Galleons are an amazing type of ship. They began in Spain in the 16th century and lated until 1700 at least. They were heavily armed ships of war and were the best ships of their time. The Galleon could cruise to 11 knots or about 15 miles per hour. They relied solely on wind alone and were excellent sailers. They were usually 4 decked and were modled after the merchant carracks. They were 3 or 4 masted. A larger galleon would have a 4th mast called the bonaventure mizzenmast. Another feature is that they carried latten sails, occasionally with a latten topsail or even rarer a lateen topgallant on the mizzenmast. The fore and mainmasts were square rigged. Most had topsails, and a choice few had topgallants. They were built of oak wood planking. There armaments ranged from 20 to 50+ cannons at one time and have up to 600 men. They were used for wars and exploration. In Spain in particular, galleons were used to carry the annual treasure fleet home safely from English pirates. In late 1584, with the threat of Spanish war increasing, a new design of galleon was developed to perfection. The race built galleon evolved from the mastery of John Hawkins and Matthew Baker. 3 or 4 masted, these galleons would have less men, but as equally heavily armed, giving more space for food and ammunition. The galleon lasted until 1700, when things began to change. The frigate and ships of the line evolved and the galleon was no longer needed.