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Old 02-06-2014, 09:14   #1
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sailboat questions from a power boater

I have some questions regarding sailboats I see in the harbor. I know nothing about sailboats.

The one next to me right now is in a 50' slip (to get a feel for the size) and it has a sail up front on what looks to be a automatic winder. Is that what it is?

It also has a place for a larger sail but I do not see the actual sail, just a little piece of it, or what looks like it might be it, coming out from a slot in the main mast. Is there, or could there be a full sized sail somehow stashed in the mast? This does not appear to be the "standard" for sailboats in our harbor, and is the only one I've seen like it. Its on a very nice sailboat btw.

Most sailboats seem to have one mast and two sails. What type of sailboats are these, rigging wise?

There is a sailboat in a 40' slip across from me. It has a two mast setup. A larger main mast and a second slammer mast towards the aft of the boat. What kind of rig is this?

Thanks!!!
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:18   #2
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Re: sailboat questions from a power boater

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Originally Posted by ksanders View Post
I have some questions regarding sail boats I see in the harbor. I know nothing about sail boats.

The one next to me right now is in a 50' slip (to get a feel for the size) and it has a sail up front on what looks to be a automatic winder. Is that what it is?

It also has a place for a larger sail but I do not see the actual sail, just a little piece of it, or what looks like it might be it, coming out from a slot in the main mast. Is there, or could there be a full sized sail somehow stashed in the mast? This does not appear to be the "standard" for sail boats in our harbor, and is the only one I've seen like it. Its on a very nice sail boat btw.

Most sail boats seem to have one mast and two sails. What type of sail boats are these, rigging wise?

There is a sail boat in a 40' slip across from me. It has a two mast setup. A larger main mast and a second slammer mast towards the aft of the boat. What kind of rig is this?

Thanks!!!
Usually the headsail is rolled up on a furler, not automatic, but you wind it up by pulling on a line. There is probably a full sized main stuffed inside the mast, that's for lazy people who have a furler or "winder" inside the mast to put the main in.

Types of rig: Sail-plan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:24   #3
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Re: sailboat questions from a power boater

The two sail rigs you describe are "sloop" and either a "ketch" or a "yawl" depending on the relationship of the rudder post and the shorter mast.
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:25   #4
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Re: sailboat questions from a power boater

Google is a wonderful thing...
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:27   #5
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pirate Re: sailboat questions from a power boater

1 mast is sloop.. could also be a junk rig or cat boat depending on the mast position
2 masts.. small at the rear is a Ketch rig..
2 masts equal size or front slightly smaller is a schooner rig..
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:28   #6
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Re: sailboat questions from a power boater

The first/only time I saw a sailboater stick his tongue out at me:

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Old 03-06-2014, 08:17   #7
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Re: sailboat questions from a power boater

Thanks for the replies!

Btw, yes, google is my friend, but I'd rather hear it from folks that really know, and this is the place for sailboat knowledge.
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Old 03-06-2014, 08:45   #8
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Re: sailboat questions from a power boater

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Originally Posted by ksanders View Post
Thanks for the replies!

Btw, yes, google is my friend, but I'd rather hear it from folks that really know, and this is the place for sailboat knowledge.
Kevin, I understand, but "who cares" is right, too, because more & more just lately, it appears that some of these questions can be answered even better by Google.

Why? Because Google will find answers with longer search strings AND find answers on more than one boating forum.

You'd be surprised how many boating forums there are out there. And how many questions are recurring ones that have been asked & answered and in some cases may enlighten you even more than answers on any one forum, as good as they are here.

Google will, for example, answer your question about multiple masted rigs, and the answer is more than ketch and schooner. Yawl comes to mind, and there may well be more.

Good luck in your research, just trying to help widen your horizons.
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Old 03-06-2014, 13:13   #9
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Re: sailboat questions from a power boater

This is not meant to disparage the poster from posting questions because maybe one day he'll be curious enough to ask his dock mates to go sailing and then be forever ruined, but every time my mother asks these kinds of questions, I Google them and respond to her with the answers. I had to eventually give up suggesting she search for the answers herself....
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Old 04-06-2014, 07:54   #10
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Re: sailboat questions from a power boater

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2 masts.. small at the rear is a Ketch rig..
Or a yawl. Some of my favourite boats are Yawls.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:25   #11
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Or a yawl. Some of my favourite boats are Yawls.
2nd mast in front of the helm... Ketch
2nd mast aft of the helm... Yawl
Didn't know they did Yawl rigs on Cats... ehehehehehheheheeee
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:27   #12
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Re: sailboat questions from a power boater

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2nd mast in front of the helm... Ketch
2nd mast aft of the helm... Yawl
Its not the helm that matters - but rather the rudder post.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:36   #13
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pirate Re: sailboat questions from a power boater

According to Herreshoff, "yawl" had nothing to do with rudder placement relative to the mizzen, and instead, a yawl rig is the sail and mast configuration that suits a yawlboat.
A review of "The L. Francis Herreshoff Collection" would seem to indicate that he had no objection to the forward-versus-aft mizzenmast of the rudder-post definition, since he consistently used it in his own work.

Rudder oriented definitions[edit]


Skylark of 1937, a yawl designed by Sparkman & Stephens and built in 1937, during the ‘Corsica Classic 2013’ yacht race.


The common definition of Yawl and Ketch using the rudder post does not reflect the nautical tradition and was created by much more recent developments of a handicap system for racing yachts.
The CCA (Cruising Club of America) rating rule was developed following World War II to allow different styles of boats to race against each other with a handicap calculated from measurements of each boat. It was later combined with the RORC (Royal Ocean Racing Club) rule to become the IOR (International Offshore Rule) rule in the late 50s which was used to handicap international racing until the late 1980s.
The CCA and the following rules used the rudder post definitions of ketch and yawl so they had a cut and dried definition for measuring sail so boats could be handicapped with boats fulfilling their new and arbitrary definition of Yawl and Ketch receiving slightly different handicaps.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:48   #14
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Re: sailboat questions from a power boater

To the OP:

You asked the question in the right place, and thanks for the interest. For someone without the background knowledge I'm not sure you could be expected to know "what" to google.

You have found there are helpful folks who don't mind responding.
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Old 04-06-2014, 23:47   #15
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Re: sailboat questions from a power boater

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To the OP:

You asked the question in the right place, and thanks for the interest. For someone without the background knowledge I'm not sure you could be expected to know "what" to google.

You have found there are helpful folks who don't mind responding.
Yes, thanks! Thanks to everyone.

I like learning about things, and staring at sailboats in the harbor is interesting.
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