Schooner

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Lewis R. French, a gaff-rigged schooner Lewis R. French NHL.jpg
Lewis R. French, a gaff-rigged schooner
Oosterschelde, a topsail schooner Oosterschelde Kieler Foerde.jpg
Oosterschelde , a topsail schooner
Orianda, a staysail schooner, with Bermuda mainsail Orianda sailing in Naples.jpg
Orianda , a staysail schooner, with Bermuda mainsail

A schooner ( /ˈsknər/ ) is a type of sailing vessel defined by its rig: fore-and-aft rigged on all of 2 or more masts and, in the case of a 2 masted schooner, the foremast generally being shorter than the mainmast. A common variant, the topsail schooner also has a square topsail on the foremast, to which may be added a topgallant and other square sails, but not a fore course, as that would make the vessel a brigantine. Many schooners are gaff-rigged, but other examples include Bermuda rig and the staysail schooner. [1] :211 [2] :26 [3] :100

Contents

The origins of schooner rigged vessels is obscure, but there is good evidence of them from the early 17th century in paintings by Dutch marine artists. The name "schooner" first appeared in eastern North America in the early 1700s. [4] The name may be related to a Scots language word meaning to skip over water, [5] or to skip stones. [6]

History

It is not known when the rig now termed "schooner" appeared. The earliest known illustration of a schooner depicts a yacht owned by the burgomasters of Amsterdam, drawn by the Dutch artist Rool and dated 1600. Later examples show schooners in Amsterdam in 1638 and New Amsterdam in 1627. Paintings by Van de Velde (1633–1707) and an engraving by Jan Kip of the Thames at Lambeth, dated 1697, suggest that schooner rig was common in England and Holland by the end of the 18th century. The Royal Transport was an example of a large British-built schooner, launched in 1695 at Chatham. [7] :233 [3] :13 [8]

The type was further developed in British North America starting around 1713. [5] In the 1700s and 1800s in what is now New England and Atlantic Canada schooners became popular for coastal trade, requiring a smaller crew for their size compared to then traditional ocean crossing square rig ships, [9] and being fast and versatile. [10] Three-masted schooners were introduced around 1800. [8]

Schooners were popular on both sides of the Atlantic in the late 1800s and early 1900s. By 1910, 45 five-masted and 10 six-masted schooners had been built in Bath, Maine and other Penobscot Bay towns. The Thomas W. Lawson was the only seven-masted schooner built.

Although highly popular in their time, schooners were replaced by more efficient sloops, yawls and ketches [10] as sailboats, and in the freight business they were replaced by steamships, barges, and railroads. [11]

Rig types

Various types of schooners are defined by their rig configuration. Most have a bowsprit although some were built without one for crew safety, such as Adventure .

The following varieties were built:

Tern schooner at dockside c. 1910. This design is notable for all three masts being of equal height. The Petitcodiac River at High Water.jpg
Tern schooner at dockside c.1910. This design is notable for all three masts being of equal height.

Uses

Schooners were built primarily for cargo, passengers, and fishing.

The Norwegian polar schooner Fram was used by both Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen in their explorations of the poles.

Bluenose was both a successful fishing boat and a racer. America, eponym of America's Cup, was one of the few schooners ever designed for racing. This race was long dominated by schooners. Three-masted schooner Atlantic set the transatlantic sailing record for a monohull in the 1905 Kaiser's Cup race. The record remained unbroken for nearly 100 years. [13]

See also

Related Research Articles

Sailboat boat propelled partly or entirely by sails

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.

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.

<i>Bluenose</i> schooner

Bluenose was a fishing and racing gaff rig schooner built in 1921 in Nova Scotia, Canada. A celebrated racing ship and fishing vessel, Bluenose under the command of Angus Walters became a provincial icon for Nova Scotia and an important Canadian symbol in the 1930s, serving as a working vessel until she was wrecked in 1946. Nicknamed the "Queen of the North Atlantic", she was later commemorated by a replica, Bluenose II, built in 1963. The name Bluenose originated as a nickname for Nova Scotians from as early as the late 18th century.

Brigantine two-masted sailing vessel

A brigantine is a two-masted sailing vessel with a fully square rigged foremast and at least two sails on the main mast: a square topsail and a gaff sail mainsail. The main mast is the second and taller of the two masts.

Brig Sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts

A brig is a sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts. During the Age of Sail, brigs were seen as fast and maneuverable and were used as both naval warships and merchant vessels. They were especially popular in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Brigs fell out of use with the arrival of the steam ship because they required a relatively large crew for their small size and were difficult to sail into the wind. Their rigging differs from that of a brigantine which has a gaff-rigged mainsail, while a brig has a square mainsail with an additional gaff-rigged spanker behind the mainsail.

A jib is a triangular sail that sets ahead of the foremast of a sailing vessel. Its tack is fixed to the bowsprit, to the bows, or to the deck between the bowsprit and the foremost mast. Jibs and spinnakers are the two main types of headsails on a modern boat.

