The ship's main gun battery consisted of two large wrought-iron, breech-loading cannons called "bombardetas" that fired 8-cm diameter shot. The barrel was made of several strips of iron forge-welded into a tube reinforced with alternating wide bands and narrow hoops of wrought iron.

Breech chamber

To fire the gun, a ball wrapped in cloth was placed in the breech and a chamber containing the powder charge was dropped in the slot behind the barrel and rammed against the breech by driving the quoin, a wooden wedge, into place. Each cannon had several breech chambers, permitting rapid loading and firing.

Caulked seam

The space between the planks is caulked with tar and bit of rope to make the deck watertight.

Gun carriage

The barrel was lashed securely to a heavy oak bed stock fitted with low wheels to facilitate moving and aiming the cannon.


Side of the ship is called the gunwale; the other side of the ship would have been about 20 feet to the left.


The ship also had a matched pair of haquebuts or hand cannons, considered outdated early in the 16th century. It is possible the haquebuts were fired from the ship's fighting top-crow's nest or from the bow of the ship's boat.

King plank

In order for water to drain away, the deck curves gently from a high point at the centerline king plank, just under the butt of the bombardeta gun carriage, to the gunwales.

Sheet anchor

Ships of the period typically carried as many as seven anchors. The largest is called the sheet anchor, or "anchor of salvation." This anchor was stored in the ship's hold and was found on top of the ballast mound. With the exception of the ship's boat anchor, all others were missing. The anchor's shank was broken by the violent explosive charges set off by treasure hunters.


One of three types of breech-loading swivel guns which the ship carried.