The ship on which Columbus discovered America
The ship on which Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492 was called the Santa Maria or Holy Mary. The length of Santa Maria in various sources is estimated at 70 feet or 82 feet, which is, respectively, 21.4 meters or 25 meters, with a capacity of up to 40 people. The Cantabrian Juan de la Cosa, a famous Spanish traveler and cartographer, was the owner and captain of the caracca.
"Santa Maria" was a single-deck, three-masted ship with direct sailing weapons. Its sailing armament consisted of 5 sails: foresail, mainsail, mainsail, latin mizzen and blind on the bowsprit. She moved more slowly than other ships of Columbus, but was distinguished by reliability during storms. She was armed with 12 guns.
The ship was built in Galicia and named "La Gallega" ("Galician"). The crew called the ship the name "Marigalante" ("Gallant Maria"). Bartolome de Las Casas does not use any of these names in his records, referring to Columbus's ship descriptively as "La Capitana" (i.e., "flagship") or "La Nao" ("nao", a type of vessel). The Santa Maria was wrecked on Christmas Day 1492 off the coast of Haiti. The wreckage of the ship was used in the construction of a settlement founded in this place on January 6, 1493. The settlement was named La Navidad (Spanish: La Navidad - “Christmas”) after the date of the death of “Santa Marii. The modern name of this city is Môle Saint-Nicolas.
Not a single image of Columbus's ship has survived. However, in 1892, as part of the 400th anniversary of Columbus' voyage, a replica of the Santa Maria was built. In the 20th century, many life-size models and floating replicas were made, some of them of the nao type, and some of them made like caravels. Columbus himself in his journal speaks of the Santa Maria both as a caracca and as a caravel, and complains of poor maneuverability, which is unusual for caravels. The last replica of "Santa Maria"on as "nao", as this version is recognized as more plausible.