The slow boat is an air-framed version of the ship's boat, optimised for efficient atmospheric travel and most often used by Paramilitary or Military groups as a cheap combat lander or luxury interface shuttle in addition to being used to move small cargo from ship to ship or orbital platforms about a world.
Most subordinate craft tend to be built in cylinder or needle configurations in order to minimise the amount of space they occupy aboard the parent craft, not so the Slow Boat, its hull is a fully air-framed wedge with fixed lifting surfaces, so that should the pilot choose to, he or she could fly the vehicle as a conventional aeroplane and even glide to a landing if need be (drive failure) or fly the craft as a conventional grav vehicle/small craft, depending upon preference.
Most spacecraft tend to hover at take off and landing and settle to the ground on skids, whilst the slow boat can do this a unique feature of its design is its dual landing skid/wheel system which allows the craft to make maximum use of its efficient airframe and hence if required allow the boat to slip into traditional aircraft routes and landing patterns at ground air facilities that have runways as is typical on lower tech (developing worlds). This dual mechanism also confers an additional advantage over other designs in the sense that it is one of the few spacecraft that can 'taxi' about the ground port, making it easy to move from the landing strip to the maintenance depot if required.
Though it is equipped for deep space operations, the 3-G m-drive is not quite up to naval standards that typically demand 4-G or higher to support fleet operations. The vessel is solidly built at Tl-9 with the standard Imperial deep space drive aggressively marketed by Zhunastu Industries (back engineered from Tl-10) and is efficient enough to satisfy the design criteria.
Its main strength however is its nimble, graceful and slick atmospheric performance, that would leave any but the fastest and most highly streamlined interceptors or local defence squadrons breathing its vapour trail.
Unsurprisingly Mercenaries often carry these finding them ideal when a quick entry or exit is required from a battle zone. Intelligence services and smugglers also like slow boats because they make ideal blockade-runners, capable of quickly entering atmosphere and slipping under the local radar or sensor net.
Naval versions often mount the full range of electronic countermeasures and are fitted with secondary (small arms) weaponry like VRF guns and mass drivers, howitzers etc, (not much use in space combat, but excellent for strafing ground targets or taking out atmospheric fighters) and often convert these craft into adequate bombers or tactical scale missile platforms, hence the incorporation of a hardpoint, a triple turret and a missile magazine into the design, ready for the installation of the desired weaponry.
A true military thoroughbred though would mount a much larger power plant so that craft agility could be increased, though for paramilitary/civilian purposes the design as it stands is adequate, hence it is often used as a training craft for both civilian and military operators, and is a favourite of the Imperial Marines.
The slow boat contains six passenger acceleration couches in addition to the two found at the flight deck workstations small cabins can be included at the expense of cargo or passenger couches which would make the craft ideal for crew on long haul missions.
Life support consists not only of recycling air supply & filters etc, but as is typical at Tl-9 and above grav plates and inertial compensators to counter sudden changes in momentum and provide a consistent and comfortable environment away from the local gravity field.
Class: Small Craft. Ep Output: 0.9 Tech Level: 9 Agility:0 Size: (small 30 Tons) Initiative: 0 Streamlining: Airframe. AC: 11 Jump Range: None Repulsors: None Acceleration 3G (Thruster) Nuclear Dampers: None Fuel 0.9 Tons (Liquid Hydrogen) Meson Screens: None Duration: 4 weeks Black Globes: None Crew: 2 AR: 0 Staterooms: none SI:80 Small Cabins: 0 Main Computer: Model 2 Bunks: 0 Sensor Range: Close (model 1) Couches: 6 (additional to 2 on bridge) Comm. Range: Close (model 1) Low Berths: 0 Cargo Space: 10.7 Tons Cost: Mcr 16.64 (Mcr 13.312 in Quantity) Atmospheric speeds Noe= 1325 kph Cruising = 3975 kph Maximum = 5300 kph Other Equipment: Fuel Scoops. Design Worksheet. Installed Component Tonnage MCR Ep Notes. Hull +30 3.6 ---- Wedge Upgrade Streamlining 1.5- 0.36 ---- Airframe Bridge 6.0 0.15 ---- Crew 2 Computer 0.2 5.8 ---- Model 2 Avionics 0.8 (1.8) ---- Model 2 Sensors 0.3 (0.6) ---- Model 1 Commo 0.2 (0.5) ---- Model 1 M-Drive 1.5 1.2 -0.9 3G Thruster Power Plant 0.9 4.05 +0.9 Fusion Tl-9 Fuel 4 weeks 0.9 ---- ---- Liquid Hydrogen Small Craft Couches 5.0 0.25 ---- 10 Passengers Hardpoint ---- 0.1 ---- 1 Hardpoint 1 Triple Turret 1.0 1.0 ---- Empty 1 Missile Magazine 1.0 0.1 ---- 40 Missiles Fuel Scoops ---- 0.03 ---- Cargo 10.7 ---- ---- Totals 30.0 16.64 0.9 Excess Power = None
Original T4 Design: Not Credited.
Design Adapted for T20, by Mark Bridgeman.