Lesson #33: Sailing Ships

I have a strange fascination with boats. Which is ironic since I do not do well on them. Well, that’s not entirely true. I do fine with rowboats, canoes, motorboats and other small freshwater craft. I get terrible seasickness on ocean vessels. But I have an inherent need for big water. I am a paradox, what can I say?

Some day (at the rate I’m going when I’m 118), I’m going to retire to a fishing village in Nova Scotia and spend my retirement watching the boats and eating fresh lobster. And cod if the fishery ever comes back.

Right. Boats.

There are a bunch of terms I know* as far as sailing ships go, but I don’t know what they mean. So the time has come to look them up.

Barque: A ship with three or more masts that are rigged with square sails on all except the mizzenmast.

Barquentine: A ship with three or more masts rigged with square sails only on the foremast.

Brig: A two-masted ship with square sails on both masts.

Brigantine: A tw0-masted ship with square sails only on the foremast.

Clipper: modified super fast schooners…multiples masts rigged with square sails and raked bows used most often in trade in the mid-19th century.

Cutter: A ship with a single mast rigged with two or more foresails.

Frigate: A three-masted, square-rigged warship.

Galleon: A trading and war ship with three to five masts and square sails, except for a lateen sail on the mizzenmast.

Ketch: A two-masted ship in which the forward mast is taller than the mizzen and the mizzenmast is ahead of the steering position.

Schooner: A ship that has two or more masts of equal height (though the mizzenmast may be slightly higher than the rest.)

Sloop: A single-masted ship that has a foresail forward of the the mast.

Yawl: A ship similar to the ketch except that the mizzenmast is behind the steering position.

*Should I admit that a lot of it comes from the music of Great Big Sea?

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