The word of the Byzantine Greek karabos, which can be translated as "beetle" , was used to name a light boat . The etymological path of the term was extensive until reaching our language as caravel .
A caravel, therefore, is a sailing boat that has a single deck and flat stern. It has three sticks with three candles and you can navigate to one speed of about eight knots.
These boats were very important in the XV centuries and XVI . In fact, many European conquerors used caravels in the travels that took them to the American continent.
The caravels offered several advantages over other ships of that time. They did not require rowers for their propulsion and had a significant load capacity: that is why they could transport large quantities of foods for extensive crossings.
After the conquest of America , the caravels began to lose preponderance because, little by little, the navigators began to opt for other boats, such as the galleons .
Possibly the most famous caravels of the history be the ones that were part of the expedition that led to Christopher Columbus and his crew to the American territory for the first time. The Santa Maria It was the biggest ship: some historians doubt whether it was a caravel or a nao. The girl and La Pinta they were the other caravels that allowed to develop the crossing.
The nao , on the other hand, it was a boat equipped with candle and cover that also did not require oars for its operation. The term comes from Latin navis, which can be translated as "ship", and then crossed the Galician-Portuguese language. Although from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century, this concept was understood with the definition provided above, later it began to be used to refer to a class of ship characterized by having stern and bow castles, a raised freeboard and three masts with stable candles.
The round caravels They arose when the sailors began using both the block and the Latin sail on the boat (the first one is square and the second one has a triangular shape). Shortly before the equipment in charge of Christopher Columbus to begin his historic journey, The girl and La Pinta, until then considered Latin caravels, were modified to make them round.
Needless to say, the emergence of round caravels was not a fad of a stylistic nature, but took place with the aim of improving the maneuverability of the ships.
For example, the stable candle is not able to stick to a wind of face (that is, unfavorable) more than fifty percent, even if the ship is well balanced and the crew is made up of very experienced people; in the same way, it tends to make the caravel drift away. But all this changes when the two types of candle are combined, since the Latina does not have any of these two problems.
If the wind is favorable (the so-called stern wind), the situation is reversed: while the Pressure Uneven makes it very difficult to keep the ship on the path drawn with a Latin sail, the block can take advantage of all the wind and allows to advance with total uniformity.
There was also a boat called barcusium, which was very similar to the Latin caravel. It also worked under sail, it had two sticks and three rudders. Its creation took place in the Sicilian city of Ragusa, where its use predominated.
In the context of the zoology , is known as Portuguese caravel to the aquatic animal whose scientific name is Physalia physalis . It is a hydrozoo that belongs to the order of the siphonophores.