List of longest wooden ships

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Vasa, a warship built in 1628, is today a museum ship on display at the Vasa Museum.

A list of the world's longest wooden ships is compiled below. The vessels are sorted by ship length including bowsprit, if known.

Finding the world's longest wooden ship is not straightforward since there are several contenders, depending on which definitions are used. For example, some of these ships benefited from substantial iron or even steel components since the flexing of wood members can lead to significant leaking as the wood members become longer. Some of these ships were not very seaworthy, and a few sank either immediately after launch or soon thereafter. Some of the more recent large ships were never able or intended to leave their berths, and function as floating museums. Finally, not all of the claims to the title of the world's longest wooden ship are credible or verifiable.

A further problem is that especially wooden ships have more than one "length". The most used measure in length for registering a ship is the "length of the topmost deck" – the "length on deck" (LOD) – 'measured from leading edge of stem post to trailing edge of stern post on deck level' or the "length between perpendiculars" (LPP, LBP) – 'measured from leading edge of stem post to trailing edge of stern post in the construction waterline (CWL)'. In this method of measuring bowsprit including jibboom and out-board part of spanker boom if any have both no effect on the ship's length. The largest length for comparing ships, the total "overall" length (LOA) based on sparred length, should be given if known.

The longest wooden ship ever built, the six-masted New England gaff schooner Wyoming, had a "total length" of 137 metres (449 ft) (measured from tip of jib boom (30 metres) to tip of spanker boom (27 metres) and a "length on deck" of 107 m (351 ft). The 30 m (98 ft)-difference is due to her extremely long jib boom of 30 m (98 ft) her out-board length being 27 m (89 ft).

Longest known wooden ships[edit]

Over 100 meters (328 feet)[edit]

Length Beam Name Service Fate Comment
140 m
(450 ft)
15.3 m
(50 ft 1 in)
United States Wyoming 1909–1924 sunk This American ship had a tendency to flex in heavy seas, causing the long planks to twist and buckle. The twisting and bucking of the planks were caused by its extreme length and mostly wooden construction, although it did include metal bracing and other metal components. This allowed sea water into the hold, which had to be pumped out. Steam-driven pumps were installed and run constantly to keep the hold relatively dry. It foundered in heavy seas in 1924 with loss of all hands.
122 m
(400 ft 4 in)
18.1 m
(59 ft 5 in)
Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg HMS Northumberland 1866–1935 scrapped Last and heaviest of the Minotaur-class armoured frigates built for the Royal Navy in the 1860s. It was part of the Channel Squadron and occasionally served as its flagship. Hulked in 1909 and sold in 1927, after which it was scrapped.
120 m
(393.7 ft)
18.08 m
(59 ft 1 in)
France Bretagne 1855–1879 decommissioned and broken up The 120-gun Bretagne of the French Navy was the largest wooden ship of the line ever launched. The overall length of 120 m, from the tip of her flying jib-boom to the aftmost end of her mizzen driver boom, is extrapolated from the ship's official plans; her length of 81 m (266 ft) feet long on the deck fractionally surpassed the Royal Navy's 260 ft (79 m) HMS Victoria. However, Bretagne was not considered a particularly successful design,[1] and was almost immediately rendered obsolete by the emergence of the ironclad, so in 1864 she had her steam engines removed and was relegated to training duties.
115.0 m
(377.3 ft)
22.2 m
(72.8 ft)
US Naval Jack 36 stars.svg USS Dunderberg
(later France Rochambeau)
1865–1874 broken up Ironclad ship built in New York City, originally intended for the United States Navy during the American Civil War, but eventually bought by the French. About 50 feet (15 m) of her length was a ram. She was not particularly stable or seaworthy, even with her substantial metal components, and only made one voyage in the open ocean to reach her new owners.
108 m
(356 ft)
15.4 m
(50 ft)
Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Columbus 1824–1825 sunk First timber ship or disposable ship[2] with a kind of four-masted barque rigging – just three square sails (course, top, and topgallant sails) per mast, two fore and aft sails on the spanker mast, and two foresails. Built to avoid taxes on timber, her cargo and components were intended to be sold after the ship's arrival from Quebec to London. Changing its plans Charles Woods, her builder and owner, had only the cargo discharged and sold and ordered the ship back for another voyage with a timber cargo before being disassembled, but the ship broke apart and sunk in the English Channel while on her return voyage to Saint John, New Brunswick.
104Modern estimates are approx 104 m (341 feet) 20.3 m
(66 ft)
Roman Empire Caligula's Giant Ship c. 37 AD reused as foundation of lighthouse Traces of this Ancient Roman barge were found during the construction of Leonardo da Vinci International Airport at Fiumicino, Italy, just north of the port of Ostia at the mouth of the Tiber. According to Pliny, this or a similar ship was used to transport the obelisk in St. Peter's Square from Egypt on the orders of Emperor Caligula.[3]
103 m
(338 ft)
13.4 m
(44 ft)
United States Pretoria 1900–1905 sunk An American barge built for use on the Great Lakes. To strengthen the wooden frame and hull, builders included steel keelson plates, chords, arches, and also was diagonally strapped with steel. A donkey engine powered a pump to keep the interior dry.[4]
102.1 m
(335 ft)[5]
16.2 m
(53 ft)
United States Great Republic 1853–1872 sunk This ship used iron bolts, and reinforced with steel, including ninety 36 foot 4x1 inch cross braces, and metal keelsons.[6] The MIT Museum noted that: "With this behemoth, McKay had pushed wooden ship construction to its practical limits.".[7] The overall length including jibboom was 400 ft (120 m). The ship was abandoned leaking after encountering a hurricane near Bermuda.
102.1 m
(335 ft)
18.3 m
(60 ft)
Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg HMS Orlando
Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg HMS Mersey
1858–1871, 1858–1875 respectively broken up These British warships were pushing the limits of what was possible in wooden ship construction and suffered structural problems. The Orlando showed signs of structural failure after an 1863 voyage to the United States and was scrapped in 1871. Both the Mersey-class frigates and the largest of the wooden battleships, the 121-gun Victoria class, required internal iron strapping to support the hull, as did many other ships of this kind. The overall length of approximately 335 ft (102 m) is apparently that of the hull from figurehead to taffrail – their length on deck was around 300 ft (91 m), while their total length from the tip of their flying jibboom to the aftmost point of their mizzen driver boom would have been somewhat longer, surpassing the largest ships of the line such as HMS Victoria and the French Bretagne.
102 m
(335 ft)
15 m Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg William D. Lawrence
(later Norge-Unionsflagg-1844.svg Kommander Svend Foyn)
1874–1891 converted to barge and sunk A cargo ship and the largest wooden sailing ship ever built in Canada. It passed to Norwegian ownership in 1883 and was converted into a barge in 1891. Sank during a tow at Dakar.[8]
101.7 m
(333 ft 8 in)
17.4 m (57 ft 1 in) France Richelieu 1873-1911 sold for scrap A wooden-hulled central battery ironclad that served in the French Navy's Mediterranean Squadron.
101.1 m
(331 ft 8 in)
17.4 m (57 ft 1 in) France Colbert 1877-1909 sold for scrap Lead ship of the Colbert-class ironclads and part of the French Navy's Mediterranean Squadron. It saw action at the French conquest of Tunisia.

