Ships Rigs

I got some feedback that my recent posts on square riggers have been appreciated. 🙂 I think some people would like to learn more about the different types of sailing ships, so I’ll go ahead and try to explain at least a few of the more common types around. I’ll start out with the ‘ship’ rig and if you like it I’ll continue on with some of the others. 🙂

There aren’t many of ANY type of sailing ships any more. It’s hard for them to compete when everyone wants immediate gratification now a days. There are still a few around, they’re mostly being used for educational purposes (which they are fantastic for), or for cruise vacations. I do know of a couple that are trying to make a go of sail cargo operations again, but they’re in a tough spot and trying to find a niche market. Here’s a link to a post I wrote a while ago, and here’s another link to a more recent list by Sailing Dog.

The main way to categorize sailing vessels is whether they’re rigged fore-and-aft (the sail is rigged along the centerline of the vessel) or square rigged (the sail is rigged to lie across the centerline of the vessel). A sailing “ship” is one with at least 3 masts, and all masts are rigged with square sails. They will probably also have fore-and-aft sails set between the masts and on the bow.

A full rigged ship is a beautiful sight to see. They were the largest and some of the fastest ships around during the age of sail. Check out this video for a little history of some of the ships of the Flying P Line. The Peking is still afloat and is lying at the South Street Seaport in New York City. I spent a few hours exploring there a while back. Too bad she’s no longer sailing. 😦

The Sorlandet is an example of one of these ships that is still sailing about. She’s used as a sail training vessel and it’s possible to get aboard if you want to spend the time (and money) to learn. 🙂

The Royal Clipper is one of a few newbuilt vessels. She was built in modern times as a cruise vessel for Star Clippers. You can sign on and take a cruise any time you want. I’m planning to do it myself soon.

So, that should give you a pretty good idea of what a sailing “ship” is. If you like this kind of thing, please check out the links and some of the other websites they lead to. Let me know what you think. 🙂


3 thoughts on “Ships Rigs

  1. I hope you post more articles on sailing ships..i would also like to take a cruise with Star Clippers or some sail training vessel.

    Thanks… and keep the posts coming.. have a good hitch.


    • Thanks Jim. I will do some more posts about sailing. I’ll mix some in with the rest of the things I’m working on.

      Those cruises are not really very expensive, especially when compared with the regular humongous cruise ships.

      I also get sent notices of discounts since I joined Travltips (its about freighter travel).

      I’d MUCH rather take a cruise on a sailing ship!! I did take a cruise on the Fantome with Windjammer Cruises a while back. I loved it! So sad they went out of business. They never charged single supplements so I could afford to go by myself (still can’t ever find anyone to go with me).

      I did see at least one of their old ships still cruising. The Mandalay. I’ve been talking to my sailing meetup group about going together on a cruise on her.

      My problem now is being stuck in the ‘pool’. I can never get a scheduled time off when it’s FOR SURE they won’t bother me about work. I miss working for C-Mar!!

      How’s your hitch going? If I remember right you were going somewhere interesting again. Hope you’re having a good trip. I’ve only got 3 more drills to go. 😉


  2. Pingback: Ships Rigs: Schooner | Capt Jills Journeys

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