I never sailed in a wooden ship, but there is one scene in Burnt Amber where Sybil takes a very neo-byzantine ship up a river.
I did lots of research on the ship style, and left a lot up to the imagination of the reader. There weren't any Byzantine replicas at my disposal, but recently, I heard about Yenikapi 12.
A bit of history for you:
Istanbul is busting at the seams, population-wise. Ferries, buses, and trams crisscross the city to get pedestrians around, and two suspension bridges barely cope with the car traffic. The metro system needs an upgrade. New tunnels are being dug, left and right.
Tangent: If you travel by rail to Istanbul, you must get out, cross the strait by car or boat, and go to another train station on the other side. (Sirkeci, or HaydarPasa, depending on which way you're going.) The Marmaray tunnel project crosses underneath the Bosphoros Strait, connecting rail traffic from both sides of the city for the first time ever.
While workers were digging the metro station at Yenikapi, they ran into an unexpected archaeological boon: the world's largest shipwreck find.
Scholars are going to replicate one of the numerous wrecks found there, the Yenikapi 12. The plan is to learn about ship construction and materials of the Middle Ages. Hopefully, the ship will be seaworthy. Project leaders plan to test the Yenikapi 12 in the strait sometime in 2013, after which the ship will be put on display as a museum piece.
*Jumps up and down*
I want a ride! I want a ride!
Or at least I want to go see the ship, where ever it finds a home. I want to touch it, smell it, take it all in...get some new descriptors for my writing.
Who's coming with?
Replica of Byzantine ship to sail next year in Turkey