the game, it is just that the devs only have so many resources that can be used to add more ships to the game and I think they need to scrutinize each and every ship they add to insure it will be something that many players will actually use before adding in something just because it is different or fills a small niche.

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There is a difference of crew required to man it sir, and the amount of supplies it will need to make that journey.

 

If I'm attempting to run a profitable merchant, I'm not going to do so by employing (in the case of Lynx, and I'm using my memory here) 30-60 men to be able to fight the ship (the entire reason I have cannon in the first place).  A profitable merchant will ship with 6-12 men, not nearly enough to fight a large number of guns, board in the smoke, or make the rapid sail changes needed to maneuver a fighting ship.  That I'm only carrying a small number of men grossly extends my range at a far smaller amount of rations, opening up space for cargo.  Remove the need to carry many tons of guns, shot and powder, more room for cargo.  There is a HUGE reason that, in real life, serious merchant ships (with the exception of certain Indiamen) did not carry very many guns, and did not carry a lot of crew.  A stocked, purposebuilt warship equipped and crewed for war shold not be able to carry bulk cargo profitably.

Edited by Thomas Hardy

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There is a difference of crew required to man it sir, and the amount of supplies it will need to make that journey.

 

If I'm attempting to run a profitable merchant, I'm not going to do so by employing (in the case of Lynx, and I'm using my memory here) 30-60 men to be able to fight the ship (the entire reason I have cannon in the first place).  A profitable merchant will ship with 6-12 men, not nearly enough to fight a large number of guns, board in the smoke, or make the rapid sail changes needed to maneuver a fighting ship.  That I'm only carrying a small number of men grossly extends my range at a far smaller amount of rations, opening up space for cargo.  Remove the need to carry many tons of guns, shot and powder, more room for cargo.  There is a HUGE reason that, in real life, serious merchant ships (with the exception of certain Indiamen) did not carry very many guns, and did not carry a lot of crew.  A stocked, purposebuilt warship equipped and crewed for war shold not be able to carry bulk cargo profitably.

 

This is true I guess.  You don't need near as much crew to man a ship just for trading purposes.   I guess it all depends on how Games Labs models ship upkeep.  If there is actually a cost associated with paying the crew then a ship like this would indeed make for a fine trading vessel and have a clear and defined place in the game.  Of course this would be that special feature that I mentioned my previous post.  

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