Until industrialization, rowing was the only method of locomotion at sea that was independent of the wind. Rowing ships were therefore used in particular as warships . In modern times, however, rowing ships are no longer relevant.
Triremes could reach a speed of more than 11.5 knots in the attack . It was reconstructed from historical data that a trireme once reached an Etmal (distance in 24 hours) of 216 nautical miles (around 400 km), which corresponds to an average speed of 9 knots. Viking long ships reached speeds of 14 knots and more in the sprint , as row tests with replicas (e.g. with the Helge Ask ) have shown.
- Greek longships such as Triakontere (thirty oars) and Pentekontere (fifty oars ), mainly warships
- Monere (Greek) / Monoreme (Roman), warships; however, the names are unusual
- Diere (Greek) / Bireme (Roman), warship
- Triere (Greek) / Trireme (Roman), warship
- Tetrere (Greek) / Quadrireme (Roman), warship
- Pentere (Greek) / Quinquereme (Roman), warship
- Liburnian (Roman), warship
- Navis actuaria (Roman), transport ship
- Navis lusoria (Roman), warship, mainly on rivers