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The term "barca" occurs in the boat with such documentation Portuguese
profusion, in such different circumstances, and for an extended period of time so that it can be said in this connection that in reality does not designate any type of vessel, with distinctive features identifiable, in the case before a generic term at all equivalent to ship. But you can say that, in a very general, it refers to vessels of larger size, being applied to a smaller boat size. This boat undecked was used in coastal or inland navigation.

The Barcha should be a boat, but of greater size. Depending on the type would have between 10 to 20 meters length and 2.5 to 3.5 meters in breadth. Used in more remote travel had a blanket. Panel was not stern and it was round. Mast with a single basket of putting a candle square topsail. Quickly was the convenience of using Latin sails which were alternated with the sails as the round winds. The crew was composed of 8 to 20 homens. Gil Eanes in 1434 doubled the Bojador Cape  in a Barcha.
With the progress of discovery is now used ship and support and thanks to its lightness also played the role of the armed notice of that time, why he gave the name of pedlar.
All these boats were using oars as auxiliary means of propulsion.














The Barinel seems to rise in the Mediterranean. Had larger Barcha that, with the bow shooting to change the ship, all reflex, and the caravel, stern round. Shut up more than the Barcha. With one or two masts had the biggest basket of a mast topsail. It seems that besides the usual round sail could switch to Latin. Armavir still for long without oars or wind approach to land.

Was used in exloração travel along the African coast than Bojador but its difficulty makes the trip, due to its sail round, made it replaced by the Latin caravel of triangula sail. For other sources, make sure the existence of Barinas
between the fourteenth century and the beginning of the sixteenth century, the height from which seems to have fallen into disuse in Portugal (according Gomes Pedrosa will be functionally replaced by the galleon).

May have been a craft of varying sizes, with one, two or three masts, but using the smaller oars, and we noted the peculiarity of one of the Italian merchants who were in Lisbon when the arrival of Vasco da Gama, Sernigi Girolamo, have written that the gun which had been to India consisted of two Barinas of 90 barrels each, and one of 50 (when these vessels are usually designated by other ships in testimony). Several other references in the period considered to give the barinel be been used for navigation in corso, war and trade.














The bergantim was more subtle and fast ships of rowing traces of Europe used by the Portuguese. Equipped with ten to nineteen seats, with only one oar, and rarely postica. The aisle bergantins could have the other ships of rowing, but in most cases had bench seats, on-board on board. Armavir with one or two masts that could be killed and who wear sail alternately round or Latin. It was common that they had broken the artillery, the ordinance granted by the official "Alardo of 1525" stood at seven pieces: a hawk and six cots.

The bergantins ships were very fast and manoeuvrable and the early days of the Portuguese presence in the East had the unique mission of the liaison, reconnaissance and tactical transport. Later, some of these functions passed to the Indian catures, more cars and certainly cheaper. The Portuguese of the sixteenth century had the habit of highlighting a bergantim (at least) for service of each major strength, particularly in areas where naval presence was not significant or permanent. Was well in Morocco and on the east coast of Africa. On the coast of India, the presence of a large gun provided this support in large databases of Cochin and Goa. In other ports, the vessels of support could be Fuster, paraus and catures.

The Portuguese bergantins could be equipped with multitude of bonasvolhas (rowers volunteers or hire) exclusively Portuguese, that guaranteed benefits could be higher and add to the number of combatants.
The bergantim was also a vessel of apparatus and ceremony, and a favorite of kings and great lords.

















The term caravel occurs first in the documentation in Portuguese in 1255 and is still in 1754
It is this view that the word 'caravel' came from 'Caraver (portuguese turn from the Greek karabos or the Arab qârib). During the century. XV was the ideal boat for farms and the Atlantic coast of Africa. The system of currents and contrary winds forced the development of a boat that tack more effectively and that little calasse to venture into coastal farms. Thus was born the caravel that from 1441 until the passage of storms or Cape of Good Hope has its peak.


