Let’s Look at the Hope’s Redemption

Happy Tuesdays, squiders! Nano continues apace. I’m keeping about a day ahead of where I’m supposed to be, which is actually a little slow, but we do what we can.

Most of the story takes place on a ocean-faring vessel, known as the Hope’s Redemption. This is a bit interesting, having the entirety of the characters stuck in a tiny place that nonetheless has a lot of moving parts. So I also spent a lot of time on developing the ship, since it’s so important to everything going on around it.

Humans have, of course, been sailing for millennium, so that’s a lot of history to pick through. I went into it with a couple of criteria:

  1. The ship needed to be capable of a cross-ocean trip
  2. The ship needed to be relatively big, but not too big (to save on number of characters)
  3. Based on the state of humans in the later years (during the Trilogy) they couldn’t be at the point of the Age of Sail (late 1700s-mid 1800s)

So I settled on modeling the Hope after a carrack, which is a 15th-century sailing ship. It looks a little like this:

Image by Joseolgon

This type of ship was used a lot by European explorers in the late 1400s/early 1500s. It’s designed to be relatively stable and hold a lot of cargo. And it’s not that big, not compared to later ships. A carrack tended to be about 75 feet in length and have a crew of between 40 and 80 people. I went a little smaller, and settled on a crew of 36 (for my own sanity).

(I have 16 or 17 named crew at this point, so we’re about halfway there.)

I’ve added a couple of boats onto the Hope, which I don’t actually know if was standard practice or not, but I can’t imagine you’d want to beach a giant ship every time you find somewhere new. Or wade between the ship and the beach. Also I have read a lot of the Hornblower books and admit they’ve worn off on me to some extent.

The boats are called the Promise and the Dream, because there’s a theme here.

I also made myself some notes about terminology and how things work, so I hopefully vaguely sound like I know what I’m talking about. Here’s a page of that:

Scanned out of my drawing book

Even with my carefully crafted notes, I’ve noticed me messing it up a few times, so, eh, things to consider once the book is written, I suppose.

So, that’s the Hope! And a very good ship is she, though my landlubber narrator isn’t sure, as of yet.

How’s your month going? Thoughts about sailing ships?

2 responses to this post.

  1. Haha, very cool. Nice sketch!


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