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The Ships of Christopher Columbus (Anatomy of the Ship)

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Everybody agrees that there is no historically accurate data on what these vessels looked like, specifically. At best, we might have some idea of the type they were, but that's about it. Nevertheless, they just keep on putting out books and model kits of the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. The demand just never lets up. :D


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I agree with Bob’s post above.  The underwater Archeology people have published a lot of new information since this book was published and much of it can be found on the internet.  The bad news is how much is still unknown. In most cases information is limited to mast steps, floor timbers, and many a few first futtocks.  Virtually nothing exists for upper works.  It would be even be impossible to determine which of these vessels, were fitted with square transom or round sterns.


The Newport Ship currently being conserved in Bristol, UK is one of the “better preserved” examples of a ship of this period, probably built in Spain.  The reconstruction is based on a remarkably small fragment of the hull with the rest, such as the square transom inferred.



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18 hours ago, Roger Pellett said:

The underwater Archeology people have published a lot of new information since this book was published and much of it can be found on the internet.  

For example, see  https://modelshipworld.com/topic/10190-archaeological-studies-on-carrack-wrecks/



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Thanks Steven for all this wonderful info. I have just ordered the Mantua Nina 1:50 with extra pre stitched sails from CMB. I am a total Columbus freak, and have been since childhood. I have built the Amati Santa Maria 1:50??? but plan on building all 3 of the Mantua vessels. It doesn't appear as though any build logs for the Nina are on here, or anywhere I can find, so I may be the log Guinea Pig for this one!






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Thanks, Chris. 


I did a search for Nina build logs, and though I couldn't find anything on the Mantua one, there seem to be a few from other companies - https://modelshipworld.com/search/?q=nina - which may be of help to you in your build.


You might also be interested in http://nautarch.tamu.edu/shiplab/01George/index.htm which has links to pages that outline just about all the information known of caravels to date, and https://www.amazon.com/Portuguese-caravel-European-shipbuilding-development/dp/B0007BPCV4 - I haven't read this book, so I can't comment on whether it's any good or not. There's also a very good website on the development of caravels that I thought I had bookmarked, but can't find at the moment. If I can locate it, I'll send you the link.


OMG! I just realised you're a fellow Ballarat resident!



Edited by Louie da fly
changed TAMU link address for more info
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  • 2 years later...



Building the models looks to be a fun project but I would be cautious with pre sewn sails or any cloth materials for that matter.  It is impossible to make these to scale at 1:50 or smaller using cloth and sewing machines whether done on your own or buying them pre-made.   It is a shame to see many well built models ruined with cloth sails that are so out of scale.  If you do a little search you will see that there has been a lot of discussion and instruction details on using alternate materials to make realistic sails to scale lately here at MSW.   I am not familiar with CMB's  sails, so they may be using scaled materials other than cloth and sewing thread.  It will be interesting to see what materials they are using.


Edited by allanyed
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  • 5 weeks later...

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