Not come to us any details or design of this type of boats and only from paintings and some descriptions can calculate today, as they were then. During this period there were several types of the typical caravels with 3 masts, the caravelão - here will work as the diminutive - of two poles to the caravel redonda or "war" of four poles.
They had a blanket and a castle and stern. Wear sail masts in Latin decreasing size of the stem to stern. They had no basket of topsail since the operation of the switch yards with this type of sail not allowed. The crew ranged between 6 and 100 men on the type of boat and length of trip.
The caravelão (the replicas "Bartolomeu Dias" and "Good Hope" is caravelões!), 2 poles, would have about 20 feet long, 6 and 40/50 barrels of mouth.




The caravel of "Four hundred" was strong and fast, had between 20 and 30 meters in length, about 50 barrels of size and use sail triangular Latin in two or three masts
They had a blanket and a castle and stern. Use sail masts in Latin decreasing size of the stem to stern. They had no basket of topsail since the operation of the switch yards with this type of sail not allowed. The crew ranged between 6 and 100 men on the type of boat and length of trip

The Latin caravel appeared in 1440, according Zurara testified: "Well that is the year of 40 is two armed caravels to go to that land [the River of Gold], but because events had opposed, not counting most of your trip "(Chronicle dos Feitos de Guiné, cap. XI).

This would be the caravel with two poles of Latin sail, a blanket and a small castle and stern, with one floor, with about 50 barrels of tonnage. Ideal vessel to sail into unknown seas, the ease with which tack (ie, progressed in zigzag from the dominant wind direction), the caravel could sail along the coast and into mouths of rivers: a vessel suitable for operation at sea, therefore. But it is also the largest ship then used in the voyages of discovery, thus represents the advantage and need to progress to the South with a vessel capable of carrying the crew even further by combining an appropriate autonomy with the qualities that these fishing trips required.






That is why the ship used in these trips to Bartolomeu Dias double the Cape of Good Hope. But it is very likely, as Jorge de Matos suggest that the impediment to the continuation of the last voyage of Diogo Cão (completed in 1486 or 1487) has been precisely the lack of autonomy of the caravel, now reflected by the lengthening of marine farms. That is, the navigator would have been embarrassed to be seen back to back, against a coastal desert (where it was sure to be able to refuel) and without provisions to ensure the return to security (especially water). In reinforcement of this explanation is that the armed Bartolomeu Dias to incorporate a flat-boat for supplies, which were harvested once fulfilled its function, serving to support two caravels for exploration. After returning to Lisbon at the end of 1488, the sailors gave to the king of his inability to continue the journey by ship had not strength to face the "seas thick" they found, so that Vasco da Gama in the first ships will travel to to the sea with the East, vessels, and other benefits had a much higher load capacity and therefore greater autonomy in long distance journeys.



The caravel, 3 masts, ranged from 20 to 30 meters in length and 6 to 8 meters of mouth can have up to 80 barrels.
There are regulations for the construction of caravels 150 to 180 barrels of twelve courses and eleven directions. They point to tonnages from 110 to 150 barrels in the second case, and 100 to 125 in the third. This means that round caravels and Latin caravels are types of ships, with the most generic name in a link between them.

From the reign of King John II became the artillery with cannon on the deck instead of weapons of little size (falconet, bombard), which then led. It was also traditional to bring both eyes painted on the bow season because there the belief that it veem the way, that tradition continued to this day as evidence in the existing fishing boats. To ensure that other countries had access to new knowledge and innovations that the caravel had, this was subject to stringent security measures that did not allow the sale to foreigners and that access to the carpenters that built. The penalties were, among others, to the expropriation of all property of those who did.


Caravel redonda


The possibility of a ship of war resulting from the increase in the size of a Latin version of the caravel, known as carvel round, which uses both Latin sail (triangular) and sail round (which is actually square).
This caravel, instead of being a support ship to transport food and so reduce the load of ships receive a complement of artillery, which could enter combat.

