20 December 1999
This site is prepared as a presentation of the development of the
western square-rigged sailing ship after the Middle Ages.
The study covers the period of four hundred years,
from the first two-masted Mediterranean square-riggers of the
early 15th Century to the three-masted, full-rigged ships of the
Napoleonic era. To reduce the workload and focus the study on the
abovementioned, personally the most interesting period, the
subsequent development in the 19th and early 20th Centuries has
As an avid enthusiast of the Era of Development in (western)
shipbuilding in the abovementioned period, I have been amazed (for
many years now) that there does seem to have been no
orchestrated, single presentation of the square-rigger history.
(And, apart from the Napoleonic period, rather little info on the
'Net about the shipbuilding development during the era anyway.)
So, as with the other subsites, the old "when others won't, I will"
adage had to be used again...
First planned (very seriously) as early as in 1996, the
15th-to-19th-C sailing ship history site was, however, delayed until
I finally took a grip and set to write the text and prepare the site
over three years later. One of the original problems had been the
acquisition of suitable images for presentation. Finally, I decided
to use my own drawings of the subjects -- that would also allow me
to show just what is needed in every image and concentrate on the
BTW, the ship drawings are presented in approximate scale in relation
to each other, so if the first ship images seem small, wait 'til the
last ones (big files) arrive, you'll see the reason -- especially
if you have a "small"-resolution screen...
Some of the numerous terms have been somewhat explained to the
uninitiated, but for further explanations and more comprehensive info
(Glossary of Nautical Terms) (the links inside
parethensis on this site lead to external sites) and the links on the
Study Sources page.
(The Maritime History Virtual Archives) offers
a wealth of links for further study.
With Frames |