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#126965
zippyfusenet
Participant

Not warships, but typical merchant vessels.

Everyone seems to be missing that point, including yourself.

A galley is a warship. It’s fast, good for running down prey if you’re a pirate. It needs many-many crew to work the oars, and they also can board and fight once you grapple a foe. It has not much cargo capacity, and not much endurance. You beach it most nights to cook and roister and camp ashore.

For a merchant vessel you want minimal crew, because feeding and paying crewmen cuts into profits. So, just a few oars for when you’re becalmed, a big sail with simple rigging that you only need a few men to work, and a round, beamy hull that can stow plenty of cargo. No ram, what would a merchant skipper do with one of those? Something like this reconstruction of the Ulunburun ship, an actual wreck from c. 1300 BC:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uluburun_shipwreck

Conan and Belit did their pirating from a low, fast, black galley, but the vessels they caught were probably more like the Ulunburun ship.

You'll shoot your eye out, kid!