What Ship Is That? Part Three


Guess Which Ship This Is…

We’re back with yet another insider look at historical ship variations and fun facts to go along with it. In the previous instalment of ‘What Ship is That’ we took a look at the Ballinger, Barge and Barque. Today we continue our foray into the fascinating world of historical shipping by taking a look at the majestic Barquentine, the brutish Battleship, and the multifaceted Bergantina.

The Barquentine – Elegant & Classic

Quick – call up an image of an olden-day ship. Chances are, the image you have in your mind right now is one of Barquentine. As classic in shape as it is elegant in execution, this ship ended up as the subject of quite a few prominent paintings over the years – such as the ‘Mercator’ by Yasmina Van Hoof. Why? Well, it’s a decidedly good-looking ship. Fitted with 3+ masts that featured square-rigged sails on the foremast, as well as fore- and aft sails on the main and after masts, these vessels were as striking to look at as they were easy to use. In the 1800s, its ability to sail close to the wind while carrying lots of cargo without the need for large amount of crew made it one of the most popular vessels of its time.

The Battleship – Bold & Audacious

It’s not often that a ship’s intended purpose is so succinctly stated in its name. The Battleship, however, lives up to its name in every way. Large, gunned and heavily armored, it refers to a class of ships that were developed with the express purpose of taking to the oceans to partake in war efforts. While there were plenty of sail-powered ships that were used in battle, none of these could technically be termed a battleship in the modern sense of the word however.

The Bergantina – Explorer Par Excellence

The Bergantina was a medium-sized vessel type popular in the 1800s. According to the records that remain, this ship type straddled the divide between pure sailing vessels and oared ships. Typically it had no more than two masts and 16 benches, which meant 32 oarsmen at most. Less than 13 meters in length and quite shallow, these ships were very well suited to exploration of unknown waters and played a valuable role in the initial European discovery of what is now known as Florida.

Check back soon for Part Four that will delve into the intricacies of the Bermuda rig, Bilander and Bireme respectively.

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