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What is the importance of lateen sail?

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The lateen is believed to have been used in the Eastern Mediterranean as early as the 2nd Century ce (common ear). The effective use by the Arabs caused it's rapid spread through the Mediterranean. The lateen sail was so popular because its ability to sail into the wind. Prior to the lateen a majority of sea vessels used square sails (which one can imagine wouldn't sail into the wind very effectively). The lateen made up a majority of ship sails during the Age of Discovery (When Columbus discovered the Americas). The lateen made it possible to sail faster, farther, and more efficiently. An elite ship during the Age of Discovery was the caravel, its elite status can be attributed to how effectively it utilized the lateen sail.
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When were lateen sails invented?

It cannot be known for sure -probably in many place at roughly the same time. They have been known for more than 5,000 years.

How does a Lateen Sail work?

Lateen sails work in much the same way that most other triangular sails work.  If the wind is behind the sail it will push the boat/ship/craft/vessel forward.  But suppose t

Who developed the lateen sail?

While the Arabs are generally credited with this, their boats were often constructed from the wood found in the forests of India. So far, it's hard to say.

What are lateen sails made out of?

To quote Wikipedia's excellent answer: A triangular sail, extended by a long yard, which is slung at about one fourth of its length from the lower end, to a low mast, this end
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What did the lateen sail look like?

The lateen sail looks like a triangle. The point is on one side and the base is on the other side. The base of the sail would be parallel to the main mast. A spar at the top o