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Ships passing through the Arch of Aroden.
See also: Images of ships.

Ships are an essential form of transport throughout Golarion, used for trade, war, and piracy. There are even gods that have shipping as part of their portfolio.1


There are many types of ships that sail the oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, and skies of Golarion:234

Classes of ships seen on Golarion5
Class Description Length Masts Passengers
Aethership Spaceship for traveling the solar system used by Vercites. c.f. Ether Ship, below
Airship Flying ships pioneered in Alkenstar6
Andoren skirmisher7 An anti-slaver, river warship powered by sail and oars. 70 ft. 1 8 crew
Barge8 A flat-bottomed freight boat made for river travel; can be towed by larger boats 80–150 ft. n/a 50–150
Barkentine or barquentine Sailing ship with three or more masts 3 or more
Barque Large sailing ship 3 or more
Bireme Ship with two tiers of oars n/a
Brigantine (Brig)8 Light, two-masted sailing ship with a square-rigged forward sail 30–50 ft. 2 20–140
Canoe Paddle-propelled small, manoeuvrable boat n/a
Caravel8 Light and manoeuvrable, ocean-going, sailing ship with multiple decks 30–50 ft. 2–3 20–140
Carrack8 Heavier, ocean-going, sailing ship with multiple decks 50–100 ft. 3–4 20–140
Catamaran A catamaran is a watercraft with two parallel hulls of equal size.9 Urdefhans try to sail the Sightless Sea using light catamarans but have failed so far due to the fickle nature of the winds underground.10
Clipper Very fast sailing ship primarily used for trade 3 or more
Cog Type of keelboat. Wooden ship used for ocean or river trade 1
Coracle Very small boat fabricated from wickerwork n/a 1
Corsair11 Used as a generic term for a pirate ship, regardless of actual type varies varies varies
Curragh or Currach Larger coracle that is covered in hides n/a
Cutter8 A small, single-masted sailing boat, very light and fast 30–50 ft. 1 4–104
Demon ship12 Expensive and rare ship powered by a bound demon, known to have been built in Nex 2
Dhow Coastal sailing ship with lateen (or triangular) sails 1 or more
Dinghy Small sailing vessel 1 or more 1–3
Dorey or dory Small fishing boat with a flat bottom and high sides 16–23 ft. n/a
Dragon boat Long, narrow canoe n/a
Drekar or drakkar Largest longships: a warship
Dromon8 Galley powered by rowing or sailing 100–150 ft. 2 200–400
Dugout Primitive canoe fabricated from a hollowed out tree trunk n/a
Ether Ship Designed to travel the Ethereal Plane. c.f. Aethership, above 180 ft. Ether vanes
Fireboat A boat designed to fight fires but could be many types of boats n/a n/a n/a
Flat-Bottomed Raider
Frigate8 Heavy, fast and extremely manoeuvrable warship with a broad deck suitable for holding siege weapons 75–120 ft. 3 60–220
Galleass Warship: very large galley
Galleon8 Large warship with a distinctive square galley at the stern and multiple decks 75–120 ft. 3–4 60–220
Galley or Slave galley138 Very large oar-powered ship capable of holding large cargoes 100–150 ft. 1–3 200–400
Galliot or Galiot
Gondola Single-oar-powered, flat-bottomed boat (c.f. punt) n/a
Hooker Sea-going fishing boat 24–44 ft. 1
Houseboat Floating house: a generic name n/a n/a n/a
Jolly-boat8 Larger clinker-built rowboat usually used for ship-to-ship transport 20 ft. n/a 2–10
Junk13 Flat-bottomed sea-going boat from Tian Xia 75 ft. 2–3 100
Kayak14 Light, one-person or two-person canoe that lies low in the water. Favoured in the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, especially by the Varki people n/a 0
Keelboat158 Flat-bottomed river vessel, some having a cabin on-board; single mast & oars. Also hoy, hulk & karve. 50–80 ft. 1 4–104
Ketch Two-masted sailing vessel 2
Knaar or Knarr16 Type of keelboat. Sea-going or river-going merchant vessel similar in design to a longship powered by sail and oars 52 ft. / 54 ft. 1
Kobukson17 (literally 'turtle ship')
Koch Wooden ocean-going ship designed for polar sea travel; able to sail in ice 30–70 ft. 1 or 2
Kyonin barge7 Elven, river patrol and cargo vessel powered by sail and armed with ballistae. 90 ft. 1
Lantern Galley Warship: very large galley
Lifeboat Generic term for any ship designed to aid other ships in distress n/a n/a n/a
Longboat Boat to transport crew and passengers from ship to shore; usually rowed 1
Longship or dragon ship158 Generally warships; use both oars and a sail; their shallow draft makes them manoeuvrable along coastlines. Similar to karvi, snekkja, skei, balinger, and birlinn. 75–125 ft. 1 50–150
Lugger Small ship with four sails 2 or more
Man-of-War, or Man O' War8 One of the heaviest warships, propelled primarily by sails and used by established navies 90–130 ft. 3–4 60–220
Merchantman A ship carrying merchandise; a general term for a trading vessel; see other entries for specific merchant ships n/a
Narrow boat Narrow-beamed canal boat n/a
Pinnace Small galleon-style ship 2 or 3
Pontoon Flat-bottomed buoyant boat able to support large weights n/a
Punt Flat-bottomed river boat powered by a pole that pushes off the river bed 24 ft. n/a 1–6
Raft15 Flat platform made from logs tied together powered by oars 10 ft. n/a 1–3
River knave7 Masted and oared, fast river boat used by slavers and brigands. 90 ft. 1
Rowing boat or Rowboat188 Lifeboat on larger ship or small river vessel powered by oars. Similar to dinghies, dories, skiffs and wherries. A collapsible rowboat can be broken down to be carried, or built up to be serviceable in about five minutes.19 10 ft. n/a 1–3
Sampan Small, flat-bottomed river or coastal craft usually pole or oar propelled maybe 1
Schooner Small fore-and-aft rigged ship 2 or more
Scow Large, flat-bottomed, square-ended boat 2
Ship's Boat20 Small boat with oars carried by a larger ship for ferrying purposes. Similar to cutter, gig, jolly boat, launch, longboat, or pinnace. 16–24 ft. 1 12
Skiff Small boat with oars n/a
Sloop8 Fore-and-aft rigged, small vessel, similar to a cutter, but with a more forward mast 30–50 ft. 1 4–104
Sloop-of-War 2–3
Tall ship Generic term for any ship traditionally rigged n/a n/a n/a
Trawler Fishing boat capable of deploying a trawling net
Trireme Warship with three tiers of oars to propel it; similar to galley 120 ft. or more n/a
Warship20 Generic term for any ship used in war: see other entries for specific warships n/a n/a n/a
Whaleboat Open boat used for whaling
Windjammer Large ship with an iron hull 3–5
Wyvern21 Large merchant ship common to the Inner Sea, used for trade, exploration, and war
Xebec8 Warship with a distinctive overhanging bow 70–110 ft. 3 60–220
Yacht Boat of many types used for recreation
Yawl Sailing ship 1 or 2

