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Sand Skiff

Favored by the Remtelen for it's simplicity and self contained nature. A sand skiff is little more than runners, a platform, mast and triangular sail. Size can vary depending on the maker and the general use of them. Small one or two person craft are common, especially among the Remtelen. Larger sand skiffs can be made, but weight becomes a major factor with friction between the runners and sand. The sail or sails have to be made large enough to break the craft free from standing, and once moving, needs to be trimmed to prevent moving so fast the runners heat up.   Sailing a sand skiff is an exercise in patience and finesse. A rudder cannot be used so the runners themselves have to be turned or bent along with catching the wind with the sail. Even moving the placement of weight will change the heading of these sensitive craft. Subject to the whims of wind and dunes, a sand skiff cannot simply go where it is pointed. It may lose speed too deep of the trough of the dunes and could be torn apart if caught by too strong of a wind.   Despite these quirks, it makes for a quick, efficient way to get around the wastes. Aggressive Juxtalen tend to leave them alone. Both because of their association with the Remtelen which they want to maintain favorable relations with, and that there won't be anything worth their trouble. Explorers of the deep wastes uninterested in transporting large salvage will use a sand skiff for this reason alone.   In the case of storms, a sand skiff can be turned into a shelter. Preferably behind a rock outcrop or some kind of wind-break such as a dune. Dunes are not an ideal choice as the storm is likely to shift it, and many have suffocated under tons of sand for their error. The body of the skiff can be propped against a solid surface, demasted and the sail placed as a tent. More often, daring skiff pilots will run before the storm, using the shape of the platform to gain some lift, reducing friction from the sand and preventing runner burn.   A sand skiff running directly before the wind can reach a speed only slightly less than that of the wind. In optimal conditions, a 40kph wind will propel a craft at 35kph for a distance of 600km per 18 hour day.   Because the materials needed to build a sand skiff are few and fairly easy to aquire, other than the sail, they can be found relatively inexpensively. Some Amerites in remote settlements build a more rugged version than the more delicate ones of the Remtelen. Sand skiffs tend to be heavily personalized by their owners, who take great pride at having built one and sailed it, freeing themselves from the deisel tyranny.


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