Of all the ships human beings have constructed to navigate the waters of the world — from a hollowed-out log sharpened at both ends to modern ocean liners weighing thousands of tons — those powered by the wind are among the most interesting and beautiful. In this classic review, noted maritime artist Gordon Grant has created 80 magnificent line illustrations of some of history's most important sailing ships, beginning with a graceful Egyptian galley (c. 1600 B.C.) and ending with a splendid five-masted clipper ship of 1921. Also depicted are a Roman trireme, a Viking longship, a sixteenth-century caravel, an East Indiaman of 1750, an early nineteenth-century brigantine, a New Bedford whaling bark, and dozens of lesser-known vessels, among them the galleass, carrack, buss, and flute. Henry B. Culver, well-known authority on naval history, has provided a detailed, meticulously researched text for each vessel, describing the materials and details of construction, how the ship's design matched its function, the period in which the vessel flourished, romance and lore surrounding the craft, and more. Naval historians and model shipbuilders will value this work as an excellent sourcebook and reference with much information on the evolution of sailing vessels, the origins of shipping, customs of the sea and other pertinent matters; sailing enthusiasts will find it a wonderful browsing book, offering an informative, handsomely illustrated look back at 3,000 years of sailing history.