There are regiments in the technical documentation for the construction of the caravels round, a name which survived in modern history, for the same reason that call round the ship or ships such as the galleon, that is, arm sail round vessels actually sail shape trapezoidal, earning that designation by taking looks swell when the wind. Armed or armed caravels are descriptions of time, indicating their functionality: caravel of armed almost always means it was designed for navigation or in the armed service armed.

This creates the Caravela round, or Army of Caravela Caravela of War. From the end of the century. And principles of the XV century. XVI comes round the caravel with 4 poles and round but with sail in traquete - mast forward. Would come up to 150 barrels. It is this type of boat that will lead to the famous Portuguese galleons.


The armada of Cabral had three or four vessels of the type of the caravel. May have been round by two orders of reasons: the two poles of Latin caravel proved their weaknesses as transoceanic ship, and the route was known, with the possibility of harnessing the wind in the stern.
The caravels of Cabral may well have been caravels of three masts, but with the sail round traquete as used occasionally in the Mediterranean and the navigation makes sense that it has been decided from the outset in this circumstance. This change would enable the rapid transformation of mareagem the crates for a small forecastle deck with a covered and closed the chapitéu with the increase in tonnage, leading, over time, the addition of Latin quarter pole, thus setting up the caravel round which is known as the technical texts.





The fact that the caravels round lit a presence in the relations of armed India does not say much about the beginning of the sixteenth century, but means that the Book of the documented traits Carpentry (from 1616 and showing the first plans of any technical caravel type - if round) already exists, consolidated in the third quarter of Five.
The caravels round had optimal use of the armed coast guard, the Straits of Gibraltar, the islands and North Africa. When D. Manuel decided to send ships to the Azores in order to protect the ships from India, or when to gun the Straits, it does so with caravels, certainly round or armed caravels, with sufficient postage for shipping to military action.

The size and shape of the hull made caravel unable to travel as cargo over long distances. However, the fishing apparatus and qualities suitable to naval missions. Both in the tables referred to as the ship travels to the East, as the principal element of combat or in support of larger vessels, the round or armed caravel was truly the first ship designed for war on the high seas, probably right from the voyage of 1500.



These Caravelas could be equipped with a total of 18 pieces of artillery, namely:
2 pieces of type or Half Colubrina colubrina (waiting) 4 cannons masons (SAARC or other small) 6 Falcons falconet and 6, these last two guns being shot to light anti-personnel.


Standard Displacement: 50 Ton
Displacement max. : 60 Ton.
Length: 19 M - Width: 7M
Draft: 2.5 M.
Autonomy: 4000Km to 8 knots
Maximum speed: 12 knots












To find the origins of this type of vessel that can take back to the XII century, when references are to the first vessels of large tonnage and considerable transport capacity. The argosy initially had a large mast with a square sail and their proportions, allowed the increase of size which will occur over the following centuries.

Several European countries that depend on trade ticks are used for commercial purposes, as they increase trade between the main ports of Europe.



However, although there ticks, the cost is very high and their number is relatively small. In the sixteenth century, taking advantage of its features and size and powerful platform with capacity for the use of artillery, several countries will build ticks powerfully armed, that will serve not only as vessels of war but also vessels of prestige. Argosy was as a ship with a very high cost of construction at the beginning of the sixteenth century, two ships distinguished themselves as the two largest armed ticks of the world, One is the 'Henry Grace a Dieu' of England, and the other to ( Nau) argosy "St. Catherine of Mount Sinai. The difference between the two vessels, that the English ship had guns of greater size and lower power, while the Portuguese ship was armed with a large number of guns (over 100) but of smaller size and greater range.


Large Naus XVI century is usually seen as developments of carraks, but there are differences in development that these vessels have in the main European powers.
Portugal, which because of its wealth from trade with India, has until mid-sixteenth century the largest fleet of ticks and the largest number of warships at high board any country in Europe, found that argosy tended to become if more and more difficult to govern, which attempted to introduce another concept of a warship, the Caravela of Armada, which was not successful.
Since the concept avenged, Portugal seemed to combine the characteristics of the Caravela argosy to draw their galleons armed the end of the sixteenth century.


