Of an ancient and famous heritage, the Triereis are still very useful ships.
This is an ancient and famous type of ship, Basileu! The great historian Thoukydides claims that the first of these were built in Korinthian docks by the shipwright Ameinokles during the war with Korkyra (but some date its first construction between the late eighth and early sixth centuries BC). At first they were rare, but over time more and more states began to use them. Just two years before the Persian King Xerxes – may he lie buried in the deepest deeps of Tartaros - attempted to enslave the Hellenes, the Athenaioi decided to build 200 of them. In the great battles near Artemision and Salamis, Triereis formed the bulk of both fleets. Many years have passed since, and the ships are a bit obsolete but they remain efficient.
Unlike many other ancient ships, we know what Triereis looked like due to some very detailed reliefs and vase paintings. The ship probably measured around 35x4.8m, which is the size of docks excavated in Peiraios. The ship had three rows of single manned oars on each side. Two lower rows (thalamioi - the lowest, and zygioi - the middle level) were inside the hull, with the highest (thramitai) on open outriggers. Decks didn’t cover the whole width of the ship - probably only the hull width. (Some late Triereis are called “kataphraktoi” and this probably means that those had full but open decks – “aphraktoi” are also mentioned in late sources.) The crew consisted of 200 men, including 170 oarsmen (54 on both in-hull levels, 62 on the highest) and 30 officers, sailors and marines. We know that Athenian ships had 4 archers and 10 hoplites on board. Triereis were primarily designed for ramming attacks so they were very manoeuvrable at the cost of seaworthiness - in choppy sea they struggled. As mentioned, the ram was the Triere's main weapon, but we assume that later full-deck versions carried additional marines or smaller ballistae. As with other ancient ships, Triereis had two sails for longer voyages - main on the central mast and another on the small foremast.