Types of sailing ships

Every liaison officer should be able to recognise types of ships approaching the shore. As regards the number of masts, as well as the type, number, and shape of sails we distinguish ten basic types:

Sloop – a single-masted sailboat with two sails, one in front of the mast and one mainsail aft of the mast.

Cutter – a single-masted vessel with the main sail on the mast and two or more foresails.

Yawl – a two-masted ship, with one lower mast aft of the rudder post. The aft mast is much lower than the front mast positioned abaft the rudder stock.

Ketch – a two-masted yacht with the mizzen mast smaller and set further back, slightly forward of the rudder stock.

Schooner – a yacht or sail ship with two or more masts. In the case of a two-masted schooner, the main mast is taller than the other. It can also have a square topsail.

As you probably noticed, yachts and sailing ships do not have square rigging. An exception is the schooner. The same sail types can be used on small and larger vessels.

Brigantine – a two-masted ship with a fully square-rigged foremast and gaff sails on the main mast.

Brig – a two-masted ship with a fully square-rigged fore and main masts. It may have an additional gaff sail on the main mast.

Barkentine – a sailing ship with three or more masts: a fully square-rigged foremast and fore-and-aft rigged other masts.

Barque – a sailing ship with three or more masts having the fore- and mainmasts rigged square and only the mizzen mast rigged fore-and-aft.

Fully-rigged ship – a sailing ship with three or more square-rigged masts and an additional gaff sail on the mizzen mast. The most aft sail is sometimes referred to as the crossjack.

The organizer of regattas divides ships into classes based on the size and type of rigging. The division is necessary to establish an even playing field for all vessels participating in the regatta. Moreover, a ship has its individual time correction factor (TCF) that is taken into consideration while calculating her position in races.

At the quay, where you meet local crews, you may be asked to help with mooring. Then, the incoming crew passes the heating line, which has a mooring rope attached to its end. One should catch the heating line, move it onshore, pull the mooring line and place it on the bollard. Larger vessels have gangways lowered from the deck to provide for safe passage onshore.

a.i.1. cuma rufowa – stern line
a.i.2. cumo dziobowa – head line
a.i.3. szpring rufowy – spring aft
a.i.4. szpring dziobowy – spring fore
a.i.5. brest – brest line
a.i.6. odbijacz – fender

THE CAPTAIN is a person exercising command on tall ships and yachts. He/she decides which lines and in which order should be placed on bitts and how the operation needs to be performed. At specific stations, the command is exercised by officers. In emergency, you should follow their orders.
Mooring is usually performed by trained and properly equipped port personnel, so called linesmen.