From the dawn of civilization man has held a fascination with the sea, and over the centuries has built myriad ships and sailing craft for an equally diverse range of purposes. Ships: Visual Encyclopedia provides a fascinating at-a-glance guide to more than 1,200 of the most important ships from the earliest times to the present day. From the Viking longship through the 16th century galleon to the super carriers and nuclear submarines of the 21st century, Ships: Visual Encyclopedia includes every conceivable type of ship in which man has gone to sea. As well as warships from every century, this book also examines those vessels that have explored the globe, conducted trade, and afforded great adventure, luxury and entertainment. From the smallest coastal traders up to the vast oil tankers of today, from the graceful clippers of the 19th century to the modern passenger liners, Ships: Visual Encyclopedia is the comprehensive guide to all the world's ships, both military and civilian. Each ship is illustrated with a profile illustration, accompanied by brief details and specifications, and vessels are arranged chronologically and by use to allow easy comparison. Timelines of design and development are also provided on many pages where appropriate, giving a sense of the history of each type of ship. With 1,200 outstanding colour illustrations, Ships: Visual Encyclopedia is an essential reference book for all maritime and ship enthusiasts.