Type X class Express Boat
|Type X class Express Boat|
The nose and cockpit of a prototypical Express Boat.
|Type: XB Express Boat|
|Hull Configuration||Cone Hull|
|Fuel tank||0 Tons|
|Architect||Timothy B. Brown|
|End of Service||Still in active duty service.|
|Cost||MCr78.5 standard (no architect's fees on this standard design). MCr70.65 in quantity.|
|Also see||Communications Vessel - Xavier class Express Boat|
|Canon||Unpublished, fan design|
|Starships are designed with the Classic Traveller format, using High Guard.|
- It is often simply called an Express Boat. It's one of the few vessels without a M-Drive. It's entirely dependent on tenders when not in jumpspace.
- X-Boats can be notated a vast number of ways: X-Boat, X-boat, Xboat, etc.. Perhaps, the least well known name for this vessel is its true class name, the Xavier class Express Boat.
- It is a paramilitary ship specialized to be the lynchpin of an interstellar communications network.
Basic Ship Synopsis
Comments: The express boat (xboat) is the key to the Imperial communication network. The Scout Service maintains an extensive array of designated routes and supporting tenders to allow access to nearly every important system in the empire; the 100-ton xboat is the fast courier that carries data and messages between those points. 
Express Boat (Type X): Constructed using the type 100 hull, the express boat is fitted with drives producing Jump-4, and nothing else. There is no power plant or maneuver drive installation. Fuel tankage is forty tons, enough for one jump. The standard bridge is complemented by a Model/4 computer, massive communicators, and message data banks. The ship has two staterooms; one is necessary for the single crew member, while the other can carry a passenger. More often, the pilot uses the second room for additional living space. There is a one ton cargo bay which is occasionally used to carry vital cargo such as vaccines or sophisticated repair parts. 
The Express Boat (…also called an xboat) is a small, fast ship filled with a pilot compartment, message data banks, and jump drives. The fit is so tight that there is no room even for maneuver drives. Each is capable of Jump-4 (…four parsecs per week); it jumps, relays its messages to the station on arrival, and then waits to be picked up by a tender, to be refuelled and sent on its way with a new load of messages. The local station, meanwhile, accepts messages, encodes them, and transmits them to a tender at the edges of the stellar system. Messages brought by the arriving xboat and intended for further down the line are consolidated with the new data and all are sent on to another xboat already fuelled and standing ready to leave. The entire network operates like the pony express — messages are always moving at top speed. Transfer time for messages from one xboat to another can be as short as ten minutes, and is rarely more than an hour. 
The express boat is also capable of only limited endurance. While it can sustain its crew of one and a passenger for the week it spends in jump space, its power, atmosphere, and food reserves are good for only about three days after break-out. 
General Description & Deck Plans
No information yet available.
Basic Ship Characteristics
Following the Imperial Navy and IISS Universal Ship Profile and data, additional information is presented in the format shown here. The small craft factor indicates the number of squadrons (...of ten subcraft) carried on the ship. Tonnage on the universal ship profile is shown in kilotons (...thousands of tons) where necessary. 
|Basic Ship Characteristics |
|1.||Tonnage / Hull||100 tons (standard). 1,400 cubic meters. |
|2.||Crew||x1 scout. |
|3.||Performance||Jump-4. 0-G (no maneuver). No power plant (…and consequently no energy points and no agility). 
|4.||Electronics||Model/4 computer. Extensive message transmission equipment and storage data banks. |
|5.||Hardpoints||1 hardpoint. |
|6.||Armament||No weaponry installed. |
|7.||Defenses||No defenses of any type typically installed. |
|8.||Craft||None. Pilot's vacc suit allows extra-vehicle activity. Rescue ball for pilot escape usually carried. |
|9.||Fuel Treatment||None. The express boat is dependent on local facilities for refueling and maintenance. |
|10.||Cost||MCr78.5 standard (no architect's fees on this standard design). MCr70.65 in quantity. |
|11.||Construction Time||9 months. |
|12.||Comments||It is simple, spartan ship of few creature comforts or extravagances. It has one mission of relaying messages and is entirely focused on the performance of that simple mission. 
Ship Interior Details
Interior Details: The deck plan shows most of the important interior details of the express boat. Dual air locks are mounted side by side on the hull. The hatches are intended as safety back-ups to the powered iris valves. Adjacent to the air locks is the ship's locker, containing vacc suit, survival equipment, an inflatable rescue ball, and the ship's only armament, usually a shotgun or submachinegun.
Staterooms are positioned at locations 4 and 5, while an open living area is located at 3. The drive room is accessed through a long tube which passes through the fuel tankage. Note the maintenance hatches which provide direct access to the drives from outside and incidentally serve as emergency exits. 
THE EXPRESS BOAT: The express boat is almost useless for any purpose other than that for which it was originally designed — carrying messages from one location to another at the fastest possible speed. Its cramped hull doesn't even have room for maneuver drives; the ship is helpless until picked up by a tender. 
Starships can generally expect to encounter express boats in the Imperium's major star systems, specifically those which have scout service communications stations and which are situated on major jump routes. When express boats are encountered off the main routes, the event would be a strong indication of some special Imperial activity or of a mishap with the xboat itself. High population and high technology star systems can be expected to have up to twelve xboats present at one time, probably distributed evenly between arriving and departing ships. 
Lower population systems will have fewer xboats. The presence of a scout base will increase the probability of xboats being present. Imperial Way Stations, maintained by the scouts to service and overhaul all scout vessels, will have many xboats present, although most will be in some state of disrepair. 
Class Naming Practice/s & Peculiarities
Peculiarities: Express boats are not named, at least not officially. Each carries an identifying number. Since pilots are rotated between ships frequently, there is little chance to build any lasting ties to the xboats. However, on the fringes of the Imperium, express service is understandably slower, and some branches of the network tend to keep pilots and xboats together. Names for such boats have been seen in service, and tend to be types of flowers. 
Selected Variant Types & Classes
Variants: No known variants of the xboat are actually in regular service. Two variant models have been built for experimental purposes:
- One model incorporated maneuver drives sufficient to produce 1-G; the loss of jump potential (…reduced to Jump-3) was deemed unacceptable, however, and it was not produced.
- The second variant included a four-ton light sail (…replacing the second stateroom). This model was intended to provide emergency acceleration away from a star in the event of breakout at too close a distance. The apparent benefits from this modification were also deemed too small for mass production. However, there are reports that some examples were produced and may be in service in the Spinward Marches. 
- Type X class Express Boat
- Type XT class Express Boat Tender
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