Portuguese Nau

The Nao (lat. Nava) was the generic Portuguese name given to carracks, which were widely used alongside caravels to build the first colonial empire in 1415, extending from Africa to Asia. One of the most well known Nao was the Flor de la Mar (1501 or 1502) recorded in the "Roteiro de Malacca" register. Another famous Nao was the Sao Gabriel, Vasco de Gama's flagship and the Victoria, Magellan's ship. These solid ships married Latin and Nordic influences and were well suited to the Atlantic and long travels. Their construction required clinker assembly and reinforcing beams. They had large holds to store food, water, live animals, an iron worker, a millstone, glassware for barter with indigeneous, but also weapons and gunpowder to show strenght. Artillery however was overall modest (gun port had just been invented) consisting in a few heavy pieces and a large majority of smaller caliber Pierriers à boîte ( breech-loading swivel gun) and swivel-fixed arquebus in the castles. The idea was more to frighten and impress the locals than to fight against possible encounters at these latitudes.

Portuguese Carrack