100-90 meters (328-295 feet)[edit]

Length Beam Name Service Fate Comment
100 m
(328.084 ft)
6 m
(50 ft 1 in)
Russia Belyana type ships 19th century disassembled Belyanas were Russian freshwater ships used for log driving on the Volga and Vetluga rivers. Their bottom was made from fir and sidings from pine and featured a complement of 60 to 80 workers. The largest Belyanas could transport up to 13,000,000 kilograms (29,000,000 lb) of logs all stacked on their deck in the form of an inverted pyramid.[9]
98.8 m
(324 ft)
14.0 m
(46 ft)
United States Santiago 1899–1918 sunk A schooner-barge on the Great Lakes, towed by the Appomattox until 1905 and then the steamer John F. Morrow until 1918.[10]
97.84 m
(311 ft)
15.0 m
(49 ft)
United States Roanoke 1892–1905 burned, then sunk A huge four-masted barque with skysails of a total length of 360 ft (110 m) and 3,539 GRT. In 1905 she was under the command of Capt. Jabez A. Amesbury when she caught fire while loading at the anchorage of Noumea and burned to the waterline. This ship used iron bolts and steel reinforcements.[11][12]
97.2 m
(319 ft)
12.8 m
(42 ft)
United States Appomattox 1896–1905 run aground and sunk A Great Lakes steamship capable of carrying 3000 tons of bulk cargo. Built with metallic cross bracing, keelson plates, and multiple arches because of her extreme length. Several syphons and steam-driven pumps were required to keep her afloat. Towed the steamer barge Santiago.[13]
94.8 m
(311 ft)
unknown Naval Ensign of Russia.svg Derzhava 1871–1905 decommissioned A steam-propelled yacht for personal use of the Russian Imperial Family in the Baltic Sea.
92.7 m
(304 ft)
18.6 m
(61 ft)
Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Baron of Renfrew 1825-1825 stranded and broken apart This unseaworthy[14] British ship was a disposable ship. Created to avoid taxes on timber, the components were intended to be sold after the ship's arrival from Quebec to London. The ship stranded on the Goodwin Sands and broke apart while being towed with a pilot aboard. Parts of her timber were found on the French coast. The ship had 5,294 GRT and an overall length of 362 ft / 110 metres.
91.7 m
(301 ft)
13.0 m
(42.5 ft)
United States Frank O'Connor[15] 1892–1919 burned A steam screw operating on the Great Lakes, it required an innovative iron and steel-reinforced hull to be a viable vessel.[16]
91.3 m
(300 ft)
15.0 m
(49 ft)
United States Shenandoah 1890–1915 accidentally rammed and sunk Another huge four-masted barque of the fleet of Arthur Sewell & Co. of Bath, Maine, with double top-sails, single topgallant sails, royal and sky sails of a total length of 360 ft (110 m) and 3,406.78 GRT.[17] It was rammed by the steamer Powhattan near Fire Island, Long Island, New York in 1915.
91.1 m
(299 ft)
23.7 m
(78 ft)[18]
United States Eureka 1890–1957 museum ship The Eureka is a steamboat with twin, 27-foot paddlewheels. She carried railcars, cars and passengers across San Francisco Bay. This National Historic Landmark is at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.
95 m
(312 ft)
12 m
(41 ft)
United States Iosco 1891-1905 sunk A lake freighter that sank on September 2, 1905, on Lake Superior with the loss of all hands.
95 m
(312 ft)
12 m
(41 ft)
United States L.R. Doty 1893-1898 wrecked A lake freighter that sank on Lake Michigan with the loss of all hands. Her wreck was located in 2010.
91.4 m
(300 ft 4)
17.1 m
(56 ft 5)
Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg HMS Bellerophon 1865–1923 sold for scrap A Royal Navy central battery ironclad. It served in the Channel Fleet and North America.

