The Maasilinn ship (16th century)
The Maasilinn ship is one the oldest wrecks ever found in Estonian waters. The surviving part of the
wreck measuring about 10 m by 5.5 m was discovered by marine archaeologists in Väike vä in Strait
in the roads of the former Maasilinn (Soneburg) Order Castle in 1985.
The Maasilinn ship was built about 1550 and is the only known example of a locally built ship from
the Middle Ages. It has three distinct pecularities to set it apart from any other ships of the period:
double outer planking, a double mortise and tenon connection of the stem and the keel, and an
original keel construction.
The conserved wreck is kept at the Orissaare yacht club, and can be seen by arrangement with the
Estonian Maritime Museum.
Battle-ship Das Wappen der Herzogin von Kurland (17th century)
Spihbuilding flourished in the former Duchy of Kurland in present-day Latvia under Duke Jacob
(1642-82). Ships were built at the Ventspils and Kuldiga shipyards, at first by German and Dutch,
craftsmen invited by Duke Jacob, and later by local shipwrights. During Duke Jacob’s rule ships of all
kinds of ships were built in Kurland, and not only for local needs but also for England, France, Spain
and other countries.
The biggest battle-ship built for Kurland itself, Das Wappen der Herzogin van Kurland was a
four-decked three master armed with 72 naval guns and capable of holding 400 sailors and 100
soldiers. The ship was modelled after the English battleship Sovereign of the Seas.
The Kurenas Fishing Boat (16th-17th century)
The boot is flat-bottomed, usually made of oaken planks, well suited to sailing on the shallow Kuršiu
ilanka (Kursiu Bay) and coastal waters of the Baltic. The kurenas, about 10 m in length, was used for
fishing, shipping of small freight and other purposes.
The type of the ship is believed to have been developed after north central European, particularly
Dutch examples in the 16th-17th centuries. Some kurenas-type fishing-boats are survive until today.
Harbours Of The Western Estonia Arhipelago