Friday, May 30, 2008

Rigging Basics

A Ship's rigging refers to the sails and masts she carries. This determines how the ship is classified.

Basic Terms
Spars -The rigid members which carry the sail of a vessel .
Masts - Vertical spars.
Yards - Horizontal spars which cross the masts.

Boom - A horizontal spar which is anchored on one end and extends the foot of a sail.
Gaff - A horizontal spar ( usually angled ) which supports to top of a sail.

Fore and Aft Rig - where the sails lie along the same plane as the ship's fore and aft line.
Square Rig - where the sails are rigged athwart (across) the ship.
Lug Rig - Similar in arrangement to a square rig, except that the supporting spar is asymmetrically arranged on the mast, with a greater length behind than in front
Junk Rig -
developed in the far-east. It is distinguished from other lug sails by the use of full-length battens which support the sail and give it an efficient performance at most points of sail.
Gaff Rig -
The sail is set entirely behind the mast, supported above by a spar which extends upwards and backwards from the mast. There may or may not be another spar at the foot of the sail. This rig is effective at most points of sail.
Bermudan Rig -
This is a triangular sail set behind the mast and often supported by a boom along its foot. The mast may be tilted backwards slightly to improve the rig's performance in stronger winds. The sail behind the mast is often supplemented by one or more sails attached to the forestays of the mast, such as a jib.

The most common are Fore and Aft Rig and Square Rig.

A ship's masts are named from bow to stern (front to back):

Fore-mast - the first mast, or the mast fore of the main-mast.
Sections: Fore-mast lower — Fore topmast — Fore topgallant mast

Main-mast - the tallest mast, usually located near the center of the ship.
Sections: Main-mast lower — Main topmast — Main topgallant mast — royal mast (if fitted)

Mizzen-mast - the third mast, or the mast immediately aft of the main-mast. Typically shorter than the fore-mast.
Sections: Mizzen-mast lower — Mizzen topmast — Mizzen topgallant mast

Bonaventure mizzen - the fourth mast on larger Sixteenth Century galleons, typically lateen-rigged and shorter than the main mizzen.

Jigger-mast - the fourth mast or the aft-most mast where it is smallest on vessels of less than four masts.
Sections: Jigger-mast lower — Jigger topmast — Jigger topgallant mast

Mast names for other vessels generally follow this naming.

Sail Diagram

1. Fore mast
2. Main mast
3. Mizzen mast
4. Flying jib
5. Outer jib
6. Inner jib
7. Fore topmast staysail
8. Fore course
9. Fore lower topsail
10. Fore upper topsail
11. Fore lower topgallant sail
12. Fore upper topgallant sail
13. Fore royal
14. Main royal staysail
15. Main topgallant staysail
16. Main topmast staysail
17. Main course
18. Main lower topsail
19. Main upper topsail
20. Main lower topgallant sail
21. Main upper topgallant sail
22. Main royal
23. Mizzen royal staysail
24. Mizzen topgallant staysail

25. Mizzen topmast staysail
26. Main spencer
27. Crossjack, mizzen course
28. Mizzen lower topsail
29. Mizzen upper topsail
30. Mizzen lower topgallant sail
31. Mizzen upper topgallant
32. Mizzen royal
33. Spanker

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