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102 Vehicles: Cargo Transport

Cargo Transport

Even more than people, industrialized society relies on the movement of goods. The vehicles in this chapter can be found shipping everything from bulk raw materials to luxury consumer trinkets, in a variety of environments and tech levels.

Tilb Merchant Ship (TL2)

Summary: 20.00 displacement ton cylinder; 131 tonnes; kCr 123 Chassis: 280 kL cylinder (16 m long x 4.7 m wide x 4.7 m high); Structure: 2.28 tonnes of heavy wood, rated for 1.0Gs, body 0.30 cm thick, 0 armour rating Performance: 1.61 MW TL1 sail Propulsion System: 1.60 MW watercraft; Maximum Speed: 4 km/h loaded, 8 km/h unloaded; Range: 0 km; Agility: +3DM (0.0G) Crew & Passengers: Crew roster: helmsman, captain, 2 officers, 10 seamen; 14 crew stations; 10 roomy passenger seats Communications: No communicators installed. Sensors: No sensors installed. Other: Options: kitchen for 10 simultaneous meals; Safety Features: fire suppression system 228 kL of cargo space (114 tonnes)

Slow and unwieldy, Tilb-class ships form the backbone of many low-tech worlds’ merchant marine. Built to maximize cargo capacity at the expense of speed, Tilbs are used for routine commerce.

Haambo Merchant Cog (TL3)

Summary: 35.00 displacement ton cylinder; 239 tonnes; kCr 165 Chassis: 490 kL cylinder (19 m long x 5.7 m wide x 5.7 m high); Structure: 3.31 tonnes of heavy wood, rated for 1.0Gs, body 0.30 cm thick, 0 armour rating Performance: 2.44 MW TL1 sail Propulsion System: 2.43 MW watercraft; Maximum Speed: 3 km/h loaded, 7 km/h unloaded; Range: 0 km; Agility: +3DM (0.0G) Crew: Crew roster: helmsman, captain, officer, 10 sailors; 13 crew stations Communications: No communicators installed. Sensors: No sensors installed. Other: Options: recreation space, kitchen for 13 simultaneous meals; 432 kL of cargo space (216 tonnes)

Waterborne vehicles are the cheapest way to transport cargo, and on many worlds sailing ships remain in use for decades after they are technologically ‘obsolete’.

The Haambo is a typical small merchant vessel, suitable for sheltered coastal waters (it lacks the hull strength necessary for deep-sea sailing). Although slower than other means of transport, it is much cheaper, making it suitable for bulk transport of non-perishable goods.

© Robert Prior, 1998.

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