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originally posted by: tadaman
a reply to: JoshuaCox
The Spanish Galleon. Then the Portuguese Galleons which were improved and tweaked when captured and put into military service by rival states. Europe kept them around in one variant or another for a long time.
They were mainly used for trade and were usually financed by groups of merchants.
Building one between hundreds of skilled craftsmen and specialized departments was the equivalent of a NASA team building a satellite for a far off space mission.
They even developed advanced rigging so a skeleton crew could sail the ship home if disaster struck while at war or exploring.
These ships were designed with a very advanced use of specialized construction materials and engineering concepts. They were also beautiful.