|Estimated Raw Material Price:||1.500.000 (approx.)|
The design was completed and production of the first Minstrel started late in year 6.
The design of the ship includes many imperial influences; of particular note is the marked 'V' shape of the ship's hull. Imperial capital class vessels are known to use this design in order to maximize the potential of the forward firing arc; in the case of the Minstrel it was used for its aesthetics.
The colour is actually the natural result of re-enforcing the sandy-hued meleenium of Dolstan's deserts with the darker quantum from its rock quarries in the ship's hull. The re-enforcement was seen as necessary by the design team due to the instability in the Kathol Sector at the time. The combination is still used today, as much for giving the ship its colour as for the capability to survive a collision with more than a fist-sized asteroid.
The inclusion of a small docking bay on the standard model makes the Minstrel Unique: it is the only freighter class ship to have one. A hangar was considered during the design process, but was eventually cast aside as superfluous; it was assumed that anyone who could afford to be travelling in a Minstrel would not be landing somewhere they wouldn't either already have access to a speeder or couldn't afford to buy one upon arrival.
The standard Minstrel-Class Yacht is approximately one hundred and sixty meters in length from bow to stern and features twenty individual rooms that are customized to meet the needs of the purchaser. Common requests, apart from the necessary cockpit, docking bay, engine room, and crew quarters, include a full-size heated swimming pool, a personal on-board casino, self-sufficient, irrigated botanical gardens, and secure personal armories and droid bays.
The Minstrel-Class is entirely solar-powered with back-up fusion and fission generators in the event of an emergency power failure. Intelligent solar-collection panels interlaced within the ships meleenioquantum hull convert the light and heat of celestial rays into all of the power the ship needs.
It is reported that the standard model weighs in excess of 47,000 tonnes, a tribute to the vessel's resilient hull; the considerably larger Lancer-class Frigate weighs a mere 42,000 tonnes. The hyperspace and sublight speed capabilities of the Minstrel are comparable to the many capital class ships of the same length, though the Minstrel is classed as a freighter due to its sleek design. The Minstrel's volume is only a little over 4,000m³ whereas the shorter CR-92R has a volume of over 250,000 m³; the aforementioned Lancer measures in at 841,000 m³.
Use in Major Conflicts
The Mistrel-Class Yacht is a more common sight at political and social events throughout the galaxy, though the ship is known to have influenced a few battles in its time as well. Perhaps the most famous and influential military use of the ship was during the Battle of Kathol.
During the eleven day conflict members of the Kathol Republic Militia used a number of Minstrels in defense of the Republic's Kalvati-Class shipyard in orbit of the planet Kathol. The pilots used guerilla tactics against attacking forces who had not been expecting the luxury liners to serve as effective shock tanks and make-shift carriers.
The Minstrel also saw use by members of the Uukaablis Trans-Systems militia in the insertion to re-take Uukaablis during the same conflict. Once again it was subterfuge that gave the Mistrel its edge; Imperial patrols of the planet allowed Republic Minstrels to pass through the blockade unchallenged unaware that small bombers, troops, and large numbers of battle droids were being smuggled in to aid the UTS resistance on the planet.