The main competitor of Portugal, Castile, has always been a nation with more land and traditions did not make major changes to the Carraks and began to draw galleons ticks virtually unchanged. These ships were armed with a greater number of guns but suffered the same problems of mobility that has always affected the Carraks and they were caused by the huge and high forecastle. Even after the defeat of the Invincible Armada in 1589, Philip II continued to insist on the same type of vessel and ordered to be built 10 new galleons to the Crown of Castile, clearly inspired by the designs of Carraks of a century before.
England, which began building Carraks at the beginning of the sixteenth century, had the same problems of the Iberian countries with regard to the need for transport and also had a sea - North Sea - which became important ways of changing the performance and maneuverability of the Carraks. These changes implied a large reduction in the forecastle, which allowed the ship is more maneuverable that its Iberian equivalent. This modification resulted in well  English Galleon.
Note, that especially in the Anglo-Saxon world a tendency to compare Nau with Carraks. This is similar ships on their goals, they had different characteristics.


As in other cases, there is unanimity or even a minimum consensus when it comes to designate the ships, but in any event, the argosy appears in principle as a major European transport ship, both used in northern Europe and the Mediterranean.

The Nau had similar functions, but was mainly used by the Portuguese, considering that normally Nau, had less need for crew and was more suitable for longer trips. Had a greater draft, making the ship more stable and square sails, as the ticks, but using Latin sails of compensation.

Naus were also used in the Mediterranean or Venice or also by the Ottoman Turks, who have used the experience of several cities of shipbuilding on the Adriatic coast to build their ships with high board


Standard Displacement: 800 Ton
Displacement max. : 1200 Ton
Crew / Trim: 600
Autonomy: 4000Km to 4 knots
Maximum speed: 6 knots












Already knew the system of winds of the Atlantic, the Atlantic coast of Africa had been properly explored, these tasks carried out by caravels. After the journey of Vasco da Gama to India the trips were no longer operating and were naturally longer. So the ships had to go better artillery and above the space for the cargo began to play a key role. Born as the ship since the seventeenth century. Until the sixteenth century. XIX was 100/200 barrels to exceed 900 and more.




In the XVI century  the NAU had two blankets. The first, running forward to aft, housed the cargo hold of the barrels of the watery, the storerooms of supplies, wire, sail, and ammunition. The second is the fore deck of the forecastle and aft to the master sheet. Had three masts and baskets on two of the topsail forward. Equipped sail round the poles in front and in the Latin mezena budget to help the boat. The crew was from 25 to 30 men.
One of the most famous was the deed to St. Gabriel's discovery of the sea route to India.

Features: (Gabriel s)
100 to 120 barrels
Length: about 20 meters
Artillery: 20 pieces
Trim: approx. 50 men



The size of Naus has continued to grow, of 120 barrels of "S. Gabriel "came to the ship for more than 2 tons and 110 pieces since the end of the eighteenth century. The last Naus of the time of D. Manuel I came to hit 400 tons and 900 tons during the reign of John III. However, the ineffectiveness of the ships was too broad recognized by the Rules of 1570, given by D. Sebastian, prohibited the ships career in India with over 400 tonnes. Amounted to circumvent the rules are the castles of the stern and bow.
The Naus were very favorable with winds reaching speeds of 8 to 10 knots, but on average one in India was Navy all the way to an average of 2.5 us for six months or more.

In fact, the average life time of ships of the seventeenth century ranged from three or four years. The first lasted more ships as the "Circe" and "La Flor de Mar".




Nau Flor de la Mar

The sixteenth-century Portuguese Nau can characterize it as a vessel for high-round board, with a ratio of 3:1 between the length and maximum width of three or four decks, and stern castles of three floors (sheet, Alcáçova and chapitéu) and stem of two (and watch sobreguarita) whose architecture integrates perfectly into the hull, three masts flying the traquete large and round with sail, and the Latin mezena with sail. It is a cargo ship for excellence, to travel long distances on routes, taking advantage of the apparatus by prior knowledge of regional winds, but went armed with pieces of large size: "A Nau in India was a transport .... armed in war, "as so well defined Oliveira Martins (Portugal in the Sea, vol. I, reed., 1988, p. 98).


