Prepared for the ThinkQuest Junior Contest by David B. Gregory J. Josh H. and Josh I.
Summit View School, Valley Glen, California
The Chinese Junk
Chinese junks have been used for over 4,000 years. Their shape is special because the people of Ancient China needed a boat that could sail on rivers and canals as well as on the open sea. It is about 300 feet. The sails are made of canvas with bamboo poles. The sails can be raised and lowered like window blinds.
Roman Merchant Ships
Roman merchant ships had two steering oars at the stern and they had a square main sail and a smaller stunsail at the bow. They were the first to use a stunsail which made the ship quicker and easier to handle. Athough the Romans were not great sailors, they conquered many enemies and gained larger fleets of ships.
Viking ships were long narrow, and light. They were made of wood. Both the bow and stern were very high. There are many types of Viking ships. The most famous were the dragon ships. These were warships with a dragon bow. Sixty men rowed, thirty on each side. Rules on Viking ships were very strict. Sailors could not complain of fear and they had to promise to be brave. The worst crime was to betray a friend.
Clipper Ships were very fast ships made of iron-framed hulls covered with wood. They were called "clippers" because they "clipped off" or shortened the days of a voyage.