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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 ?
The dead man was the Caravelle driver, father-owo Christopher Turner, aged 25, also of Mills Road.
The company has introduced a raft of significant improvements to its Caravelle people carrier - pictured right -and California campervan models to cater for the needs of families staying in the UK for their vacations this year rather than venturing abroad at a time of higher prices and uncertainty over airlines.
Phuket, Thailand Bintan Island, Indonesia Rio Das Pedras, Brazil Cancun Ixtapa, Mexico Ixtapa Pacific, Mexico Punta Cana, Dominican Republic Sandpiper Bay, Florida Kani, Maldives La Plantation d'Albion, Mauritius Cherating Beach, Malaysia Turkoise, Turks & Caicos Columbus Isle, Bahamas La Caravelle, Guadeloupe Buccaneer's Creek, Martinique
VERSATILE The Caravelle can be a people carrier or a camper.
ATTRACTIVE The VW Caravelle is aimed at the growing number of British people who, because of job uncertainty and the recession, are expected to holiday at home this year.
Volkswagen director of commercial vehicles Simon Elliott, said: "In March we had a 25 per cent increase in enquiries for brochures for our California campervan and Caravelle people carrier.
Adrian Cummins and Deirdre Kenny hope to complete their journey to Africa in about a month in the 25-year-old VW Caravelle.
While it might sound like the description of travelling in your own private jet it's actually what you find in Volkswagen's latest Caravelle.
Based on the Caravelle, the newcomer has been christened the California.
From the Airport Roof Garden see all the latest aircraft in operation: The Vanguard, Boeing 707, French Caravelle, Viscount, Comet .
The problem occurred partly because the Caravelle,originally the chosen transport of hippies and rock festival fanatics, was traditionally sold through dealerships handling vans rather than passenger cars.
During the day there is the opportunity to experience a lap of the Silverstone race circuit in the Volkswagen Racing Caravelle, subject to track availability.