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(kăr`əvĕl') or


(kär`vəl), three-masted sailing vessel, generally square-rigged with the aftermast lateen-rigged. It had a roundish hull with a high bow and stern. The term "carvel-built" (see boatboat,
small, open nautical vessel propelled by sail, oar, pole, paddle, or motor. The use of the term boat for larger vessels, although common, is somewhat improper, but the line between boats and ships is not easy to draw.
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) was derived from its method of construction. A change from bulkier ships to caravels, with their small displacement, enabled the Portuguese in the 15th cent. to take the lead among Western nations in exploring the African coast; the caravel thereafter was of primary importance in the era of expansion and exploration. Columbus's flagship, the Santa María, was a typical caravel.



a sailing ship with high sides, one deck, three or four masts, and high superstructures at the bow and stern.

Caravels were widely used by Mediterranean countries from the 13th through the 17th century (first by Italy and then by Spain and Portugal). From the 15th century caravels were used for ocean voyages; in 1492 a caravel flotilla under the command of Columbus crossed the Atlantic Ocean, and in 1498, Vasco da Gama sailed from Europe to India in a caravel.

References in periodicals archive ?
It has not yet been determined whether the Caravels will remain in the New World or return to the Old.
OTHER: The Caravels, authentic replicas of Columbus' Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria ships, plus Tall Ships from 10 different countries will officially open to the public immediately following the Welcoming Ceremony.
But that did not stop caravels from anchoring there under the pretext of bad weather or emergency repairs to barter for pearls.
Caravels and naos criss-crossed the Caribbean, to and from ports in Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, and came directly from Spain.
But under the pretext of trade, or in conjunction with it, caravels tacked into the remote forested inlets, especially in the Golfo de Ciriaco and the Golfo de Santa Fe, and carried off Indians by force and deceit, as well as by purchasing them.
The caravels were constructed by the Spanish government to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Columbus' journey.
Everyone has heard of Columbus and his caravels, of galleons loaded with treasure, and the swift ships of the corsairs.
The design proved successful; larger caravels were built, with more masts and decks, and the design spread rapidly throughout Spain and beyond.
Small caravels prosecuted the early Caribbean trade in pearls and Indian slaves, being adept at navigating the intricate channels between reefs and shoals in the Bahamas and through coastal islands in Venezuela.
will book reservations and tour packages for the many events and festivals included in the quincentennial observance, including tours of the caravels and festivals at docksides.
Special 800/900 number programs, implemented by HSN 800/900 Corporation, will trace the destinations of the Tour of Caravels and give people a view of their heritage in a Find Your Roots project targeted for the U.
The year-long anniversary commemoration includes a modern-day voyage of Spanish-built replicas of the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria, the caravels sailed by Columbus and his crews.