The Earth is made up of over 70% water that is why it is sometimes referred to as the majestic blue marble. The water that surrounds the planet is all around us that it can even be seen in space. This prompted early voyagers and explorers to find a way to conquer and sail through the big unknown and this is why we have the Galleons.
What are Galleons
Built and constructed around the 15th to the 16th century, the Galleon was primarily built from the ground up for war. It is a full-rigged sailing ship whose name came from the word “galley.” which would later, due to the Galleons, be a term synonymous to a war vessel. The Portuguese, as well as the Spaniards, built some of the largest Galleons primarily to help them expand trading.
Galleons used for trade
As these big ships prominently displayed one to as much as two tiers of guns on its side, it spanned great distances to facilitate trade through routes that spread great distances. Some were made from Mexico in Acapulco all the way to some Southeast Asian countries and were done for over two centuries.
The Galleon was constructed in such a way to give it more stability in the water all while reducing wind resistance. These characteristics made them faster on the water making it ideal when getting into trouble. As the Galleons became longer and narrower, they started to dominate the open seas both for trade and war.
There are a lot of people who would compare the Galleon to Carracks as it is its predecessor in the open sea. The Carracks were usually bigger than the Galleons and were used primarily for trade. This is the main reason they were constructed often being over 1,000 tons to be able to carry trade items.
The average Galleon was around 500 tons which were smaller but quicker which was perfect in fast maneuvers which are a necessity in sea combat. Though the Carracks started out as armed ships, they slowly transitioned to being cargo ships as the Galleons took the cudgels of fighting in the water.
As the distinction between the two was becoming more obvious, the Carracks were becoming bigger in nature to haul more cargo and the Galleons were becoming faster to better equip it for war and fighting. One of the most famous Galleons was called the Spitfire as it had over 350 guns which were more than enough to deter any enemies from even engaging. The Galleon started to lord it over in the open seas as they were being made with strength and durability in mind. Surprisingly so, they were better investments as well because they were less expensive to make. On an average, the cost to build three Carracks would be enough to put together five Galleons.
This is one of the reasons why Galleons also took on double roles as time passed by. This meant that they were not merely made as warships but for transports as well. Over the course of time, a lot of Galleons would be refitted depending if it was wartime or a time of peace.