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Carrack map

A carrack painted on Cutler Beckett's World map.

A carrack or nau was a three-or four-masted sailing ship used by the Portuguese and the Spanish during the Age of discovery.


A carrack was developed in 15th century Western Europe for use in the Atlantic Ocean. It had a high rounded stern with large aftcastle, forecastle and bowsprit at the stem. It was first used by the Portuguese (its creators), and later by the Spanish, to explore and map the world. It was usually square-rigged on the foremast and mainmast and lateen-rigged on the mizzenmast.

El Patron's ship

El Patron's ship was a well known carrack during the 16th century.

Carracks were ocean-going ships: large enough to be stable in heavy seas, and roomy enough to carry provisions for long voyages. They were the ships in which the Portuguese and the Spanish explored the world in the 15th and 16th centuries. In Portuguese this type was called 'nau', while in Spanish it is called 'carraca' or 'nao'. In French it was called a 'caraque' or 'net'. As the forerunner of the great ships of the age of sail, the carrack was one of the most influential ship designs in history; while ships became more specialized, the basic design remained unchanged throughout the Age of Sail.

The most notable carrack was the ship captained by El Patron.[1]


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