The Spanish used the galleons as ships of exploration between the 16th and 19th centuries. The first galleon was built in 1517, but it was not until the 1530s that it became widely adopted. These ships had a mix of sails, a low forecastle, and a high aftcastle. Galleons played a vital role in protecting Spain’s treasure fleets, which returned the New World colonies’ valuable bullion to the motherland.The El Galeon Andalucia is a replica of the old Spanish galleons. Historian Ignacio Fernandez Vial built this ship, and he launched it after two years of construction in 2009. This ship weighs 500 tons and is 160 feet long. With its six sails down, the El Galeon Andualiucia can sustain an average speed of 7 knots. The replica includes several decks such as the forecastle, main deck, quarter-deck, and the hold. El Galeon Andalucia is the only replica galleon to sail around the world.