Xebec. Algerian Corsair 70cm Model Ship

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Algerian Corsair Xebec (or Chebec) Model.  (75cm / 29in length.)  Handcrafted with plank-on frame construction.  Fully assembled and ready for display.

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€ 243.80

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The Xebec existed from the mid 1600's to the mid 1800's, and was used as both a merchantman and a warship.  The average Xebec carried 24 guns, displaced 250 tons, and carried as many as 350 sailors and soldiers.

The Xebec under sail was the fastest and most agile craft of the Mediterranean, but the ship was very unsuitable for bad weather conditions due to its low freeboard and shallow draught.  Also, if it was loaded with armed troops, its range would be limited due to the fact that the stores required would take up a large amount of space.  Being lightly built and of typical Mediterranean materials, the Xebec was not a strong vessel. As Thomas Jefferson put it, Algerian Xebecs were "so light as not to withstand the broadside of a good frigate."


However, what the Xebec lost in strength it made up for in speed and handling under sail.  If the wind died, the Xebec could also rely on a set of 10 to 20 oars.  With that kind of agility, it was easy for a Xebec to run rings around slower, heavily laden merchant ships.  And - of course - in a crisis, it was also quick to escape!

Xebec painting - Antonio Barcelo 1738
Many European states integrated the Xebec into their navy, notably France, Spain, and Britain.   France and Spain even used the design to fight the Corsairs (privateers) with their own weapon.

 

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Xebec. Algerian Corsair 70cm Model Ship

Xebec. Algerian Corsair 70cm Model Ship

Algerian Corsair Xebec (or Chebec) Model.  (75cm / 29in length.)  Handcrafted with plank-on frame construction.  Fully assembled and ready for display.