La Grande Hermine

Decorative ingot of the Grande Hermine, Part of “The Great Sailing Ships of History” series,1974, The Franklin Mint, The Mariners’ Museum.


When historians research important exploration vessels, there is not always a good description of what type of ship the explorer sailed on. The historian may have the vessel’s name, size, even type of sails, but the specific type of ship may be lost, or it was so unequally built there is no appropriate category. So, for those vessels, we have created a category with the comprehensive heading Unique Ships.

The general definition of a ship is a watercraft that has more than one deck and can carry a smaller boat. Ships usually have three or more masts and are ocean-going. Eventually, ships had engines and propellers and, today, they can be quite large.