Ketch Schooner Yawl Cutter

Dipping / lugsail

Dipping / lugsail

Lateen

Cutter Ship Blueprints

Lateen

Gaff rig

The modem Dutch boeier (below) has changed little from the designs which could be seen in the Netherlands in the 17th century.The gaff mainsail, from which the rig derives its name, is four-sided and set from a movable spar, or gaff, as it is known.

Dutch boeier

Dutch boeier

17th Century Ketch

Marconi rig

The Marconi mainsail, from which the rig derives its name, superseded the gaff rig in the early years of the 20th century. It is a triangular sail set on a tall mast.

Cutter (J class)

Marconi rig

The Marconi mainsail, from which the rig derives its name, superseded the gaff rig in the early years of the 20th century. It is a triangular sail set on a tall mast.

Cutter (J class)

Clase Hull

Staysail schooner

Staysail schooners have sails set forward on stays. A mainsail is sometimes set on the main mast (below).

Staysail schooner

Three-masted staysail schooner

Staysail schooner

Staysail schooners have sails set forward on stays. A mainsail is sometimes set on the main mast (below).

Staysail schooner

Three-masted staysail schooner

Three Masted Yacht

still true today. The Arabian dhows, a typical example, were probably once the fastest small trading vessels in the world, and are still used.

In the West, different waters, cargoes and financial considerations necessitated different designs. Economic factors, for instance, demanded that crews were limited: the rig of a Thames barge, a boat which is bigger than most dhows, was designed to be handled by a crew of only two. Long journeys across oceans were most easily conducted in large vessels and the vast amount of canvas which was required to drive them had to be broken down into manageable units. Some of the enormous cargo vessels, which were built at the turn of the century, carried as many as seven masts. The variety of rigs which evolved in Europe and North America to meet all the different needs were numerous.

Rig variations

Square-rigged ships, particularly suited to sailing downwind, traversed the oceans by exploiting the steady trade winds. In European and other coastal waters, where winds are more variable, square sails were combined with fore-and-aft rigs. These latter rigs, which set the sails lengthways along the boat, were more suited to windward sailing. Barques and barquentines, brigs and brigantines, snows, schooners, ketches and yawls plied the coastlines. Each exploited its special advantages, whether of speed, ease of handling, cargo-carrying capacity, or of maneuverability in narrow channels.

In other parts of the world, different solutions were found. The Chinese lugsail, for example (popularly known in the West as the "junk" rig) is efficient both when sailing to windward and when sailing free, and can be easily reefed and managed by a small crew. Because the sail is made up in sections and stiffened by bamboos, it is also easily and cheaply repaired. Although this simple but efficient rig was never adopted on working boats in other parts of the world, designers have begun recently to recognize its advantages and the junk rig is being adapted for use on some modern boats.

In most parts of the world, the old work boats are no longer employed. The big square-riggers, as well as the smaller coastal vessels, were largely usurped by steam-powered craft in the early years of this century. Those which survived, the cutter, ketch, yawl and schooner, did so because their size and rig made them particularly suitable for recreational sailing. Many early cruising boats were old converted pilot cutters or fishing smacks and most present day yachts with their fore-and-aft rigs are adaptations of those types. All fore-and-aft rigs consist of a main mast with a headsail set in front of it and a mainsail set behind. Each rig varies a little from the others. The cutter, for example, has one mast with two or more headsails and a gaff or Marconi mainsail. The sloop rig (now probably the most popular in the Western world) has a single headsail and a mainsail. Ketches and yawls carry an additional mast, known as a mizzen mast, stepped in the after part of the boat. In a ketch, the mizzen is stepped forward of the rudder post and on a yawl it is stepped behind it.

Right, the 1991 Admiral's Cup fleet at the start of one of its inshore races.

Inset, top, a gaff ketch, with all its sails set, reaches in a light breeze.

Inset, middle, a staysail schooner with a gaff mainsail, sets an array of staysails and headsails.

Inset, bottom, a modem cruising boat, rigged as a junk schooner.

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How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.

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Responses

  • martin
    Can a yawl be converted to a schooner?
    11 months ago
  • BRHANE FUTSUM
    Can a ketch be converted to a sloop easily?
    8 months ago

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