Started Sailing

Arabic and Iberian infusion: lateen sail and the Armada Invencible.

by Han
(Brittany, France)

An English Galleon

An English Galleon

Standing like the dwarf on Orion's shoulders, it is not only possible to look forward, but also backward; this time not in the scientific sense, but in the craftsmen's perspective. I am awed, doing the research for this series, by the achievements made by the co-operation and teamwork amongst sailors, shipwrights, riggers, sailmakers and numberless other craftsmen, including industrial spies (yes, even then) developing the one-masted, square-rigged vessel within a hundred years to three, even four-masted ocean-going ships.

Mediterranean warships like the galleys, historically propelled by oars, were developed to sailing vessels by using the lateen rig, first one-, later two- and even three-masted caravels, by the Portuguese and Spanish.

(, ( and ( These ship-types were further developed into the ocean-going carrack ( and the galleon: (

After the battle of Lepanto, (Spanish and Italian navies against the Turkish to prevent them from taking Cyprus) the Spanish king deemed this fleet (caravels and carracks) capable of bringing the Dutch insurgents and the English protestants to heel and sent it north ( with, for the Armada, devastating results.

However, their ships left a good impression and they were imitated by English and Dutch who further developed them to the galleon (

For reconstructions of a Dutch galleon (Batavia) and the first Dutch ship of the line (the Zeven Provinciƫn): ( and (

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