Which Boat is That?

Glossary of terms you might see on this website

Bermuda-Rigged
Bermuda-Rigged

Bermuda-Rigged



Where the main sails are triangular. Sometimes called "Marconi" or "Jib-headed".

They are simpler than gaff-rigged Help quadrilateral sail attached at the top to a gaff, have less weight topside, and usually faster upwind.

Gaff-Rigged
Gaff-Rigged

Gaff-Rigged



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 Help having a triangular mainsail, a gaff rig provides more sail area for a given mast height.

Cutter
Cutter

Cutter



A boat with two or more forestays Wikipedia 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 Wikipedia 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.

Stay Sail
Stay Sail

Stay Sail



A sail that is attached primarily to a stay Wikipedia 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
Stay Sail Schooner

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 Wikipedia A fixed line supporting a mast running from the high on the mainmast Help the chief, tallest mast of a ship to the base of the foremast Help 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
Fractional Rig vs. Masthead Rig

Fractional Rig vs. Masthead Rig



Some sloops may be masthead-rigged, where the forestay Wikipedia 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 Wikipedia the sail right behind the mainmast, usually the largest are of roughly equal size.


Other sloops are fractional-rigged, where the forestay Wikipedia 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 Wikipedia Reducing the area of sail, usually in strong winds. Masthead rigs may be faster downwind.

Double-Ended vs Transom Stern
Double-Ended vs Transom Stern

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.