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So, I'm in the early planning stages for a story I'm going to write. Its going to be set in the near future after some cataclysmic event drastically reduced the population and long story short civilization has to begin anew. The setting I have decided on is the gulf coast of north america, probably in the areas from Louisianna to the Florida Keys, a few generations after the collapse (long enough that no one from before "The Fall" has been alive recently). I want to have a resurgence based upon people restablishing naval transportation/shipping in this area by sailboats. Now, I personally have some childhood experience with sailing and I've been able to read a bit more but there are some elements that allude me and I was hoping someone on here could help answer some questions.

What kind of ship would be best suited for this climate that would be adept at economically moving cargo? Approximate dimensions and crew sizes would be helpful in comparison. I figured a single masted sloop with Bermudian rigging seemed senseable, but was looking for confirmation or correction on that.

Is the bigger obstacle in sail shipping volume or mass of cargo? Prospective goods include sugarloaf, timber, corn/rice/onions (from down the Mississippi River), cattle/beef (which is more feasible?), and general produce (celery, oranges, coffee, tobacco, etc.). Would shipping of phosphate dust (rudimentary fertilizer) and ores (sulphur, coal, cinnabar, etc.) be possible?

Post 1 of 2
I know the Gulf of Mexico is rife with fish, would fishing during such a voyage be feasible? If so, by net or by line? Any details people can fill in on just how this would work would be helpful as I have no idea about how to write this (or not).

I assume since the gulf is largely clear of islands or similiar features that sailing at night would be appropriate? Would this be done at full or a reduced speed? For that matter, how fast could an effectively "homemade" sailboat go? And by extension how long would a trip take from say New Orleans to Naples? Straight-shot or hug the coast?

Any other thoughts to share that could be related would be appreciated. For brevity's sake, assume anyone alive has access to any book in a modern library but no applicable real-world examples to compare its contents against or utilize (no still intact large ships or factories/workshops).

Thanks in advance and sorry if I'm way off base by posting this here, I just see a lot of bike and the occasional train thread but I figured boats are a form of transportation too.

Post 2 of 2
A bump before I hit the hay
You're worrying about getting banned or something? There are no moderators on this board. It's as dead as they come. Even if there are any they are obviously spineless maggots like yourself. People post unrelated stuff all the time.
Slow board bruh, give it a coupla days
Ugh, post-apocalyptic literature is dead
Fiberglass hulls, stainless hardware and aluminium masts wouldn't just rot away. They wouldn't be replaceable for the most part, since manufacturing phenolic resin and aluminum smelting are large scale industrial processes. I'd imagine this would make them highly coveted by various factions for high speed messengers.

For moving cargo, you'd probably end up with something like a windjammer if you were moving anything in large scale. They were competitive with steam ships moving bulk cargos until the 1930s.

Sloop rigs require very large masts, which are hard to procure. I'd imagine for single masted boats you'd see something like a gaff cutter. Actually galvanized telephone poles would make for great masts as well.

Riveted steel construction would probably be the order of the day, maybe on wooden ribs. If someone found a warehouse of welding supplies, stick welding could be used to build high end ships using the origami technique.
Also, /tg/ might be a better place to ask this.
Start with the boat people in SEAsia
>You're worrying about getting banned or something?
Well, I suppose that was also a concern but I was more thinking about just breaching board etiquette/"culture." I'd be fibbing pretty hard if I claimed I was a regular here, so I was aiming to not tred on any toes.

>Slow board bruh, give it a coupla days
Ok. I'll be more patient. I was just kind of excited to maybe get some assistance I suppose and din't like the thought of it falling past the first page and getting thoroughly overlooked.

>Ugh, post-apocalyptic literature is dead
I get that, I really do. But my drive to carry forward on this project is not so motivated by monetary concerns and more just a desire to see it done.

/tg/ is actually more my usual haunt. They are great for ideas, but nailing down the specific realities of a situtation often escapes them. Take it from someone cut of the same cloth: we aren't exactly known for spending large periods engaged in outdoor pastimes. Thanks for the attempted pointer though.

