The Vasa was a Swedish warship built 1626-1628. It was designed to be the most powerful ship in the Swedish Navy and was richly decorated as a symbol of the king's ambitions for Sweden and himself. Upon completion the Vasa was one of the most powerfully armed vessels in the world.
However, the boat was dangerously unstable due to too much weight in the upper structure of the hull and insufficient ballast to compensate. This was mostly due to the weight of the ornate trappings and the cannons made of brass.