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Tudor Ships

AnthonyRoll-1 Great Harry

Tudor ships
could travel across oceans to both trade and fight.

They had three or four masts, carrying both square and triangular sails. This meant that they sailed well in light or strong winds and were more easily steered than older ships.

Life was hard for the sailors on board. They slept in the bow (front) of the ship in hammocks which swung from side to side as the ship rocked.

The captain and officers, meanwhile, had cabins in the sterncastle, at the rear.

The food on ships included: salted beef, fish, bread, dry biscuits and cheese. The food often had maggots in it and the drinking water went stale. On long journeys, many sailors died of scurvy because they did not have enough vitimin C from fresh fruit and vegetables.

Cannons were put along the upper decks. Sailors were armed with: muskets, swords, daggers pikes, bows and clubs. They were read to fight: pirates, rival traders or the people in the new lands they explored.

To find their way, seamen used navigation instruments like an astrolabe. This helped them measure the Sun's angle above the horizon which could then be looked up in a table to see how far north or south of the equator they were.

Astrolabe (PSF)