89-80 meters (291-262 feet)[edit]

Length Beam Name Service Fate Comment
87 m
(285 ft)
12 m
(29 ft)
United States Australasia 1884-1896 burned A steamship that burned down on Lake Michigan.
87 m

(284 ft)

13 m

(42 ft)

Portugal Dom Fernando II e Glória 1845-1940 museum ship A 50 gun frigate of the Portuguese Navy. It became a training ship in 1865 and was permanently moored at Lisbon after 1878. Despite this, it was named the flagship of Portugal's European squadron in 1938. Two years later it became a naval school and museum ship. It is currently displayed in Almada.
86.8 m
(287 ft)
15.0 m
(49 ft)
United States Rappahannock 1889–1891 burned A three-masted wooden full-rigged ship of 3,054 tons, built and owned by Arthur Sewall & Co., with double top-sails and topgallant sails, royal and sky sails of a total length of 347 ft (106 m) and 3,054 GRT. The ship burned down near Juan Fernández while transporting soft charcoal from Liverpool to San Francisco, but everyone aboard reached Robinson Crusoe island, where they were rescued.[19]
85.34 m
(280 ft)
10.97 m
36 ft
Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Cutty Sark[20] 1869-1954 museum ship Built as one of the last and fastest clippers for the tea trade with China, it switched to transporting wool from Australia after the Suez Canal was built. It was to a Portuguese company and used as a cargo ship between 1895 and 1922, when it was reacquired by British citizens and eventually restored for exhibition.
85.3 m
(280 ft)
18 m
(58 ft 11 in)
Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg HMS Lord Clyde
Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg HMS Lord Warden
1864–1875
1865-1889
(respectively)
run aground and sold for scrap
broken up
(respectively)
Sister ships reputed at once to be the heaviest wooden ships ever built, the fastest steaming wooden ships, and the slowest-sailing ironclads in the Royal Navy. Both served in the Channel Fleet and the Mediterranean Squadron. Lord Clyde was plagued with engineering problems and was sold for scrap after it run aground and its hull was found to be rotten. Lord Warden had a more distinguished career, serving in the Reserve at the Firth of Forth after leaving the Mediterranean.
83.7 m
(274.6 ft)
18.5 m
(60.7 ft)
Kuwait Al-Hashemi-II 2001- museum and restaurant A Kuwaiti non-seagoing model of a dhow, reputed to be the largest ever built.[21]
83.4 m
(274 ft)
13.7 m
(45 ft)
United States Susquehanna 1891–1905 sunk The third hugest four-masted wooden barque of the fleet of Arthur Sewell & Co. with double top-sails, single topgallant sails, royal and sky sails of 2,745 GRT. Lost in a heavy storm three days after leaving Noumea, New Caledonia, for Delaware with a cargo of 3,558 tons of nickel ore. This ship used also iron bolts and steel reinforcements.[22]
81.2 m 10.9 m Naval Ensign of Russia.svg Livadia 1873–1878 run aground and sunk A steam-propelled yacht for personal use of the Russian Imperial Family in the Black Sea. It sunk at night, due to unruly weather, but without loss of life or cargo.

79-70 meters (259-230 feet)[edit]

Length Beam Name Service Fate Comment
78.3 m
(256.9 ft)
14.5 m Hanse Lübeck.svg Adler von Lübeck 1567–1588 disassembled Built in Lübeck to serve as the main fighting ship of the Hanseatic League. This galleon featured 138 guns, and space for 650 marines and a 350-man-strong crew. She was the largest ship of her time.[23]
76.8 m
(252 ft)
13.9 m
45.6 ft
United States Sovereign of the Seas 1852-1859 wrecked This clipper is the fastest sailing ship ever built, recording an unbeaten 22 knots in 1854. It wrecked on the Strait of Malacca while covering the route between Hamburg and China.
76.15 m
(249.8 ft)
21.22 (69.6 ft) Ottoman Empire Mahmudiye 1829–1874 disassembled Ordered by Sultan Mahmud II and built by the Ottoman Imperial Naval Arsenal on the Golden Horn in Constantinople. It the largest warship in the world for several years. The 76×21 m ship-of-the-line was armed with 128 cannons on three decks with complement of 1280. She participated in many naval battles, including the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–1855) during the Crimean War.
76 m
(249.3 ft)
11 m
(36 ft)
English White Ensign 1620.svg HMS Sovereign of the Seas 1637–1696 burned One of the first three-decker warships, the ship was built as a deliberate attempt to bolster the reputation of the English crown. It took part in many battles after the upper deck had been removed for reasons of balance.
74 m
(242 ft 9 in)
14.7 m (48 ft 3 in) France Audacieuse 1856-1879 decommissioned A mixed frigate of the French Navy active in the Second Opium War.
74 m
(242 ft)
11 m (37 ft) United States George Spencer 1884-1905 wrecked A lake freighter built to carry iron ore on the Great Lakes. She wrecked in the infamous Mataafa Storm of 1905.
73.2 m
(249.8 ft)
11 m (36 ft) Scotland Michael
(later Pavillon royal de la France.svg Grande Nef d'Ecosse)
1512-? unknown Flagship of the Royal Scots Navy, ordered by James IV of Scotland, and built at Newhaven, Edinburgh. Nicknamed the Great Michael, she was sold to France following the Scottish defeat at the Battle of Flodden.
73 m
(240 ft)
24 m (79 ft) Roman Empire Second Nemi ship 1st century AD sunk, then burned Believed to have been used as a pleasure barge or floating palace by Caligula. Its remains were recovered from Lake Nemi in 1929 and housed in a Roman museum until they were destroyed in World War II.
71.9 m
(236 ft)
10.7 m
(35.1 ft)
Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg SS Great Western 1837–1856 disassembled A steamship designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel for regular transatlantic steam "packet boat" service. In addition to the paddle wheels, she carried four masts for supplementary propulsion and stability.
71 m
(233 ft)
13.5 m
(44 ft)
Naval Ensign of Denmark.svg Jylland 1860–1908 museum ship A screw-propelled steam frigate of the Royal Danish Navy, It saw action at the Battle of Heligoland (1864). Currently preserved in Ebeltoft.
70 m
(230 ft)
20 m
(66 ft)
Roman Empire First Nemi ship 1st century AD sunk, then burned A slightly smaller ship discovered in Lake Nemi and built around the same time as the second ship; its purpose is unknown. Also destroyed in World War II.

