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Schooner

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The rigging of the schooner was devised for small fast vessels with a limited number of people. Her masts were inclined backward and her bowsprit stood nearly horizontally. 2 or 3 staysails were carried before the foremast. The fore-, top- and try- (Germ. 'Schonersegel' - 'schooner's sail') sails were put on the gaff and the boom. On small schooners the 'schooner's sail' was often used without a boom - there were neither a foresail nor a main topsail. The main mast had a trysail on the gaff and the boom and a topsail. The main stay from the top of the mainmast was laid through the block at the backside of the foremast top closely under the topmast cap and down to the deck where it was fitted with tackles. According to D. Steel the topmasts were strengthened behind lower masts with the help of iron stirrups. Though Chapman as well as Lever at their pictures show topmasts which were placed before lower masts and caps on them. Schooner's rigging had a north European origin. Holland and England used a simple schooner's rigging in the 17th century (the first image dated 1628); but the great development it was received in America in 18th century. In the Royal Navy Fleet the schooners were entered as fast vessels for delivery of messages. The first English schooners were captured American prizes, but soon Englishmen began to build them at their own shipyards.

 

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26.10.2007

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