The Nau responded to a need for more cargo. Travel to the East were longer, it is carrying greater amounts of solid foods and liquids to the maintenance crew, as the route of navigation required long periods without seeing the coast or any points of support, as did precisely that off the back. Moreover, commercial factor: the COMÉRCE of spices involved the transport of valuable cargo, but bulky, requiring spaces suitable for wrapping. The response to all ship with its hull flaring and large capacity of accommodation.
We know that the travel range has been prepared with special care and have started to produce the ships still in the reign of John II. Testimonies of the time show that these vessels would not be very different to those of the same type were already known both in Portugal and in Europe. It is however possible to deduce that attempted in strengthening the structure of the hull and the shipment of spare parts could not be easily replaced in a very long trip (like candles and rope, for example). A ship out of India would be perhaps two factors for their ships like: special strength of construction, the second can be deduced from some scattered notes in the documentation and the archaeological remnants, and an area greater than those Velicer normal, as appears in the iconography of the time (especially in relations illustrated the career of India, as the memory of the Armed of the Academy of Sciences of Lisbon, and the Book of Lizuarte de Abreu, of The John Pierpont Morgan Library, both representing vessels of the third quarter XVI century).

Experience has shown that the trade in spices and other goods could not come to establish themselves without recourse to armed force. As a cargo ship, the sixteenth-century Portuguese Nau was armed with pieces of artillery which gave him a military shipbuilding essential to safe navigation. But it was primarily a commercial vessel and to the naval war on the Portuguese used another type of craft, such as the galleon and caravel round.



Has been much discussed the problem of these gigantic vessels. Indeed it is known that the Nau of Vasco da Gama to have some 120 barrels of tonnage (corresponding to the actual capacity of carrying 120 barrels in the space below the cover, because it was so mean that the tonnage in this season), and for these values or slightly above, that went sailing craft similar to other business, the Atlantic, the Mediterranean or in the seas of northern Europe. But the Naus from India were notably higher, reaching quickly to 400, 500 and 600 barrels: the greatest Nausd of Pedro Alvares Cabral, who went to India in 1500, soon after Vasco da Gama, had 300 barrels. But the plea should not have to give the news that Portuguese Naus in the sixteenth century, with 1000 barrels or more, unless in very exceptional cases. These figures appear in the testimony of a more diverse, often produced by authors little or no connection to the sea or with knowledge of the technical aspects of navigation. Indeed, when the treaties are of Portuguese naval architecture from c. 1570, and are increasing the technical documents, from c. 1590, it is clear that these documents, which reflect a thorough knowledge of the art of shipbuilding, the average walk by 500 to 600 barrels for the largest ships, and remain by the early seventeenth century. In this century there was a tendency to record an increase in tonnage, reaching (but now) at 900 and 1000 barrels, certificates of technical documents, although these values that are more unusual currents. However, it is true that when it began to build Naus with four covered, they would have greater tonnage of the three: but the experts never understood, as is the case in several opinions of the second quarter of Six, many of them think that the Naus of cover, small and robust, it was preferable.





The Nau, the towers of the bow and stern to be slightly lower while the lateral edges were increased as a result of increasing the size of the forecastle and stern, until they eventually join. Also for this reason Nau seems to be more balanced that the ticks, and more suitable for storage of products.
The Naus was, as the Carraks used as vessels of war and often in India there is no great difference between the two types of vessels, and in many cases it is likely that vessels constructed as Carraks are typically designated by Naus.

