Caravel, a light sailing ship of the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries in Europe, much-used by the Spanish and Portuguese for long voyages. Apparently developed by the Portuguese for exploring the coast of Africa, the caravel’s chief excellence lay in its capacity for sailing to windward.
What was the caravel built out of?
It was built of flush-fitted planks attached to a previously-assembled frame, often with a double tower at the stern and a single tower in the bow. The success of this vessel enabled the Portuguese to be the first Europeans to cross the equator, round the Cape of Good Hope and get to India by sea.
How did Portuguese traders reach India?
Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama becomes the first European to reach India via the Atlantic Ocean when he arrives at Calicut on the Malabar Coast. Da Gama sailed from Lisbon, Portugal, in July 1497, rounded the Cape of Good Hope, and anchored at Malindi on the east coast of Africa.
Where did the Portuguese learn to build ships?
It was from the Portuguese that Low Countries shipwrights learned the method of building their ships frame first. In 1439 the Duke of Burgundy, Philip the Good, imported Portuguese craftsmen to build a ship for him, probably on the Zenne near Brussels.
Is the caravel still used today?
today it is taken in general as a vessel of lateen sail that consists of three masts… … The caravel was a vessel of paramount importance in the 15th and 16th centuries, when it was used to traverse the immense barrier to the New World.
How was the caravel better for explorations than earlier ships?
Caravels grew larger and more spacious as the turn of the 16th century approached. As the caravel did not go deep, it was the proper ship for exploration of river discharges in shallow waters. With the help of the Latin seal it was able to quickly cross shallow areas in strong winds, gaining great speed.
What advantage did the caravel have over earlier ships?
Advantages of the caravel
The caravel was much beter than previous ships due to its ability to sail fast and into the wind. Caravel planking was much thicker, and they were broad-beamed ships with 2 or 3 masts (later, they had as many as 4) with square sails and a triangular sail.