Question about models ...

I'm very sorry about the less than useful title!... but I can't find the words - feel free to suggest one and I will ammend it.

I would like to have a model sailing ship, this will have two 'poses' : sails furled and sails set. Further to this I would like to have different states of damage for the ship, for each side I would like to have : damage light, damage medium and damage heavy. By my current thinking, that would require nine models to allow for all combinations of damage....then factoring in the sale states that makes 18 models. To this mess I may also want some animations for the transition of sail state...

So, is there any clever way of achiving this without having to produce an exponentialy large set of models?

Many thanks.

There are two ways I'd do this (not necessarily the best).

More time-consuming (and ugly) way:

I'd rig the boat and use bones to furl and set sails. Same for damage marks (dents, etc). However, the damage marks will always be in the same position and will look less than stellar.

Second, parametric way:

I'd still rig the sails but I'd deform and create decals on the model using a script (or two).

Mesh Deform script (pretty iOS friendly too)

Decal Framework (not that iOS friendly but it will work with a couple of modifications)

P.S: Both ways require only one model. First method would also require some form of decal script or some clunky texture switch (or UV scroller). Second method would only require 1 model - 1 base texture and 1 decal texture.