Galleons were multi-decked vessels used by European Sea Powers for warfare around the 16th to 18th Centuries. These ships were originally a combination of both Oar (human power) and Sail (wind). Some documented examples state as many as 60 to 80 Oarsmen were needed to propelled the larger type Galleons. They also featured a redesigned Rudder and Steerage systems that increased mobility and easy of turning. Development possible started in Venice, Italy. The innovation of lowering a ships Forecastle was considered a noted improvement. Design experimentation with Carracks also lead to the creation of the Galleon-Class. More stable platforms for cannon (quickly becoming the mainstay in Naval warfare), were needed. Galleons also featured multiple decks of guns (which increased their ability to do damage and win battles).
Due to their size and components, Galleons often were an expensive undertaking. The skills of many Carpenters, Coppersmiths, Blacksmiths and related vocations – meant that only the most wealthy Nations could afford to build (and maintain) The Galleon. Oddly, due to their size – Galleons were expected to stay at sea for long periods of time. A full ships crew (for other classes of ships), was problematic to that of a Galleon. Many large crews perished at sea from a variety of problems. Often Galleon crews were kept small and well staffed with Physicians and the medicines of the Era. Galleons also featured the first advanced Rigging/Sail systems. Angle of sail (required to capture wind at all levels for speed), was a required for power. The ability to turn and angle the sails required an intricate and advance system of use. The Mizzen was developed for Galleon-Classes of ships (which aided greatly in sailing practice). Galleons would be the predominate “ship of use” for Spain and Portugal. Galleons would hold sway over The Seas until the 18th Century.