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War at Sea: Galley vs Sailing Ship


This is what I wrote as a result of my research on whether to use galleys or sailing ships as primary warships in my setting.

War at Sea – Galley vs Sailing Ship

To summarize:
1) ramming is only really useful against hull-first construction ships, unless there is a massive weight advantage to a ship doing the ramming.
2) once ramming stops being useful, sailling ships gain advantage in combat due to their height advantage, while galley remains useful for shore patrol and amphibious operations
3) introduction of bronze cannon shifts advantage back to galley, as it can maneuver into position to bring bow-mounted armaments to bear
4) introduction of iron cannon shifts advantage back to sailing ship, as they can mount massive number of cannons compared to galleys


Matches my understanding. As I understand it, galleys did retain a significant advantage in boarding operations until the advent of Tall Ships, but it was a lucky galley that could survive /to/ boarding range of a carvel with full cannon.