Sailboat

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A typical monohull sloop with Bermuda rig Sloop Example.svg
A typical monohull sloop with Bermuda rig
Sailboat on Lake Constance, Germany. Segelboot Bodensee Mainau (Foto Hilarmont).JPG
Sailboat on Lake Constance, Germany.

A sailboat or sailing boat is a boat propelled partly or entirely by sails and is smaller than a sailing ship. Distinctions in what constitutes a sailing boat and ship vary by region and maritime culture.

Contents

Types

Although sailboat terminology has varied across history, many terms have specific meanings in the context of modern yachting. A great number of sailboat-types may be distinguished by size, hull configuration, keel type, purpose, number and configuration of masts, and sail plan.

Popular monohull designs include:

Cutter

A gaff cutter Freiheitu.jpg
A gaff cutter

The cutter is similar to a sloop with a single mast and mainsail, but generally carries the mast further aft to allow for a jib and staysail to be attached to the head stay and inner forestay, respectively. Once a common racing configuration, today it gives versatility to cruising boats, especially in allowing a small staysail to be flown from the inner stay in high winds.

Catboat

A catboat Nonsuch30.jpg
A catboat

A catboat has a single mast mounted far forward and does not carry a jib. Most modern designs have only one sail, the mainsail; however, the traditional catboat could carry multiple sails from the gaff rig.

Dinghy

A racing dinghy 49er skiff sailing AUS nationals Geelong.jpg
A racing dinghy

A dinghy is a type of small open sailboat commonly used for recreation, sail training, and tending a larger vessel. They are popular in youth sailing programs for their short LOA, simple operation and minimal maintenance. They have three (or fewer) sails: the mainsail, jib, and spinnaker.

Ketch

A ketch Aquarius Plan Cornu.JPG
A ketch

Ketches are similar to a sloop, but there is a second shorter mast astern of the mainmast, but forward of the rudder post. The second mast is called the mizzen mast and the sail is called the mizzen sail. A ketch can also be Cutter-rigged with two head sails.

Schooner

A gaff topsail schooner Schooner Te Vega in the Hudson River 1976.jpg
A gaff topsail schooner

A schooner has a mainmast taller than its foremast, distinguishing it from a ketch or a yawl. A schooner can have more than two masts, with the foremast always lower than the foremost main. Traditional topsail schooners have topmasts allowing triangular topsails sails to be flown above their gaff sails; many modern schooners are Bermuda rigged.

Sloop

Bermuda rigged sloop at Convict Bay, Bermuda, circa 1879 Bermuda rigged sloop at Convict Bay ca 1879.jpg
Bermuda rigged sloop at Convict Bay, Bermuda, circa 1879

The most common modern sailboat is the sloop, which features one mast and two sails, typically a Bermuda rigged main, and a headsail. This simple configuration is very efficient for sailing into the wind.

A fractional rigged sloop has its forestay attached at a point below the top of the mast, allowing the mainsail to be flattened to improve performance by raking the upper part of the mast aft by tensioning the backstay. A smaller headsail is easier for a short-handed crew to manage.

Yawl

A yawl Chubasco photo D Ramey Logan.jpg
A yawl

A yawl is similar to a ketch, with a shorter mizzen mast carried astern the rudderpost more for balancing the helm than propulsion.

Hulls

Traditional sailboats are monohulls, but multi-hull catamarans and trimarans are gaining popularity. Monohull boats generally rely on ballast for stability and usually are displacement hulls. This stabilizing ballast can, in boats designed for racing, be as much as 50% of the weight of the boat, but is generally around 30%. It creates two problems; one, it gives the monohull tremendous inertia, making it less maneuverable and reducing its acceleration. Secondly, unless it has been built with buoyant foam or air tanks, if a monohull fills with water, it will sink.

Multihulls rely on the geometry and the broad stance of their multiple hulls for their stability, eschewing any form of ballast. Some multihulls are designed to be as light-weight as possible while still maintaining structural integrity. They can be built with foam-filled flotation chambers and some modern trimarans are rated as unsinkable, meaning that, should every crew compartment be completely filled with water, the hull itself has sufficient buoyancy to remain afloat.

A multihull optimized for light weight (at the expense of cruising amenities and storage for food and other supplies), combined with the absence of ballast can result in performance gains in terms of acceleration, top speed, and manoeuvrability.