Although Portugal designed and built ships more efficient from the military, the Naus have always been the battle horse of the campaigns in Portuguese East.
The ships transported people to the Portuguese possessions in the Indian Ocean, were used as vessels of war in case of need and were subsequently loaded to its maximum capacity.
Normally the journey back, the vessels were completely filled with goods, and it was common to remove the cannon and its storage in order to accommodate the load, which withdrawing almost any military capability to the ship, which was reduced to small hawks and falconet side and placed in higher areas of the vessels, which in any event was more than adequate for the threats that the Portuguese fleets had to face.
Although the design of the ship came into decadence by their slowness and difficulty of movement, the Portuguese replaced by the Naus vessels with different characteristics over the centuries XVII, XVIII and XIX same, but in many cases continued to refer to the vessels sent to India as Naus

Standard Displacement: 200 Ton
Displacement max. : 600 Ton.
Crew / Trim: 300
Autonomy: 5000Km to 5 knots 
Maximum speed: 6 knots













The Portuguese galleon XVI century was a round of high-board ship, the type of ship, but with some different characteristics: the lines of the hull and board were more afilados lower as the castles of bow and stern, which gave best fishing capacity, reinforced by a unit composed of four masts, the forward of the (large and traquete) round with sail, and the defendant (mezena and counter-mezena) with sail Latin, this device differs from that of the ship by adding the pole of the contra-mezena at the stern. These characteristics guarantee you a superior ability to maneuver the key to naval warfare, and the lines of the hull with a slight elevation of the superstructure in the worst-made target for enemy artillery, compared with the typical round vessel.


Galeão Trindade



The meaning of the word Galeão that appears in the documentation supplied in 1510, but in strictness can not guarantee that designates a vessel that corresponds to the profile layout on top, which means that the reference in itself means little concerned. In printed sources, the occurrence is the oldest of the Proceedings of Arzila in point for the year of 1516 (Bernardo Rodrigues, Annals of Arzila, p. 176). But the author said later in relation to the events it describes, which cut the accuracy of the security typological characterization, and to keep the problem before; we still do not know what is meant by the word galeão now.

The doubts concerning the terminology of the boats are quite right to be, because the sources tell us every step that similar vessels are named differently. The most common of these situations is that which concerns the relationship between nau-galleon, terms often applied to those vessels in the same document, suggesting that the distinction was not clear to those who refer to them: the "Folha dos Nauios que Sua Magestade tem nesta Coroa de Portugall "- the end of the sixteenth century - include an initial list with the names and tonnage of vessels: the second is the galleon" Sto. António "of 480 barrels that, once in front, before the detailed description of the repairs that and required materials, is given as nau (v. F. Contente Domingues, Os Navios do Mar Oceano, pp. 437-458).


 Furthermore, it is logical to recognize that an effective functional specialization would be reflected in the frame. That is, would be expected that the private armassem cargo vessels (naus) and the King of war ships (galleons), subject to the first order too. However, research conducted by Maria Leonor Freire Costa made it clear that there is a strategy of individuals, other than the strategy of the Crown in the frame of the vessels (Maria Leonor Freire Costa, Naus e Galeões na Ribeira de Lisboa, p. 296).



 It appears that there are four vessels to arm mast with a joint (of sail round in Latin in the forward and aft) and before the first reference to the Portuguese galleon. The ship set out in the doors of two editions Valentim Fernandes (very noble story of Vespasian, in 1496, and Marco Paulo in 1502) has the spars and equipment, which on the other hand were known in England since the end of the fifteenth century. It illustrates that most of the twelve figures of trace found of Warwick Roll, commissioned by the daughter or granddaughter of Richard Beauchamp, earl of Warwick, died in 1439(Frank Howard, Sailing Ships of War, p. 14).

