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.
Traditional rigging may include square rigs and gaff rigs, usually with separate topmasts and topsails. It is generally more complex than modern rigging, which utilizes newer materials such as aluminum and steel to construct taller, lightweight masts with fewer, more versatile sails. Most smaller, modern vessels use the Bermuda rig. Though it did not become popular elsewhere until the twentieth century, this rig was developed in Bermuda in the seventeenth century, and had historically been used on its small ships, the Bermuda sloops.[ citation needed ]
Author and master mariner Joseph Conrad (who spent 1874 to 1894 at sea in tall ships and was quite particular about naval terminology) used the term "tall ship" in his works;for example, in The Mirror of the Sea in 1906.
Henry David Thoreau also references the term "tall ship" in his first work, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, quoting "Down out at its mouth, the dark inky main blending with the blue above. Plum Island, its sand ridges scolloping along the horizon like the sea-serpent, and the distant outline broken by many a tall ship, leaning, still, against the sky." He does not cite this quotation, but the work was written in 1849.
While Sail Training International (STI) has extended the definition of tall ship for the purpose of its races to embrace any sailing vessel with more than 30 ft (9.14 m) waterline length and on which at least half the people on board are aged 15 to 25.
In the 21st century, "tall ship" is often used generically for large, classic, sailing vessels, but is also a technically defined term by Sail Training International for its purposes and of course, STI helped popularize the term. The exact definitions have changed somewhat over time, and are subject to various technicalities, but by 2011 there were 4 classes (A, B, C, and D). Basically there are only two size classes, A is over 40 m LOA, and B/C/D are 9.14 m to under 40 m LOA. The definitions have to do with rigging: class A is for square sail rigged ships, class B is for "traditionally rigged" ships, class C is for "modern rigged" vessels with no "spinnaker-like sails", and class D is the same as class C but carrying a spinnaker-like sail.
All square-rigged vessels (barque, barquentine, brig, brigantine or ship rigged) and all other vessels more than 40 metres length overall (LOA), regardless of rig. STI classifies its A Class as "all square-rigged vessels and all other vessels over 40 metres (131 ft) length overall (LOA)", in this case STI LOA excludes bowsprit and aft spar. STI defines LOA as "Length overall measured from the fore side of stem post to aft side of stern post, counter or transom".
|Current Nationality||Original |
|Alexander von Humboldt II||Germany||2011||3||Barque||60||10.8|
|Amerigo Vespucci||Italy||1931||3||Full-rigged ship||82.4||15.8|
|Capitain Miranda||Uruguay||1930||3||Staysail Schooner||50.3||7.9|
|Christian Radich||Norway||1937||3||Full-rigged ship||62.5||9.7|
|Cisne Branco||Brazil||1999||3||Full-rigged ship||60.5||10.7|
|Constitution||United States||1797||3||Full-rigged ship||62||13.26|
|Dar Młodzieży||Poland||1982||3||Full-rigged ship||94.8||14.0|
|Eugene Eugenides||Greece||1959||3||Topgallant Schooner||9.2|
|Georg Stage (II)||Denmark||1935||3||Full-rigged ship||42||8.5|
|Gorch Fock (I)||Germany||1933||3||Barque||73.7||11.9|
|Gorch Fock (II)||Germany||1958||3||Barque||81.2||11.9|
|Großherzogin Elizabeth||Germany||1908||3||Gaff Schooner||53||8.2|
|Juan Sebastián Elcano||Spain||1927||4||Topsail Schooner||94.13||13.1|
|Juan Bautista Cambiaso||Dominican Republic||2009||3||Barquentine||54.60||8.5|
|Kaiwo Maru II||Japan||1989||4||Barque||89.0||13.8|
|La Grace||Czech Republic||2010||2||Brig||32.8||6.06|
|Lord Nelson||United Kingdom||1985||3||Barque||40.2||8.5|
|U.S. Brig Niagara||United States||1988||2||Brig||37.5||9.8|
|Nippon Maru II||Japan||1984||4||Barque||89.0||13.8|
|Royal Clipper||Sweden||2000||5||Full-rigged ship||134.8||16.5|
|Santa Maria Manuela||Portugal||1937||4||Schooner||62.4||9.9|
|Spirit of New Zealand||New Zealand||1986||3||Barquentine||33.2||9.0|
|Stad Amsterdam||Netherlands||2000||3||Full-rigged ship||62.4||10.5|
|Star of India||United States||1863||3||Barque||62.5||10.7|
|Stavros S Niarchos||United Kingdom||2000||2||Brig||40.6||9.9|
|Surprise (ex Rose)||United States||1970||3||Full-rigged ship||54.6||9.8|
|Thor Heyerdahl||Germany||1930||3||Topsail Schooner||42.5||6.5|
|Young America||United States||1975||2||Brigantine||7.2|
|Name||Last Nationality||Original |
|Alexander von Humboldt||Germany||1906||3||Barque||Sold 2011/ relocated to Caribbean, 2013 returned to Germany; currently docked|
|Bounty||United States||1960||3||Full-rigged ship||Sunk 2012|
|Dunay||Soviet Union||1928||3||Full-rigged ship||Burned 1963|
|Prince William||United Kingdom||2001||2||Brig||Sold (2010); now a sail training ship of the Pakistan Navy with the name Rah Naward|
|Sagres||Portugal||1896||3||Barque||Replaced by the third Sagres in 1961. Sold (1983); now permanently moored in Hamburg, Germany with the name Rickmer Rickmers|
|Sarmiento||Argentina||1897||3||Full-rigged ship||Museum ship, moored in Buenos Aires, Argentina|
|Uruguay||Argentina||1874||3||Barque||Museum ship, moored in Buenos Aires, Argentina|
Traditionally rigged vessels (i.e. gaff rigged sloops, ketches, yawls and schooners) with an LOA of less than 40 metres and with a waterline length (LWL) of at least 9.14 metres, one good example is Spirit of Bermuda .
