Ship Types and Rates in the Age of Sail

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Ship Names, Ratings and Types divider
Balinger: A small single-masted sailing vessel, used in the 15th and 16th century.
Baltimore Clipper: A two-masted fore-and-aft gaff-rigged schooner-like ship also carrying square sails on the foremast and often used in the role of a blockade-runner or privateer.

Baltimore Clipper

The masts were set at extreme angles, as it was believed at the time to provide for better speed. Baltimore clippers were also used to transport prospectors and settlers from the East Coast to the West Coast during the California gold-rush.

Examples of a Baltimore clipper
Barca-longa: A two- or three-masted Mediterranean vessel carrying lugsails.
Barque Longue: A relatively small 17th century two-masted square-rigged sailing vessel best known for its use by early Fench explorers.

Examples of a barque Longue
Barge: A 17th century long and narrow ship's boat, rowed by 10 to 20 oars, often used to transport senior officers.
Bark: A vessel square-rigged on all but the aftermost mast, which is fore-and-aft rigged. Also spelled Barque. Most were three-masted, some were four- or five-masted vessels. Before the mid 18th century the term Barque was also often used for any three-masted vessel not fitting any other accepted nomenclature or category.

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Examples of a bark
Barkentine: A sailing ship with from three to five masts of which only the foremast is square-rigged, the others all being fore-and-aft rigged. Also spelled Barquentine.

image of barkentine

image of barkentine Bothnia

Examples of a barkentine
Bilander: A small two-masted merchant sailing ship, similar to a brigantine, used mainly on Dutch coastal routes and canals. Rarely larger than 100 tons burthen. She carried a fore-and-aft lateen main-sail bent to a yard hanging at about 45 degrees to the mast.

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Bireme: An ancient Greek or Roman war galley propelled by two tiers of oars on each side.
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Boat: A small open vessel for travel on water by rowing or sailing.

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In the age of sail, boats were essential equipment on any ship. Used as a tender, for shore landing parties, towing, warping, rescue missions, patrols, escape from mutiny, to mention only a few purposes. Boats came in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on time-period, geography and function: barges, cutters, dinghies, gigs, launches, longboats, pinnaces, shallops, skiffs, wherries and yawls.
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Boejer: A small single-masted Dutch vessel with an extreme rounded stern and bow, normally carrying leeboards. It had a very shallow draft but a relatively tall mast, intended for use on canals, rivers and coastal regions.

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Bomb Vessel: Developed by the French to battle the Barbary corsairs, these vessels used high trajectory mortars instead of conventional guns. The hull was strengthened to take the weight of one or more mortars and the foremast was completely omitted. Late 18th century bomb vessels would have had a full three-masted rig, and some were used for perilous polar expeditions since their sturdily built hulls would hold up well in the ice.

image of bomb vessel

Examples of a bomb vessel
Bootship: An 18th century three masted vessel with a rounded bow and stern, and a flat or rounded tafferel extending beyond the sides of the vessel. Often used as whalers. Developed from of the earlier 17th century Fluyt. They were either square-rigged on all masts with a spanker on the mizzen, or had a fore-and-aft gaff-rigged mizzen. Also bootschip in Dutch, literally translated as 'boatship". Sometimes also referred to as a kat or cat.

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Examples of a bootship
Brig: A two-masted vessel, square-rigged on both masts. The main mast carries a fore-and-aft boom-sail as well.

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In the 17th century the term Brig was also used as short for Brigantine, which then could be any variety of two-masted square-rigged vessels depending on nation and region.

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Examples of a brig
Brigantine: A two-masted vessel with square sails on the foremast and fore-and-aft sails on the mainmast. See also Hermaphrodite Brig. In the 17th century the term Brigantine was also used to describe any variety of small two-masted square-rigged vessels.

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Examples of a brigantine
Buss: A relatively large two- or sometimes three-masted European sailing vessel dating from the late 15th through the 17th century, used mainly for the North-Sea herring fishery. Up to about 200 tons in size. Also buis (Dutch).