The lack of ballast makes it much easier to get a lightweight multihull on plane, reducing its wetted surface area and thus its drag. Reduced overall weight means a reduced draft, with a much reduced underwater profile. This, in turn, results directly in reduced wetted surface area and drag. Without a ballast keel, multihulls can go in shallow waters where monohulls can not.

There are trade-offs, however, in multihull design. A well designed ballasted boat can recover from a capsize, even from turning over completely. Righting a multihull that has gotten upside down is difficult in any case and impossible without help unless the boat is small or carries special equipment for the purpose. Multihulls often prove more difficult to tack, since the reduced weight leads directly to reduced momentum, causing multihulls to more quickly lose speed when headed into the wind. Also, structural integrity is much easier to achieve in a one piece monohull than in a two or three piece multihull whose connecting structure must be substantial and well connected to the hulls.

All these hull types may also be manufactured as, or outfitted with, hydrofoils.

Keel

All vessels have a keel , it is the backbone of the hull. In traditional construction, it is the structure upon which all else depends. Modern monocoque designs include a virtual keel. Even multihulls have keels. On a sailboat, the word "keel" is also used to refer to the area that is added to the hull to improve its lateral plane. The lateral plane is what prevents leeway and allows sailing towards the wind. This can be an external piece or a part of the hull.

Most monohulls larger than a dinghy require built-in ballast. Depending on the design of the boat, ballast may be 20 to 50 percent of the displacement. The ballast is often integrated into their keels as large masses of lead or cast iron. This secures the ballast and gets it as low as possible to improve its effectiveness. External keels are cast in the shape of the keel. A monohull's keel is made effective by a combination of weight, depth, and length.

Sailing yacht with a fin keel MariahQuarterView.jpg
Sailing yacht with a fin keel

Most modern monohull boats have fin keels, which are heavy and deep, but short in relation to the hull length. More traditional yachts carried a full keel which is generally half or more of the length of the boat. A recent feature is a winged keel, which is short and shallow, but carries a lot of weight in two "wings" which run sideways from the main part of the keel. Even more recent is the concept of canting keels, designed to move the weight at the bottom of a sailboat to the upwind side, allowing the boat to carry more sails. A twin keel has the benefit of a shallower draft and can allow the boat to stand on dry land.

Multihulls, on the other hand, have minimal need for such ballast, as they depend on the geometry of their design, the wide base of their multiple hulls, for their stability. Designers of performance multihulls, such as the Open 60's, go to great lengths to reduce overall boat weight as much as possible. This leads some to comment that designing a multihull is similar to designing an aircraft.

A centreboard or daggerboard is retractable lightweight keel which can be pulled up in shallow water.

Mast

On small sailboats, masts may be "stepped" (put in place) with the bottom end in a receptacle that is supported above the keel of the boat or on the deck or other superstructure that allows the mast to be raised at a hinge point until it is erect. Some masts are supported solely at the keel and laterally at the deck and are called "unstayed". Most masts rely in part or entirely (for those stepped on the deck) on standing rigging, supporting them side-to-side and fore-and aft to hold them up. [1] [2] Masts over 25 feet (7.6 m) may require a crane and are typically stepped on the keel through any cabin or other superstructure. [3]

See also

Related Research Articles

Multihull ship type

A multihull is a ship or boat with more than one hull, whereas a vessel with a single hull is a monohull.

Sloop Sail boat with a single mast and a fore-and-aft rig

A sloop is a sailboat with a single mast typically meaning one headsail in front of the mast, and one mainsail aft of (behind) the mast. This is called a fore-and-aft rig, and can be rigged as a Bermuda rig with triangular sails fore and aft, or as a gaff-rig with triangular foresails and a gaff rigged mainsail. Sailboats can be classified according to type of rig, and so a sailboat may be a sloop, catboat, cutter, ketch, yawl, or schooner. A sloop usually has only one headsail, although an exception is the Friendship sloop, which is usually gaff-rigged with a bowsprit and multiple headsails. If the vessel has two or more headsails, the term cutter may be used, especially if the mast is stepped further towards the back of the boat.

Sail plan Diagram of the masts, spars, rigging, and sails of a sailing vessel

A sail plan is a description of the specific ways that a sailing craft is rigged, as discussed below. Also, the term “sail plan” is a graphic depiction of the arrangement of the sails for a given sailing craft.

Ketch type of sailing boat

A ketch is a two-masted sailboat whose mainmast is taller than the mizzen mast, generally in a 40-foot or bigger boat. The name ketch is derived from catch. The ketch's main mast is usually stepped in the same position as in a sloop.

