The CORSAIR is a tartane-class ship used by the army in times of war at the start of the XIXth century. The term tartane (or tartan), of unknown origin, entered into everyday language in the XVIIth century, referring to a fishing vessel trading in the Mediterranean. Small, quick, discreet and easy to maneuver, the tartane stood a better chance of going unnoticed when commandeering other vessels, carrying out reconnaissance missions or delivering messages, more by surprise than by force. She figures among certain eras as part of the Navy, as an escort vessel or a surveillance ship, or even as a Corsair in the strategy known as "Guerre de Course", in particular during the Revolution and the First French Empire. It's hull had no real fineness, revealing its origin as a cargo vessel, but its rear overhanging deck and it's prow, with well crafted naval ram, refine its outline. To the lateen of the original tartane, the mainsail (a triangular sail mounted on a large yard) and the polacca (the foresail tacked on the bowsprit), was added a topsail above the main mast, and a driver yard. The mainsail was sometimes replaced in heavy weather conditions by a square sail. The battleship was armed with four canons and of four to six blunderbusses. As a trading vessel, this type of boat that practiced coastal shipping disappeared towards the middle of the XXth century with the development of road and rail transport. Today there's only one tartane, rigged fore-and-aft, that still sails: "La Flâneuse", which is attached to the port of Prado in Marseille, France.
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