69-60 meters (226-197 feet)[edit]

Length Beam Name Service Fate Comment
69 m
(226 ft)
15.7 m
(51 ft 10 in)
Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg HMS Victory 1765– still in commission, but not for active service; effectively museum ship A 104-gun ship of the line of the Royal Navy. Oldest naval ship still in commission and the only remaining ship of the line. Currently in dry dock at Portsmouth as a museum ship. It is the flag ship of the First Sea Lord.
69 m
(226 ft)

(estimated)
11.7 m
(38 ft)
Naval Ensign of Sweden.svg Vasa 1628 sunk, later museum ship A warship sunk on her maiden voyage when a gale forced water onto the ship; she fell over on her port side and sank. The ship was well preserved and recovered relatively intact in 1961. She is now in the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden.[24] Her sparred length is estimated at 69 meters, but her measured deck length (between perpendiculars) is 47.5 meters (155.8 ft).[25]
67 m
(219 ft)
11 m
(36 ft)
United States C.A. Thayer 1895- museum ship One of the last schooners of the West Coast lumber trade, currently exhibited at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.
66 m
(218 ft)
15 m
(50 ft)
England Grace Dieu 1420–1439 burned An English carrack used as King Henry V's flagship. She burned after being hit by lightning.
65.2 m
(213.8 ft)
16.2 m France Orient 1791–1798 exploded Flagship of Napoleon's Egyptian fleet, destroyed when fire reached her magazine during the Battle of the Nile.
65 m
(213.2 ft)
10.6 m Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg SV Tenacious 2000– still operational A ship designed for the disabled.
65 m
(213 ft)
11.24 m
(50 ft 1 in)
France Hermione 2014- still operational Named after the 1779 French frigate but built following the plans of the 1783 British frigate HMS Concorde, both smaller. Construction started in 1995 and used mostly traditional tools and techniques.
64 m
(210.0 ft)
17.3 m US Naval Jack 26 stars.svg USS Pennsylvania (1837) 1837–1861 burned to prevent capture Largest and most heavily armed American wooden sailing warship. It mounted 120 guns and made only one voyage. After being laid up at the Norfolk Navy Yard for several years, it was burned to prevent its capture by the Confederates at the start of the American Civil War.
62.2 m
(204.0 ft)
13.3 m Naval Jack of the United States.svg USS Constitution 1797– still in commission, but not for active service The second-oldest commissioned warship (after the Royal Navy's HMS Victory) in the world and the oldest wooden ship still sailing.
61.3 m
(201.1 ft)
16.2 m Spain Santísima Trinidad 1769–1805 scuttled after capture One of the few four-deckers ever built with 136 guns.[26] Reputed to be the largest warship in the world until surpassed by the French Ócean class in the early 1790s. It sailed poorly and was nicknamed "The Ponderous" and "El Escorial of the Seas". Despite this, it saw extensive action in the American Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic Wars, even surviving and escaping successfully after being attacked by four warships and losing all her sails at the Battle of Cape St. Vincent. It was ultimately captured and scuttled after the Battle of Trafalgar. A non-seaworthy replica and a ship fit in its likeness (and thus not a true replica) exist in Alicante and Malaga, respectively.
61.06 m
(200 ft 4 in)
10.8 m
(35 ft 5 in)
Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Lammermuir 1864-1876 lost at sea An extreme composite clipper, built to replace the ship of the same name wrecked the year before, which had been the favorite of the company owner, Jock Willis. Disappeared while sailing from Adelaide, Australia to London.
61 m
(200 ft)
15.64 m
(51.3 ft)
Pavillon royal de France.svg Soleil-Royal 1670-1692 burned by fireships Flagship of the French Western Squadron during the Nine Years' War. After sustaining great damage in the Battles of Barfleur and La Hougue, it docked at Cherbourg for repairs, where it was surprised and subsequently destroyed.
60 m
(197 ft)
6.2 m
(20 ft)
Flag of Cross of Burgundy.svg La Real 1568-1572? possibly sunk after battle Flagship galley of Don John of Austria at the Battle of Lepanto (1571). Though victorious in its duel with the Ottoman flagship Sultana, it was so damaged upon its return to Messina that the victory feast was not made aboard. Its fate is unknown but it might have sunk there shortly after.[27] A non-seaworthy replica was built in 1971 for the fourth centenary of the battle and is on display at the Maritime Museum of Barcelona.

