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This project was possible through the generous support of Dr. and Mrs. Peter Amaral, Mr. Mauro Bondioli, Mr. Lars Bruzelius, and CMAC.


Treatises and Texts on Shipbuilding

The aim of this project is to gather information on the texts, dictionaries, compiled notes, and treatises on shipbuilding in existence, and share it in an easy and organized manner on this web page, both for quick searches and more in-depth studies

Although a small number of texts about shipbuilding, dating to the early and mid-15th century, have survived in Italy, it was not until the late 16th century that writing about the building, rigging, and handling of oceangoing ships seems to have become fashionable among scholars and intellectuals.

Many of these texts are difficult to access, handle, copy, and understand. The ShipLab has started a long term project to gather information on the many texts, dictionaries, compiled notes, and treatises on shipbuilding in existence, in order to try to share it in an easy and organized manner.

Ship from Manoel Fernandez 1616 Treatise.

Since 2005 the ShipLab team is working with Texas A&M University's Center for the Study of Digital Libraries on a project that will make some of the texts available in facsimile, with transcriptions, translations, glossaries and images available, as well as a number of other research tools.

Contemporary midship sections according to two different authors.

The NADL Project is now a cooperative effort that counts with the support of the Portuguese Academia de Marinha and the Portuguese National Library to make available an increasing number of texts.

Nau from Manoel Fernandez 1616 Treatise (Alex Hazlett).

Lists of Treatises by Country:


Anonymous, La Stolonomie, 1550.

Anonymous, Traitté de la construction des galères, 1691.

Dassié, l'Archicteture navale, 1695.

Jean Jouve, Deux albums des batiments de l Atlantique et de la Mediterranee, 1679.

Album de Colbert, 1670.

Bouguer, Traité du navire, 1746.

Duhamel du Monceau, Elements de l archicteture navale ou pratique de la construction des vaisseaux, 1752.

Vial du Clairbois, Encyclopedie methodique de la marine, 1783-7.

Vial du Clairbois, Traite Elementaire de la Construction des Vaiseaux, 1787.

Blaise Ollivier, Traité de construction, 1736.

Duranti de Lironcourt, Instruction elementaire et raisonee sur la construction des vaisseaux, 1771.

Euler, Theorie complete de la construction et de la maneuvre des vaisseaux, 1773.



Zibaldone da canal

Anonimo, Libro di navigar (c. 1400)

Michele da Rodi, Libro di Michele da Rodi (c. 1436).

Anonimous, Fabrica di galere or Libro di marineria (c. 1436).

Zorzi Trombetta da Modon, Trombetta manuscript (1441-49).

Ragioni Antique (1470-1561).

Misure di vascelli etcetera di... Proto nell'Arsenale di Venetia (early 16th century).

Disegni di bireme, trireme, quadrireme (atributed to Alessandro Picheroni).

Todaro de Nicolo, Instructione sul modo di fabricare galère or Arte de far vasselli

Baldissero Quinto Drachio, Visione del Drachio

Bartolomeu Crescencio Romano, Nautica Mediterranea, 1607

Nicolo e Hieronimo Secula, Modo di far galee grossi e sottili,

Joseph Furttenbach, Architectura Navalis, 1629-1635.

Robert Dudley, Arcano del Mare, 1661.

L'Architettura Navale de L'architectura Steffano de Zuanne de Michel Vice Proto de Marangoni, ss. Additional 38655, 1686.


Great Britain

Matthew Baker, Fragments of Ancient English Shipwrightry, c. 1570

Phineas Pett?, Scott manuscript, c.1600.

Anonymous, Newton's Manuscript, c.1600.

Harriot, Harriot's manuscript,

John Wells?, Treatise on Shipbuilding & A Treatise on Rigging, c. 1620-25.

Edmund Bushnell, The Complete Shipwright, 1669.

Deane, Naval Doctrine,

Mungo Murray, Treatise on shipbuilding

Anonymous, The shipbuilder's Repository, 1788.

Sutherland,Ship-builders Assistant,1711 (and 1784).

Hutchinson,Treatise on Practical Seamanship,1777 (and 1781, and 1787).

Thomas Gordon, Principals of naval Architecture, 1784.

Stalkartt, Naval Architecture, 1781.



Nicolaes Witsen, Architectura navalis et reginem nauticum, 1671.

Cornelis van IJk, Nederlandsche scheeps-bouw-konst open gestelt, 1697.

Carel Allard, Nieuwe hollandsche scheepsbouw, 1695.

Carel Allard, L'Art de batir les vaisseaux, 1719.



Fernando Oliveira, Ars Nautica, 1570.

Fernando Oliveira, Livro da Fabrica das Naus, 1580.

Livro Náutico (c. 1550-1600)

Memorial das várias cousas importantes (c. 1580-1600)

João Baptista Lavanha, Livro Primeiro de Arquitectura Naval, c. 1610.

Naus of Gonçalo Roiz and Sebastião Themudo.

Luis de Figueiredo Falcão, Livro de toda a fazenda, 1607

Manoel Fernandez, Livro de Traças de Carpintaria, 1616.

Gonçallo de Sousa, Coriosidades de Gonçallo de Sousa (c. 1630)

Harvard manuscripts - The Codices of D. Antonio de Ataíde

Marcos Cerveira de Aguilar - Advertências de navegantes (c. 1640)



Juan Escalante de Mendoza, Itinerario de navegación de los mares y tierras occidentals, 1575.

Diego García de Palacio, Instrucción nautica para el buen uso y regimiento de las naos, su traza y govierno, 1587.

Tomé Cano, Arte para fabricar, aparejar naos de guerra y merchante, 1611.

Ordenanzas de fábricas de navios, 1607.

Ordenanzas de fábricas de navios, 1613.

Ordenanzas de fábricas de navios, 1618.

Pedro Lopez de Soto? Dialogos entre un vizcaino y un montañez, 1631 or 1632.

José Antonio de Gaztañeta, Arte de fabricar Reales, 1688.

Marqués de la Victoria, Album del Marqués de la Victoria, 1720.



Fredrick Chapman, Architectura Navalis Mercatoria,1768.

Fredrick Chapman, Tractat on Skepps-Byggeriet, 1775.


United States of America

James Rumsey, A Treatise on the Application of Steam, 1788.

Richard C. McKay, The Practical Shipbuilder, 1839.

Andrew Murray, Ship-Building in Iron and Wood, 1863.



Basic Rigging Chronology (under construction)

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Last Updated: 10/14/08