In the first century C.E., numerous merchant ships of various types plied the waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Some of them were coastal vessels, such as the boat from Adramyttium in which Paul, as a prisoner, sailed from Caesarea to Myra. (Ac 27:2-5) However, the type of merchant ship that Paul boarded at Myra, similar to what is illustrated here, was a large vessel that carried a cargo of wheat and a crew and passengers totaling 276 persons. (Ac 27:37, 38) This ship likely had a mainsail and a foresail and would have been steered by two large oars located in the stern. Such ships often had a figurehead representing a god or goddess.
1. Merchant ship
2. Galilean fishing boat