The large three-masted squarerigger type ships could be fitted with well over twenty cannon plus many swivel guns and a crew of around two hundred or more men.She could make a formidable adversary and an excellent flagship for a large group of pirates despite her lack of agility.Pirates of old used many types of ships, anywhere from a small sloop to a large warship.
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This work was essential in order to maintain their speed advantage.
Two of the pirates favorite types of ships were the sloop and the schooner.
The Barbary corsairs of the Mediterranean mainly used oar powered galleys rowed by slaves.
These were long rather slender craft which were renowned for their speed, and sailing ships traveling in the calm winds of the Mediterranean were at their mercy.
The speed and shallow draft of these ships enabled the pirates to hide in relative safety in shallower coastal waters where larger warships could not enter.
The single-masted sloop had a bowsprit almost as long as her hull making her perhaps one of the swiftest vessels of her day.
They crossed the Atlantic to the Guinea coast of Africa.
And they rounded the Cape of Good Hope to Madagascar in order to plunder the ships in the Indian Ocean.
These men would quickly swarm aboard a ship and sweep aside all opposition.