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Grote-class Free (Gypsy) Trader

The text of this article, up to the beginning of the ship specifications, is copied from the original article by Bill Cameron. The remainder is by Alan Spik.

A small provincial merchant vessel, the 300 dTon Grote Clan Trader is a design that can trace its lineage back to the Rule of Man. Capable of jumping two parsecs, carrying over 100 dTons of cargo, and all while being crewed by 5 sophonts, the Clan Trader can operate well along both trading mains and outlier systems. Behind the Claw, the Clan Trader can be seen in areas without large, one-parsec mains, such as the Deneb Sector, and frontier areas, such as the Foreven Sector.

Although most of these vessels are owned and operated by clans native to Grote/Glisten/Spinward Marches, the robust nature and simple operational requirements of the design mean there are many other examples, plus several variants, to found Behind the Claw.

The design firm "Bogle et Fils" of Glisten (2036 Glisten/Spinward Marches) first laid out the basic Clan Trader plans in 702. Their work consisted mainly of documenting and standardizing a type of vessel already being used throughout the Marches. The manufacturing requirements for the vessel were deliberately held to TL 11. This allowed the Clan Trader to sport a two parsec jump drive and still take advantage of the repair facilities on most worlds.

Keeping in mind the level of infrastructure found in most frontier systems, the Clan Trader was also laid out as a tail lander. With its one gee rated maneuver drive and contragrav lifters, the vessel can take off and land from the simplest of hardstands, no runways or landing fields are necessary. Fuel scoops and an onboard purifier enhances the vessel’s suitability for frontier operations.

The basic Clan Trader sets aside tonnage for three turrets, but the types of turrets and weapons installed are normally left up to the owner. The robust and simple nature of the vessel means that an owner must keep a weapon’s energy requirements in mind when arming their vessel. The Clan Trader can provide up to six Imperial Standard Energy Units towards weapon requirements, albeit at the loss of some agility.

The Clan Trader boasts twelve low berths and ten passenger staterooms. Two of those staterooms are somewhat larger than the others and are normally used for the high passage trade. The passenger staterooms, low berths, and air/raft are all located on one deck. The five crew staterooms are located one deck above. Some owners have doubled up on crew accommodations and booked passengers into the staterooms on the crew deck. This does have its risks however.

Craft ID
Grote Clan Trader(AP), TL 11, Mcr 102.245, Quantity discount  MCr 81.796, Architects Fee MCr 1.012
270/675, Disp=300, Config=Cone 2Sl, Armour=Crystaliron 40E, Loaded=4043.34, Unloaded=2656.026
Primary 11/22, Fusion=978 Mw, Duration=30 days; ExtEnd excludes: (1g),=41 days, scoops, purifiers 24 Hrs
8/16 Jump=2, 5/10 Maneuver=1G, Agility=1, NOE=150 Kph
Radio=System x 1, Laser =System x 1
A-EMS (FrOb) x 1, P-EMS (IntStlr) x 1; Sensor scans:   AOS=R  AOP=R  POS=F  POP=-  PES=R  PEP=-
3 Hardpoints, 0 Occupied, Batteries Bearing 100%; 3 dtons reserved
Def DM=4
Computer=Model 2 x 3, Panels=Dynamic Linked x 736, HUD x 2
Crew=5 ( Pilots 1, Navigators 1, Drive engineers 1, Computer Engineers 1, Steward 1); High=10, Low=6, Staterooms=10, Small Staterooms=8, Low Berths=12, Cargo Locks x 2, Airlocks x 2; Env=basic env, basic ls, extended ls, grav plates, inertial comp
Air/Raft x1(4 dton, TL 11)
Cargo=1497.1 Kl/110.9 tons, EMLevel=Moderate, Fuel=899 Kl/67 tons, ObjSize=AverageRam time= 1.1hours

9.7 hours daily maintenance.
Logistics 4 kl per month.

Most clans make their living by operating free traders or the 300 dT Grote Clan trader. These clan vessels serve along carefully planned and investigated trade loops that service dozens of smaller worlds. A Grotian trader showing up twice a year may be the only "scheduled" trader some worlds see. Clan members may have been anywhere between the Far Frontiers, Vland, and the Trans-Rift jump 5 route. There are more than a thousand clan traders in operation in the sectors spinward, rimward and trailing the Marches. Several variants of the type exist and some are operated by non clan companies. The example above is the basic trader with no upgrades. Usual variants of the Trader include a no-passengers version, a one-parsec version, and a “2+1” version with an internal collapsible 30 dTon fuel tank. The Grote Clan Trader is naturally bouyant until loaded.

Widely known variants are operated by Clans Grampus and Menzies, plus a Low Liner design and a Q-ship design are known to exist.

Design changes in this version from the original design: