Tuesday, August 17, 2010


These ships were large trading vessels commonly built in the Ragusea regions of Dalmatia and Venice during the late 17th century. The actual word "Argosy" is derived from a corruption of the word "Ragusea", likely originated from foreign sailors mispronouncing the word.

The Argosy had a substantial cargo capacity, slightly larger than that of typical Spanish Nao, and were capable of being sailed with a very small crew. As a result, these lumbering crafts were highly economical and very popular with merchants trafficking their cargoes along the European coasts. Due in large part to their bulky dimensions and poor navigational controls, the lumbering vessels were very difficult to control in foul weather. As a result, their use was typically limited to traveling the coastlines of Europe and almost never transoceanic.

Sadly, no existing examples of these ships have ever been excavated or otherwise recovered. We have many examples of these ships from literature and artworks, but their exact dimensions and designs are due more to interpolations of ancient documents than they are due to direct study.