The three masted Xebec was used for centuries in the Mediterranean as a merchant ship because of its speed and shallow draught. It was not long before Corsairs, the pirates of the Mediterranean, decided on the Xebec as their vessel of choice for lightening fast attacks on heavier merchant ships. With its fourteen cannons slug low in the waists, the Xebec would hole her prey just inches above the waterline making escape impossible. Six culverins were mounted along the poop deck for close action or just in case the crew tried to mutiny. Oars were used when the wind failed giving the Xebec the upper hand in attacking other vessels or fleeing the authorities.