Sailing Vessels, for a long time, played an important part in Kyrenaian Culture and way of life, both for trade, conquest, getting food and exploration.

Lateen Sails were a staple

Up to the second Kyrenaian Civil War (- 163 CE)

Rise of the Sultanate (163 - 942)

Into the Golden Age (942 - 1463)

Third Civil War (1463 - 1632)

Colonial Empire under Sails (1632-1784)

Kyrenaian Sailing Vessels

A variety of Kyrenaian Sailing Vessels of the Colonial Era. In the Center, a Jaras-Type.


The Bagala-Type is characterized by the curved prow and the sleek profile, a bit like a sword, which cuts through the water. Usually, these vessels are between 30 and 40 metres long, crewed by around 40 sailors. Lateen Sails propel the vessel forwards, them being usually used as fast transports and warships, but are nowadays usually found as recreational vessels. A more ornamental characteristic of the Bagala-Type is the ornate carvings, which usually adorn the stern.

The Sayarfur is a Bagala-Type Vessel.



A Jaras-Type Sailing Vessel, early Type - still with oars and oarsmen.

The Jaras-Type was a type of vessel, which can be traced back into the Golden Age: Originally developed as a coastal trading vessel, the Jaras-Type had oarsmen, which fell away during the Third Civil War. They were, due to their speed and wide beam, used as merchantmen and warships, with the latter application preferred by corsairs and pirates. However, they were not preferred for oceanic journeys.

They were characterized by the long bowsprit and overhanging stern. They had two to three masts, with the main mast upright and the one closest to the bow slightly offset towards the bow. They were usually lighter then 200 tons, although more modern Jaras-Type vessels can be heavier then that. Their beam was wide, but the bottom usually flat, which caused problems during the times of the Colonial Empire, confining them mostly to coastal areas.


The Masaradi-Type, or Qareb-Type, was a type of ships used in the 15th and 16th centuries in exploratory trips and to survey both known lands and new lands. Generally, they only had one mast with a lateen sail. Light and agile, these ships could also operate in shallow coastal waters and even up deeper rivers. They were, usually, around twenty meters long, had a beam of five meters and usually around sixty tons heavy. They were manned by 20 to 30 men.

In the early 17th century, the Masaradi-Type was superseded by the Mutaealnaql-Type.


In the 17th century, with the Kyrenaian Colonial Empire in its beginning stages, it became apparent to shipbuilders, that their current products were unsuitable for the needs of a colonial empire, mainly because they lacked a large freight hauler and troop transport. The answer was the Mutaealnaql-Type, the first vessels of the Kyrenaians, which not only had lateen sails, but also square sails.

Usually having three to four masts, the last or last two masts respectively were equipped with lateen-sails. On a four-masted ship, the shortmast and the mizzenmast carried lateen sails, while the Mainmast and the foremast (the tallest and second-tallest masts on the ship) were square rigged. This allowed the vessels to sail closer to the wind and gave a certain agility to these massive ships.

Some Mutaealnaql-Type Vessels had a Beakhead, but that was unusual. More important as a distinguishing feature was the square quarter gallery astern.

In the 1650s, new Mutaealnaql-Type Vessels were around fifty meters long (not including a bowsprit), had a beam of around sixteen meters at the widest and could attain speeds of up to nine knots (16.6 km/h). When militerized, they were usually armed with 10 medium or heavy cannons and a number of lighter artillery, but that limited the cargo capacity drastically. Around 100 to 150 sailors crewed these ships.


Escort for freight convoys from the Colonial Empire

Sailing in decline (1784 - 1900)

In 1784, the first working steam engine was installed onto a vessel. It proved, although still highly experimental and not really useful, as a game-changer in the long run.

Recreational Sailing (1900 to today)

See Also

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