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Caique: (Caïgue) A long narrow rowboat, similar to a skiff, used in the Middle East and is also the name of a light sailing vessel used in the eastern Mediterranean.
Caracore: A small, light and swift sailboat with a single triangular or rectangular sail and an outrigger, originating in the East Indies. Also called Proa.

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Caravel: A relatively small but highly manoeuvrable Portuguese vessel of the 15th and 16th centuries setting lateen sails on two, three, or four masts and sometimes setting a single square sail on the foremast. When lateen-rigged was classified as a 'caravela latina', when modified as a square-rigged vessel was classified as a 'caravela redonda'.

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A typical three masted 'caravela latina' shown above, note the sharply decreasing mast height from fore to aft. The image below depicts the profile of a large four-masted caravel.
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Examples of a caravel
Carrack: A large three- or four-masted sailing vessel developed from the earlier cog, in use from the 14th to the 17th century, usually with elevated structures at the bow and stern.

Image of carrack
Carrack ~1561

Examples of a carrack
Clipper: A variety of square-rigged speed-built merchant ships built between 1790 and 1870. Often thought of as some of the most beautiful and elegant sailing vessels ever built. The three-masted Cutty Sark on display at Greenwich, England may well be the best known of the clippers.

image of Cutty Sark

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Examples of a clipper
Coble: A small clinker-built open fishing vessel from the North-Eastern coast of England and Scotland. Characterized by a relatively high bow, exaggerated sheer and shallow draft, often setting a single lugsail.
Cocca: Mediterranean equivalent for the Northern European cog. Introduced to the Mediterranean in the 14th century, a cocca was a one- or two-masted square-rigged and clinker-built vessel. Also Coca, Cocha or Cocche.
Cog: A single-masted clinker-built vessel used until the 15th century. The Cog originated in Northern Europe and spread throughout the Baltic and to the Mediterranean. The first mention of a cog is from 948 AD in Muiden near Amsterdam. Even though the usual clinker construction limited the ultimate size of a cog, the English chronicler Thomas Walsingham speaks of great cogs in 1331 with three decks and over 500 crew and soldiers. A cog is characterised by high sides, a relatively flat bottom, rounded bilge and a single square sail. Also Kog(Dutch) or Kogge (German).

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Examples of a cog
Collier: A broad beamed and shallow draught merchant sailing ship. They were designed to transport coal between ports. The HMS Bark Endeavour was a Whitby collier.

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Examples of a collier
Corvette: Smallest of all the three-masted square-rigged sailing warships. Corvettes were used primarily for reconnaissance. Also called a 'sloop-of-war', and could be classified as a small frigate. Armed with 8-22 guns on only one deck.

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Examples of a corvette
Crayer: A small single-masted and slow merchant vessel. Built solely for maximum hold capacity, not for its sailing qualities.
Currach: A small rounded boat made of hides stretched over a wicker frame; still used in some parts of Great Britain. Also called Coracle.
Cutter: 1. A fast-sailing fore-and-aft rigged single-masted vessel usually setting double headsails, used for patrol and dispatch services. Cutters were the ships of choice for English smugglers during the 18th century. The largest were up to 150 tons burden and could carry up to 12 guns.

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2. A clinker built ship's boat used for travel between ship and shore.

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Dinghy: A small rowing or sailing boat, often a tender to a larger vessel.
Dhow: A lateen-rigged sailing vessel that originated in the Middle East. Early dhows were of shell-first construction. Most dhows are known by names referring to their hull shape.

The ghanjah was a large two- or three-masted vessel with a curved stem and a long sloping and often ornately carved transom, originating from India.

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The baghlah was the traditional two-masted deep-sea dhow; it had a transom with usually five windows and a poop deck similar to European galleons or caravels.

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Other large seagoing two-masted dhows were the double-ended boom, which had a long stem pointing to the heavens, often with a bowsprit flying a jib, and the sambuk.

Image of dhow - boom

The smaller battil featured a long stem topped by a large, club-shaped stemhead and a sternpost decorated with cowrie shells and leather.

