The first fluit was built in 1595 in the town Horn - the center of the Dutch shipbuilding. The length of these ships exceeded the width in 4 - 6 times and that allowed them to go under sails quite close to the wind. Firstly they introduced into rigging topmasts invented in 1570. The height of masts then exceeded the length of a vessel and yards, on the contrary, were shortened. So appeared small, narrow and comfortable in service sails that allowed to lessen the number of hands. Sail rigging of the fore- and the mainmast consisted of the foresail and the mainsail and appropriate topsails. Later on larger fluits topgallant sails appeared. They set a square mizzen sail above the usual fore-and-aft sail on the mizzenmast. On the bowsprit they set a square spritsal and sometimes a top spritsail. Fluits were first vessels equipped by steering wheels, which made it easy to shift the rudder. Fluits of the beginning of the 17th century had a length of 40 m, width of about 6.5 m, draught of 3 - 3.5 m and displacement of 350 - 400 t. From 10 to 20 guns were installed on them for self-defense. The crew consisted of 60 - 65 people. These ships were distinguished by their good seafaring qualities, high speed and a large capacity that was why they were used mainly as fighting-transport vessels. During the 16th - 18th centuries fluits took a leading position on all the seas.