The man-of-war (pl. men-of-war; also man-o'-war, or simply man)was a British Royal Navy expression for a powerful warship or frigate from the 16th to the 19th century. Although the term never acquired a specific meaning, it was usually reserved for a ship armed with cannon and propelled primarily by sails, as opposed to a galley which is propelled primarily by oars.
The man-of-war was developed in Portugal in the early 15th century from earlier roundships with the addition of a second mast to form the carrack. The 16th century saw the carrack evolve into the galleon and then the ship of the line. The evolution of the term has been given thus:
Man-of-war. "A phrase applied to a line of battle ship, contrary to the usual rule in the English language by which all ships are feminine. It probably arose in the following manner: 'Men of war' were heavily armed soldiers. A ship full of them would be called a 'man-of-war ship.' In process of time the word 'ship' was discarded as unnecessary and there remained the phrase 'a man-of-war.'"— Talbot in Henry Fredrick Reddall Fact, fancy, and fable, 1892, p. 340
The man-of-war design developed by Sir John Hawkins, had three masts, each with three to four sails. The ship could be up to 60 metres long and could have up to 124 guns: four at the bow, eight at the stern, and 56 in each broadside. All these cannons required three gun decks to hold them, one more than any earlier ship. It had a maximum sailing speed of eight or nine knots.
A frigate is a type of warship, having various sizes and roles over time.
A sailing ship uses sails, mounted on two or more masts, to harness the power of wind and propel the vessel. There is a variety of sail plans that propel sailing ships, employing square-rigged or fore-and-aft sails. Some ships carry square sails on each mast—the brig and full-rigged ship, said to be "ship-rigged" when there are three or more masts. Others carry only fore-and-aft sails on each mast—schooners. Still others employ a combination of square and fore-and aft sails, including the barque, barquentine, and brigantine. Sailing ships developed differently in Asia, which produced the junk and dhow—vessels that incorporated innovations absent in European ships of the time.
A ship of the line was a type of naval warship constructed from the 17th century to the mid-19th century. The ship of the line was designed for the naval tactic known as the line of battle, which depended on the two columns of opposing warships maneuvering to fire with the cannons along their broadsides. In conflicts where opposing ships were both able to fire from their broadsides, the opponent with more cannons—and therefore more firepower—typically had an advantage. Since these engagements were almost invariably won by the heaviest ships carrying the most powerful guns, the natural progression was to build sailing vessels that were the largest and most powerful of their time.
A broadside is the side of a ship, the battery of cannon on one side of a warship; or their coordinated fire in naval warfare. From the 16th century until the early decades of the steamship, vessels had rows of guns set in each side of the hull. Firing all guns on one side of the ship became known as a "broadside". The cannons of 18th-century men of war were accurate only at short range, and their penetrating power mediocre, entailing that the thick hulls of wooden ships could only be pierced at short ranges. These wooden ships sailed closer and closer towards each other until cannon fire would be effective. Each tried to be the first to fire a broadside, often giving one party a decisive headstart in the battle when it crippled the other ship.
A xebec, also spelled zebec, was a Mediterranean sailing ship that was used mostly for trading. Xebecs had a long overhanging bowsprit and aft-set mizzen mast. The term can also refer to a small, fast vessel of the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries, used almost exclusively in the Mediterranean Sea.
Galleons were large, multi-decked sailing ships first used by the Spanish as armed cargo carriers and later adopted by other European states from the 16th to 18th centuries during the age of sail and were the principal fleet units drafted for use as warships until the Anglo-Dutch Wars of the mid-1600s. Galleons generally carried three or more masts with a lateen fore-and-aft rig on the rear masts, were carvel built with a prominent squared off raised stern, and used square-rigged sail plans on their fore-mast and main-masts.
A warship or combatant ship is a naval ship that is built and primarily intended for naval warfare. Usually they belong to the armed forces of a state. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faster and more manoeuvrable than merchant ships. Unlike a merchant ship, which carries cargo, a warship typically carries only weapons, ammunition and supplies for its crew. Warships usually belong to a navy, though they have also been operated by individuals, cooperatives and corporations.
In the 18th century and most of the 19th, a sloop-of-war in the Royal Navy was a warship with a single gun deck that carried up to eighteen guns. The rating system covered all vessels with 20 guns and above; thus, the term sloop-of-war encompassed all the unrated combat vessels, including the very small gun-brigs and cutters. In technical terms, even the more specialised bomb vessels and fireships were classed as sloops-of-war, and in practice these were employed in the sloop role when not carrying out their specialized functions.
Steam frigates, also known as screw frigates and the smaller steam corvettes and steam sloops, were steam-powered warships that were not meant to stand in the line of battle. The first such ships were paddle steamers. Later on the invention of screw propulsion enabled construction of steam-powered versions of the traditional frigates, corvettes, and sloops.
The rating system of the Royal Navy and its predecessors was used by the Royal Navy between the beginning of the 17th century and the middle of the 19th century to categorise sailing warships, initially classing them according to their assigned complement of men, and later according to the number of their carriage-mounted guns. The rating system of the Royal Navy formally came to an end in the late 19th century by declaration of the Admiralty. The main cause behind this declaration focused on new types of gun, the introduction of steam propulsion and the use of iron and steel armour which made rating ships by the number of guns obsolete.
The full-rigged pinnace was the larger of two types of vessel called a pinnace in use from the sixteenth century.
This is a partial glossary of nautical terms; some remain current, while many date from the 17th to 19th centuries. See also Wiktionary's nautical terms, Category:Nautical terms, and Nautical metaphors in English. See the Further reading section for additional words and references.
A galley is a type of ship that is propelled mainly by rowing. The galley is characterized by its long, slender hull, shallow draft, and low freeboard. Virtually all types of galleys had sails that could be used in favorable winds, but human effort was always the primary method of propulsion. This allowed galleys to navigate independently of winds and currents. The galley originated among the seafaring civilizations around the Mediterranean Sea in the late second millennium BC and remained in use in various forms until the early 19th century in warfare, trade, and piracy.
As a ship's boat, the pinnace is a light boat, propelled by oars or sails, carried aboard merchant and war vessels in the Age of Sail to serve as a tender. The pinnace was usually rowed but could be rigged with a sail for use in favorable winds. A pinnace would ferry passengers and mail, communicate between vessels, scout to sound anchorages, convey water and provisions, or carry armed sailors for boarding expeditions. The Spanish favored them as lightweight smuggling vessels while the Dutch used them as raiders. In modern parlance, "pinnace" has come to mean an auxiliary vessel that does not fit under the "launch" or "lifeboat" definitions.
The Maratha Navy refers to the naval wing of the armed forces of the Maratha Empire, which existed from around mid-17th century to mid-18th century in India.
Garay were traditional native warships of the Banguingui people in the Philippines. In the 18th and 19th centuries, they were commonly used for piracy by the Banguingui and Iranun people against unarmed trading ships and raids on coastal settlements in the regions surrounding the Sulu Sea.
A Lancaran is a type of sailing ship used in the Nusantara archipelago. Although similar in shape to Mediterranean galleys, lancaran was the backbone of the regional fleet before Mediterranean influence came.
Ghali, gali or gale refers to several types of galley-like ships from Nusantara archipelago. In the archipelago, already existed several native galley-like ships, some with outriggers. A ghali is the result of mediterranean impact of native shipbuilding, particularly introduced by the Arabs, Persians, Ottoman Turks, and Portuguese. However the terms may refer to mediterranean vessels built by local people, or native vessels with mediterranean influence.
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