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San Salvador flagship: Wikis


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San Salvador was Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo's flagship. It was 100-foot full-rigged galleon with 10-foot draft and capacity of 200 tons[1]. It carried officers, crew, slaves and a priest.



San Salvador together with La Victoria, the second Cabrillo's ship, were the first two ships to anchor at Santa Catalina Island, California October 7, 1542. The two ships were not square-rigged galleons commonly used for crossing vast expanses of open ocean. Rather, they were built in Navidad, Mexico, especially for exploration along the coast. Navidad is some 20 miles nortwest from Manzanillo, Colima, today almost forgotten[2]. The requirements of building exploration-ships was the ability to sail with ease into small harbors. The ships were rigged with triangular sails supported by swept booms. This sail arrangement, a forerunner to the sails found on modern-day sloops, ketches and yawls, made the craft more agile and gave them the ability to point higher into the wind than square riggers. Entering harbors and coves would have been much easier with these craft as compared to square riggers.

Model of San Salvador

Cabrillo's flagship San Salvador has been described as having four masts: a square-rigged foremast, lanteen-rigged main and mizzen-masts and an even smaller mizzen-type mast with a boom which swung well outboard, in the style of the modern-day yawl. Such descriptions depict La Victoria as having two masts, both lanteen rigged. A model of San Salvador, was built by Señor Manuel Monmeneu in association with the Naval Museum in Madrid, Spain. The model project was sponsored by the Portuguese-American Social and Civic Club of San Diego. This model depicts San Salvador more like La Victoria - with two major masts.

Homonymic Ships

San Salvador, the flagship of Dunkirk - Battle of the Downs
San Salvador, the flagship carrying 64 sailors and 319 troops[3]
San Salvador a ship of Guipúzcoa Squadron in the Spanish Armada[4].
Salvador del Mundo 122-gun ship[5] in ref. to John Jervis's fleet (see also HMS Captain (1787).
San Salvador seized by Robert Reneger, Anglo-Spanish merchant and alleged Brazilian trader[6][7]

External links


  1. ^ Spain in the Southwest: A Narrative History of Colonial New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and California by John L. Kessell (2003) p.47
  2. ^ Pathfinders by Robert Glass Cleland (2005) p.2
  3. ^ To Rule the Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World by Arthur Herman (2004) p.123
  4. ^ Drake: For God, Queen, and Plunder (Military Profiles) by Wade G. Dudley (2003) p.68
  5. ^ The War of Wars: The Great European Conflict 1793 - 1815 by Robert Harvey (2006) p.194
  6. ^ England and the Spanish Armada: The Necessary Quarrel by James McDermott (2005) p.22
  7. ^ Forerunners of Drake: A Study of English Trade with Spain in the Early Tudor Period by Gordon Connell-Smith in The English Historical Review, Vol. 69, No. 273 (Oct., 1954), pp. 657-658



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