1. Sports
Send to a Friend via Email

Types of Sailboats and Rigs


8 of 10


Photo © Tom Lochhaas

A typical schooner also has two masts (sometimes more), but the masts are positioned more forward in the boat. Unlike in a ketch or yawl, the forward mast is smaller than the aft mast (or sometimes the same size). One or more jibs may fly forward of the foremast.

While some modern schooners may use triangular, Bermuda-like sails on one of both masts, traditional schooners like the one shown here have gaff-rigged sails. At the top of the sail is a short spar called the gaff, which allows the sail to extend back along a fourth side, gaining size over a triangular sail of the same height.

Gaff-rigged schooners are still seen in many areas and are well loved for their historic appearance and sweeping lines, but they are seldom used anymore for private cruising. The gaff rig is not as efficient as the Bermuda rig, and the rig is more complicated and requires more crew for sail handling.

See More About
  1. About.com
  2. Sports
  3. Sailing
  4. Types of Sailboats
  5. schooner

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.