A carrack was a three to four-masted sailing ship developed in 15th century Western Europe for use in the Atlantic Ocean, also making trips to the Portuguese territory in India, Goa. It had a high rounded stern with large aftcastle, forecastle and bowsprit at the stem. It was first used by the Portuguese, and later by the Spanish, to explore and map the world, such as New Spain, and used by Portugal for their Indian Armadas. It was usually square-rigged on the foremast and mainmast and lateen-rigged on the mizzenmast.
Carracks were ocean-going ships: large enough to be stable in heavy seas, and roomy enough to carry provisions for long voyages. They were the ships in which the Portuguese and the Spanish explored the world in the 15th and 16th centuries. In Portuguese this type was called 'nau', while in Spanish it is called 'carraca'. In French it was called a 'caraque' or 'net'.
As the forerunner of the great ships of the age of sail, the carrack was one of the most influential ship designs in history.