The Steamhawke is first seen in Seaport, when Daenelia Bradley lands the ship with the help of her only crew member Swabbie Chops McGinty. A sky ship can both sail through the skies and along water. It is powered by a steam engine running on dextrocite-infused coal. The steam generated by the boilers runs through copper pipes along the hull, powering the propellers which allow the ship to lift. The ship won't lift unless dextrocite is used. Most sky ships are made of wood for weight and cost reasons. It takes less energy to lift a lighter ship from the water.
Once in the air the Steamhawke moves through the sky with the use of regular sails. The ship can also land on water and if needed sail on water. The engine cannot run properly when the ship is sailing on water, because the properties of the steam's lifting abilities are diminished by the cold of the water. To lift the ship from water, the engineers need to shuffle in a lot of coal until the ship is free from water.
Steamhawke is a fregat-model ship .
The Steamhawke has three masts, and two propellers at the back of the ship. There are mobile steering propellers at each side, for lifting and descending. On each side there are six cannon holes, with two more cannon holes at the front. At the aft and the aft sides a balcony has been added, which is accesseble from the Captain's quarters and the meeting room.
The layout of the Steamhawke
To the aft of the upper deck sits two storeys of cabins, above this is the raised poop deck where the ship is steered. The Steamhawke has three masts with the main mast central to the ship.
The upper cabins belong to the captain and the first mate. They are the only crew members to have separate bedrooms. The command staff have their own dining room and bathroom. The captain's quarters is also the place where you'd find the small navigation room, with maps and instruments to determine course and location. There are windows at the back of the captain's quartets, and a balcony which goes from one side of the ship to the other.
The lower cabins are much more cramped, and are usually reserved for passengers. The cabins and the captain's quarters are all heated due to the chimney stacks passing through from the engine room below.
The mess hall and kitchen are placed to the far front of the ship, underneath the forecastle which is another raised area of the deck.
Just below the top deck of the ship is the gun deck, which is a cramped "half deck" where the tallest crew members can't stand up straight. The Steamhawke's cannons are placed here, a total of 14 when at full complement. Six guns are positioned on each side, while two more face forwards.
The next level down is the crew deck in which the majority of the crew live and sleep when they are not on duty. The sick bay is also situated here, and there is some room for storage as well. Most of the crew sleeps on the crew deck in double rows of hammocks. When almost everyone is abed it can be quite tricky to find your way from one end to the other. Some of the sailors choose to sleep in other parts of the ship. Everyone has their own storage chest, often with a heavy lock on them.
Communal toilets are placed in narrow rooms along the sides of the crew deck. One has to be careful not to drop anything valuable down the holes, as it will fall directly into the sceptic tanks below. These tanks are emptied by the swabbie when the ship lands in water.
The rear half of the lower deck is dominated by the engine room. The rest of the deck is for storage: the hold is where extra coal, weapons, gunpowder and cannonballs are kept. This is also where the ship's brig is, a place to lock up prisoners or mutineers. There is a large locked room where the captain keeps the loot, until such time as it is divied up between the crew. This is known as the vault and is kept under lock and key.
The Steamhawke is inspired by 17 and 18th century wooden sail ships. In the late summer of 2012, some of the writers visited a replica of a Dutch East Indie Company ship called the Amsterdam and became convinced this is what the Steamhawke could look like.