I've looked at the Polynesian for what basic ship construction could be accomplished with limited tools. The only downside to them is that the transpotation of quantities of goods was never something they engaged much in so I had issues following them too closely. I also looked at the Bermuda shupbuilding history and learned that the Bermuda sail rig was very effectively used on trade ships in the Carribean, an area not only geographically quite close to the gulf but that also featured relatively similiar sailing conditions and challenges. Finally, I have been studying up up on the history of the trade republics in the Mediterranean (Venice, Amalfi, Genoa, etc.) for pointers on the social, political, and diplomatic angles on what could be expected. It was a good thought and maybe I should have included what I already had covered in my research but I didn't want to make my OP any denser than it already was.
>Fiberglass hulls, stainless hardware and aluminium masts wouldn't just rot away.
True. But we are talking about a hundred plus years of them sitting around. The chances that they would be lost to debris, salvaged for other purposes, or just carried out to sea/smashed upon the shores by a hurricane (recall, this is the gulf coast of which we speak) are fairly significant. The idea is not that everything of the "old-world" is gone, just that it may be beyond your (rhetorical) personal ability to locate and procure. No longer can you just open up a phone book and call the local hardware store; now you have to make the visits to the possible locations in a far less forgiving enviroment, potentially inhabited by those that would take advantage of you, and eating up valuable resources and time that you'd better apply towards other more pressing concerns. Sometimes a sure fire inferior product is better than just the possibility of a superior one.

>For moving cargo, you'd probably end up with something like a windjammer if you were moving anything in large scale.
My issues with using something like a windjammer are twofold. First, its square sailed which is great from running downwind (such as in the trade winds across the Atlantic, which is where it exceled) but would have increasing issues outside of that. THe wind patterns over the gulf are notoriously varied from week to week and are to area. Something that would do well tacking and cutting close to the wind (such as the Berumda rig I had suggested), would seem to be much more feasible for my locale. Second, I'm afraid the technical requirements for both construction and utilization of such a complex (and large) 4 or more masted ship. Not even to mention the difficulties involved in forming a metal frame as compared to a wodden one (especially considering the difficulty with finding natural sources near the gulf coast).
>Sloop rigs require very large masts
I was not ware of this. Where have you seen this or what has led you to this conclusion? Not that I am doubting you, I just have been doing a fair bit of research the past couple of days and seemed to avoided any inkling of this so I am rather surprised.

>which are hard to procure
Yes, that certainly would complicate things.

>Actually galvanized telephone poles would make for great masts as well.
There is a thought.

>stick welding could be used to build high end ships
How to provide the electricity to power it? I doubt car batteries would last that long.
Riveted steel construction would probably be the order of the day, maybe on wooden ribs.
I had considered similar as being pretty reasonable. Thanks for sort of confirming it for me though.

A triangle has half the area of a rectangular sail with the same height, so to get a similar sail area, you need a mast twice as tall. If you look at any bermudan rigged ship next to a gaff rigged ship with a similar windage area, this becomes obvious rather quickly.
might want to head up to new england and check out some old shipping communities (boothbay, new bedford)...all of those communities lots of captains and crews that ran cargo up and down the atlantic coast, many into the gulf coast and Caribbean islands. penty of pictures and reference materials for the ships they used. the library/historical society will have old manifests as well
/tg/ is my usual board too.

I'm saying that the ones that remain would out perform a lot of what could be built post-fall and would be very very valuable. Check out the documentary Hold Fast to see what can be done with essentially a derelict fibreglass hull.

Yeah, a wind jammer is probably too specialized for sailing in the Caribbean. But, given the material limitations on the length of masts, you can put up a lot more sail area with a square rig than a Bermuda rig. The limitations like a large crew size and the ability to point to wind are less important on a post-apocalyptic bulk cargo ship.

Bermuda rig's popularity right now is due to sailing being essentially reduced to a leisure activity. For racing and inshore cruising, it hard beat. Its easy to control and trim, it points well into the wind and its fast at most points of sail. However, if you look at most working sailboats and open ocean cruisers today they're still gaff, lanteen or ketch rigged. They give you more sail area with smaller spars. These can be made stronger, lighter and cheaper than long spars for a Bermuda rig. They also provide you with some insurance in case of a broken spar.

an electric generator isn't that hard to build and could be run off of a wind turbine or a waterwheel and stick welder can be made from trash. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTJKksnurS0

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