Manila Galleons: what a target for your large well organised
Pirate! Alas somewhat out of the league your average pirate, as would be the
Spanish convoys escorted by those special anti-pirate 60-gunners.
Nostra Senora de Covandonga 50-guns 1731-1743
Nostra Senora del Pilar de Zaragoza 50-guns 1732-1750
This is from an article published in Warship 1991 ‘The Last
Manila Galleon’ In the article they describe the last Spanish Galleon’s that
sailed between Manila in the Philippines across the Pacific to Acapulco on the
west coast of Mexico.
One of the last Manila Galleon’s were the Covandonga
captured by Anson in 1743, the Pilar which broke up on the voyage to Acapulco
in 1750 and the ships built to replace Covandonga and Pilar at Manila the
Nuestra Senora del Rosario y los Santos Reyes 60-guns
Santisima Trinidad y Nuestra Senora del Buen Fin 70-guns
These were enormous ships; Rosario was 188 ft overall with 156
ft keel, 56 ft beam, and a 26 ft depth in hold and was pierced for 60 guns the
Santisima Trinidad was even larger. For comparison the Spanish navy at that
time had designed a 60 gun 4th rate as the best ship for their needs, these
commonly measured 143 ft in length and 39 ft in breadth.
The Rosario and Santisima Trinidad were terrible sailers;
they had enormous upper works and could only sail in a following wind. In 1756
Santisima Trinidad took over 7 months to make the voyage from Manila to Mexico,
82 passengers died on the voyage including the former governor of the
Philippines returning to Spain.