Yacht sails types

September 8, 2017
Sailing - WikiVisually
The sloop is a two-sail fore-and-aft rigged sailboatThe Sloop, a straightforward and efficient rig


If a sloop features an extra sail involving the headsail and also the mainsail, itisn' much longer a sloop - it is a cutter.

A Cutter, two foresails, no bowsprit

Some cutters have the foresail put forward on a bowsprit, using the inner forestay forever rigged to your stemhead where foresail usually is, or to a main chainplate further aft from the foredeck.

Find out more about cutters...

A Cutter, two foresails, with bowsprit


A ketch is a two-masted sailboat, a primary mast forward and a faster mizzen mast aft.

Yet not all two-masted sailboats tend to be ketches — they could be yawls (see below).

A ketch may also sport a staysail, with or without a bowsprit, in which case it would be referred to as a cutter-rigged or staysail ketch.

A Ketch - mizzen mast ahead of this rudder post

Cat Ketches

Cat-ketches tend to be recognised by the not enough any standing rigging to support their particular set of unstayed masts.

And yes, in the event that following mast is taller compared to foremast then it's called a cat-schooner sailboat.

A Cat-Ketch


Yawls have their beginnings as old-time sail fishing boats for sale, where little mizzen sail ended up being trimmed to keep the vessel constant when hauling the nets.

Just like a ketch, the real difference becoming that yawl gets the mizzen mast placed aft of the rudder post whereas the ketch has its own mizzen mast in front of the rudder post.

This cat-ketch has actually two unstayed mastsYou’ll not be surprised to find out that a yawl with a staysail is recognized as cutter-rigged yawl.

A Yawl - mizzen mast aft regarding the rudder post


A schooner is a two-or-more masted sailboat, when the aft-most mast - the mainmast - is similar level or bigger compared to foremast.

The only shown here's gaff cutter rigged, with a topsail set from the mainmast.

Numerous sailors agree that of all of the different types of sailboats, a schooner under complete sail is one of the most beautiful sights afloat.

A two-masted Schooner


Gaffed-rigged sailboats, or 'gaffers', have actually their particular mainsail sustained by a spar - the 'gaff' - which is hauled up mast by a different halyard.

Often these kinds of sailboats are rigged with a topsail, as shown here as well as in the gaff schooner above, which truly adds some grunt in light airs.

All this work comes at a cost needless to say, in both regards to material price and body weight aloft, which is the reason why hardly any modern-day yachts are fitted with gaff rigs today.

A Gaff Cutter with topsail

All artwork on this web page is by

Other forms of Sailboats

The seven sailboat rig variants shown here you will find the most well known kinds of modern-day cruising watercraft rigs, but there are other rig versions which were as soon as entirely on commercial, fishing, and naval sailing vessels.

They include:

  • Comprehensive square-rigged cruising vessels
  • Barques
  • Barkentines
  • Brigs
  • Brigantines

In this specific article I said that ketches, yawls and schooners with two headsails can be called cutter-rigged. This is certainly a commonly used description but strictly speaking, there's only one rig that may accurately be known as a cutter - and that's a single-masted sailboat with two headsails. My thanks to 'Old Salt' for drawing my focus on this!

Source: www.sailboat-cruising.com
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