18th Century Sailing Ship

In this article, I will try to share the most compelling 18th Century Sailing Ship. Again, it would be quite impossible to detail every known sailing ship from every corner of the globe but I will give it my best shot.
There were many different ships that plied the deepest oceans from all corners of the globes. In general, the old 18th century sailing ship can be divided into different categories such as warships, merchant ships, transport ships, troopships and those that were used for other purposes including for exploration and such.

Warships of this era, especially from the mid-18th century, European nations were known to categorise their ships based on the number of guns that was on board.

All in all, there were 6 different categories, or often referred to as divisions or rates. The highest was the 1st rated warships and lowest, 6th. In other words, the higher they were rated, the more guns these warships carried.

All of these ships had specific duties as well. For example, the first 3 rated warships; and sometimes even the fourth are called ships of the line; which basically means ships that were powerful enough and often made up the front line of any battles.

The fifth and sixth-rated ships had duties that were to a lesser degree; some for sending repeated signals and others to perform convoy duties.

Whatever the duties of these different 6 rated warships, there was one common thread among them which is that they all had the standard three masts with each of these masts square-rigged.

That's not all there is. There are also vessels that were much smaller in scale such as sloops, brigs, tenders and snows to name but a few. All of these sailing ships had duties which are different from those associated with battles as with warships in the above.

In this period, sailing ships that belonged to East Indian companies were known to be the richest in terms of the cargoes they carried. They were divided into three main classes – 500 tons, 800 tons and 1200 tons.

Sometimes called the East Indiamen they were the ultimate merchant ships with arms and it wasn't difficult to understand why.

I mean, they carried tons of gold and silver with their intention of buying (more likely trading as in those days) goods such as spices, tea, Chinese jade and porcelain as well as jewellery and these goods were often worth millions even back then (can you imagine what they would be worth in this day?).

As such, they often armed themselves with nothing less than 50 guns in their attempts to fight off pirates (aye aye sir!).

When we mentioned Privateers, they are actually none other than sailing ships that are hired by merchants and acted as men-of-war. They were given the power to confiscate ships as well as cargo belonging to their enemies.

Although privateers generally made huge profits, the situation soon got out of hand since many of them made baseless attacks without taking into consideration the nature of the enemy (they even attacked their 'friends' and allies) and as such, turned to be more like pirates in nature!

Hopefully, all of you sailors and budding sailors would be on the edge of your seats by now after reading the above. The different types of 18th Century Sailing Ship are sure interesting, don't you think?

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