The badan was a much smaller and single-masted, shallow draught boat, used for fishing and oyster diving.
Dogger: A two-masted fishing-vessel resembling a ketch. Also hooker.

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Dory: A small, narrow, flat-bottomed and shallow draft boat of between 15 to 20 ft in length, usually with high sides and a sharp prow, propelled by oars. Also spelled Dorey (British).

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Down Easter: A square-rigged merchant vessel combining large carrying capacity with a relatively sharp hull. They got their name from having been built in Maine, downwind and east of all the major East Coast ports, and were being used largely for the California grain trade (1865-1890).

Examples of a down easter
Dromon: A medium-size, fast-sailing Mediterranean galley often armed with Greek fire for burning enemy ships.
East Indiaman: A large and heavily armed European merchantman used for trade between Europe and the East-Indies.

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Examples of an East-Indiaman
Felucca: A narrow, swift, lateen-rigged sailing vessel used on the Nile and in the Mediterranean.

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Fifth Rate: Sailing warship with 32-44 guns (1779).

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Examples of a fifth rate
Fireship: A ship or boat that is deliberately set on fire and steered to collide with a larger enemy ship in order to set it on fire and destroy it. Fireships were often used in the 17th century to finish off disabled enemy vessels.
First Rate: Sailing 'ship of the line' warship with 100 or more guns on three gun decks (1779).

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Examples of a first rate
Flagship: The sailing warship carrying the admiral (or fleet commander) and his flag. Normally the most powerful ship in a squadron or fleet.

Examples of a flagship
Fluyt: A classic three-masted, square-rigged merchant ship of the 17th and 18th century, invented by the Dutch to be economical in operation, carrying the largest cargo and smallest crew possible. It had a wide, balloon-like hull rounding at the stern and bow and a very narrow, high stern. Lightly armed, they were not well-suited for dealing with pirates, privateers or any other armed opposition. Also Fluit or Flute.

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Dutch Fluyt

Image of fluyt
English Fluyt

Examples of a fluyt
Fourth Rate: Sailing 'ship of the line' warship with 50-60 guns on two gun decks (1779).

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Examples of a fourth rate
Frigate: A three-masted sailing warship with two full decks, with only one gun deck. A frigate was armed with between 30 to 44 guns located on the gun deck and possibly some on the quarter-deck and forecastle. Frigates were used in the 18th and 19th centuries for escort and reconnaissance, but also for a myriad of other duties. Find the modern definition of frigate here.

Examples of a frigate
Galeas: A two- or three-masted Scandinavian merchant vessel from the 18th and 19th century, developed from the earlier Dutch galjoot. Unlike the galjoot however, the galeas had a square stern.
Galjoot: Also galiot, galioot or galyoot. A fast sailing shallow-draught Dutch vessel wich was often used as a coastal merchant vessel during the 17th and 18th century. She had a rounded stern and bow. Usually thought of as a one and a half masted small vessel, some were as large as 700 tons and had a full three masted rig. They were also used on occasion as bomb vessels because of their stability and durability. See also hoy.

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A typical small galjoot.

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A three-masted galjoot of 700 tons, circa 1800.

Examples of a galjoot
Galleas: A large, three-masted galley/galleon hybrid of the 16th and 17th centuries that used both sails and oars. Derived from earlier galleys, they were powerful warships of the day, very successful at the Battle of Lepanto, 1571. The image directly below depicts an artists impression of a Spanish armada galleas in typical medieval fashion. The image at the bottom shows a lateen-rigged galleas.

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Examples of a galleas
Galleon: A square-rigged, three- or four-masted sailing ship in use from the 16th to the 18th century, particularly by the Spanish and Portuguese but also by most other European nations.

image of galleon model

Examples of a galleon
Galley: An oared fighting ship used mainly in the Mediterranean dating from many centuries BC until well into the 18th century. They were also used in the Baltic and by other northern European nations, just not to the same extent and duration as in the Mediterranean.

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A galley a scaloccio is rowed by groups of three, five or seven men on a bench pulling a single oar, and a galley ala sensile has a single rower per oar, possibly two or three men to a bench (a terzaruolo). The top speed of a galley under full-oar has been estimated to be 7 or 8 knots.

