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Beautiful Sailboat In Manhattan Harbor
FAA WATERCOLOR MARK DOES NOT APPEAR ON FINAL SALES
While I was on the Staten Island Ferry, photographed this large, beautiful sailboat with all sails open heading from Staten Island to Manhattan in Manhattan Harbor with Brooklyn to the sailboats right and Manhattan to its left. A Schooner (pron.: /ˈskuːnər/) is a type of sailing vessel with fore-and-aft sails on two or more masts, the foremast being no taller than the rear mast(s).
Such vessels were first used by the Dutch in the 16th or 17th century (but may not have been called that at the time - see etymology, below). Originally schooners were gaff-rigged, but modern schooners may be Bermuda-rigged. Schooners were further developed in North America from the early 18th century, and were more widely used in the United States than in any other country. The most common type of schooners, with two-masts, were popular in trades that required speed and windward ability, such as slaving, privateering, and blockade running. They were also traditional fishing boats, used for offshore fishing. They were favoured as pilot vessels, both in North America and in Northern Europe. In the Chesapeake Bay area several distinctive schooner types evolved, including the Baltimore clipper and the pungy.
When choosing a "split-rig" (i.e. a rig with more than one mast) for a yacht, European sailors tend to opt for ketches or yawls, and the schooner is becoming a rare sight in European waters. Although a schooner may have up to six masts, the typical schooner has only two, with the foremast shorter than the mainmast. There may be a small bowsprit to help balance the rig. The principal issue with a schooner sail plan is how to fill the space between the two masts most effectively. Traditional schooners were gaff rigged, and the trapezoid shape of the foresail occupied the inter-mast space to good effect, with a useful sail area and a low centre of effort.
A Bermuda rigged schooner typically has four triangular sails: a mainsail, a mainstaysail abaft the foremast, plus a forestaysail and a jib (or genoa) forward of the foremast. An advantage of the staysail schooner is that it is easily handled and reefed by a small crew, as both staysails can be self-tacking. The mainstaysail will not overlap the mainsail, and so does little to prepare the wind for the mainsail, but is effective when close-hauled or when on a beam reach. Although the mainstaysail has less area than an equivalent gaff sail, a loose-footed "fisherman" may be flown above the mainstaysail to maximise drive in light airs . The fisherman's staysail, a four-sided fore-and-aft sail, is not strictly a staysail, but is clewed abaft the foremast. An alternatively light-air sail is a triangular mule.
Some Bermuda schooners have (instead of a mainstaysail) a triangular boomed sail clewed to the foremast; but although it can be self-tacking, it will be smaller in area than a mainstaysail and its use complicates the flying a fisherman. Aesthetically, it can appear less attractive than a classic staysail schooner.
October 5th, 2012
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