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These towering cargo ships were some of the largest wood vessels to ever touch water. The Merchantman, employed primarily in the 17th and 18th centuries, was capable of carrying entire contingents of men and substantial stores of cargo. The Merchantman class contained a wide variety of ships, as numerous nations created their own variants. The Dutch were especially fond of Merchantmen, and the East Indiaman vessel was actually a redesign of this class of ship.