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   Back to Shipping off Woolwich Dockyard

Woodcut of early German ships, c. 1530.

Woodcut of early German ships, c. 1530.
Woodcut of early German ships, c. 1530.
© National Maritime Museum, London
Repro ID: PU0267
Description: In medieval times, ships in northern Europe began to change. Ships began to be built with straight sternposts instead of curved ends. Sailors found it was easier to steer ships if the steering oar was fixed onto the sternpost. This stern rudder made even the heaviest boat easier to steer. Ships were built using the frame-first method so they were stronger. Sometimes, fighting platforms called castles were built high up at the front and the back of the ship for archers and stone-slingers.
Creator: Unknown
Date: c. 1530
Credit line: National Maritime Museum, London
National Maritime Museum/Royal Observatory GreenwichNew Opportunities Fund 
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