Strait cattle barge

In addition to its artificial Lighthouse islands and its impressive beasts of burden, the Whimsy Strait used to be well-known for its peculiar ships : the cattle barges.   Even though they look quite different, the cattle barges in the Strait stem from the same idea as the cattle-drawn ships used to transport goods on rivers in the rest of the cylinder. Namely, that once you managed to put something afloat, you'll need much less energy to get it moving than what you needed on land. However, that is where this similarity ends. River barges usually look like long trains of water wagons connected to one another, while the barges used in the Strait are much larger, compact, and consist in one independent vehicle each. They usually have their motorized room toward the back of the vehicle, where one large wheel is rotated by a number of Cowttles. The movement of the wheel is then transfered to one or several motors, which allows the ship to move and turn at a controlled speed.   Cattle barges are relatively slow, moving only slightly above one's walking speed. Because of the limited power out put they have, the time they take to move away from the ports, and to speed up to their cruising speed is generally what limits the amount of goods they can transports. Indeed, if a barge takes too much time to leave the port, it will clog up traffic, and end up disrupting the flow of goods from the North of the Strait to the South. Usually, a barge that holds more than its weight is not allowed to enter the harbor, and is forced to land away from the city, which is extremely unsafe. As a result, sailors are particularly careful not to overcharge their vehicles.
Common around the Balysian Strait, rarer in the rest of the Three Seas region, absent from the rest of the world.
Crosses the hundred kilometers of the strait in one day and a half.
Complement / Crew
One barge is generally manned by a crew of twenty to thirty sailors.
Cargo & Passenger Capacity
Though the numbers vary between the ships, it is generally considered that a modern ship can carry around three hundred barrels for every two cows it has. Any number above that, and the acceleration time becomes too big to be acceptable.

Cover image: by Pouaseuille


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