They sowed terror in the seas of half the world due to their fierceness and their ships always ready for defense and boarding. The parts of a pirate ship will help you understand how those ships worked and what advantages they had over another. Do you want to know what the pirate ships of Blackbeard, Howell Davis or William Kidd were like?
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The Pirate Ship: A Marvel of Light
Shipping The phenomenon of piracy that reached its peak in modern history had sailors all over the world terrified. Aboard light ships prepared for defense and attack , pirates spent entire days at sea until they spotted prey, preferably merchant ships loaded with goods and wealth.
The key was the lightness of their ships, much lighter and faster than the heavy merchant ships. When a pirate ship reached a prey, the fierceness in the combat of the corsairs towards the rest. Therefore, a pirate ship is not like a normal ship and has some differences that make it faster and more efficient.
As the pirates did not carry merchandise, beyond the loot they stole, their ships only carried weapons and provisions , and the entire structure revolved around the protection of gunpowder, the disposition of the artillery and an adequate system of masts and sails. for speed. The 22 parts of a pirate ship and their functions
The most important parts of a pirate ship are summarized in the following 22 elements, parts and instruments. There are orientation, resistance, support and service, and each one fulfills a function for the proper functioning of the sailboat. 1. Bow
It is the front part of the boat and on a pirate ship it had an angular shape to cut through the water and move faster. This is called roda or canto, and to each side are the previous sides and the marks of the water lines.
In addition to being an essential part for guidance and direction, the bow is important because in that part are the anchor, the winch (engine), the emblem and the bow flag, where the pirates raised their insignia with the skull to frighten to everyone else. 2. Stern It is the opposite part to the prow , the previous structure of a pirate ship that also has a sharp point to avoid the loss of energy and eddies.
Among other things, the stern contains the mirror (flat end at the end of the sternpost), the sternpost (vertical piece that goes up to the beginning of the mirror), the rudder (direction of the ship), the propellers for movement and the outriggers that support these propellers. 3. Bavor
One of the four main parts in the layout of the ship and one of the two sides is bavor, which corresponds to the western part looking forward. The words port and starboard are used to avoid confusion “right” and “left” depending on the direction in which the person is. 4. Starboard It is the eastern part of the boat looking towards the bow, opposite to bavor, and contains the same parts in symmetry as its other side. In ancient ships, there were no fixed stern rudders, so the captain used an oar with a paddle to steer the ship. To do so he plunged the paddle into the water, on the starboard side.
In this way the right side of the ship began to be called “starboard” , which means the edge of the rudder.
In the old boats there were no fixed rudders at the stern, so the helmsman used an oar with a particularly large blade to steer the boat, sinking it into the water on the right side of the boat . Hence the right side was called the ‘rudder edge’. 5. Mizzen mast
It is the main mast and the one closest to the stern. For pirate ships to reach such speeds, the system of masts and sails that were headed by the mizzen mast was essential. When a very strong wind blew or conditions were adverse, the mizzen sail would drag.With the wind in favor it gave acceleration . 6. Main Pole
It is the pole that is located in the center of the boat and that serves to hold the largest sail. It is the largest in importance, size and height. It was connected to the sail, to the other masts and to other mechanisms by means of pulleys and anchors in a sophisticated system . It is the most important wing to take advantage of aerodynamics and give it speed. 7. Braupes
It is the third most important sail, the one that holds the feeder sail next to the bow of the ship. It is a horizontal stick slightly inclined upwards that is used to hold some sails or the ends of the ratchet. Until the innovation of the braupes the maneuver and the speed were more difficult, but this element greatly facilitates the use of the wind in that direction. 8. Ratchet Stick
On a pirate ship the ratchet is the stick that rises immediately at the bow. In other words, the three large sails that outlined the boat were, in order, the foremast, the mainmast and the mizzen mast. Together with the bowsprit they formed a forward angle and taking advantage of the rear wind their sails were unfurled to favor greater speed. 9. Shroud
We have already seen that the pirate ship had four types of hairs, three of them vertical in which the sails were unfurled. The system that ensured the fastening of the mastThey were the shrouds, thick cables that support and hold the mast from its head to the garrison table, cofa (part that you will see later). 10. Boom
It is a horizontal stick located in the lower part of the mast, and its function is to hold the sail. It is articulated above the mast and attached to the corresponding mast, being one of the main elements for fastening the sails to the masts, masts and yards . 11. Awning
This is a very important part of a pirate ship because it is where the artillery used to be, which was used to board other ships. The poop is the highest part of the stern of a ship, a semi-deck located on the quarterdeck. It was also the support for the maneuvers of the ends of the mizzen sails and part of the wings of the mainmast. 12. Captain’s Chamber
It was one of the main rooms of the service, designed for the rest and intimacy of the ship’s captain. It was also used as a meeting room for the main warriors and officers of the hierarchical structure, those who made the decisions . The distribution and size depended in many cases, but it was the main room. 13. Lanterns
It is the main instrument for lighting, both interior and exterior, and in the case of a pirate ship the lanterns used to be made of oil. The lantern was a large lantern mountedon a tower built for the risky places of the coasts, and for warning and government of the navigators. It could also be called a flashlight. 14. Bilge pump Very
important instrument for the buoyancy of the boat, especially for boats such as a pirate ship that is subjected to extreme conditions. For example, when water entered the ship due to rain and high tides , it accumulated in the lower part of the ship and it was then necessary for the crew to bail out water.
