|Building Needed||Naval College|
Top gallants are extra sails at the top of the mast, giving the ship more sail area and therefore a higher speed.
All sailing ships rely on the wind for motive power. The only practical way to make a better speed through the water at a particular wind velocity is to put on more sail. Each mast is designed to take a main sail and a topsail, but it is possible with top gallants to add an extra sail above the topsail. Naturally, this requires more yards, ropes and skilled sailors to set the sails. Adding a top gallant is also something of a strain on the fabric of the ship: the extra strain on a mast can, in high winds, rip it right out of a hull. This catastrophic damage to the whole ship can also cause casualties among the crew.
The speed and handling of a ship can also be improved by careening the hull: a process that takes days. This, however, is not something that will instantly give more speed, unlike setting the top gallants.