A carrack was a three- or four-masted ocean-going sailing ship which developed in the 14th and 15th centuries in Europe. The name “carrack” likely derives from an ancient middle-eastern Akkadian word for a type of river barge. Carracks were used by the Portuguese for trade with the African coast and finally with Asia and America from the 15th century before evolving into the galleon of the 16th and 17th centuries.