4th of July Special – Ships of 1776

July 4th, 2016

As we remember the true meaning of the 4th of July, to celebrate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, we remember that the thirteen original American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, which meant that the United States of America was no longer part of the British Empire.

Today, many of us will be celebrating with fireworks, barbecues, boating, baseball games, parades, family reunions, and more. So we hope that you enjoy your Fourth of July, however you celebrate it. As Schrader Mattress provides custom boat mattresses, we thought it would be interesting to look back at the types of boats that were used back in 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was signed.

Here are some of the types of ships and boats we discovered:


A type of flat-bottom cargo vessel. The USS Philadelphia of the Continental Navy was a gundalow or gunboat. These were a popular boat during the American Revolutionary War era.


The barque is a sailing vessel with three or more masts having the fore- and mainmasts rigged square and only the mizzen rigged fore-and-aft.

Blockade Runner

This is a lightweight ship used to evade naval blockades. Often times, blockade running is done to transport cargo including mail, food, or firearms.


During the 17th century this vessel had no lateen sails, but was instead square-rigged on the foremast and had a gaff-rigged mainsail with square rig above it on the mainmast. The main mast on these ships is the aft one.

Heavy Frigate

While the heavy frigate wasn’t developed until 1778, it is one of America’s most historical ships, as the USS Constitution is a heavy frigate. Frigates of course, originated around 1583 as a form of a fighter ship.


The man-of-war was a British Royal Navy warship used from the 16th to 19th century. It was armed with cannons and propelled by sails, and often times oars.


The schooner was popular beginning in the 16th century by the Dutch, and was used extensively in New England by the 18th century. Most commonly, schooners have two masts, and were popular in trades requiring speed and windward ability.

From everyone at Schrader Mattress, we wish you a happy 4th of July, and hope everyone has a safe and fun time.