For writing a story, I'm trying to figure out if 2 people could crew an age-of-sail (15th/16th-19th century) sloop and sail it effectively. Various sources give various crew numbers for various types of vessels and estimating where the ship in question falls into these measurements appears to be beyond my skills, especially as most sloop information appears to concern modern sloops.
I am aware that specifics of the ship matter, so I will attempt to describe the vessel in as much detail as I can and hopefully it will be enough.
I imagine the sloop in question to be about 18m in length, with a single mast (which i believe should be obvious). Sailplan would be: one jib, one square mainsail, one square topsail, one gaff sail.
I'm not sure if the answer would depend on waters the sloop would be operated in, but in case it does - it would be for moving between islands in an archipelago, like Carribean or Melanesia. Land will not always be in sight.
With all that laid out - Is it possible for a crew of 2 strong adult men to operate (sail) the sloop?
If there's any more information necessary, let me know and I'll do my best to fill in the gaps.