TomSkippy

What type of ship is the Black Seas Barracuda?

What type of ship is the Black Seas Barracuda?   

  1. 1. Tell us which...

    • Brig
      0
    • Polacca
      0
    • East Indiaman
      0
    • 17th Century Frigate
      0
    • Other
      0


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I'm thinking of making a 'realistic' (UCS?) version of the Black Seas Barracuda. But what is its real world counter part?

Brig

The two masted sail plan looks VERY brig-y to me. But the stern/cabin are really ornate for a brig.

Polacca

Common in the Mediterranean (which would include the Black Sea) and have a little more ornate stern. It's a little obscure for such a famous ship and the sail plan is a little different.

Armed East Indiaman

Might work, except East Indiaman were not really a type of ship, rather they were trading vessels operating under a charter.

17th Century Frigate

This absolutely nails the stern ornamentation, but the BSB is not a two-decked ship, might be too big for a pirate crew to arm/crew.

 

What do you think?

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I think it is something else. It could very well be just a hybrid ship where it was a small brig that was updated a bit and turned into what we see today. I've checked the ship types online and it is difficult to place it somewhere.

1. If you look at this image of a 17th c. frigate, it could lean towards that, but the sails for each mast are 3 not 2, without considering the mizzen mast:

Ship-Model-Corel-Berlin.jpg&maxwidth=470

Here we have a cabin that rises higher than the rest of the ship, it is quite ornate and we don't have that many cannons and one bridge, open in this case.

 

2. It could be a converted Polacca, but the angled foremast makes it too much trouble for a crew to change it to a straight one just for aesthetics:

polacca-1.jpg 

Also the cannons disposition is quite peculiar, so it is not a real match, just the size of the ship and the raised cabin could be close to ours.

3. I'd esclude the East Indiaman because they're big ships, compared to the BSB.

4. The brig could be a viable option, but the problem then is the cabin being at the same level as the rest of the ship, so, size aside, it is not a real match:

gIMG_3153.jpg

 

So I think it could be a converted small 17th century frigate, updated for the new century needs, which makes it a custom type of ship. On top of that adding the fact that Lego ships don't really follow any rule other than looking nice, catchy and most of all, idealized, (pirates = red striped sails) I wouldn't focus so much on its real counterpart because there really isn't one, unless you go for compromises and "justify" your creation with a nice story of how it came about... 

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You're over thinking it. It's a toy. There was little concern given to preserving historic proportions and element. Use your imagination, build it how you want. You can debate it it till the trumps sound, and everyone will be wrong and no one will be right. Any answer requires interpretation, so it's a matter of opinion in any case. If you want to know what she was supposed to have been, way back when; find someone from the original design team and ask them 😉

 

Dave

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For what it’s worth the old German catalogs actually assign ship types to some of the sets.

The Black Seas Barracuda is a Brigantine.

The Caribbean Clipper is a Cog.

The Skulls Eye Scooner is a 3-masted Barque.

The Regegade  Runner is not given a clear type, it’s just called Einmast-Piratensegler (roughly translated one-masted pirate sailer).

The Imperial Flagship is a Caravel.

 

The Dutch 1996 catalog calls the Armada Flagship a Galleon and calls the Redbeard Runner a warship.

 

Admittedly I don’t really know much about ships, so I don’t know if the types actually fit.

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I would agree with @kurigan here.

There were no intentions of making this ship realistic.

So consider it what you think it's the best and go for it; Debating on it all night long will not help.

So, show us your personal interpretation of this famous vessel in a brilliant MOC !

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Posted (edited)

There are a few things to consider.

First of, back before the late 17th century, ship design was not a regulated thing, ships were build 'on the eye',  and no two ships would be the same. Classification by owners (navy's or merchants) was usually by function, not by actual shape. Names that are determined by their function like a frigate are for a small(ish), fast and agile ship, used for 'hunting' enemy ships. Even the line between fighting ships and merchant chips was not a hard distinction.

