Nau

Nao ("From Nava") was the generic Portuguese name given to the carracks, which were widely used alongside the 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 (launched 1501 or 1502) and recorded in the "Roteiro de Malacca". Another famous Nao was the Sao Gabriel, Vasco de Gama's flagship and the Victoria, Magellan's flagship. These solid ships married Latin and Nordic influences and were well suited to the crossing of the Atlantic and long navigations. Their construction associated clinker and reinforcing bars. They had large holds to store food, water, domestic animals, an iron worker's shop, a millstone, glassware for barter, but also weapons and gunpowder. The artillery remained modest (the gun port had just been invented) and consisted of a few heavy pieces and a majority of smaller caliber, stone-throwers and arquebus, in the castles. The idea was more to frighten and impress the local population than to fight against possible enemy ships.