Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cyprus - Tall Ships

Tall ships have a particular place in the history of shipbuilding that is vessels with sails that hang from the mast or from the spars of the mast and which capture the force of the wind so that these vessels move along. The ancient Egyptians were the first to build sailing vessels. The first sails manufactured were from animal hides or reeds and woven linen sails were manufactured subsequently. Sails come in various shapes and have different names (for example topsail, topgallant, etc). The Arabs were the first to introduce triangular sails, known as "latini" which were suitably adjusted on the masts and gave the vessel the ability to "cruise" even against the direction of the wind. By the 16th century when shipbuilding developed, a second deck was added to sailing vessels and the variety of sail formations and naval architecture created countless varieties of vessels (caravels, frigates, brigs, brigantines, barques, galleys, etc).
The invention of the steam engine at the end of the 18th century and its introduction into shipbuilding at the beginning of the 19th century led to an abandonment of sail and the domination of steam engines on the seas. Today, tall ships are powered by sails and engines and sailboats are used for pleasure purposes or to take part in sailing competitions.
Cyprus issued three stamps on 8th June 2011 to commemorate the Tall Ships – Galleon, Caravel and the Brig. Merja sent me this nice cover.

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