Boat Eras

While many boats from history look pretty similar in design, there are subtle differences between them. In order to better understand this, it is helpful to look at the specific eras of vessels. Scientists believe that the oldest intact shipwreck is around 2,400 years old. However, human beings utilised these vehicles for far longer in the distant past. The first sailing boats are believed to have been created by the ancient Egyptians. After a couple of thousand years, these people built larger wooden boats capable of travelling across distant oceans.

Around 1550 BC, the Phoenicians created man-powered ships which were used for both trade and conflict. Rudders were featured on the early boats of Ancient China. However, one of the most significant developments was in the 15th century with the creation of three-masted vessels. These were popular with explorers for many centuries.

In 1660, King Charles II popularised yachts for ocean travel. A century and a half later, clipper ships were built with slimmer and longer hulls. The 19th century was one of the most significant eras for shipping. This is because technological advancement was achieved at an incredible speed.

Role of Wars

For centuries, human beings have raged war at sea. To gain the upper hand, each side would need to develop the most efficient vessels possible. Because of this, the advancement of boats can be primarily attributed to warfare.

People interested in the history of naval combat will find that the BBC website is a valuable online resource. Different boat types were created for different scenarios. For example, the Vikings were famous for their longships. These vessels took them across vast oceans quickly so that they could pillage neighbouring island nations.

In other wars, the factions were focused on bringing back as much bounty as possible. There also needed to be enough room for all of the crew members. Because of this, schooner type warships were created. These ships would often contain heavy cannons. Engineers had to come up with ways to hold more weight and keep the boats balanced.

During the First World War, there was a push to armour boats with metal casings. This has been a key trend ever since. When planes took over as a dominant element of combat, boats began to serve as aircraft carriers.