Yawl two-masted sailing craft similar to a sloop or cutter

A yawl is a two-masted sailing craft whose mizzen, or aft-most mast, is usually substantially shorter than the mainmast and is positioned aft of the rudderstock. The word yawl was first recorded in the 1600s and derives from the Dutch jol. Historically the term was also used for a ship's boat with oars.

A daggerboard is a retractable centreboard used by various sailing craft. While other types of centreboard may pivot to retract, a daggerboard slides in a casing. The shape of the daggerboard converts the forward motion into a windward lift, countering the leeward push of the sail. The theoretical centre of lateral resistance is on the trailing edge of the daggerboard.

Gaff rig

Gaff rig is a sailing rig in which the sail is four-cornered, fore-and-aft rigged, controlled at its peak and, usually, its entire head by a spar (pole) called the gaff. Because of the size and shape of the sail, a gaff rig will have running backstays rather than permanent backstays.

A monohull is a type of boat having only one hull, unlike multihulled boats which can have two or more individual hulls connected to one another.

Freedom Yachts

Freedom Yachts was the maker of the Freedom (sail) and Legacy (power) yacht brands. The Freedom sailboats have unstayed rigs, meaning that the mast is freestanding and not supported by the normal set of wires called standing rigging. Garry Hoyt, a champion sailor and noted maverick, created the unstayed rigs to give "freedom" from the inefficient sail shapes of traditional sloop rigs as well as to give "freedom" from the compression and maintenance issues associated with standing rigging. A known issue with this style of mast, however, is that in rough seas it can break loose, causing a potential holing. This is commonly due to the tangs that hold it in place failing. The masts are made of carbon fiber and are set well forward on the boat. This means most of the sail area is contained in the mainsail. Jib sails can either be overlapping or self-tending.

Fractional rig

A fractional rig on a sailing vessel consists of a foresail, such as a jib or genoa sail, that does not reach all the way to the top of the mast.

A mast-aft rig is a sailboat sail-plan that uses a single mast set in the aft half of the hull. The mast supports fore-sails that may consist of a single jib, multiple staysails, or a crab claw sail. The mainsail is either small or completely absent. Mast-aft rigs are uncommon, but are found on a few custom, and production sailboats.

Sailing yacht Private sailing vessel with overnight accommodations

A sailing yacht, is a leisure craft that uses sails as its primary means of propulsion. A yacht may be a sail or power vessel used for pleasure, cruising, or racing. There is no standard definition, so the term applies here to sailing vessels that have a cabin with amenities that accommodate overnight use. To be termed a "yacht", as opposed to a "boat", such a vessel is likely to be at least 33 feet (10 m) in length and have been judged to have good aesthetic qualities. Sailboats that do not accommodate overnight use or are smaller than 30 feet (9.1 m) are not universally called yachts. Sailing yachts in excess of 130 feet (40 m) are generally considered to be superyachts.

Esse 850

The Esse 850 is an 8.5 metre long racing sportboat designed by Umberto Felci and built by Josef Schuchter Sportboats of Stafa, Switzerland. The first hull was sold in 2004 and the Esse 850 International Class Association was begun in 2005 in Europe.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to sailing:

The Marlow-Hunter 37 is an American sailboat that was designed by Glenn Henderson as a cruiser and first built in 2014.

Hobie Wave Sailboat class

The Hobie Wave is an American catamaran that was designed by Morrelli & Melvin and first built in 1994.

The San Juan 33S is an American sailboat that was designed by David Pedrick as racer and first built in 1981.

The Cal 35 Cruise is an American sailboat that was designed by C. William Lapworth as a cruiser and first built in 1973.

The Dickerson 37 is an American sailboat that was designed by George Hazen as a cruiser and first built in 1980.

The Trac 14 is an American catamaran sailing dinghy that was designed by Australians Richard and Jay McFarlane as a one-design racer and first built in 1980.

References

  1. Sleight, Steve (2017). The Complete Sailing Manual. London: Penguin. p. 70.
  2. Westerhuis, Rene (2013). Skipper's Mast and Rigging Guide. Adlard Coles Nautical. London: Bloomsbury. p. 5. ISBN   9781472901491.
  3. Cardwell, Jerry (2007). Sailing Big on a Small Sailboat. Sheridan House, Inc. ISBN   9781574092479.