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Ancient Sailing Ships

Ancient Sailing Ships

Ancient Sailing Ships

Ships are vessels that carry loads of cargo and people from one part of the world to the other. They have been sailing across the world for years for various purposes from thousands of years. They were used all over the world by all the nations. We will now discuss about the ancient sailing ships. Their journey and how they evolved to their present form.

This article on ancient sailing ships is for all those who want to understand all about ships and have a huge passion for these vessels. Let’s take a walk back in history and list the ancient sailing ships. The first on the list is Argosy. These were basically trading vessels. They were built in Venice in the late seventeenth century. It had a huge cargo capacity. It was larger than many other ships at that time. They could be sailed with a very small crew. This is exactly why this was considered to be one of the most economical ships. They were made of lumber of wood. The huge size of this ship and its poor navigational controls these ships are were difficult to control in the rough sea.

These were kept mostly to the coastlines and not taken across to other countries as they drowned quite easily. Lots of these ships were lost in the ocean. However, ironically not even a single one could be excavated. Only some old paintings are sources of tracing these ships. There is some old documentation that does give the exact dimensions of these ships.

The next on the list of the ancient sailing ships is the Balener. It is a common type of ship. It was also known as Baleinier. They were around 150 to 200 tons in weight. These were trade vessels. Sometimes cannon holes were painted on these boats to give a look of armed vessel. They were dated back to 1400. This is exactly why only few images of these are left. They had huge sails. As can be expected being such old ships they did not have a good control on navigation as a result many of them sank during heavy storms. None of these could be excavated either.

The Barge is a name that we must mention in the list of the ancient sailing ships of the world. These were flat bottomed. Low in height and as a result they were used in the inland waters to move cargo from one place to another. These were also called lighter. These were seen in many parts of the world and were transformed from one region to another. A huge amount of cargo could be carried on these. Bergantina is a medium sized sailing vessel that could be traced back to the nineteenth century. There were war ships. You can find the painting of these ships very easily. They could be loaded with about twenty five guns. They could carry five officers a doctor and one hundred and fifty seamen. Budgerow is another very common ship of the ancient times. It was a large ship. It would be covered with venetian blinds. These would keep the sun off during the day and at night would let air in. The deck was a small one but sufficient for the boatmen to take the ship forward. The helmsman would be posted on the high platform and he would measure the depth of the water with a huge poll. He could even understand the direction of the wind.

Caravel was one of the most popular ancient sailing ships of the world. It was developed in the fourteenth century. It could be even traced back to seventeenth century. It was modified into many forms with time. Columbus too used these ships in his famous voyage to find the new world. The two caravel ships that he used were called Nina and Pinta. Carrack was the largest European sailing ship that could be traced back to the fifteenth century. It had a tonnage capacity of about one thousand tons that is much more than a caravel. It was mighty and huge. It could sail huge distances. It had a high forecastle. This was later removed by John Hawkins as he thought it was a hindrance in the movement of the ship. The high forecastle was removed with low bow.

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The chebec meaning small ship in Arabic deserves a mention in the list of the ancient sailing ships. These ships have long narrow hulls, they are fitted with oars and could move ahead very fast due to the shape. This ship was transformed and modified by many. These were used by pirates and as well as warships by the army. Some of the original ones can still be found in the museums.

Drakkar was one of the largest Viking ships. These were used in war and were called as the dragon ship. It is one of the ancient sailing ships of the world. They were dated back to the eleventh century. They were effective but they were very expensive to build ad a result they never became too popular commercially. They were mostly built by the kings and used by them only. Dutch clipper was mostly used by the British and American nations. These were very strong. They were from medium to very large in size.

A fire ship was very commonly used in ancient wars. These were nothing but old ships that were set on fire and drifted towards the enemies as a result they would scatter and make it easy to attack them. Galleon is a name that would always appear in the list of the ancient sailing ships. These were large ships that were used for various purposes. These were multi decked ships. They were used by Spain and Europe. They were lightly armed and some of them even had cannons. The Hermaphrodite brig was also a very common ship of the ancient days. These were smaller and economical. This made them easy to operate too. The royal navy of the United Kingdom still used these ships till the beginning of the twentieth century.

Knorr was a very common long ship that was used for carrying the Viking cargo. The Gokstad ship was also a knorr. It could carry twenty tons of cargo. It was propelled by its sails mostly as it had only four to seven pairs of oars. The ship could be operated with as less as fifteen men so that more cargo could be moved in it.

I hope this article clarified your ideas about ancient sailing ships. These have indeed played a very vital role in connecting the world and its people. It also has played a vital role in developing the world trade.

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