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SANTA MARIA, NINA & PINTA
Admiralty Ship Model > SANTA MARIA, NINA & PINTA

The Ships of Christopher Colombus - Santa Maria, Nina & Pinta

The Three Christopher Columbus Ships - Christopher Columbus (1451 - 1506)
Christopher Columbus was an Italian who sailed under the Spanish Flag. He persevered in his quest to obtain backing for an expedition to sail a small fleet of ships to search for a sea route to the Indies. In 1492 King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain finally give Christopher Columbus the money and ships for his expedition. The names of the 1497 Christopher Columbus Ships were the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. The brave men of the 1400's and 1500's, like Christopher Columbus, who sailed in uncharted waters to unknown lands were courageous adventurers who were motivated by fame, glory and the wealth. The living conditions on board the small ships were basic and the voyages were dangerous.

The Three Ships of Christopher Columbus - The Nina, The Pinta and the Santa Maria

His own flagship, the Santa Maria was fitted out in a place called El Puerto de Santa Maria. El Puerto de Santa Maria is located on the Guadalete River outlet, in the Bay of Cadiz. During the 16th and 17th centuries, El Puerto was the winter headquarters and base for the Royal Galleys of Spain. The Santa Maria was named after this location in Spain. The Pinta means the "Painted One" and was probably a nickname given to the ship. The Nina means "Girl" but was originally called the Santa Clara. Her nickname 'Nina' probably derives from her master, Juan Niño.

Conditions on the Christopher Columbus ships would have been very basic. Food provisions would have included bread, beer, hard biscuits, fish and salted meat. The Captain would have had some private stores which might include wine. The Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria covered a distance of about 100 miles per day. The ships carried about 120 men in total. There was a lack of proper sanitation. Large ships would have carried a surgeon or doctor. One of the worst health problems on board the three Christopher Columbus Ships would have been scurvy. Fresh livestock included pigs and chickens were part of the ships provisions. Meat would have been preserved by being salted. Cooking was done in a fire box located on decks in the bow of the ship, Cooking pots or cauldrons would be suspended from a bar. The seamen would sleep in cramped and damp conditions on the deck of the ships

The Santa Maria
The Santa Maria was nicknamed 'La Gallega'. The Santa Maria was the slowest of the three ships. The Santa Maria was the flagship, it was completely decked and carried the flag of Columbus as Admiral. The Santa Maria was described as a carrack or nao which was a three mast sailing ship. Each of the three masts carried one large sail. The foresail and mainsail were square shaped and the sail on the rear mast was a triangular shaped sail. The Santa Maria was about 100 tons and about 80 feet in length. The Santa Maria ship was the property of Juan de la Cosa, a pilot and cartographer

The Nina
The Nina was captained by Vicente Anes Pinzon. The Nina was described as a caravel.
Caravels were broad-beamed ships that had 3 masts with square sails and a triangular sail. The Nina was un-decked with cabins and forecastles. The Nina was the smallest of the three ships. The Nina was about 60 tons and about 50 feet in length

The Pinta
The Pinta was captained by Martín Alonso Pinzon, the brother of Vicente. The Pinta was described as a caravel. Caravels were broad-beamed ships that had 3 masts with square sails and a triangular sail. The Pinta was un-decked with cabins and forecastles. The Pinta was about 50 tons and about 45 feet in length



Santa Maria Nina & Pinta Docked in Huelva, Spain

Santa Maria Nina & Pinta Docked in Huelva, Spain

Scale replicas of the Nina, Pinta & Santa Maria are currently docked in La Rabida in Huelva, Spain. La Rábida is where Columbus stayed between 1491-92 waiting for financial backing from the Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, for his voyage to the New World. If you're interested in Christopher Columbus, this is one of three places to visit around Huelva. The other two are the nearby town of Palos de la Frontera, where Columbus found his crew, and the Convento de Santa Clara in Moguer, which Columbus frequently visited.

The Santa Maria - Flagship of Christopher Columbus Expedition

The Santa Maria - Flagship of Christopher Columbus Expedition

The Santa María de la Inmaculada Concepción, The Imaculate Conception of Mary, was the largest of the three ships used by Christopher Columbus in his first voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in 1492. Her master and owner was Juan de la Cosa. Columbus himself sailed on the Santa Maria.


The Santa Maria de la Inmaculada Concepcion

The Santa Maria de la Inmaculada Concepcion

The Santa María was originally named La Gallega ("The Galician"), because she was built in Pontevedra, Galicia. It seems the ship was known to her sailors as Marigalante, Spanish for "Gallant Mary". Bartolomé de Las Casas never used La Gallega, Marigalante or Santa María in his writings, preferring to use la Capitana or La Nao. The Santa María had a single deck and three masts. She was the slowest of Columbus' vessels but performed well in the Atlantic crossing. She ran aground off the present-day site of Cap Haitien, Haiti on December 25, 1492, and was lost. Realizing that the ship was beyond repair, Columbus ordered his men to strip the timbers from the ship. The timbers from the ship were later used to build Môle Saint-Nicolas, which was originally called La Navidad (Christmas) because the wreck occurred on Christmas Day.

Santa Maria (Small) 1402 Spain Santa Maria (Small) 1402 Spain

Copper Pinned Wooden Plank on Frame Model of Museum Quality

Length: 24" (62 cm)
Width: 9" (22 cm)
Height: 18" (46 cm)

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Price:   £300.00 (Euro 348.00)


Santa Maria (Medium) 1402 Spain Santa Maria (Medium) 1402 Spain

Copper Pinned Wooden Plank on Frame Model of Museum Quality

Length: 31" (79 cm)
Width: 11" (28 cm)
Height: 23" (59 cm)

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Price:   £650.00 (Euro 754.00)


Pinta (Large) 1400's Spain Pinta (Large) 1400's Spain

Wooden Hull Glazed with Glass Fibre Laminates

Length: 29" (74 cm)
Width: 8" (19 cm)
Height: 29" (73 cm)

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Price:   £340.00 (Euro 394.40)

LIMITED STOCK Please Use EMail or Phone No. at Bottom of Page to Order. Earliest Availability in OCTOBER 2014.


See Also: Nelson, The Battle of Trafalgar & The Napoleonic Wars

The HMS Victory Ship Models Page

Page dedicated to the HMS Victory, the Battle of Trafalgar and Nelson. Find out about all our models of the HMS Victory and some history about Trafalgar 1805.
Admiralty Ship Model > SANTA MARIA, NINA & PINTA

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