Although the poleboats that ply the rivers of Dorne are often brightly painted and exquisitely carved, the Shy Maid is not. Her paintwork is a muddy greyish brown, mottled and flaking; her big curved tiller, plain and unadorned.
She has a broad beam and her draft is so shallow she can work her way up even the smallest of the river’s vassal streams, negotiating sandbars that would strand larger vessels, yet with her sail raised and a current under her, she can make good speed - which can mean life and death on the upper reaches of the Rhoyne according to Yandry.
Haldon's is the largest of the ship's four cabins. One wall is lined with bookshelves and bins stacked with old scrolls and parchments; another holds racks of ointments, herbs, and potions. The cabin's round window has yellow glass. The furnishings include a bunk, a writing desk, a chair, a stool, and his cyvasse table, strewn with carved wooden pieces.
A Dance with Dragons
The boat is used by Griff to transport his party down the Rhoyne to Volantis. Much to Griff’s consternation Yandry and Ysilla refuse to risk their pole boat in the dark and will not continue downstream at night. The Upper Rhoyne is full of snags and sawyers, anyone of which could rip out the Shy Maid's hull.
Yandry and Ysilla share one cabin, Griff and Young Griff another. Septa Lemore has a cabin to herself, as does Haldon, who has the largest. Tyrion Lannister, going by the names Hugor Hill and Yollo, makes a bed atop the roof of one of the Shy Maid's cabins, with a coil of hempen rope for a pillow. He likes it better there than the boat's cramped hold. Ser Rolly Duckfield possibly sleeps in the hold.
She looks like dirt … but no doubt that’s the point.
– Tyrion Lannister's thoughts