Why was the caravel ship important during the Age of Exploration

The caravel was a vessel of paramount significance in the 15th and 16th centuries, when it was used to traverse the immense barrier to the New World. This is the ship that was used for the majority of transatlantic exploration as well as other well-known expeditions, such as the numerous journeys made to circumnavigate South Africa in attempts to reach India during the Age of Discovery.

In the 1440s, a caravel style vessel could be found in the Atlantic Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. These small-to-medium sized vessels were used as cargo carriers, warships, patrol or dispatch boats, and pirate ships. The first evidence of the caravel was on the Iberian Peninsula in the 13th century. They were used mostly as fishing vessels.

Its key features include: Ability to sail windward, fast, and easily maneuverable.

Want to see two Columbus replica ships - Niña, the most historically accurate replica of a Columbus Ship ever built, and the recently-built Pinta? Find a tour schedule of these marvelous caravel vessels at The Columbus Foundation - Ports Schedule.

Updated on Friday, November 01 2013 at 08:45AM EDT
Collection: vessel