Sailing ship

Sailing ship is now used to refer to any large wind-powered vessel. In technical terms, a ship was a sailing vessel with a specific rig of at least three masts, square rigged on all of them, making the "sailing" adjective redundant. In popular usage "ship" became associated with all large sailing vessels and when steam power came along the adjective became necessary. Large sailing vessels which are not ship rigged may be more appropriately called boats.


There are many different types of sailing ship, but they all have certain basic things in common. Every sailing ship has a hull, rigging and at least one mast to hold up the sails that use the wind to power the ship.The crew who sail a ship are called sailors or "hands". They take turns to take the watch, the active managers of the ship and her performance for a period. Watches are traditionally four hours long. Some sailing ships use traditional ship's bells to tell the time and regulate the watch system, with the bell being rung once for every half hour into the watch and rung eight times at watch end (a four-hour watch).

Ocean journeys by sailing ship can take many months, and a common hazard is becoming becalmed because of lack of wind, or being blown off course by severe storms or winds that do not allow progress in the desired direction. A severe storm could lead to shipwreck, and the loss of all hands.

Sailing ships can only carry a certain quantity of supplies in their hold, so they have to plan long voyages carefully to include many stops to take on provisions and, in the days before watermakers, fresh water.

Types of sailing ships

There are many types of sailing ships, mostly distinguished by their rigging, hull, keel, or number and configuration of masts. There are also many types of smaller sailboats not listed here. [ [ The International Sailing Federation's list of sailing classes and equipment] ] The following is a list of vessel types, many of which have changed in meaning over time:

* barque, or bark - at least three masts, fore-and-aft rigged mizzen mast
* barquentine
* bilander
* brig - two masts square rigged
* brigantine - two masts
* caravel
* carrack
* clipper
* cog - plank built, one mast, square rigged
* corvette
* cutter
* dhow
* dinghy - open, usually one mast
* frigate
* fishing smack
* fluyt
* full-rigged ship - three or more masts, all of them square rigged
* galleon
* hermaphrodite brig

* junk
* ketch - two masts, the mizzen mast forward of the rudder post
* Koch (boat)
* longship
* lugger
* luzzu
* pram
* schooner - fore-and-aft rigged sails, with two or more masts, the aftermost mast taller or equal to the height of the forward mast(s)
* ship of the line - large warship, three masts (sometimes four) and a bowsprit
* sloop
* snow - two masts with a separate trysail mast
* tjotter
* xebec
* yawl - two masts, the mizzen mast aft of the rudder post
* catamaran
* trimaran
* waʻa kaulua

ee also

* Cruising (maritime)
* Boat building


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • sailing ship — sailing ships N COUNT A sailing ship is a large ship with sails, especially of the kind that were used to carry passengers or cargo. American clippers were the ultimate sailing ships …   English dictionary

  • sailing ship — n a large ship with sails …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • sailing ship — sailing ,ship noun count a large ship that uses sails to move across water …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • sailing ship — ► NOUN ▪ a ship propelled by sails …   English terms dictionary

  • sailing ship — noun a vessel that is powered by the wind; often having several masts • Syn: ↑sailing vessel • Members of this Topic: ↑weatherly, ↑weatherliness • Hypernyms: ↑vessel, ↑watercraft …   Useful english dictionary

  • sailing ship — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms sailing ship : singular sailing ship plural sailing ships a large ship that uses sails to move across water …   English dictionary

  • sailing ship — ship that is propelled by means of sails …   English contemporary dictionary

  • sailing ship — noun A ship with masts and sails, powered by the wind. Syn: sail, sailing vessel …   Wiktionary

  • sailing ship — a large ship equipped with sails. [1880 85] * * * …   Universalium

  • sailing ship — noun a ship propelled by sails …   English new terms dictionary

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