La Pinta ("the painted one", "the spotted one") was the fastest of the three ships used by Christopher Columbus in his first voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in 1492. The New World was first sighted by Rodrigo de Triana on the Pinta on October 12, 1492.
Pinta was a caravel-type vessel. By tradition Spanish ships were named after saints and usually given nicknames. Thus, Pinta, like Niña, was not the ship's actual name. The actual name of the Pinta is unknown.
Pinta was square rigged and was smaller than the Santa María, weighing approximately 60 tons with a length of 20 meters and a width of 7 meters. The crew size was 26 men. Captain of the Pinta was Martín Alonso Pinzón. There was also a stockpile of guns in the captains' quarters.
A replica of the Pinta was built by the Colombus Foundation, as well as one of the Niña. This ship weighs 101 tons and often sails alongside the Niña.
The other ships of the Columbus expedition were the Niña and the Santa María. There are no known contemporary likenesses of Columbus' ships. Replicas of each of all three ships exist, the best known of which is the "sailing museum" Niña, built in 1992, which has toured the world continuously since then.
All that Columbus asked or needed was three small vessels and their stores and crews. The largest ships engaged were little larger than the large yachts. The Gallega and the Pinta were the two largest. They were called caravels, a name then given to the smallest three-masted vessels. Columbus once uses it for a vessel of forty tons; but it generally applied in Portuguese or Spanish use to a vessel, ranging one hundred and twenty to one hundred and forty Spanish "toneles." This word represents a capacity about one-tenth larger than that expressed by our English "ton."
The reader should remember that most of the commerce of the time was the coasting commerce of the Mediterranean, and that it was not well that the ships should draw much water. The fleet of Columbus, as it sailed, consisted of the Gallega (the Galician), of which he changed the name to the Santa Maria, and of the Pinta and the Nina. Of these the first two were of a tonnage which we should rate as about one hundred and thirty tons. The Nina was much smaller, not more than fifty tons. One writer says that they were all without full decks, that is, that such decks as they had did not extend from stem to stern. But the other authorities speak as if the Nina only was an open vessel, and the two larger were decked. Columbus himself took command of the Santa Maria, Martin Alonso Pinzon of the Pinta, and his brothers, Francis Martin and Vicente Yanez, of the Nina. The whole company in all three ships numbered one hundred and twenty men.
- The owner of La Pinta was Cristobal Gallileo Quintero. - - ==External links== - * Florida Museum of Natural History. List of crew members on the Pinta. - - - - - - - - - - - -
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