The bilge pump was a manual device that pumped water from inside the ship to the outside to ensure the emptying and safety of the sailboat. 15. Dicks
They are hangers perpendicular to the masts that hold the sails. Next to the mizzen mast is the dry main yard, which governs the main structure. When the ship was ready to leave, the expression “cocks up” used to be used.
The yards are secondary elements in the fastening of the sails, but not less important for that, since they ensured the mooring of the same, the reinforcement of the masts against strong gusts of wind and water that could destabilize the boat. 16. Rudder
It is the main instrument that gives orientation to the boat. Located at the bow, it is a fundamental part of the pirate ship, as it guides the fluid producing a turning and thrust effect. On a pirate ship , the helmsman can guide the rudderthanks to an arm or a metal or wooden bar called the rudder. 17. Rudder Cane This is an iron or wooden lever that fits on the rudder head to make it turn. There were different sizes depending on the rudder, but the most important thing was that it could be graduated to turn faster, depending on the needs.
The rudder wheel was placed vertically on the stern castle and joined perpendicular to the end of the cane through a cylindrical axis. All this mechanism moved through a complex system of pulleys . 18. Compass
Also known as the compass, the compass is a navigational instrument used for orientation.Mark the four cardinal points (north, south, east and west) and establish a route direction with north as a reference.
For a pirate ship it is one of the most essential parts, since the corsairs spent whole days at sea and it was necessary to establish routes and objectives. 19. Cofa
It is a very recognizable part because it consists of a “D” shaped platform made with boards arranged from bow to stern crossed by transverse bars at the top of the masts. As a static element, the top has a double function: to secure the maneuvering cables and to fix the lookouts at the top .
As a mechanism used for maneuvering, it is one of the most important parts of a pirate ship to give the ship orientation. 20. Vigota
The shrouds and rigging, those thick cables that hold the masts and poles of the ship, are tightened through a mechanism whose most important part is the joist. This has the appearance of a small wooden head with three holes through which these cables pass, tightened and pressed by the lanyards.
The beam used to be made of wood, flat and circular, with three or four holes that formed the tensioning system (two beams joined by a piece of rope, the lanyard, which passes through all the holes). “Stressing the rigging” is what it is called to tighten the cables. 21. Coy
Coy is synonymous with hammock and on a pirate ship it is, precisely, the fabric that is used for the rest and rest of the crew.It was introduced about 500 years ago on European ships and is one of the parts of a pirate ship that is never missing.
Although it may not seem like much, the hammock was a revolution in navigation because until now sailors slept on deck and were subject to shock and seasickness when they moved. The hammock, hung from the beams (masts arranged end to end across the width of the ship), acted as a counterweight to the movement of the ship. 22. Santabarbara
This is the name given to the space on ships reserved for gunpowder, that is, the pirate ship’s magazine. Being an essential part of the boat, and due to the danger of everything blowing up, historically it was placed in that part of the holdan image of Santa Barbara (patron saint of gunners) . Hence its name.
It was also called santabarbara to the region of the aft end of the first deck where the bosun’s instruments were kept , and in some cases the quarters of the personnel or the marine guards.