Improvements in Navigation

As a result of their long voyages, Europeans became much better seamen and shipbuilders. They learned to build larger, stronger, and more seaworthy ships. They developed a new rudder and a new type of sail that improved their control of their ships. From the Moslems they acquired two important instruments, the compass and the astrolabe. The compass showed them the direction in which they were sailing. With the astrolabe they could determine their location by studying the positions of the heavenly bodies. They were now ready to sail long distances - across an entire ocean, if necessary.