Wednesday, February 3, 2010

About how many times did Columbus travel to the Caribbean islands

How many times did Columbus travel to the Caribbean islands?
& What type of ship enabled sailors to travel farther than ever before during the Columbus period and the shipbuilder was WHO???? PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BEST ANSWER GETS 10 POINTS!!!!!!!!!
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Columbus made 4 trips to the Carribiean and South America. It wasn't so much the Ship that enabled Columbus to travel so far, heck the Vickings made it to Canada years before him in lesser craft. The major problem was money, who would back a voyage, pay the sailors, buy the provisions and outfit the voyage. The other major impediment was there were no accurate maps of how far it was between Europe and America. Columbus's voyage and his map makeing ability showed the rest of Europe exactly how far it was and how much provisions were needed. The Santa Maria was a nao, the flagship of the Columbus fleet. It was a merchant ship, between 200-600 tons. The boat's length was 75 feet with a wide beam, 25 feet. This allowed it to carry more people and cargo. She had a deep draft, 6 feet. The vessel had three masts, a mainmast, a foremast, and a mizzenmast. Five sails altogether were attached to these masts. Each mast carried one large sail. The foresail and mainsail were square; the sail on the mizzen was a triangular sail known as a lateen mizzen. The ship had a smaller topsail on the mainmast above the mainsail and on the foremast above the foresail. In addition, the ship carried a small square sail, a spritsail, on the bowsprit. In the diagram above, the spritsail cannot be seen. Each sail was attached to a long wooden pole, a yard, which spread the sail out across the top and held it open. The Santa Maria also had a crow’s nest on the mainmast. It had a raised stern. There was a forecastle in the bow of the ship. Most of the force used to drive this ship came from the largest mainsail. The other sails were used for "trimming." Though many sailors believed that the Santa Maria was a fine ship for her day, Columbus was not so impressed. He did not think it was a ship fit for discovery. Because of the deep draft, the vessel was not suited for sailing near reefs and shallow island waters. In fact, the craft ran aground off Hispaniola and had to be abandoned. The Nina and the Pinta were the same type of ship. These two ships in the fleet of Columbus were known as caravels. A caravel had a shallower draft than a nao, so it could move around in the water more easily. A caravel was150-300 tons. It did not have much cargo space, but it was able to sail over difficult waters easily. It was square-rigged on its foremasts and mainmasts, but used a lateen sail on the mizzen to help in tacking. It was so easy to control that sailors could easily explore shallow bays and the mouths of rivers. A caravel could hold about twenty crew members. They usually slept on the deck and would go below only if the weather was bad. Pinta was a caravel, a smaller, lighter, and faster ship than the tubby Santa Maria. She probably had three masts, and most likely carried sails like those of Santa Maria, except for the topsail, and perhaps the spritsail.
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