Pirate Captain Nathanael Blackthorne’s Battle Ship (18th Century)
Pirates used a number of different types of sailing vessels. It was not unusual for a pirate captain to modify the ship cutting down fore or aft castles, adding gunports, adding or removing masts, changing from a square-rigger to a fore-and-aft schooner-type and the Ciara Morganse was just such a ship who was redesigned to fit her Captain’s needs.
Nathanael Blackthorne redesigned the Morganse to be a fine-tuned 18th Century battleship. With her tonnage, three masts, and raised fore and aftercastle, the “Ciara Morganse” is considered a frigate but she is still a throw-back to her earlier days. Her size makes her an exception, for most pirates preferred the smaller shallower drafted, more handily maneuvered craft. What the Morganse surrenders in those aspects, she gains in the number of guns “36” (“cannons”) she carries, her speed and imitating presence she commands over her rivals.
Cate Harper Mckenzie describes the “Ciara Morganse”; Cate knew beauty when she saw it and the “Ciara Morganse: was all of that. Three-masted, with elevated stern and forecastles, she was from another era. With an ornate roundhouse and bowsprit, she was by no means fancy or ostentatious, she was a glorious vessel, noetheless, a lady who knew the value of discretion in her appointments. In spite of the forewarning, the sight of blood dripping from her deck and sails was still disconcerting. On closer inspection – and a small application of logic-the tops had been reddened, but certainly not with blood. It would have taken butchering of several oxen for such a vast expanse of canvas as the Ciara Morganse sailed.
Late 1700’s Frigate Cross Section