Modern rigged vessels (i.e. Bermudan rigged sloops, ketches, yawls and schooners) with an LOA of less than 40 metres and with a waterline length (LWL) of at least 9.14 metres not carrying spinnaker-like sails.
|Current Nationality||Original |
Modern rigged vessels (i.e. Bermudan-rigged sloops, ketches, yawls and schooners) with an LOA of less than 40 metres and with a waterline length (LWL) of at least 9.14 metres carrying spinnaker-like sails. There are also a variety of other rules and regulations for the crew, such as ages, and also for a rating rule. There are other sail festivals and races with their own standards, the STI is just one set of standards for their purposes.
An older definition of class "A" by the STI was "all square-rigged vessels over 120′ (36.6 m) length overall (LOA). Fore and aft rigged vessels of 160′ (48.8 m) (LOA) and over". By LOA they meant length excluding bowsprit and aft spar.
Class "B" was "all fore and aft rigged vessels between 100 and 160 feet in length, and all square rigged vessels under 120′ (36.6 m) (LOA)".
See also a list of class "A" ships with lengths including bowsprit.
Tall ships are sometimes lost, such as by a storm at sea. Some examples of lost tall ships include:
A sloop is a sailboat with a single mast typically having only one headsail in front of the mast and one mainsail aft of (behind) the mast. Such an arrangement 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 foresail(s) 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.
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.
A sail plan is a description of the specific ways that a sailing craft is rigged. Also, the term “sail plan” is a graphic depiction of the arrangement of the sails for a given sailing craft.
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.
A yawl is a type of boat. The term has several meanings. It can apply to the rig, to the hull type or to the use which the vessel is put.
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.
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.
The Bermuda sloop is an historical type of fore-and-aft rigged single-masted sailing vessel developed on the islands of Bermuda in the 17th century. Such vessels originally had gaff rigs with quadrilateral sails, but evolved to use the Bermuda rig with triangular sails. Although the Bermuda sloop is often described as a development of the narrower-beamed Jamaica sloop, which dates from the 1670s, the high, raked masts and triangular sails of the Bermuda rig are rooted in a tradition of Bermudian boat design dating from the earliest decades of the 17th century. It is distinguished from other vessels with the triangular Bermuda rig, which may have multiple masts or may not have evolved in hull form from the traditional designs.
A scow is a type of flat-bottomed barge. Some scows are rigged as sailing scows. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, scows carried cargo in coastal waters and inland waterways, having an advantage for navigating shallow water or small harbours. Scows were in common use in the American Great Lakes and other parts of the U.S., in southern England, and in New Zealand. In Canada, scows have traditionally been used to transport cattle to the islands of New Brunswick's Saint John River. In modern times their main purpose is for recreation and racing.
A cutter is a sailing vessel which is distinguished from a sloop by having more than one foresails, and the main mast stepped slightly farther back. Cutters are most commonly private yachts but the term may also be used for some rowing or power boats, for example, the United States Coast Guard Cutter.
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 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 Bermuda rig, Bermudian rig, or Marconi rig is a configuration of mast and rigging for a type of sailboat and is the typical configuration for most modern sailboats. This configuration was developed in Bermuda in the 17th century; the term Marconi, a reference to the inventor of the radio, Guglielmo Marconi, became associated with this configuration in the early 20th century because the wires that stabilize the mast of a Bermuda rig reminded observers of the wires on early radio masts.
In sailing, a course is the lowermost sail on a mast.
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.
From its modern interpretations to its antecedents when maritime nations would send young naval officer candidates to sea, sail training provides an unconventional and effective way of building many useful skills on and off the water.
Length overall is the maximum length of a vessel's hull measured parallel to the waterline. This length is important while docking the ship. It is the most commonly used way of expressing the size of a ship, and is also used for calculating the cost of a marina berth.
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.
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 of the crew of each ship participating in the races must consist of young people.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to sailing:
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