Chinese Wugongchuan Ship

  • Medieval Asia
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

The 16th Century design of The Chinese Wugongchuan Ship (or “Centipede” Ship), was inspired by contact with Portuguese Explorers to China. The Portuguese were using The “Galley”-Type Ship as it’s principle Vessel for exploration, transportation, trade and War. Suitably impressed with it’s design – The Chinese Minh Dynasty developed it’s own version. Made of wood, the 3 to 4 Decked Wugongchuan Ship featured up to 30-Oars on each side (60 total). Typically, they ranged from 70 to 12-feet in length and reached up to 60-feet in height (Beam). They also used a Square Sail Pattern, affixed to 2 Masts. Larger Wugongchuan Ships had 3.


Like their Portuguese designs, they featured Swivel Guns, but these were deployed along the Main Deck. Whole Fleets were used for War and for Coastal Defense purposes. However by the mid-16th Century, a wave of anti-European sentiment swept through China, ending in a short War with Portugal. As a result all things “Western” were abandoned, and with it – The Wugongchuan design.