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Maltese galley at anchor - plate (G. Tagliagambe/Antonio Suntach) from around 1780 - 1800.

Examples of a galley
Galliot: A light and fast Mediterranean galley.

image of galliot
Ghost Ship: Either a ship that appears as a ghostly apparition such as the Flying Dutchman, or a ship which is found floating at sea with no sign of the crew, such as the Mary Celeste.

Examples of a ghost-ship
Gig: 1. A two-masted coastal vessel carrying lugsails. 2. A wide beamed 18th century ship's boat, often reserved for use by a ship's captain.
Hermaphrodite Brig: A two-masted vessel, square-rigged on the foremast and fore-and-aft rigged mainsail with square topsail on the mainmast.

image of Hermaphrodite Brig

Examples of a hermaphrodite brig

1. A single-, two-, or sometimes even three-masted coastal fishing vessel similar to a smack but setting square sails on the mainmast. Also hoeker or dogger (Dutch).

2. Slang for an outdated, obsolete, unwieldy, or just plain ugly vessel.

Image of hoeker
Hoy: A single-, two- or even three-masted European coastal merchant and fishing vessel from the 17th and 18th century. See also galjoot.

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A small single-masted sloop-rigged hoy shown below.

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Hulk: 1. A medieval ship with the ends of the planks fitted parallel to the stern and sternposts. 2. A ship that has fallen into disuse or is used in a static role, for instance as a sheer hulk or a prison hulk as shown below.

prison hulk
Ironclad: A warship with a wooden hull sheathed in iron for protection against gunfire. Another culprit causing the demise of wooden sailing ships.

image of ironclad

Examples of an ironclad
Jaght: Also jacht. A three-masted, lightly armed, and speed-built Dutch merchant vessel of the 17th century. Often used in convoys to and from the East Indies and for voyages of exploration. Usually they were slightly larger than a fluyt.

image of an early 17th century jacht

Examples of a jaght
Jagt: A single-masted Scandinavian inland and coastal merchant vessel of the 17th, 18th and 19th century.
Jolly Boat: All purpose boat onboard a ship.
Junk: A Chinese sailing vessel with bamboo sail battens and a long overhanging counter; originally developed during the 5th century.

image of junk
Ketch: A two-masted sailing vessel with the mizzenmast stepped forward of the rudder head. They were usually fore-and-aft rigged but could have square sails. Sizewise, they were usually from 100 to 250 tons burthen. Often used in the role as a bombard vessel.
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Examples of a ketch
Knarr: A clinker built Viking merchant ship, exceptionally sturdy in rough seas. Broader in the beam and more draught than a longship. They were also more reliant on the use of sails for propulsion, rather than oars. Also Knorr.
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Lightship: An anchored ship acting as a floating lighthouse where building a lighthouse was not possible or impractical. Lightships would display a light at the top of a mast and in case of fog would sound a fog signal.

Example of a lightship
Lodya: Name for Russian river, lake and sea vessels until the 16th century and later.
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Longship: Langskip. Generally thought of as the Viking war ship. It was a 45–148ft (14–45m) galley with up to 40 oars on each side, a square sail on a removable mast, and a 40–80 man capacity. Double-ended and built shell-first with overlapping planks (clinker built).
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Longboat: The largest boat carried aboard a larger sea going vessel. Propelled by sail or oars.

image of longboat
Lugger: A small ship rigged with one or more lugsails on two or three masts, and usually one, two or three jibs were set on the bowsprit. Luggers usually outperformed square-rigged vessels in coastal tideways but required a larger crew then a square-rigged vessel of similar size. Frequently used by smugglers and privateers around the English Channel in the 18th century.

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Courtesy of Greg Pesta
Man O'War: A term applied to a ship specifically built for the purpose of war. Instances of the term 'man-of-war' to indicate a warship are found as early as 1484. Man O War.

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Examples of a Man O'War
Merchantman: Any vessel used for trade. The combined term of 'merchant' and 'man' occurs as early as 1473.

