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- "Look, the Abegale is my ship, and they're my crew, no one else's!!"
- — Benjamin Church
The Abegale is the personal vessel of the Templar turned Assassin turned Pirate, Benjamin Church. She was used extensively throughout the 1770s.
A large Corvette-Frigate combo with a Poleacre Rig. The Abegale is classified as a fifth-rate frigate, however, she is something else entirely. Built upon request by Church, in an effort to combine the the power of a Frigate, with the speed and maneuverability of a Corvette, the Abegale is well known for its ability to take down ships well above its tonnage, and for its ability to outrun ships smaller than itself. Originally built from a whaler, she was reconstructed to serve Church's needs at sea. Being of whaler design, she is incredibly sturdy with a large cargo hold, perfect for holding various types of cargo.
Built with a relatively small height of 44.25 meters and a length of 62 meters between perpendiculars, a length of 72 meters overall, and a beam of 13.26 meters; these measurements allow her to have a smaller crew than normal ships of her size. The size also allows her to out preform most vessels.
Equipped with unique sails made of leather, her foremast is raked forward and mounts a lateen sail, which is standard on poleacre rigs. Her mizzenmast has a gaff sail and square sails, while her main mast is completely ship-rigged. She was also equipped with oars, allowing her to either outrun, or to intercept her quarry, as well as allow more speed for ramming. She also has a sprit topmast that controls both the spritsail and the sprit-topsail.her bowsprit still has its martingales and dolphin striker, along with its jib-boom.When her was construction was finished, Church (after paying), raised his notoriety by forcefully "seizing" the ship, and taking her to sea.
Sadly, he wasn't out of the wind, as he ran into to two United States brigantines right off the coast. So the brigantines opened fire at extreme range on the Abegale with their 9-pounders, but all but one shot missed. Next, with each brigantine on either side of the Abegale, Church opened fire with his 68-pounders that had been filled with grapeshot, and raked the brigantine's sides. The resulting 1,156 pounds of shot per side utterly wrecked the brigantines, leaving them disabled, and allowing Church to take on more crew, which was his intention. Church managed to salvaged a few barrels of 9-pound shot and powder, along with several barrels of small arms.Then Church faced off against a British 4th-rate, and devastated her, due to the overall 1,516 pounds of shot from both the 68s, the 12 pounders, and the 42s, which destroyed her stern when Church raked it during the fight.
She was also equipped with a diving bell for exploration of various underwater wrecks, as well as a whaling rowboat and harpoons, which allowed Church to hunt for local sea life. Her masts feature pedal-activated lifts and hooks to allow for both ascension and descent. The Abegale also has cleverly placed swinging ropes secured both on deck and in the cross-masts, which are used by the crew to swing from one ship to another during boarding, and to quickly leap off the ship into the ocean or onto land.
The Abegale also has improvements in her hull strength via reinforcements, an improved rudder for sharper turns, and the addition of a naval ram. The Abegale was armed with 66 main cannons, thirty-three on each side.
This would have made her equivalent in firepower to a third-rate ship of the line, which meant that she would have been a smaller ship of the line but larger than a frigate. Most contemporary sixty-six-gun ships carried those guns on only two decks; however, the Abegale carried them on two dedicated gun decks with a few cannons and the swivel guns also present on the weather deck.
The Abegale looks different than most Frigates or Corvettes, due to her possessing a high stern and forecastle, like a galleon. She is, however, race-built, and from Baltimore, meaning that she is slimmer and able to maneuver much faster than ships of the same size.
Overall, the ship has a unique appearance, due to Church mounting bones off of a whale skeleton onto different areas of the ship. The ship also features quarter gallerys, which are platforms that marines can fire off of during boarding actions.
- 8x 42-pounder long guns with two mounted on pivots (1 fore, 1 aft) and three starboard and three port.
- 4x 10-inch Motars with four mounted on the side, with two starboard, and two to port.
Upper Gun Deck:
- 34x 68-pounder Carronades firing either canister shot or round shot, usually canister shot.
Lower Gun Deck:
- 32x 18-pounder Bronze Long Guns that are usually kept loaded with a double shot of two round shot.
- 4x 9-pounder Long Guns
- 2x Obusier de vaisseau
- 4x 9-pounder Long Guns
- 10x Pedreros (light rotary guns), mounted on the rails of the ship.
- 1x Naval Ram