Design and Construction of Fifteenth Century Iberian Ships: a Review

By Clinton R. Edwards, published November 1992


The fact that there are no designs, rigs or construction methods for ships like those of Columbus’s first voyage does not prevent our knowing in general what they would have been like and arguing about that generality. The differences between the typical nao and the caravel are explored. The building of replicas raised more questions, and comparisons between modern watercraft and those of the late fifteenth century have not been useful. The votive ship studied by Basil Greenhill seems to show a prototype of the Santa Maria, and has provided details of possible hull design, rig and construction.

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Filed under: Late Middle Ages | High Middle Ages | Other (location)
Subjects include: Shipbuilding & Design

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