The first recorded sea battle took place in 1210 BC when the King of the Hittites, Suppiluliuma II, defeated a fleet from Cyprus. There were three battles in total, ranging from 1275 BCE to 1205, and they are commonly referred to as the Battles of Alashiya, named for the defeated navy. Better records exist of the Battle of the Delta in 1175 BCE where the Egyptians defeated an attempted sea invasion somewhere on the eastern Nile delta. The details of this battle were recorded on the wall of the temple of Ramesses III. The enemy was referred to as the Sea Peoples, and they attempted to defeat the Egyptians both on land and at sea.
The main tactic in ancient battles was to use archers against the enemy ships, then possibly board the enemy vessel where hand to hand combat would ensue. This tactic remained in place until the advent of the ram, which was an elongation of the bow that would be driven into an enemy vessel in an effort to puncture it. The resulting damage could sink a vessel, but many modern historians think it was more to immobilize the ship since the bow sat very close to the surface of the water and not below it. The first recorded use of this tactic was in 535 BCE but may have been used earlier.
Rams, which required being mounted on rowed ships to be used properly, fell out of favour as sailing ships gained dominance, but they were still being used as late as 1571, at the Battle of Lepanto, and there was even an attempt to reintroduce the concept as steamships came into use in the mid-1800's.
I have always been a history buff, but I will admit that I have been learning more recently in preparation for an upcoming sea battle that may or may not be part of my latest book!