A skimmer is a type of extremely light and fast watercraft. It has been developed in a way so as to make it perfectly streamlined and aerodynamic.
Skimmers have very little room for cargo, and weighting the boats down would only serve to slow its passage. Skimmers can hold a small crew of about five medium-sized folk, but smaller races can fit more crew members. It is very common to see a gnome-piloted skimmer carrying a crew of ten to operate and defend the ship.
Skimmers are a favored craft during times of war for communication. They can cross an ocean in less than half the time it would take even the fastest passenger ship. These tiny craft are typically used as messenger vehicles, transporting missives and letters around the world. But their light design makes them very susceptible to damage. They cannot carry any kind of bolt throwers or cannons, instead relying on whatever equipment its crew has on hand. Some nations have developed ways to protect these messengers, relying on magic or complex contraptions to protect and shield them from harm, whether it comes from above or below the waves.
In times of peace, skimmers are used for mail transport but also as leisure craft. It is common to see skimmers moving up and down coasts or along rivers with passengers aboard enjoying the sights. In some places, especially in the more tropical latitudes, folk will put on skimmer races. Similar to sailing races, these events pit skimmer crews against one another to make it from start to finish in the fastest time. Because of the craft's lack of defense capabilities however, these races typically hug the coastline in well-guarded areas, or go inland up rivers where the threat of pirates or aquatic monsters is substantially decreased. Likewise, the racecourses are monitored closely by other ships or folk on the shoreline to ensure that no craft is attacked.
Occasionally, scouts from various organizations attend these races, and approach the skimmer crews that they are impressed by to offer them employment in their organization for various purposes.