Specific ships

Ulfen longship in trouble
Ulfen longships causing trouble
For a list of specific ships, see Category:Ships.

Shipping organizations

There are many and varied organizations for which shipping is a significant part of their work. Some of the more remarkable are below:




The port of Khari with a Chelish tall ship in the foreground.


The slave galley Burnt Saffron.


Various classes of ships sailing around Absalom's harbour.
See also: Category:Shipyards and Category:Shipbuilders

In religion

  • Besmara, the Pirate Queen, is the goddess of pirates and piracy. She is at home on board her ship Seawraith.26
  • Ovonovo is a nascent demon lord whose portfolio includes shipwrecks and has an unholy symbol portraying a huge shark swallowing a ship.27


For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 252. Paizo Inc., 2011
  2. Amber E. Scott. “Combat: Inner Sea Pirate Prestige Class” in Pirates of the Inner Sea, 24. Paizo Inc., 2012
  3. F. Wesley Schneider, et al. “Chapter 7: Adventures” in GameMastery Guide, 219. Paizo Inc., 2010
  4. Robert G. McCreary. Skull & Shackles Player's Guide, 23ff. Paizo Inc., 2012
  5. Any element in italics is derived from real-world information, probably Wikipedia, to act as a guide to the information for Game Masters until a Paizo publication gives definitive Golarion data.
  6. Patrick Renie. “Appendix 1: Alkenstar” in Wardens of the Reborn Forge, 59. Paizo Inc., 2013
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Liz Courts. “Sailing the Sellen River” in Dreams of the Yellow King, 68–69. Paizo Inc., 2016
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 8.14 8.15 Amber E. Scott. “Pirate Gear” in Pirates of the Inner Sea, 21. Paizo Inc., 2012
  9. Catamaran definition on Wikipedia
  10. Amber E. Scott & Mark Seifter. Golarion's Seas” in Aquatic Adventures, 34. Paizo Inc., 2017
  11. Chris A. Jackson. Stargazer. Paizo Inc., 2013
  12. Erik Mona. Two Pieces of Tarnished Silver. Paizo Inc., 2011
  13. 13.0 13.1 Robert G. McCreary. Skull & Shackles Player's Guide, 23. Paizo Inc., 2012
  14. Greg A. Vaughan. “Night of Frozen Shadows” in Night of Frozen Shadows, 21. Paizo Inc., 2011
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Robert G. McCreary. Skull & Shackles Player's Guide, 24. Paizo Inc., 2012
  16. Greg A. Vaughan. “Night of Frozen Shadows” in Night of Frozen Shadows, 10. Paizo Inc., 2011
  17. Mike Shel. “Shackles Gazetteer” in Isles of the Shackles, 31. Paizo Inc., 2012
  18. Robert G. McCreary. Skull & Shackles Player's Guide, 25. Paizo Inc., 2012
  19. Robert Brookes, et al. Orv” in Heroes of the Darklands, 19. Paizo Inc., 2017
  20. 20.0 20.1 Robert G. McCreary. Skull & Shackles Player's Guide, 26. Paizo Inc., 2012
  21. Mark Moreland, et al. Serpent's Skull Player's Guide, 12. Paizo Inc., 2010
  22. Judy Bauer, et al. Ilsurian” in Towns of the Inner Sea, 27. Paizo Inc., 2013
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Amber E. Scott. “Dangerous Waters” in Pirates of the Inner Sea, 16. Paizo Inc., 2012
  24. 24.0 24.1 Amber E. Scott. “Dangerous Waters” in Pirates of the Inner Sea, 17. Paizo Inc., 2012
  25. Amber E. Scott. “Dangerous Waters” in Pirates of the Inner Sea, 14. Paizo Inc., 2012
  26. Amber E. Scott. “Faith: Besmara the Pirate Queen” in Pirates of the Inner Sea, 26. Paizo Inc., 2012
  27. James Jacobs. “Demonkind” in Lords of Chaos, Book of the Damned Volume 2, 39. Paizo Inc., 2010