Pedals or oars?

Discussion in 'Not The Land' started by Dragon, May 22, 2021.

  1. Dragon

    Dragon Level 19 (Enchanter) Exiles Beta Reader Citizen

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    So i'm wondering, would you choose oars or pedals for galleys (assuming modern engines do not work and further assuming you understand the mechanics behind both methods of generating motive force)?

    A pedal propelled galley would likely be faster - pedal propelled craft are generally 30-40 faster than similar crafts powered by oars, due to your legs being so much stronger, plus a propeller never leaves the water. It would likely be safer for the oarsmen as well, as galleys are built for ramming attacks. I don't think I need to explain how dangerous it is to hold a several meters long oar when the other end of said oar is struck by another ship.

    On the other hand, pedal propelled craft would likely be more time consuming to build in a medieval setting. The propeller(s) would also be a vulnerability.


    I'm wondering about the pros and cons as I'm considering returning to an old writing project of mine.
     
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  2. Mister Bill

    Mister Bill Level 14 (Defender) Exiles Beta Reader Citizen

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    Absolutely the oars unless you had unlimited time to not only build the pedals and such but also create the entire technology to build the machines you need to build the machinery to put into the galley. Plus I assume it would make it way heavier and folks would be wobbling on their feet when it came time to fight.
     
  3. Dragon

    Dragon Level 19 (Enchanter) Exiles Beta Reader Citizen

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    I think you are overestimating by a far stretch how much this would weigh in comparison to the rest of the galley (presumably it would be armored with cobber plating) and as for the technology, anyone with access to something as simple as a windmill would need to understand basic gears as well as how a crankshaft works. Crankshaft - Wikipedia

    A crankshaft can be driven by rotational force from pedals, which in turn could drive a fairly simple propeller.


    I'm assuming the leg thing is a joke. ;)

    Otherwise, lets have a fight after you use your arms to move five miles while I use my legs to walk them. I can almost guarantee that your tired arms will be more of a disadvantage than my tired legs. XD
     
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  4. Mister Bill

    Mister Bill Level 14 (Defender) Exiles Beta Reader Citizen

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    You can fight a little with flailing your arms around but not so much if you’re laying on the deck.
     




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