59-53 meters (193-174 feet)[edit]

Length Beam Name Service Fate Comment
58.5 m
(191.9 ft)
11 m Naval Ensign of Sweden.svg Götheborg I[28] 1738–1745 sunk Built in Stockholm for trade with China and named after Gothenburg, the home port of the Swedish fleet. After three journeys, it crashed on the Knipla Börö rock near Gothenburg and sank within 900 meters (3,000 feet) of its berth. All men aboard survived and most of its cargo could be salvaged. The shipwreck, which remained visible from the surface for several years, was excavated in 1986-1992.
Sweden Götheborg II 2003- museum ship A seaworthy replica of the 1738 ship.
58.3 m
(191.2 ft)
16.0 m
(52.5 ft)
Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg HMS St Lawrence 1814–1815 turned into a hulk, then sunk Built in the Kingston Royal Naval Dockyard in Upper Canada during the War of 1812 to fight on the Great Lakes, the only British ship of the line to be launched, and entirely operated on freshwater. After never seeing action she was decommissioned and became a storage hulk before sinking.
57 m

(187 ft)

7.7 m (25 ft) Pavillon royal de France.svg La Réale 1694-1720 decommissioned Flagship of the French Mediterranean galley fleet, built in Marseilles.
56.6 m
(186 ft)
10.5 m
(34 ft)
Dutch East India Company Batavia 1628-1629 wrecked Dutch East India Company ship wrecked near the Houtman Abrolhos off western Australia, as a result of a failed mutiny. Though only 40 people of 322 aboard died in the sinking, over 200 perished later as a result of the lack of drinking water and infighting among the survivors.
Civil Jack of the Netherlands.svg Batavia replica 1995- museum ship Seaworthy replica of the 1628 ship, built in 1995 and currently housed at the Bataviawerf in Lelystad.
56 m
(183 ft 9 in)
unknown Portugal Santa Rosa 1715-1726 exploded A Portuguese galleon destroyed by an accidental gunpowder explosion while sailing in convoy from Salvador, Brazil to Lisbon. It previously saw action against the Ottomans in the Mediterranean.
55.35 m

(181 ft 7 in)

11.25 m (36 ft 11 in) Japan Date Maru

(later Flag of Cross of Burgundy.svg San Juan Bautista)

1613-? unknown One of the first Japanese western-style ships, built in imitation of Spanish galleons under orders of Date Masamune, daimyo of Sendai. It made two trans-Pacific trips to Acapulco and back before being sold to the Spanish in Manila, in 1618. Its later fate is unknown. The early Japanese ambassador to Europe Hasekura Tsunenaga boarded this ship for the return trip.
Japan San Juan Bautista 1993- museum ship A replica of the 1613 ship, built according to the records of the House of Date. It is displayed in a theme park of Ishinomaki, where it survived the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami intact.
55 m
(180 ft)
12 m
(40 ft)
Portugal São Martinho 1580-? unknown Flagship galleon of the Spanish Armada and its Portuguese Squadron. It returned successfully to Spain in 1588, but its later fate is unknown.
55 m
(180 ft)
9.1 m
(30 ft)
United States Bounty 1960–2012 sunk An oversized replica of the much smaller HMS Bounty, built by MGM for the 1962 movie Mutiny on the Bounty. It sunk off the coast of North Carolina during Hurricane Sandy.
54.71 m
(179 ft 6 in)
9.8 m
(32 ft)
United States "HMS" Surprise 1970- museum ship Built as a sail training ship, the "HMS" Rose (though it was never commissioned by the Royal Navy), it was modified and renamed Surprise for her part in the movie Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. She was sold to the Maritime Museum of San Diego in 2007. She again appeared on film as HMS Providence in the Disney film Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
54.5 m
(179 ft)
13.1 m (43 ft) Naval Ensign of Sweden.svg Kronan 1672–1676 sunk Sank with about 800 dead, after capsizing and exploding at the Battle of Öland (1676). Kronan is estimated to have been the third or fourth-largest ship in the world when built, but only seventh-largest at the time of her sinking.[29] The wreck was rediscovered in 1980.
54.25 m
(178 ft)
10.36 m
34 ft
Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Lammermuir 1856-1863 wrecked A tea clipper wrecked on the Gaspar Strait.
54 m
(177 ft 2 in)
13.3
(43 ft 9 in)
Flag of the British East India Company (1801).svg Hope 1797-1816 broken up An East Indiaman of the East India Company. It saw action at the Battle of Pulo Aura.
54 m
(177 ft)
14.10 m
(46.3 ft)
France Belle Poule
France Melpomène
France Sémillante
1828-1861
1828-1870
1841-1855
(respectively)
scrapped
sunk (Sémillante)
Sister 60-gun first rank frigates of the Surveillante class, inspired by the USS Constitution. Belle Poule returned Napoleon's remains to France in 1840.
53.92 m
(176.9 ft)
14.14 m
(46.4 ft)
France Iphigénie
(later France Druide)
1827-1900 broken up A first rank frigate of the French Navy. Saw action at the Battle of Veracruz (1838) and served as a school ship between 1844 and 1850. It was decommissioned and hulked in 1872, and immobilized in 1891.
53.8 m
(176 ft 7 in)
13.2
(43 ft 3 in)
Flag of the British East India Company (1801).svg Ceres 1797-1816 hulked Another East Indiaman of the EIC.
53 m
(174 ft)
unknown Portugal Padre Eterno 1663-? sunk A galleon built in Rio de Janeiro and wrecked a few years later in the Indian Ocean.

By ensign[edit]

