Is it wrong to call all three ships of Columbus's first voyage to the Americas carracks?

Is it wrong to call all three ships of Columbus’s first voyage to the Americas carracks? Simon Winchester in “Atlantic: A Vast Ocean of A Million Stories”
states(p. 86):
“His three small carracks , the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria , were cleverly routed to the south of the Canaries …”


History of the caravel - Nautical Archaeology Program › shiplab › caravela › htmls
](History of the caravel)

Columbus’s ships Niña and Pinta were supposedly caravels , and Columbus repeatedly praised … The exact origin of the caravel is a matter of some debate .

Yes. The Niña & Pinta weren’t big enough to be carracks, and probably weren’t rigged the same.

Some sources distinguish the ship types of Columbus’ fleet and call the Santa Maria (the largest of the three) a carrack and the Niña and the Pinta caravels; if all three are grouped together, then most sources I’ve seen would call them all caravels. Things are complicated by the fact that Columbus himself called them naos in the diary from the first voyage; that can simply mean “ships” generically, but is sometimes used for a particular type of ship from the period.

I think it’s hard to draw a distinctive line between these types, definitions are blurry, so there are different usages that are not clearly wrong. In terms of size the Santa Maria was clearly bigger than the other two; in terms of rigging no certain details are known but it’s widely assumed that they all had three masts, with square rigs on the first two and a lateen on the mizzen, so they would have been quite similar.

Nothing to add other than my appreciation for just about everything Winchester has written - many of which I’ve enjoyed more than Atlantic. If you enjoy this book, read further.

His books on Krakatau and the S.F earthquake are well worth reading.

Also The Meaning of Everything, The Professor and the Madman.

My personal favorite is The Map that Changed the World.