Glossary of terms you might see on this website
Where the main sails are triangular. Sometimes called "Marconi" or "Jib-headed".
They are simpler than gaff-rigged quadrilateral sail attached at the top to a gaff, have less weight topside, and usually faster upwind.
Where the major sails (those attached at their front to the mast) are four sided and controlled at the head with a spar called the gaff.
Relative to a Bermuda-Rig having a triangular mainsail, a gaff rig provides more sail area for a given mast height.
A boat with two or more forestays standing rigging connecting the front mast to the bow. This supports the mast and is typically used to hold the jib sail. and jibsA triangular sail set in front of the foremast is a Cutter. They frequently have a bowsprit A spar entending forward from the bow, typically used to anchor a forestay. to hold the second forestay.
Though two jibs are harder to tack than one, they provide more flexibility to balance sail area with wind conditions.
A sail that is attached primarily to a stay A fixed line supporting a mast instead of directly to a mast. The most common example is a jibA triangular sail set in front of the foremast set forward of the foremast, but staysails can be used in other places, especially on a large boat.
The diagram at left shows two staysails and one "normal" sail aft of the mainmast.
Stay Sail Schooner
A schoonera two masted ship with the tallest mast (mainmast) in the rear where the large sail between the masts is attached to the stay A fixed line supporting a mast running from the high on the mainmast the chief, tallest mast of a ship to the base of the foremast the mast nearest the bow, instead of to the foremast. They tack quickly, and because the front edge presented to the wind is aerodynamically clean, these sail well upwind. The type became popular when Nina won the 1928 Transatlantic Race to Spain.
Fractional Rig vs. Masthead Rig
Some sloops may be masthead-rigged, where the forestay standing rigging connecting the front mast to the bow. This supports the mast and is typically used to hold the jib sail. is attached to the top of the mast. The jibA triangular sail set in front of the foremast and mainsail the sail right behind the mainmast, usually the largest are of roughly equal size.
Other sloops are fractional-rigged, where the forestay standing rigging connecting the front mast to the bow. This supports the mast and is typically used to hold the jib sail. attaches partway (often 3/4) up the mast. The mast may be moved forward and the mainsail made larger.
Fractional rigs may be quicker upwind and easier to reef Reducing the area of sail, usually in strong winds. Masthead rigs may be faster downwind.
Double-Ended vs Transom Stern
Most modern sailboats have a flat transom at the stern, where the ship's name will be painted, an outboard motor attached, etc.
Some boats are "Double-Enders" and have pointy sterns that are nearly symmetrical to the bow, as on a Viking longship, or kayak.