Sailing ship rigging plans

June 6, 2017
Model Ship Rigging Plans

The sail plans of sailing vessels were numerous and varied. Beside differences in initial design, a ship might go through a number of changes, dependant on the whims of the woman owner, captain, or builder, the trade she ended up being utilized in, or neighborhood practices. These changes had been introduced to improve sailing characteristics also to provide a rig that might be handled by a smaller sized team, thus spending higher comes back to investors.

The silhouettes of vessels overleaf represent various rigs of boats regarding eastern coastline of united states during the mid 1800s to your very early 1900s, a period in marine history also known as the "golden age sail".

Sailing ship rigs could be divided in to two broad categories: the "fore and aft rig" (left image), where the sails lie over the same jet due to the fact ship's fore and aft line; and the "square rig" (right picture), in which the sails are rigged athwart (across) the ship. Each rig had equal advantages & disadvantages.

The Fore & Aft Rig

The fore-and-aft rig, or schooner rig, needed just a small staff, and had been generally found in the seaside and fishing positions. Ships with this particular rig could point greater into the wind and were typically much more maneuverable when doing work in the changing winds over the coast. The rig had not been limited to seaside schooners, and huge fore-and-afters could possibly be seen plying throughout the Western Ocean bound for European harbors, the western Indies, or South America.


a fore-and-aft-rigged vessel with one mast is a sloop. In the early 1800s some big sloops traded with all the West Indies, but the majority sloops when you look at the nineteenth century were little inshore fishing vessels. Into the 20th century, sloops became typically the most popular rig for yachts.

Grand Bank Fishing Schooner

Schooners have actually two or more masts with fore and aft sails.
Like the famous Bluenose, our instance, as well as all the typical reduced sails, holds a main gaff-topsail and a fisherman's staysail set between the masts. .

Two-masted Fishing Schooner

Shown within winter-rig. Her topmast and all light top fabric happen struck, and sent ashore.

Square Topsail Schooner

A mixture of fore-and-aft sails and little square sails. These were preferred for seaside trading in the early 1800s. Prince Edward Island built some topsail schooners and lots of had been offered in the uk. A version with raked masts, labeled as the Baltimore Clipper, had been a great deal favored by privateers inside War of 1812.

Coastal Schooner

The work horse of your coastal trade. She was probably not a great deal more than one hundred tons, and transported sets from wood and coal to bricks, general cargo, and lots of hay to overseas island communities. Our schooner is shown with only a primary topmast, but many also carried a fore topmast. Note the yawl boat towing astern.


A-two masted sailing vessel where the mizzen mast is prior to the rudder. The rig is similar to a schooner however the main mast (the tallest mast) is the very first mast, perhaps not the second mast. Ketches had been typical in 19th century Europe but unusual in Nova Scotia until they became extremely popular for yachts in 20th century.

Four-masted Schooner

Shown at anchor. This design attempted to lower specific sail location, raise tonnage, whilst still being manage with a small staff. During the early times sails were hoisted manually, but slowly the fuel hoisting motor had been introduced, conserving work, wages, and food. She could function with eight hands, and achieved 500 to 700 tons. On turn associated with the century these schooners were utilized into the coastal trade between Canada in addition to usa, the western Indies, South America, and some trans-Atlantic voyages were made to Europe and West Africa. Nova Scotians built and operated between seven and eight hundred big schooners, but by World War I many had passed away from the image. Over the brand new England coastline a number of five and six-masted schooners were built, and one seven master, the steel hulled Thomas W. Lawson.

Tern Schooner

a three master integrated great figures all along our shores between 1880 and 1920. These vessels were cargo providers of between 200 and 400 tons, calling for a crew of 6 to 8. Our Tern is shown with all sails put except staysails involving the masts. As the years passed these softwood vessels would be waterlogged, sails dons on, and spars break. Because of the inroads produced by the steamer, the old schooners were hard-pressed locate a cargo. Some did endure until World War II.

The Square Rig

The square rig was normally an offshore rig used by vessels making long sea passages and using the prevailing wind and present habits associated with globe. These ships diverse in size through the little handy brigantines and brigs of a couple of hundred tons to the great full-rigged boats and barques of over two thousand tons. The square rig was also seen in the seaside trade, in which brigs plied their particular trade up and down the eastern seaboard.


A-two masted vessel square rigged regarding foremast, with fore-and-aft sails regarding mainmast. The drawing reveals a normal Bluenose softwood vessel of approximately 220 tons, like the Spencers Island built Amazon which later became the famous secret ship Mary Celeste. The brigantine is shown with two staysails set involving the masts.


Two masted vessel square-rigged on both masts. The brig is a very old and efficient sailing rig, while the course was nevertheless in use to the end of commercial cruising vessels. Only some brigs had been built in Nova Scotia yards, but they had been frequent in European oceans.


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