A solid warship, the Lexington is a powerful ship at its level and has one of the larger holds.
The brig has a long and largely unsung history behind its compact, two-masted frame. Its origins - along with similar vessels, such as the snow, the bijlander, and the brigantine - are fairly obscure, and compounded by the interchangeable nature of many 17th century nautical terms. Yet brigs have been responsible for some of history's most daring feats of navigation, and played a pivotal role in many conflicts at sea - particularly the American Revolution.
The modern definition of a brig is fairly tidy: A two-masted vessel with square sails on the foremast, a fore-and-aft mainsail, and square topsails above that. This contrasts nicely with the modern brigantine - identically rigged afore, yet with a fore-and-aft main topsail as well, occasionally supplemented by a square main topgallant. Nice and tidy... but only applicable from about 1750 on.
Prior to about 1750, the terms "brig" and "brigantine" were interchangeable, and in fact the word "brig" is a shortened version of "brigantine." Whereas the classic brig has a gaff-and-boom mainsail, earlier brigs frequently had gaff, lateen, or lugger sails hung from the main. Sometimes these "brigs" had a square topsail, though frequently the main mast was entirely lugger-rigged. Yet, thanks to its good sailing characteristics against a contrary wind, the brigantine continued to evolve into a class of ship in its own right.
A very similar rig came to be called the "snow rig." Originally named for its "snau" or beak, the snow differed from the classic brig only in that its fore-and-aft main sail (called a "trysail") was fitted to a secondary mast, just abaft the main, called the "trysail mast." The snow regularly carried a square mainsail as well, and thus can be likened to earlier Dutch coastal craft such as the two-masted, square-rigged kreyer and herring buss. Yet even the line between snow and brig blurs: brigs often bent their mainsail to a "horse," a stout rope that was functionally identical to the trysail mast.
Another related contemporary ship is the bijlander - literally the by-lander, and sometimes called as such. Sporting a square-rigged fore mast, a lugger mainsail, and a square main topsail, these craft were dinstinguished from brigs only by virtue of their diminutive size and shallow draft - making them suitable only for coastal trading.
All of these craft likely share common ancestors in the various two-masted inshore craft common in Northern waters around the turn of the 17th century, yet the precise details of their evolution is lost to history. What isn't lost is their many, daring exploits.
The brig certainly had humble beginnings, primarily as a vessel of trade. Yet its versatility was quick to be recognized. As early as the first Anglo-Dutch war (1652-1654) brigs begin to turn up as tenders to warships, alongside naval ketches, usually unarmed and doubling as packet (messenger) ships. The Dutch ship Castricum, in which Maarten Gerritszoon de Vries first mapped the Japanese island of Hokkaido in 1643, may have been a brig. Yet the first clearly documented appearance of the brig as a tool of exploration is in 1741, when Danish captain Vitus Jonssen Bering commanded an expedition to search for the northwestern coast of the Americas - and with it the fabled "Land of Gama," a chain of islands believed to hold untold riches somewhere between the Kurile Islands and California.
Bering and his second-in-command, Aleksey Ilich Chirikov, had already sailed together in 1728 and 1732 into what is now known as the Bering Sea, searching either for a passage north of the Americas -- or proof that North America and Asia were linked by land. For this third expedition, twin ships were built: the 80-foot brigs Svyatoy Apostol Pavel and Svyatoy Apostol Pyotr, commanded by Bering and Chirikov respectively. Early in the voyage, Bering and Chirikov were separated by storms. Both made landfall in Alaska separately, Chirikov continuing north and Bering following the coastline south. Yet for Bering the voyage was to prove fatal. While the Pyotr made its way safely back to the mainland, the Pavel foundered off Commodore Islands in November; during the harsh Arctic winter, Bering and 18 of his men died of scurvy. The following spring the surviving crew build a makeshift barque and returned to the Russian mainland, carrying Bering's notes of the voyage - including the despondent realization that the "treasure islands" sought since the days of Columbus were but a creation of myth.
Perhaps even more famous than the Svyatoy Apostol Pavel is the British vessel, HM Brig Supply. Launched from Deptford in 1759, she began life as an unarmed transport - as humble a beginning as the brig itself. Yet in 1786 she was converted into an armed tender, and fitted out as part of the "First Fleet" to transport English convicts to the newly-rediscovered land of Australia. Being a swift sailer, the Supply arrived at Botany Bay on 18 January 1788, a day ahead of the main fleet - and thus became known as "the ship on which Australia was founded."
The brig is far from a purely civilian craft, however. Sharing many of the favorable characteristics of the two-masted ketch, brigs began to act as warships on their own right during first half of the 18th century. Many were classified as "sloops," being put under the command of junior officers such as Master-and-Commander. Yet the fledgeling Continental Navy of 1776 truly took the brig to heart, commissioning several while new frigates were being built.
Amongst the most famous of these was the American brig Lexington. Originally named the Wild Duck, she was purchased by the Maryland Committee of Safety at St. Eustatius in February of 1776. Immediately she was sailed to Philadelphia with a cargo of much-needed gunpowder. Purchased into the Marine service and commissioned the Lexington under command of Capt. John Barry, by 6 April she slipped through the British blockade at Delaware to deliver her charge. The very next day the Lexington tangled with the British sloop Edward. After a fierce fight lasting an hour, the Edward capitulated - entering the history books as the first British vessel to be captured by a commissioned American warship.
Strategy and Use
The 'Lexington' Brig is a brig-of-war, heavily armed for its class of ships and capable of convoy escort duty, troop transport, blockade enforcement, conveying dignitaries or other duties. It would not stand in the line of battle but serve as an auxiliary vessel to the fleet.
The 'Lexington' Brig has good all round performance for its level. Players who want a ship which can both haul cargo and be used for missions are well advised to choose the 'Lexington' Brig (and later on 'Lexington' Mastercraft Brig). A bonus is that this vessel has stern chasers, unlike the 'Curieuse' Snow. If armed and armored correctly, in the hands of a expert sailor this ship can be a hard nut to crack. Even if you are level 27 you can take down lone level 42 NPC's with just a emergency repair and a hull patch. The best way to use it is to go straight at the enemy ship forcing it to turn to its broad side and then blasting away with heavy or bronze round shot.
Other variants of the Lexington:
- 'Lexington' Brig (Civilian)
- 'Lexington' Brig (Fallback)
- 'Lexington' Mastercraft Brig
- 'Lexington' Stripped Brig
'Lexington' Brig (Captured)
The easiest way for a pirate to get one of these fine ships is to take the mission Support Your Local Farmer from Carbaneras. There are multiple ships in the mission but you get help from AI pirates so its not hard to grab a Lex and finish the mission. You can also let it fail and exit to arm and upgrade your new Lex and try it again.
Also seen at Florida offshore and in some quests in Whitby.
Great all around ship for the level. 6 swivel guns make dropping enemy crew a breeze, and you have stern chasers to make kiting ships or escaping from ships much easier.
- Changed Sailing, Range, and Accuracy Stats
- Changed O.S. Visibility