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Hooker (Ketch)

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This ship had a foremast and a main mast. There was no mast on the fore half of the vessel. The name of the vessel depended on its aim: in the navy fleet it was called a 'ketch' and in the merchant fleet it was called a 'hooker' - at the same time they had similar sail rigging.
Firstly hookers were built in the 13th - 15th centuries in the Netherlands as fishing boats. Later in the 16th - 17th centuries their sizes were increased and they were spread in many countries of North Europe as war transport vessels. Sometimes for purposes of self-defense from 8 to 10 small guns were installed on a hooker. The ship had two masts and a super long bowsprit on which a fore-top-staysail, a jib and a flying-jib were installed. A trysail was hoisted on the foremast with a free foot (without a boom) and above it a topsail and a topgallant sail were hoisted. The mizzenmast carried a main mizzen and a mizzen sail. Large hooker had three masts. Their cargo capacity was up to 200 t and they took up to 300 people on board. The crew consisted of 70 people.

Bombardier's Ketch

Navy fleets obtained two types of ships with ketch-like rigging - bombardier's ketches and yachts. The bombardier ketch had a length of 60 - 80 feet and presented by itself a very powerful vessel with one or two bombards installed before the mainmast. The gunnery of the ship consisted of four 68-feet and six 18-feet carronades. A Frenchman M. Reyneau invented this ketch. Firstly the ketch was used at the bombardment of Algeria.

Yacht with Ketch-like Rigging

Such a type of a ship was used as a transport means for knights, ambassadors and other VIPs. Among the ranks of yachts she took the second place. A full-rigged yacht was referred to the first rank which could belong only to a sovereign as for other officials and rich private persons it was permitted to own only one-masted yachts.

 

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26.10.2007

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