Preface to "History of Sailing" blog.
Cutty Sark racing Thermopylae
This series of articles, based on the book "The Ship" by Björn Landström, tries to give you an impression of the development of sailing ships and sailing.
It loosely follows chronological lines, but is focussed mainly on the milestones marking special developments. As the newer articles are placed above the older ones, it should be read from bottom to top. The only important article still missing is the one on the development of the wooden hull from the dug-out canoe, because research on that takes longer than anticipated.
The start of the series concentrate on north-western-Europe, but will, in time, deal with other areas of interest too, such as the Mediterranean, the Middle- and Far East, and navigation (the art of location).
While you read through the articles, you will be carried away by their evolution from small, slow, one-masted ships in the early Middle Ages to the big, fast, multi-masted but still square-rigged vessels of the last centuries of commercial and naval sailing.
Then follow the ever faster developments around the fore-and-aft-riggers and yachting, to end provisionnaly with the Volvo 70's and the exciting hydrofoil yachts.
All articles will provide you with links to the most informative sites, in which you'll find again links in case you want to dive deeper, or broaden your horizon.
This series is also about the common heroes of sailing and shipbuilding: the woodworkers, shipwrights, riggers, blacksmiths and sailors, who achieved a great feat: they, together, made the most efficient sailing ships of their times.
I, as well as countless others, share their legacy. In honour of them I will avoid, as well as I can, to point out names.