This ship paper model is a 1492 Santa Maria (in spanish La Santa María) carrack, probably a medium sized nao. The scale of the papercraft is in 1:90. It was about 58 ft (17.7 m) long on deck, and according to Juan Escalante de Mendoza in 1575, the Santa Maria was "very little larger than 100 toneladas" burthen, or burden, and was used as the flagship for the expedition.
The other ships of the Columbus expedition were the smaller caravel-type ships Santa Clara, remembered as La Niña ("The Child"), and La Pinta ("The Painted"). All these ships were second-hand (if not third or more) and were not intended for exploration. The Niña, Pinta, and the Santa María were modest sized merchant vessels comparable in size to a modern cruising yacht, and not the largest ships in Europe at the time. The exact measurements of length and width of the three ships have not survived, but good estimates of their burden capacity can be judged from contemporary anecdotes written down by one or more of Columbus' crew members, and contemporary Spanish and Portuguese ship wrecks from the late 15th and early 16th centuries which are comparable in size to that of the Santa Maria; These include the ballast piles and keel lengths of the Molasses Reef Wreck and Highborn Cay Wreck in the Bahamas. Both were caravel type vessels 19 m (62 ft) in length overall, 12.6 m (41 ft) keel length and 5 to 5.7 m (16 to 19 ft) in width, and rated between 100 and 150 tons burden. The Santa María, being Columbus' largest ship, was only about this size, and the Niña and Pinta were even tinier, at only 50 to 75 tons burden and perhaps 15-18 meters (50 to 60 feet) on deck.
The Santa María was built in Castro-Urdiales, Cantabria, in Spain's north-east. It seems the ship was known to her sailors as Marigalante, Spanish for "Gallant Maria". The naos employed on Columbus's second voyage were named Marigalante and Gallega. Bartolomé de Las Casas never used La Gallega, Marigalante or Santa María in his writings, preferring to use la Capitana or La Nao.
The Santa María had a single deck and three masts. She was the slowest of Columbus's vessels but performed well in the Atlantic crossing. After engaging in festivities and drinking, Columbus ordered that the crew continue sailing to Cuba late into the night. One-by-one the crew kept falling asleep until only a cabin boy was steering the ship which caused the ship to run aground off the present-day site of Cap-Haïtien, Haiti on December 25, 1492, and was lost. Realizing that the ship was beyond repair, Columbus ordered his men to strip the timbers from the ship. The timbers from the ship were later used to build La Navidad (Christmas) because the wreck occurred on Christmas Day, north from the modern Limonade·
The anchor of the Santa María now resides in the Musée du Panthéon National Haitien (MUPANAH), in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
You can download this paper model template here: 1492 Santa Maria Carrack Free Ship Paper Model Download