Carracks, galleon (center/right), square rigged caravel (below), galley and fusta (galliot) depicted by D.
João de Castro
on the "Suez Expedition" (part of the Portuguese Armada of 72 ships sent against the Ottoman fleet anchored in Suez, Egypt, in response to its entry in the Indian Ocean and the
siege of Diu
in 1538) - Tábuas da India
in the João de Castro`s Roteiro do Mar Roxo
(Routemap of the Red Sea
) of 1540-1541. - Despite this kind of ship (or only a close model of art) was already depicted in the heraldry of the Foral
of Lisbon (of D. Manuel I) in 1502, it is in 1510 (as also in some of the following years after 1510) the appearance of the Portuguese oceanic galleon
in the records. It is however from 1519 that their number increases substantially, but gradually. It was an evolution and a gradual improvement in the design made during the first quarter of the century - technical improvement which continued until the second half of the century. The Portuguese galleon evolved from the
square rigged caravel
and was a compromise between the great carrack or nau and the aforementioned square rigged caravel or war caravel
(also called caravela de armada
or Portuguese man of war
) that evolved into a new design of ship, but keeping its hull design similar to the galley.
It was also more maneuverable, more robust and heavily armed.