Nationality Navy Length Merchant Length
China Imperial standard of the Qing Emperor.svg Tek Sing (c. 1822) 50 m
(165 ft)
Denmark Naval Ensign of Denmark.svg Jylland (1860) 71 m
(233 ft)
Denmark Kaskelot (1948) 47 m
(153 ft)
England English White Ensign 1620.svg HMS Sovereign of the Seas (1637) 76 m
(249.3 ft)
France France Bretagne (1855) 120 m
(393.7 ft)
Hanseatic League Hanse Lübeck.svg Adler von Lübeck (1567) 78.3 m
(256.9 ft)
Hanse Danzig.svg Peter von Danzig (c. 1462) 51 m
(167.3 ft)
Japan Japan Date Maru (1613) 55.35 m
(181 ft 7 in)
Kuwait Kuwait Al-Hashemi-II (2001) 83.7 m
(274.6 ft)
Netherlands Dutch East India Company Batavia (1628) 56.6 m
(186ft)
Norway Norge-Unionsflagg-1844.svg Kommander Svend Foyn (1874) 102 m
(335 ft)
Portugal Portugal Dom Fernando II e Glória (1845) 87 m
(284 ft)
Portugal Ferreira (1869) 85.34 m
280 ft
Roman Empire Roman Empire Nemi ships (1st century AD) 73-70 m
(240-230 ft)
Roman Empire Caligula's Giant Ship (c. 37 AD) c. 104 m
(341 ft)
Russia Naval Ensign of Russia.svg Derzhava (1871) 94.8 m
(311 ft)
Russia Belyana type (19th century) 100 m
(328 ft)
Scotland Scotland Michael (1512) 73.2 m
249.8 ft
Spain Spain Santísima Trinidad (1769) 61.3 m
(201.1 ft)
Sweden Sweden Vasa (1628) 69 m
(226 ft)
Sweden Götheborg (1738) 58.5 m
(191.9 ft)
Turkey Ottoman Empire Mahmudiye (1829) 76.15 m
(249.8 ft)
United Kingdom Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg HMS Northumberland (1866) 122 m
(400 ft 4 in)
Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Columbus (1824) 108 m
(356 ft)
United States US Naval Jack 36 stars.svg USS Dunderberg (1865) 115 m
(377.3 ft)
United States Wyoming (1909) 140 m
(450 ft)

Claimed but poorly documented[edit]

Length Name Completed Comment
144-180 m (472-591 ft)[30] Surya Majapahit Gold.svg Javanese junk c. 1st century-17th century AD Seagoing ship used by Malay people,carrying up to 1000 passenger. Though the Portuguese in the early 16th century did not give exact size, they remarked that these junk were so monstrous that even Flor do Mar and Anunciada (largest Portuguese ship at that time) did not look like a ship at all.[31] Some scholars put it between 1600-2000 tons in weight,[30] and other put it as small as 1000 tons.
135–150 m
(+500 ft)
Noah's Ark c. 2348 BC According to Genesis, God gave Noah instructions for building the ark. Seven days before the deluge, God told Noah to enter the ark with his household and the animals. The narrative mirrors the older language of Utnapishtim. Three full sized models have been built as impressions:[32] one in Hong Kong,[33] one in The Netherlands,[34] and one in Kentucky near the Creation Museum constructed by Answers in Genesis.
128 m
by 18 m (420×58 ft)
Pt eagle.png Tessarakonteres Late 3rd century BC The Greek Tessarakonteres (meaning 40 files of oarsmen) reportedly carried a crew of 400, was powered by 4000 oarsmen and transported 2850 soldiers, according to Athenaeus and Plutarch (Life of Demetrios). She was built for Ptolemy IV Philopator. Historical evidence for this ship is limited to ancient references.[35][36][37][38] It is speculated that the ship could have had two hulls. According to Plutarch, during the tests the ship was difficult and dangerous to move.
137 m
by 52 m (416×170 ft)
[39]
大明 Chinese treasure ship 15th century Historical records from the document History of the Ming dynasty claim that the largest Chinese treasure ships were more than 400 feet (120 m) long.[40] However, the size of treasure ships is still disputed[41][42][43][44] and some scholars argue that they were probably closer to 200–250 feet in length,[45] while others argue that they were actually 309–408 feet in length and 160–166 feet in width. [46]
115 m
by 14 m (377×46 ft)
[47][48]
Pt eagle.png Thalamegos c. 200 BC Thalamegos (Ancient Greek θαλαμηγός = "leader of the rooms" from θάλαμος, -οι (thálamos, pl. -oi) = room(s) and ἡγεῖσθαι (hegeísthai) – to lead, guide) was a river going pomp boat of Ptolemy IV Philopator.[35]

It is speculated that the ship had two hulls, with one single mast with a yard and sail, and is said to have been towed from the banks of the Nile.

110 m
(360 ft)
Evaenetus, decadracma di siracusa, 410-370 ac ca.jpg Syracusia
(later Pt eagle.png Alexandria)
c. 240 BC The Greek ship Syracusia is claimed to be the largest transport ship of antiquity. She was designed by Archimedes and built around 240 BC by Archias of Corinth on the orders of Hieron II of Syracuse. It sailed only once to Alexandria, Egypt, where it was gifted to Ptolemy III Euergetes and permanently berthed.
110 m
(360 ft)
according to modern estimates
Vergina Sun - Golden Larnax.png Leontophoros c. 280 BC A warship (octere) built for Lysimachos. After his death was used by Ptolemy Keraunos to defeat Antigonus I in a battle in 280 BC.

The length estimate is based on the evidence of Memnon of Heraclea that each file of the oarsmen contained 100 people. The total number of oarsmen was 1600.[49]

100 m (328 ft) length, 17 m (56 ft) breadth[50] Flag of Aceh Sultanate.svg Cakra Dunia Before 1629 AD Aceh Sultanate warship, about 47 unit of the same class produced. This particular one was captured by the Portuguese, who nicknamed it Espanto do Mundo ("Terror of the Universe"). Armed with 18 large cannon (five 55-pounders at the bow, one 25-pounder at the stern, the rest were 17 and 18-pounders), 80 falcons and many swivel guns.
63–95 m by 27–32 m, according to modern estimates Hatshepsut's barge c. 1500 BC Used to transport obelisks.[51][52][53][54]
67 m (220 ft) long, 11 m (36 ft) wide[50] Mendam Berahi c. 1453 Royal galley (ghali kenaikan raja) of Malacca sultanate. It was Mansyur Shah's flagship, commandeered by Hang Tuah. Carried 400 men, had 3 masts and 50 line of oars. Armed with 5 bow-mounted rentaka and a ramming beam.
55 m
(180 ft)
Roman Empire Isis c. 150 AD The Roman ship Isis was described by the sophist Lucian when he saw her in Athens' seaport Piraeus.
45–60 m
(150–195 ft)
Olav Tryggvasson mynt.jpg Ormen Lange c. 1000 The Ormen Lange (The Long Serpent) was one of the most famous of the Viking longships, built for the Norwegian King Olav Tryggvason, and was the largest and most powerful longship of her day.

