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We just played our first Seafarer's scenario (New World random setup) that contained a lake - a water hex surrounded by 6 land hexes. Our Seafarer rules booklet (1999) did not discuss any special rules that apply to lakes. Questions I had were:

  1. Can ships be relocated from lakes to oceans and from oceans to lakes?
  2. Can harbors be placed in lakes during the setup phase?

We assumed yes for the game we played but I'm wondering if that's right. In real life having a boat in a lake (that doesn't connect to an ocean via a river) does not facilitate trade or free movement of ships between oceans and the lake.

Does anyone know if there are any official errata covering this situation? If not, are there any unofficial rules about lakes that have been adopted by a large fraction of Settlers/Seafarers players?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

From Combination of “The Fishermen of Catan” with “Seafarers” Scenarios

If you include the lake, it should always be completely surrounded by land hexes. You must not build ships at the lake. (Of course, if you use the lake as a coastal hex anyway, you may also build ships on the sides facing the ocean.)

I suggest this ruling would also apply to the scenario that you described above.

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I don't think this applies in the same way. The lake in Fishermen is a special case with many special rules attached, not a regular water hex. The regular rules should apply to water hexes surrounded by land unless specifically stated otherwise. And in real life, there are many lakes big enough for boats to facilitate international trade, e.g. the Caspian Sea or Lake Victoria. –  RoundTower Feb 12 '12 at 11:20
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I have some agree with your comment. However, the OP asked about the situation where one individual water hex was entirely surrounded by land and whether any rules or errata existed. In that example it seems weird to apply the standard seafarers rules such as being able to move the last ship in the long line. I think in the example (one hex completely surrounded by land) that these rules make sense. I find the seafarers Catan variant good fun but one of the least consistent of the Catan additions as per this link boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/18878/item/448148#item448148 –  AlexC Feb 14 '12 at 9:09
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