Tall ship Large, traditionally-rigged sailing vessel

A tall ship is a large, traditionally-rigged sailing vessel. Popular modern tall ship rigs include topsail schooners, brigantines, brigs and barques. "Tall ship" can also be defined more specifically by an organization, such as for a race or festival.

Topsail

A topsail ("tops'l") is a sail set above another sail; on square-rigged vessels further sails may be set above topsails.

Cutter (boat) type of watercraft designed for speed

A cutter is generally a small to medium-sized vessel, depending on its role and definition. Historically, it was a smallish single-masted, decked sailcraft designed for speed rather than capacity. As such, it was gaff-rigged, with two or more headsails and often a bowsprit of some length, with a mast sometimes set farther back than on a sloop. While historically a workboat, as used by harbor pilots, the military, and privateers, sailing cutters today are most commonly fore-and-aft rigged private yachts.

Barquentine Type of Sailing rig

A barquentine or schooner barque is a sailing vessel with three or more masts; with a square rigged foremast and fore-and-aft rigged main, mizzen and any other masts.

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.

Square rig Generic type of sail and rigging arrangement

Square rig is a generic type of sail and rigging arrangement in which the primary driving sails are carried on horizontal spars which are perpendicular, or square, to the keel of the vessel and to the masts. These spars are called yards and their tips, beyond the last stay, are called the yardarms. A ship mainly rigged so is called a square-rigger.

Full-rigged ship Sailing vessel with three or more masts, all of them square-rigged

A full-rigged ship or fully rigged ship is a sailing vessel's sail plan with three or more masts, all of them square-rigged. A full-rigged ship is said to have a ship rig or be ship-rigged.

Fore-and-aft rig Sailing rig consisting mainly of sails

A fore-and-aft rig is a sailing vessel rigged mainly with sails set along the line of the keel, rather than perpendicular to it as on a square rigged vessel.

Foresail

A foresail is one of a few different types of sail set on the foremost mast (foremast) of a sailing vessel:

<i>L. A. Dunton</i> (schooner)

L. A. Dunton is a National Historic Landmark fishing schooner and museum exhibit located at the Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, Connecticut. Built in 1921, she is one of three remaining vessels afloat of this type, which was once the most common sail-powered fishing vessel sailing from New England ports. In service in New England waters until the 1930s and Newfoundland into the 1950s. After a brief period as a cargo ship, she was acquired by the museum and restored to her original condition.

Pinisi A type of sailing rig from Indonesia

Literally, the word pinisi refers to a type of rigging of Indonesian sailing vessels. A pinisi carries seven to eight sails on two masts, arranged like a gaff-ketch with what is called 'standing gaffs' - i.e., unlike most Western ships using such a rig, the two main sails are not opened by raising the spars they are attached to, but the sails are 'pulled out' like curtains along the gaffs which are fixed at around the centre of the masts.

Tall Ships Races

The Tall Ships' Races are races for sail training "tall ships". The races are designed to encourage international friendship and training for young people in the art of sailing. The races are held annually in European waters and consists of two racing legs of several hundred nautical miles, and a "cruise in company" between the legs. Over one half (fifty-percent) of the crew of each ship participating in the races must consist of young people.

Alexandria was a cargo-carrying three-masted schooner built in 1929. Originally named Yngve, she was built at Björkenäs, Sweden, and fitted with a 58 H.P. auxiliary oil engine.

<i>Amazing Grace</i> (ship) Topsail schooner ship

Amazing Grace is an 83' topsail schooner. Her home port is in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The ship serves as the platform for the non-profit Maritime Leadership and is also available for private charters and memorials at sea. Maritime Leadership provides traditional sail training adventures through sailings ranging from 3–48 hours.

References

  1. Palmer, Joseph (1975). Jane's Dictionary of Naval Terms. London: Macdonald and Jane's Limited. ISBN   0 356 08258 X.
  2. Cunliffe, Tom (2016). Hand, Reef and Steer: Traditional Sailing Skills for Classic (second ed.). Adlard Coles. ISBN   147292522X.
  3. 1 2 MacGregor, David R. (1982). Schooners in Four Centuries. Hemel Hempstead: Argus Books Ltd. ISBN   0 85242 774 3.
  4. "schooner". Dictionary.com. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  5. 1 2 Wallenfeldt, Jeff. "Schooner". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  6. "schooner". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  7. Leather, John (1970). Gaff Rig. London: Adlard Coles Limited. ISBN   0 229 97489 9.
  8. 1 2 Marquardt, Karl Heinz (2013). The global schooner: origins, development, design and construction 1695–1845. Conway Maritime. pp. 7–13. ISBN   9780851779300 . Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  9. "Schooner"  . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911.
  10. 1 2 "What's in a Rig – The Schooner". American Sailing Association. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  11. "The Great Coal Schooners". Penobscot Marine Museum. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  12. 1 2 3 4 "Sailing Ship Rigs". Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Nova Scotia Museum. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  13. Ramsey, Nancy (2005-06-02). "YACHT RACING; Schooner Breaks Century-Old Record for Crossing the Atlantic". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-25.