Caravel

The majority of the ships that sailed before the Caravel were either: square-rigged barca or larger Venetian Carracks. Both older vessels were best suited to sail with the help of the winds, carrying substantial cargo. To help the explorers, Portuguese designers combined the ideas of the Arab Caravas and the maneuverable Portuguese river boats the Caravelas. The Caravel was large enough to hold supplies for a crew of twenty. It displaced fifty tons, and was seventy feet in length. Most importantly, because of the design of its sails, the Caravel was able to sail much closer into the wind than previous ocean ships. Columbus' three ships: the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, were all Caravels.

.