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Monkey: A small 16th century coastal merchantman carrying a square sail on a single mast.
Nao: A classic medium-sized Spanish vessel of the age of exploration, having a fully developed three-masted rig and often a small topsail on the mainmast.

Examples of a nao
Nef: 1.Also called a roundship, a single- or two-masted clinker-built ship used in Europe during the middle-ages until the 15th century, for example as transportation for the crusades. Descendant of the Viking longship a Nef still had a side-rudder and was used in Northern regions a century or two longer with a sternpost-rudder. 2.A French word for ship. 3.Drinking vessel in the shape of a ship.
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Packet Ship: The generic name given to a vessel that sailed in regular service between two or more ports.

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Examples of a Packet Ship

Pattamar: A one to three-masted lateen-rigged dhow-like vessel used off the west coast of India.
Penteconter: An ancient Greek galley with 50 oars, 25 each side set in a single bank.
Pink: A two- or three-masted Dutch fishing vessel of the 18th century.

image of Pink
Pinnace: 1. A variety of relatively small sailing vessels having generally two fore-and-aft rigged masts. 2. A 17th century ship's boat, usually rowed with eight oars.

image of pinnace

Examples of a pinnace
Pirate: A sea-robber, or an armed ship that roams the seas without any legal commission, and seizes or plunders any vessel she meets indiscriminately, whether friend or foe. Some other names for a pirate were buccaneer, freebooter and skimmer.

Examples of a pirate
Examples of a pirate ship
Polacre: A three-masted Mediterranean vessel, usually square-rigged on the mainmast, and lateen-rigged on the foremast and mizzenmast. Some of them however carried square sails on all three masts. They usually carried one piece pole-masts, neither topmasts nor topgallant masts were present.

image of polacre
Polyreme: A variety of large Phoenician, Greek or Roman war galleys. In these large 'Polyremes', there were only two levels of oars, each being rowed by half the men indicated by the number. For instance, in an octoreme (8), there were 2 banks of oars, each rowed by 4 men, on each side of the ship. In a 'decareme' (10), each oar was manned by 5.
Pot Boat: An ancient boat made from clay or similar material for use in inland waterways.
Privateer: A person or private vessel intent on raiding enemy shipping in wartime for the purpose of making a profit from the sale of captured ships, including whatever cargo would be onboard. A privateer could be described as a commissioned pirate. Dangerous business all-around, often a privateer would mistake a 'friendly' ship for fair game with the consequence of rapidly being 'promoted' from privateer to pirate.

Examples of privateers
Punt: A 14 to 18 ft. square ended rowboat.

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Images courtesy of Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland & Labrador

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Qarib: A small two-masted lateen-rigged vessel, common in Egypt around the 11th century, sailing down the Nile from Cairo and as far west as Tunisia and Sicily.
Quarter Boat: A boat hung from, or located on a ship's quarter.
Quinquereme: A Mediterranean war galley having three banks of oars, the oars on the top two levels being pulled by two men each, the lower level oar being pulled by a single man. The quinquereme (5 rowers) was developed from the earlier trireme, rowed by three levels (or banks) of oars, each rowed by a single man. It was used by the Greeks of the Hellenistic period and later by the Carthaginians and Romans, from the 4th century BC to about the 1st century AD.
Rate: In 1653 the British Admiralty's Fighting Instructions classified the size and capabilities (guns mounted) of a sailing warship into 6 distinct rates. A first rate being the largest and most capable, a sixth rate being the least. The number of guns carried by a ship of a certain rate changed from time to time. Only the first four rates were considered fit for duty as 'ships of the line'. However, fifth and sixth rates, and other even smaller vessels, did join the battle where and when required.

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Retour Ship: Generic name for a collection of different but relatively heavily armed, and well-manned merchant ships of the Dutch East India Company (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie, or VOC). They were specifically designed for the long roundtrip (retour) voyage from the Netherlands to the East Indies.

