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East Indiamen were designed out of the experiences gathered from long and arduous voyages to India. This class of ships were the largest merchant vessels around, measuring between 1100 and 1400 tons. From 1602 until the end of the 18th century, at least 1461 ships of this type voyaged around, transporting spices, tea and china from Asia to Europe. The East Indiaman was not solely designed for trading purposes though, these ships were well armed to defend themselves. They were often even painted to resemble warships, and actually they were as close to warships as they were to merchant ships.