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Shipspotting 101: Sailing vessels

Cat Boat

catboats are simple, and feature only a main sail. the Opti or the Laser are common Examples. Not restricted to small dingys, the  Hinterhoeller built Nonsuch is a cat rigged keel boat that was built in lengths of 22-40 feet.

 

Sloop

sloops feature 2 sails – a Main sail behind the mast, and a Jib forward. a Jib will not extend rearward beyond the mast, however a Genoa will. Genoa’s are also known as an overlapping jib, and can be seen on the examples above. this is also a Simple fore and aft rig (with a sail infront, and behind the mast) which will be repeated on larger vessels.

Yawl / Ketch

Dorothea is a ketch. Both vessels add a second “Mizzen” mast behind the main sail, the difference in name comes from whether that mast is located Fore or Aft of the Rudder post. In Dorothea’s case, the rudder is on the Transom, So its a Ketch. The Mizzen mast on a Yawl is typically much smaller then the main, and as far to the rear as possible.

a famous yawl was Joshua Slocum’s vessel Spray

Schooner

Schooners are a complicated sail plan, because there can be so much variation. Bluenose is an example of a Gaff rigged schooner. A schooner is a ship rigged the main sail (largest) on the main mast, and a foresail on the foremast. The Gaff rig refers to the the spar member at the top of the sail, which allows for more sail area as the sail doesn’t need to be triangularly shaped to come to a point at the mast.

3 masted schooners are also common, and simply add an additional sails. (the largest schooner featured 7 masts) topsail schooners feature additional top sails on the masts, as seen on the Pride of Baltimore II.

Finally a Bermuda rig schooner features triangular sails off the fore and main masts, as you would see in a sloop. – Not surprisingly, the Bermuda rig is found on the 3 masted schooner Spirit of Bermuda. This Ship also Shows the relative hights of the Masts – the Main Mast (the center mast, carrying the largest sail) is Tallest, the foremast is next, and the mizzen is shortest. The Spirit of Bermuda’s masts are also Raked – or angled rearward. this was done to improve performance of the ship.

Brigantine

A brigantine is like a schooner, however it features a Gaff rigged main sail on the main mast, and is Square rigged on the foremast. While many historical examples exist, the only current examples I know both belong to Bytown Brigantine, The Black Jack, and Fair Jeanne (pictured)

Brig

A brig features 2 square rigged masts. the Main Mast features a Small Gaff rigged sail as well to improve maneuverability. the US Brig Niagara is a replica of Oliver Hazard Perry’s relief flagship on the great lakes durign the war of 1812.

Barquentine

A Barquentine is a vessel with 3 or more masts – the foremast being Square rigged and the others being gaff rigged. Peacemaker (above) is an example.

Barque

A barque is a vessel with 3 or more masts, the foremast and main mast being square rigged, and the Mizzen mast gaff riged. The Picton Castle is a good example of a barque.

Full Rigged Ship

A full rigged ship features 3 or more masts, all square rigged. The Italian Navy vessel Amerigo Vespucci is a full rigged ship, though I don’t have a photo of her with her sails up.

 

Finally, In Summary:

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Peter

is a Blogger. Photographer. Longshoreman. IT Guy. also the brains behind HalifaxShippingNews.ca and BuiltHalifax.ca Personal site ziobrowski.net

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