Consequently, the unit itself is not enough to identify the galleon, Lopes came to the conclusion of Mendonça (Studies on the Portuguese ships XV and XVI Centuries, p. 31) and Pimentel Barata (The Portuguese galleon (1519-1625) , p. 322), and that it is perceived by another reason. Although the investigation of the types of ships sent to India is possible because, more than any other sources, and chroniclers of the relations of armed India mirror the confusion reigning among ships and galleons, it is undisputed that the galleons sailed to the East. Quirino da Fonseca argued that a ship designed for the specific purpose of replacing the armed caravels round these ( "The problem of the characteristics of Portuguese galleons," p. 78), for us to mistake. But if the nau was a galleon distinguishable by the device does not understand why no one appears in both relations of India's armed illustrated, where we only ship with three masts, the type of ship, boats and caravels round the oars (v . the memory of the Armed and the Book of Lisuarte de Abreu, both the third quarter of the sixteenth century.

On the issue of the spur, based on a statement of undocumented Lopes de Mendonça, rare fact in their writings, very safe as a rule (the galleon, and the caravel, has spur "- op. Cit., P. 31), which was later accepted by other authors, as Quirino da Fonseca. This conviction comes from a phrase of Fernando Oliveira, who Filia galleon in the galley: "And galleon, or galeaça, that has some similarity in the picture or imitation of the letter of the Welsh, they also take the derivation of the names" (Book of Fábrica das Naus, p. 49). A phrase that also led the authors to question the judge that the galleon drifting hulk of, but in this case even if the blame can assacar the dubious etymology de Oliveira. Like figure is rather between the galley and galeaça, as are two ships of the same type. The similarity between the galley and galleon is so functional, and the phrase only means that to Oliveira, the galleon was devoted to naval warfare. Deduce that it was spur is excessive.





Not only the text of Oliveira does not allow this interpretation, as the manuscript of Aduertençias of nauegantes Cerveira Marcos de Aguilar clarifies that spur (word that appears in technical documentation) means the same as beak (Contente Domingues F., op. Cit. pp. 209-210). The issue was resolved with a simple observation of Pimentel Barata, full of opportunity. If the ship is a galleon round type of ship has bow wheel, so there is where the heel support, perceived as a weapon of attack similar to the Welsh. But if that were possible, it would to a very strange fact, since the use of this weapon necessarily leave the mast of the bowsprit, "not one technical document containing the spur Portuguese galleons to the special structure for the attack. Not all the representations Portuguese, including line drawings of the Book, shows such a structure, quite useless on a ship that carried by a mast at the bow tilted to 35, the bowsprit, which will leave an approach and thus jeopardize the whole apparatus "(J. G. Pimentel Barata, "Os Navios", p. 288).


In the sixteenth century, 1534, Portugal has the largest ship of war in Europe. The Galeao S. John the Baptist, of 366 pieces of bronze, 5 batteries and 1,000 tonnes, which, by their power of artillery and achievements, was known as "Botafogo". The legend of the spur was life long and its highest expression with the galleon, central figure in the tapestry representing the campaign of Tunis, in 1535. In illustrating the making of Goleta shows him leading the attack, which the eighteenth detailed description saying it was the spur that "Botafogo" broke the chains and opened way for other vessels. This report was to know that 366 was armed with a fire hydrant (which accept multiple authors). Finally, a whole history that persisted in the imagination of those who wanted it had been a ship like this, as the exemplary study that dissects the myth of this construction (José Virgílio Pissarro, "the galleon St. John (c. 1530-1551) . Data for a monograph).



Galeão S. Luzia



There is little doubt that there are visible differences in morphology and characteristics of ships and galleons, when it started to check is a mystery, given that the mere occurrence of the term means little or nothing, as it is not known when is that this distinction has to be checked. Insurance, it can be stated that there galleons in the time of D. João de Castro and at the time of tratadística (thus designating the period from c. 1570 to c. 1640, during which he wrote the first treaties of Portuguese naval architecture), since the technical regulations distinguish perfectly the tonnage of ships of the type of ship, 80 to 600 barrels, and the galleon, 200 barrels. Considering all the regiments known for the construction of these vessels (see F. Contente Domingues, The Ships of the Ocean Sea, pp. 325-434), sees that the galleon of 500 barrels is one way that the keel of ship of 600, and minor releases: once the hull is thin and lower, although the mouth is slightly higher.


