So in Sci Fi we have this tendency to want to compare ship designations to modern sea faring ships. It dawned on me that this is probably completely wrong. Even though we want to refer to warships as destroyers and cruisers, those are all terms that didn't even really exist for ships a hundred and fifty years ago. The naming of ships changes drastically over time, especially every time there is a huge jump in design. Historically there are all sorts of sailing ships with specific designations based on design like galley, galleon, caravel, schooner, junk (the ship, not actual junk). The list is almost endless.
With that in mind I am wanting to come up with new designating terms for the spacefaring ships in my book, but I want to tie them somewhat to old seafaring ships. Primarily, I want there to be valid reasons why they are related, (such as number of sails comparing to number of thrusters, or maybe relating solar powered craft to oar ships).
Even though it is fairly straight forward to find actually specifications on an individual ship's design, I am having trouble finding more details on the evolution of ships as a whole. Of course I can find information for specific regions, or look up the historical details of a specific ship type, but I haven't found any websites that actually have any sort of outline of how ship design progressed throughout history around the world.
Is there any website that would include detailed information on this sort of subject?