Besq Boats

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Besq Boats are medium sized sailing craft constructed with wood from Sphoxolis Trees. Sphoxolis Trees can be found in many places, but plantations abound in the Evesque Valley.

A Besq Boat will typically have one mast that supports a single sail using a top boom and main boom as support. Besq Boats are traditional among the sailors of Ghyll with the earliest recorded drawings dating to -172 EC. Oral history suggests that the design has hardly changed in the last 300 years due mainly to the stubborn refusal of sailors to embrace change and the sturdiness of these craft. Nobody is sure who originally designed this type of boat, although similar boats have been described in stories attributed to the Nitenmangrey culture.

The craft of building and maintaining Besq Boats is a steady source of employment for people in the larger coastal towns of Ghyll. Building a Besq Boat typically requires a team of eight people, most of whom must be master carpenters. The boat will take nearly eight months to build. To become a Besq Boat shipwright requires an apprentice to study for eleven years.

Most boat builders begin construction of a new boat in the month of Ablinth. According to tradition, the naming ceremony must be held in the month of Jole, when a seer is available to bless the boat at exactly the same time as the name is bestowed upon it. The naming ceremony is complicated and time consuming when performed in the traditional way. In these modern times, these ceremonies have been simplified to increase the time available for the consumption of Adlorst wines.

Besq Boats have been put to many uses, with fishing and coastal commerce being the most prominent. Smugglers have found Besq Boats to be particularly useful as they are fast and can be landed on deserted beaches when required. These same smugglers have developed sophisticated methods of navigation and maritime warfare.

The most famous sailor of a Besq Boat was Captain Riquiras (-192 EC to -157 EC), the legendary buccaneer and smuggler.

Citations: Bursine Calendar, Captain Riquiras, Sphoxolis Trees.

--Dok 14:05, 14 Sep 2004 (EDT)

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