Sailors on the other hand would classify ships by sails, because the sails largely determined the work that had to be done and the possibilities for handling a ship. Two masts needed less crew than 3 masts, a few bigger sails were heavier work than several smaller etc. Names for ship types (like brigantine, schooner etc) are only determined by the masts and sails used, not by the hull shape.

As we are talking Pirate ships, things become even more complicated, but at the same time better suited for Lego. For one thing, Pirate ships were not build as a pirate ship. They were taken, they were 'prizes'. So basically any ship can be a pirate ship...

And back in those days, wooden ships were surprisingly easy to modify. Add a mast or add sails to a mast to make it faster. How very Lego! Cut out more gun ports for more guns. Remove cabins for owners and governors to make the ship lighter and faster. Remove even a full layer of decks to make the the ship faster. Add even more guns; even when not very practical. Intimidation and striking fear into the victim was better than actually fighting...

 

There are a few thing that make Lego ships look very toy like, and they are the result of a function; to actually play with the thing.

The high stern is the direct result of adding at least one cabin, high enough for minifigs (go to any replica ship of old; on most decks you are not able to stand up straight (and no people back than were not that much shorter). For a more realistic ship, lower the poop deck!

From what time is the ship? The higher fore- and aft decks started out as fighting 'towers' on a flat ship, became integrated 'castles' in the 15th century and would gradually lower for better sailing characteristics from the late 16th century on until late 18th century ships ended up 'full flat top' again.

And usually the sails are too high above the deck, especially sail on the aft deck. Again, this creates space for the minifigs, but for a more realistic appearance, the sails should be lower to the deck. In fact, judging by the pictures I see most Lego ships could do with all spars a little higher and a curled up sail underneath the lowest spar.

Sails usually did not have a spar at the lower side. It is practical for a play ship to have the sails in a fixed position, but the lower rim of the sail would bulge out, and the corners (and sides) would be controlled by ropes.

And for a more realistic ship; ad ropes. And even more ropes. The rigging of a sail ship is massive!

QpZHZ5m.jpg

(top the way Lego instructions said, bottom my mods on the 398 set; still way to simple, but more ropes add a lot to a schip model)

 

Edited by jan kusters
added picture of USS Constellation set 398

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Thanks @jan kusters,

Very good explanation, there is something new that I didn't know before. I will try to implement your tips when building the Barracuda ship.

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What type of ship is the Black Seas Barracuda?
 

- An awesome ship.

Spoiler

:pir-grin::pir_laugh2:

 

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Posted (edited)

@kurigan @Faladrin I agree lego ships aren’t really based on specific types or models, but it is fun debating this. You guys gonna reveal your votes??

@Niku :pir-laugh:

Edited by TomSkippy

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On 7/19/2020 at 3:11 AM, jan kusters said:

Sailors on the other hand would classify ships by sails, because the sails largely determined the work that had to be done and the possibilities for handling a ship. Two masts needed less crew than 3 masts, a few bigger sails were heavier work than several smaller etc. Names for ship types (like brigantine, schooner etc) are only determined by the masts and sails used, not by the hull shape.

Yes! And a crew this small would have a much easier time sailing the triple masted junk rigged Destiny's Bounty than this double masted square rigged Barracuda.

I think I'd just call the Barracuda a brig. If I see these thieving bastards on the horizon just call it out as a brig, fire a shot across their bow and deal with the semantics after she's sinking. :pir-huzzah1:

Regarding the Brigantine suggestion as the Lego literature mentioned:

"The word "brig" has been used in the past as an abbreviation of brigantine (which is the name for a two-masted vessel with foremast fully square rigged and her mainmast rigged with both a fore-and-aft mainsail, square topsails and possibly topgallant sails). The brig actually developed as a variant of the brigantine. Re-rigging a brigantine with two square-rigged masts instead of one gave it greater sailing power. The square-rigged brig's advantage over the fore-and-aft rigged brigantine was "that the sails, being smaller and more numerous, are more easily managed, and require fewer men or 'hands' to work them."[4] The variant was so popular that the term "brig" came to exclusively signify a ship with this type of rigging.[8] By the 17th century the British Royal Navy defined "brig" as having two square rigged masts.[9]" Wikipedia Brig

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3 hours ago, koalayummies said:

And a crew this small would have a much easier time sailing the triple masted junk rigged Destiny's Bounty than this double masted square rigged Barracuda.