The idea that could be a galleon ship "designed and built exclusively for the war at sea" (Pimentel Barata, "The Portuguese galleon (1519-1625), p. 308). stumbles on information sources and the unaffordable costs of this option. The assertion that the galleon carrying cargo route in the Cape or need to be demonstrated, and observation of the shape of the hull shows a ship that is bulging, but unless the ship, quite capable of serving for the same type of commercial use, as in fact was. The simple assumption that if they could have done two vessels of similar morphology, to make a route to Cape ajoujado goods, and the other was to hand, in vacuum, only to protect, is thus unacceptable.

The galleon had better conditions to the nau for naval warfare, but it was a ship bifunctional. Specialization for war had the other vessel, the caravel round or armed. One of the most credible theories, suggests that the Portuguese Galeao has a completely different origin from other types of vessels, because it is the result of a marriage between the Navy and the Caravela Nau armed.
One of the features that allows to differentiate the Portuguese galleon is that although not having a bow so low when the galleons of English, he had a bow much lower than the large galleons Castilian with which, because of the dynastic union of 1580 -1640 confuse them. This feature would be explained by the fact that the Portuguese galleon take a slight bow of the Caravela Navy, which allowed the ship is much easier to maneuver than a Nau.


Ships of the Crown of Portugal in Invincible Armada
Indeed, when the Union Dynasty between Portugal and the crowns of several kingdoms Hapsburgs of Philip II and the latter decides to create a large armed attack to England, are the Portuguese galleons leading Philip II to consider the initiative with more confidence


 Galeão S. Martinho



Interestingly, the most famous of Portuguese galleons, called it St. Martin, and because of being the most powerful of the Portuguese vessels, was transformed into flagship of the fleet and is referred to by Spanish historiography as "Galeon San Martin" and its origin Portuguese in the overwhelming majority of cases have simply omitted, and in many cases presented as "Raise the ship" built in the Mediterranean coast. It is also said by some historians as ship Castilian Spanish.

Indeed, as the historical documents show, the ships continued to be Portuguese galleons of the Crown of Portugal and just the fact that his name has been translated from Portuguese into Spanish has to be referred to as' San Martin '.

Of the remaining Portuguese galleons that participated in the battle, some were already built in Portugal after 1580, but remained for all purposes (such as St. Martin) to be part of the Crown of Portugal and to be built exactly the same rules and plans construction typically Portuguese.


Problem of design?
The work of Augusto Salgado and João Pedro Vaz, the invincible armada, presents an interesting theory that explains that, although faster and manoeuvrable that Hispanic galleons, the Portuguese galleons have proved difficult to maneuver during battle.
Between 1580 and 1588. The problem has been the observation that the vessels in open sea in the North Atlantic, metiam too much water because their allegedly forecastle was too low.

Misinterpreted the problem, and assuming that the vessels would be used for approaches (tactics of naval warfare that commanders still tenaciously clinging Hispanics), the commander of the squadron, Alvaro de Bazan, said they were increasing the 'beak' or spur of approach and the forecastle (the fashion of the Spanish galleons).

For this reason, both the St. Martin, or other galleons of the Crown of Portugal ended (inspired by Spanish master) for vessels grow into terribly slow and difficult to maneuver because its structure was not designed to handle a heavy bow.

The absolute lack of naval commanders Hispanics still clinging to the tactics of the battle of Lepanto, ultimately seal the fate of the squad.

However, despite the disastrous changes made by the Spaniards, the overall quality of the construction of shipyards Portuguese was such that even terribly damaged, and having to have many holes below the waterline repaired in combat, the British failed to sink the ship.

Standard Displacement: 400 Ton
Displacement max. : 700 Ton.
Crew / Trim: 300
Autonomy: 3500Km to 5 knots
Maximum Speed: 7 knots




história de Portugal, enigmas, descobrimentosdifferences between the caravel, nau, carrack, galleondifferences between the caravel, nau, carrack, galleon
differences between the caravel, nau, carrack, galleon, differences between the caravel, nau, carrack, galleon