Longest still afloat[edit]

Length Beam Name Service Comment
91.1 m
(299 ft)
23.7 m
(78 ft)
United States Eureka 1890–1957 See above.
87 m
(284 ft)
13 m
(42 ft)
Portugal Dom Fernando II e Glória 1845-1940 See above.
85.34 m
(280 ft)
10.97 m
36 ft
Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Cutty Sark 1869-1954 See above.
83.7 m
(274.6 ft)
18.5 m
(60.7 ft)
Kuwait Al-Hashemi-II 2001- See above.
71 m
(233 ft)
13.5 m
(44 ft)
Naval Ensign of Denmark.svg Jylland 1860-1908 See above.
69 m
(226 ft)
15.7 m Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg HMS Victory 1765– See above.
67 m
(219 ft)
11 m (36 ft) United States C.A. Thayer 1895- See above.
65 m
(213.2 ft)
10.6 m Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg SV Tenacious 2000– See above.
65 m
(213 ft)
11.24 m
(50 ft 1 in)
France Hermione 2014- See above.
62.2 m
(204.0 ft)
13.3 m Naval Jack of the United States.svg USS Constitution 1797– See above.
58.5 m
(191.9 ft)
11 m
(36 ft 1 in)
Sweden Götheborg II 2003- See above.
56.6 m
(186 ft)
10.5 m
(34 ft)
Civil Jack of the Netherlands.svg Batavia replica 1995- See above.
55.35 m
(181 ft 7 in)
11.25 m
(36 ft 11 in)
Japan San Juan Bautista 1993- See above.
54.71 m
(179 ft 6 in)
9.8 m
(32 ft)
United States "HMS" Surprise 1970- See above.
47 m
(153 ft)
8.5 m
(28 ft)
Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Kaskelot
(originally Denmark Kaskelot)
1948- A three masted barque built by the Danish Royal Greenland Trading Company to carry supplies to eastern Greenland. Sold to private British owners in 2013.
44.2 m
(145 ft)
7.3 m Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Earl of Pembroke
(also Sweden Orion and Denmark Tullan)
1945- A three masted barque originally used to haul timber in the Baltic Sea. Sold to private British owners in 1979.
34.5 m
(113 ft)
7 m
(23 ft)
Russia Shtandart 1999- A private replica of the Russian Baltic fleet's first frigate of the same name, which was active in 1703-1727.
31.28 m
(102.6 ft)
7 m
(23 ft)
Spain Atyla 1984- A two masted wooden schooner owned by a NGO and used as a training ship.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Although adequately seaworthy and capable of 12.8 kn (23.7 km/h) using her 1200hp steam engine, the freeboard of her lower-deck gunports was just 1.45 m (4.8 ft), her draught was an impractical 8.56 m (28.1 ft), and she failed to match the impressive performance of the two-deckers of the Napoléon class.
  2. ^ Launch of the Columbus
  3. ^ The World's Largest Ship, And a Tale of Two Ports, Alan Lucas, AFLOAT, October 2006.
  4. ^ Wisconsin's Great Lakes Shipwrecks: Pretoria University of Wisconsin–Madison Sea Grant Institute and Wisconsin Historical Society, 2003.
  5. ^ Lubbock, Basil: The Down-Easters. Glasgow: Brown, Son, & Ferguson, 1929, pp. 49 and 253.
  6. ^ Great Republic, A Sailor (presumed to be Duncan McLean), Eastburn's Press, Boston, 1853.
  7. ^ MIT Museum's Hart Nautical Collection Portrays the Romance and Reality of Clipper Ships: The Clipper Ship Era, A Fever for Gold, Speed, and Profit 1843–1869, September 30, 2004 — July 10, 2005; More on the history of the clipper ship: Remarkable Achievements, MIT Museum article.
  8. ^ Maritime Museum of the Atlantic William D. Lawrence Infosheet
  9. ^ "Unique River Ships of the Past". English Russia. July 11, 2012. Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  10. ^ Santiago, Great Lakes Shipwrecks, ©1999-2007, David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, MI, retrieved August 16, 2007.
  11. ^ http://www.bruzelius.info/Nautica/Ships/Fourmast_ships/Roanoke(1892).html.
  12. ^ "BIG SAILING SHIP BURNS.; Famous American Craft Roanoke Is Destroyed by Fire". The New York Times. August 11, 1905. 
  13. ^ Wisconsin's Great Lakes Shipwrecks: Appomattox University of Wisconsin–Madison Sea Grant Institute and Wisconsin Historical Society, 2003.
  14. ^ "She left Quebec Augt. 23rd & filled with water 650 Miles from land, drew 33 ft (10 m). & had 31 ft (9.4 m). water in her Hold, was waterlogged & went ashore in 3 pieces 24th Octr: near Calais." (Baron Renfrew Timber Ship (Timber Drogher) 1825, Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. R9266-3280 Peter Winkworth Collection of Canadiana).
  15. ^ Originally known as the City of Naples, she was one of three sister ships (the others being the City of Venice and the City of Genoa).
  16. ^ Service History, Frank O'Connor article, Wisconsin's Great Lakes Shipwrecks website, Wisconsin Historical Society and University of Wisconsin–Madison Sea Grant.
  17. ^ http://www.bruzelius.info/Nautica/Ships/Fourmast_ships/Shenandoah(1890).html