True, but it would take about six men to comandeer the Black Pearl which is a frigate

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22 minutes ago, Jack Sassy said:

True, but it would take about six men to comandeer the Black Pearl which is a frigate

This again goes back to the hairsplitting of the exact type or classification of ship being somewhat irrelevant especially in terms of crew size discussion. One must look to the sail plan and purpose of the vessel. The Black Pearl is a three masted square rigged ship (as opposed to the two masted Barracuda discussed here) and using it as a warship, privateer vessel or for piracy as opposed to a merchant vessel for example would require many more hands to not only handle and maneuver but also engage in combat.

Historical examples from the 19th century (which would be quite a bit different than during the 'golden age of piracy'):

Merchant Brig:

"Dana described the crew of the merchant brig, Pilgrim, as comprising six to eight common sailors, four specialist crew members (the steward, cook, carpenter and sailmaker), and three officers: the captain, the first mate and the second mate. He contrasted the American crew complement with that of other nations on whose similarly sized ships the crew might number as many as 30."

Frigate warship:

"Melville described the crew complement of the frigate warship, United States, as about 500—including officers, enlisted personnel and 50 Marines. The crew was divided into the starboard and larboard watches." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sailing_ship#Crew https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sailing_ship#Ship_handling

Could six people sail a three masted square rigged ship? Maybe; but it would be dangerous and more difficult than with a larger crew and engaging in combat and attempting to board other vessels would likely be suicidal. It does however make filming a fictional hollywood pirate movie scene less expensive and more dramatic.

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18 hours ago, koalayummies said:

This again goes back to the hairsplitting of the exact type or classification of ship being somewhat irrelevant especially in terms of crew size discussion. One must look to the sail plan and purpose of the vessel. The Black Pearl is a three masted square rigged ship (as opposed to the two masted Barracuda discussed here) and using it as a warship, privateer vessel or for piracy as opposed to a merchant vessel for example would require many more hands to not only handle and maneuver but also engage in combat.

Historical examples from the 19th century (which would be quite a bit different than during the 'golden age of piracy'):

Merchant Brig:

"Dana described the crew of the merchant brig, Pilgrim, as comprising six to eight common sailors, four specialist crew members (the steward, cook, carpenter and sailmaker), and three officers: the captain, the first mate and the second mate. He contrasted the American crew complement with that of other nations on whose similarly sized ships the crew might number as many as 30."

Frigate warship:

"Melville described the crew complement of the frigate warship, United States, as about 500—including officers, enlisted personnel and 50 Marines. The crew was divided into the starboard and larboard watches." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sailing_ship#Crew https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sailing_ship#Ship_handling

Could six people sail a three masted square rigged ship? Maybe; but it would be dangerous and more difficult than with a larger crew and engaging in combat and attempting to board other vessels would likely be suicidal. It does however make filming a fictional hollywood pirate movie scene less expensive and more dramatic.

Yes, well six men is the minimum, but Black Seas Barracuda is interesting in terms that it has two masts and the jib sail (or the back sail, I really don't know what it's called) is the one like brigs have, but by the size and look of it, it is a frigate, so in conclusion it's a frigate modified with some things that brigs have (maybe to maneuver the ship easier?). The original BSB version is definitely a brig, but if that be the case, then the new version doesn't make sense, only explanation that could be given is that pirates are masterbuilders and built their ship differently or something like that, logically looking at it, maybe they just found a new ship and colored it like original BSB.

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