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The galleass was an attempt by Mediterranean trading nations at designing a hybrid of a galleon and a galley in the second half of the sixteenth century. The sheer hull size required to accept the masts and rigging of a large sailing ship made the vessel ineffective as an oared fighting ship. They were included in the Spanish Armada but found themselves even more ineffective in the turbulent waters of the Atlantic.

For several centuries a vessel of the same name and following the same lines, albeit peacefully, plied the Mediterranean – a smallish sailing ship that could apply its single row of oars when facing unfavourable wind or tide.