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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
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Claim CH508:

The treasure ships from fifteenth century China were wooden ships as large as Noah's ark, showing that Noah's ark was not too big to be built.


  1. The Chinese ships were not all wood. The keels were long pieces of wood bound with iron hoops, and iron was also used for nails. Ironworkers were included in the crew in case the ship needed repairs while at sea (Levathes 1996).

  2. The length of a chi, or Chinese foot, varied considerably over the period of the Ming Dynasty, when the ships were made and described; it also varied by location and application, so it is uncertain how large they really were. Based on the length of chi determined from an excavated ship, it is estimated that the largest treasure ships were about 390 to 408 feet long and 160 to 166 feet wide (Levathes 1996). That still makes it the largest wooden ship, but significantly smaller than the 480-foot length attributed to Noah's ark.


  1. Levathes, Louise, 1996. When China Ruled the Seas: The Treasure Fleet of the Dragon Throne, 1405-1433. Oxford University Press. Excerpts at

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created 2004-3-21