With the Mary Rose in the news on the BBC albeit in a somewhat second hand way [the headline being about the wreck that revealed the Mary Rose, the Royal George, sunk 1782] I was reminded what a tremendous experience it was seeing it raised.
Most pictures taken from 'Cogs, Caravels and Galleons' edited by Robert Gardiner, Conway, 1994, an excellent book. The Mary Rose picture, from the Anthony Anthony rolls courtesy of Wickipedia
We had a TV brought into assembly at school and when it was time for morning lessons, those of us who were interested were permitted to skip lessons and repair to the TV room to continue watching - a rare dispensation. Fortunately, as the room was one of the smaller classrooms, there weren't many of us; but it made a sufficient impact on me that it began a lifelong love affair with the Mary Rose, which is why the second Felicia and Robin book, 'The Mary Rose Mystery' is about the building of this iconic ship. Her sister ship laid down at the same time was the Peter Pomegranate and both featured the innovation of gun ports on a lower deck.
It remains a mystery who invented the idea of gun ports; both British and French claim the distinction and it is a fact that Scottish warships also sported them within a year or two at least when fighting the English fleet. The suggestion that it was a French invention arises in a 19th century [French] document so I am inclined to consider this dubious at best.
Ships of the time were undergoing many new innovations. The older type of ship, the cog, had developed from the Viking Longships, and were clinker built, that is the hull, or skin, was built first with timbers that overlapped with frames added afterwards. The type of ship building that had originated in the Mediterranean was carvel building, whereby a frame was built first, then the hull added with the timbers abutting. It allowed a larger ship to be built. The Lateen rig of sails was also a Mediterranean innovation that allowed a ship to go close to the wind, but was only suitable for small ships in relatively calm waters. Cogs carried square rigged sails, carracks, which were recognisable by their thick main mast had mostly square sails but carried a fore-and-aft rig on the mizzen (after) mast. Some early carracks had only one main mast, larger ones carried three or even four masts.