Examples of a retour ship
Roundship: A clinker-built medieval merchant sailing ship with a rounded stern and bow, as opposed to a sharp double-ended longship. A roundship often had a two-masted rig with a small foresail. Also called a nef.

image of roundship

Examples of a roundship
Schooner: A vessel rigged with fore-and-aft sails on two or more masts. A topsail schooner sets one to three square sails on the foremast as well. Many further sub-divisions can be made such as Tern Schooners, Scow Schooners, Coastal Schooners and Grand Banks Schooners such as the Bluenose. Bald Headed Schooner is a slang term for a Schooner having/setting no topsails at all.

topsail schooner

Examples of a schooner
Scow: A variety of flat-bottomed vessels used for carrying cargo, often having a sloping square bow and stern. Similar to a barge, simple hull construction and maximum cargo capacity.
Scow Schooner: A flat-bottomed square-ended schooner-rigged vessel used mainly in the latter half of the 19th century on the Great Lakes and North-American coastal routes. Scow schooners often used centerboards or leeboards and the name scow refers to the shape of the hull. Scow schooners carried the bulk of cargo in North-America during the 19th century.

Examples of a scow schooner
Second Rate: Sailing 'ship of the line' warship with 84-98 guns on three or two gun decks (1779).

Examples of a second rate
Shallop: 1. A two-masted ship usually carrying lugsails. 2. A 17th century ship's boat, used as a tender. Shallops had no keel but used leeboards instead. A shallop could be propelled by oars or sails. See image below.

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Sheer Hulk: A cut-down, old ship fitted with a pair of sheers, used to hoist masts up to another ship that was being built or repaired.

Example of a sheer hulk and other mastbuilding tools.

Ship: In the 18-19th centuries a ship was defined as a first rank sailing vessel having a bowsprit and three or more square-rigged masts (ship-rigged), each composed of a lowermast, a topmast, and often a topgallant mast.

Examples of a full-rigged ship.

Many earlier and other definitions of ship exist, just think of a single-masted Viking ship for example.

Ship of the Line: A sailing warship built to fight in the line of battle. The 'line of battle' meant that each ship would form in a line thus allowing each ship to fire full broadside salvos at the opponent. Ships of the line were usually all of fourth rate or above, most were third-rate ships of 74 guns.

Examples of a ship of the line
Sixth Rate: Sailing warship with 20-30 guns (1779).

Examples of a sixth rate
Skiff: A small flat-bottomed ship's boat, having a sharp pointed bow and a square stern. Could be propelled by oars or sail.
Sloop: A single-masted fore-and-aft rigged vessel setting a mainsail and generally a single jib, or headsail (sometimes double - double-headsail sloop). Sloop and cutter are almost indistinguishable today, generally a sloop has her mast located more forward than a cutter. See also sloop-of-war.

image of sloop

Examples of a sloop
Sloop-of-war: A name given to the smallest three-masted sailing warships, having 8 to 22 cannon on only one deck. They were either fully rigged as ships (three-masted ship-sloop) or as snows (two-masted brig-sloop). Also sometimes called 'corvette' (originally a French term). Even cutters were sometimes classified as sloops-of-war, or simply classified as sloops.

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Examples of a sloop-of-war
Smack: A small single- or two-masted coastal fishing or merchant vessel, fore-and-aft rigged with the two masted variant being very similar to a ketch. She was also characterized by a long horizontal running bowsprit.

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Snow: A relatively large two-masted sailing vessel, similar to a Brig.

image of snow

"A Brig bends her boom-sail (or trysail) to the mainmast, while a Snow bends it to a trysail mast (a third mast much less in diameter, stepped immediately aft of the mainmast): in other respects these two vessels are alike." (Young's Nautical Dictionary 1846.)

Examples of a snow
Spiegelschip: Dutch term for a vessel with a distinctive flat stern and tafferel, with spiegel meaning mirror. Also spiegeljacht.
Tarides: Small sail and/or oar powered transport vessel used from the dark ages to about the late 12th century. Early medieval equivalent of a landing craft, they had doors used as ramps for loading and unloading men and their horses. Possibly derived from earlier Roman horse transports.
Tartan: A small and nimble single- or two-masted lateen-rigged sailing vessel originating in the Middle East and the north coast of Africa. Like the xebec, it is often associated with the Barbary corsairs.

