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Thread: Sailing Speeds

  1. #1

    Default Sailing Speeds

    Whilst working on my continental map, I wondered how long the trade routes I had
    drawn in would take to sail.

    Google came up with this nice resource:*.html

    From it I distilled the following for ancient ships:

    Sailing in favorable winds, open ocean: 4-6 knots, ~180 to 270 km per day.
    Sailing in favorable winds, near coast/islands: 3-4knots, ~130 to 180 km per day.
    Sailing in unfavourable winds: 2-2.5 knots, ~90-110 km per day.

    For a fleet, given that there will be slow transport ships and just keeping the fleet together will halve these speeds.
    A tririme under oars can get up to 8kts, but not for a long journey.

    There is a lot of room for differences based on ship type and weather conditions.

  2. #2
    Community Leader Gracious Donor ravells's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    London, UK


    This is very useful information and fits well with our 'how far can a horse travel in a day?' thread.

    Thanks for posting, Stuart and rep on the way.

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