Through history different ships were designed to meet different requirements. Different ideas were tried that followed the development of science and technology of the times in which ships were made. Different ship types were result of this and here are some of them:
Barque - ship that has three or more masts and which foremast is rigged square and only the aftermast is rigged fore-and-aft.
Barquentine - also has three or more masts and foremast is rigged square but fore-and-aft rigged main, mizzen and any other masts.
Battlecruiser - a lightly armored battleship built in the first half of the 20th century.
Battleship - a large, heavily armored and heavily gunned warship with a main battery consisting of heavy caliber guns.
Bilander - a small European merchant ship with two masts.
Bireme - an oared warship (galley) with two decks of oars from ancient times.
Birlinn - a wooden ship propelled by sail and oar. It was in the Hebrides and West Highlands of Scotland in the Middle Ages.
Blockade runner - a type of fast, lighter-weight ship made to slip past a naval blockade.
Brig - a sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts popular in the 18th and early 19th centuries.
Brigantine - a two-masted ship that has foremast fully square rigged and her mainmast rigged with both a fore-and-aft mainsail (a gaff sail) and a square topsail, and sometimes a topgallant sail.
Caravel - small and quick, two or three-masted ship.
Clipper - three or more masts and a square rig sailing ship. It was popular with merchants because of its high speed.
Cog - a type of ship that first appeared in the 10th century. It had a single mast and a square-rigged single sail.
Corvette - a small, maneuverable, lightly armed warship.
Cruiser - a warship that is larger than a destroyer, but smaller than a battleship.
Destroyer - one more subtype of a warship which is used for anti-submarine warfare and escort duties.
Dreadnought - a type of battleship from the beginning of the 20th century characteristic for heavy armament and steam turbine propulsion.
Fleut - a Dutch ship from the 17th century. It had multiple decks and usually three square-rigged masts. It was used for trade.
Knarr - a type of Viking trade ship.
Galleon - a large, multi-decked sailing warship ship from the 16th century.
Galley - a type of ship that is propelled mainly by rowing but it also has sails for when a wind is favorable. It was popular at the Mediterranean Sea from around the 8th century BC until the early 19th century.
Ironclad - wooden warship with external iron plating. Popular in the second half of the 19th century.
Junk - an ancient Chinese sailing ship still in use today.
Man-of-war - a warship or a frigate from the 16th to the 19th century armed with cannon and propelled primarily by sails.
Monitor -a class of a small warship which was slow and with weak armor but heavily armed. They appeared at the end of the 19th century.
Paddle steamer - a steam-propelled, paddle-driven ship. Excursion steamers from 19th were usually called by this name.
Schooner - a fore and aft-rigged vessel with two or more masts of which the foremast is shorter than the main.
Shallop -a large, heavily built, fore-and-aft rigged boat. It appeared for the first time in 16th century.
Steamship - a ship propelled by a steam engine.
Torpedo boat -a small, fast surface boat designed to carry torpedoes into battle. They appeared for the first time in the late 19th century.
Trireme - an ancient warship propelled by three banks of oars.