The Coins Edge
The Coins Edge
It took a master shipwright a decade to design and two years to build and it is perhaps the single most impressive piece of engineering of the 17th century.
The Coins Edge measures just over 90 ft from bowsprit to rudder, and sports a single mast located slightly to the aft of centre deck. The deck is approx. 12ft across and 70 ft. in length. To the aft is a small castle, approx. 10 ft in length, on top of which sits the helm. The inside of the castle serves as the captains quarters.
The Coins Edge has three decks: top-deck, gun-deck (which is also where the crew sleeps) and the hold, though the latter is little more that a crawl-space at the bottom, accessed through hatches in the gun-deck.
On each side of the mast (following the centre line) stands what looks like a narrow cupboard (it is no wider than the mast) built into the base of the mast. It´s one of Rayleigh´s innovations. It contains a crank-system that allows the mainsail to be hoisted by only one person, provided that the sail was correctly taken down and flaked over the boom, however the system is designed to be used by up to four people. When all four cranks are used by trained sailors the mainsail can be hoisted as fast (if not faster) than any other ship in existence, using only a fraction of the manpower.
To make the crank-system possible, Rayleigh designed what is perhaps the most baffling aspect of The Coins Edge: the pulley system. At first glance it looks like the ships rigging is not complete. This is because all of the ropes and pulleys having to do with hoisting and lowering the sails is hidden in large compartments within the deck and mast. The ropes loop several times through a complex system of pulleys that connects to the cranks.
As impressive as this system is the sails still need to be trimmed and adjusted in the traditional way, but the demands on the crew is greatly reduced. The system allows the ship to be used to (almost) it´s full potential by a relatively inexperienced crew, something that has saved the players from certain death more than once. How the ship will behave in the hands of a crew that truly knows her is not yet known, but it is sure to be spectacular.
The Coins Edge has a gun-deck that has been fitted with 14 guns, 7 to a side, as well as 4 swivel-guns mounted on the top deck. Since the ship is relatively narrow the guns are placed in a sort of overlapping pattern. Though The Coins Edge is relatively well armed, she lacks a sufficient crew to service both her rigging and her guns at the same time but her captain is trying to remedy that situation.