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Engraving plate (G. Tagliagambe/Antonio Suntach) from around 1780 - 1800.
Tender: A vessel attending to another vessel, in particular one that ferries supplies and personnel between ship and shore.
Tern Schooner: North American term for a three-masted Schooner of 200 to 400 tons. Most cargo carrying Tern Schooners were built between 1870 and 1920 along the coast of North America.
Third Rate: Sailing 'ship of the line' warship with 64-80 guns on two gun decks (1779).

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Examples of a third rate
Tjalk: A Dutch flat-bottomed vessel with rounded ends and leeboards. Used to carry freight and also often used as a pleasure yacht.

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Triaconter: An ancient Greek galley with 30 oars, 15 each side set in a single bank.
Trireme: An ancient Phoenician, Greek or Roman war galley propelled by three tiers (banks) of oars on each side, each oar being pulled by a single man, used from the 7th to the 4th century BC. Upper level oarsmen were called thranites, middle level zygites and lower level oarsmen were called thalamites. The hull was shell-first, mortise-and-tenon construction, planked with fir, cedar or pine while the keel was made of oak.
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Turtle Ship: A 16th-century Korean armoured warship called Geobukseon or Kobukson in Korean. It was fitted with an iron shell (top) and sharp spikes for protection and to prevent boarding. They were developed and built by Admiral YI, SOON SHIN in 1592 who led Korea to victory in the IM JIN WAR (Korea vs. Japan; 1592-1598). The hull was built from red pine and a turtle ship carried cannons with such names as Heaven and Earth or in Korean, Chon and Ji. Comparable to a European 12 and 7pdr cannon respectively.
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Velocera: An Italian coastal merchant vessel.
Vinco: A three-masted Italian vessel from the 19th century setting lateen sails on the main and mizzenmast, and square sails on the foremast.
Vlieboat: A small three-masted vessel with a broad beam, shallow draft and a high narrow stern originating from the mid 16th century. Most likely named for the Vlie estuary of the IJssel near the Dutch islands of Vlieland and Terschelling. Designed as merchant vessels to navigate rivers and coastal waters, vlieboats were also used for exploration and military duties. Also Vlieboot (Dutch) and Flyboat (English).

Examples of a Vlieboat
West Indiaman: A relatively heavily armed European merchantman used for trade between Europe, Africa and the Americas.

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Examples of a West-Indiaman
Whaler: A sturdy purpose build vessel with a large hold. Intended for the catching of whales, many were used on polar expedition and/or by navies around the world because of their sturdy nature.

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Examples of a whaler
Wherry: A light and fast 17th century ship's boat.
Windjammer: A three- to five-masted square-rigged merchant vessel built between 1870 and 1890. They were of all-iron hull construction and rather large, often displacing several thousand tons.
Xebec: A relatively small three-masted lateen-rigged vessel favoured by the Barbary corsairs operating off the coast of North Africa. These ships had long narrow hulls, and were fitted with oars like their galley predecessors. The xebec was adopted by the French and Spanish navies and called a chebec.

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Yacht: Any of a variety of small sailing vessels. Often a personal transportation watercraft or a personal pleasure boat; i.e. captain's yacht, royal yacht.

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Examples of a yacht
Yawl: Originally a double-ended clinker built Scandinavian yol. Later becomes: 1. A small two-masted sailing vessel with the mizzenmast stepped astern of the rudder post. Similar to a ketch, which has its mizzenmast stepped forward of the rudder head or post.
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2. A ship's boat, smaller but similar to a pinnace, usually rowed by four to six oars.

image of yawl
Zabra: A 16th century Spanish sailing vessel, smaller then a Galleon or Carrack. Zabra's were used for dispatch, transport and other utilitarian duties.
Zulu: A Scottish lugger with a straight stem and raking sternpost.

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Concept, content & Design: The Art of Age of Sail