  18. ^ Her round-bottomed hull is 42 feet (12.7 m) wide by 277 feet (83.9 m) long. The house rests on a platform extending 18 feet (5.5 m) from the hull on either side.
  19. ^ https://penobscotmarinemuseum.org/for-those-in-peril-fire-and-wooden-ships/
  20. ^ Also Portugal Ferreira and Portugal Maria do Amparo
  21. ^ CNN WORLD REPORT: World's Largest Wooden Ship Unveiled in Kuwait, CNN Transcript, July 8, 2001.
  22. ^ http://www.bruzelius.info/Nautica/Ships/Fourmast_ships/Susquehanna(1891).html
  23. ^ "Deutsche Museumswerft". 4 October 2007. Archived from the original on 4 October 2007. 
  24. ^ The Swedish Ship Vasa's Revival
  25. ^ "Vasa in Numbers, Vasa Museet Archived 2015-10-17 at the Wayback Machine.
  26. ^ Harbron, John D. (1988). Trafalgar and the Spanish navy. Annapolis, Md: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-695-3. 
  27. ^ Édouard, S. (2007). Argo, la galera real de Don Juan de Austria en Lepanto. op. cit, 7-8.
  28. ^ Retroactively
  29. ^ *(in Swedish) Glete, Jan (1999) Hur stor var Kronan? Något om stora örlogsskepp i Europa under 1600-talets senare hälft in Forum Navale Sjöhistoriska samfundet, Stockholm, p. 17–25.
  30. ^ a b Nugroho, Irawan Djoko. Majapahit Maritime Kingdom. Suluh Nuswantara Bakti. ISBN 6029346008. 
  31. ^ Pires, Tome. Suma Oriental. London: The Hakluyt Society. ISBN 9784000085052. 
  32. ^ Edwords, Fred. "Their Ship Didn't Come In How Faith in Noah's Ark May Have Sunk a County Budget". TheHumanist.com. 
  33. ^ "Noah's Ark Park and Resort". 
  34. ^ "Arkof Noah". 
  35. ^ a b Athenaeus. "The Deipnosophists". 
  36. ^ Casson, Lionel (1994). Ships and Seamanship in the Ancient World. 
  37. ^ Casson, Lionel. "The Age of the Supergalleys, Chapter 7 of Ships and Seafaring in Ancient Times" (PDF). University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-71162-X. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-10-13. 
  38. ^ Athenaeus, The Deipnosophists, Book 5, Loeb Classical Library No. 208, Harvard University Press, 1987.
  39. ^ "History of the Ming dynasty" «明史», Zhang Tingyu chief editor, published 1737, “四十四丈一十八丈”.
  40. ^ Stern rudder posts have been found that are over 15+ ft, and calculations show that the ships would have been around 400 ft long from this. Some claims of lengths as much as 600 feet (180 m) exist.
  41. ^ Ancient Chinese Explorers, Evan Hadingham, Sultan's Lost Treasures, NOVA, PBS Television.
  42. ^ Asia's Undersea Archeology, Richard Gould. NOVA, PBS Television article.
  43. ^ The Great Chinese Mariner Zheng He [Cheng Ho] Archived 2016-04-24 at the Wayback Machine., China the Beautiful webpage with Zheng He links.
  44. ^ Zheng He: China and the oceans in the early Ming dynasty 1404–1433, Edward L. Dreyer, Longman, ISBN 0-321-08443-8, reviewed in China at sea, Jonathan Mirsky, The Times Literary Supplement, Times Online, January 24, 2007.
  45. ^ The Colossal Ships of Zheng He: Image or Reality?, Sally K. Church, pp. 155-176 of Zheng He; Images & Perceptions, South China and Maritime Asia , Volume 15, Hrsg: Ptak, Roderich /Höllmann Thomas, O. Harrasowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2005.
  46. ^ When China Ruled the Seas", Louise Levathes, p. 80.
  47. ^ It was over 300 feet (91 m) long, Casson, Lionel, 'Ships and Seamanship in the Ancient World', 1995, p. 342.
  48. ^ 'Athenaios does not indicate his sources for the second ship, [the Thalamegos] but it must have been an eye-witness or a person who obtained measurements and other details from a contemporary', Sarton, George, 'Hellenistic Science and Culture in the Last Three Centuries B.C.', 1993, p. 121.
  49. ^ Morrison, J.S. (1996). Greek and Roman oared warships. Oxford: Oxbow Books. 
  50. ^ a b Reid, Anthony (2012). Anthony Reid and the Study of the Southeast Asian Past. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. ISBN 978-981-4311-96-0. 
  51. ^ Ancient Records of Egypt: Historical Documents from the Earliest Times; Volume Two: The Eighteenth Dynasty, James Henry Breasted, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1906, ISBN 0-8370-1660-6; republished by University of Illinois Press (May 17, 2001), ISBN 0-252-06974-9.
  52. ^ Ancient Egypt: River Boats website.
  53. ^ Ships of the Pharaohs, Björn Landström, Allen & Unwin, London, 1970.
  54. ^ 'It is estimated that the obelisk barge may have been over ninety-five metres in length and thirty-two metres wide. Too large to be equipped with a sail and not very manoeuvrable, the barge would have been towed downstream by smaller vessels, also using the current, from Aswan to Thebes.' (Technology along the Nile: Ancient Egyptian Boats, Robert Partridge, Ancient Egypt Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 5, April/May 2004, last modified March 27, 2002).