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What are the different types of schooners?

Invented in the 16th century by Dutch sailors under the name of "Schoener", which gave the English term Schooner. A majority of sailors admit that, among the different types of rigs, the "schooner with all sails out" is one of the most majestic!


The schooner in general


The schooner is a rig equipped with at least two masts and up to seven, the main mast being positioned furthest back. In the case of a two-masted schooner, the forward mast is called the foremast. The two masts are of equal size or the main mast is higher than the foremast.


The schooner is distinguished by its lightness, its slender shape which naturally makes it suitable for sailing and its two masts slightly inclined at the stern. Equipped with helms without sails (except for the topsail schooner) and auric sails set on horns.


Schooners reached their peak from the second half of the 19th century onwards in the merchant navy and in the form of sophisticated large schooners, with 3 masts and more.



The different types of schooners

Straight schooner

They are rigged with gaff sails without topsails and without square sails.



Schooner with topsail

Sailboat attached to the schooner category but whose foremast has one or two square sails, above an auric sail. The square sails increase the schooner's speed in downwind conditions.

There are schooners with double topsails, each mast having a topsail, but they are rare.



Schooner with Bermuda rig

They are rigged with triangular sails without high sails. Many modern schooners have Bermuda type rigs.



Three-masted schooner with topsails

A square-headed schooner (mainmast or foremast), mizzenmast (with the possibility of topsails).




Schooner with three, four, five, six or seven masts

An auric sail is installed at the base of each mast.

Since we are able to tell the history of sailing, the only 10 six-masted ships that were built were all schooners as well as the only seven-masted ship.


St. Lawrence schooner

Adapted by the Quebecers for coastal sailing on the East Coast of Canada, it had a flat bottom to facilitate groundings due to tides. At the beginning of the 1920s, the gasoline engine appeared, then the diesel engine, making the sail of these schooners disappear as well as their rear mast. The front mast remained but it was only used as a loading mast.



A world about Dallinghoo:

You can’t get more classic than the iconic, 30.20m DALLINGHOO. The largest of Dudley Dix Yacht Design’s Hout Bay range and built in 1990 by Pritchard shipyards, this romantic schooner is a true statement yacht. With her exterior charmingly reminiscing a time of exploration along with a timeless allure.



DALLINGHOO was fully refit in 2016. The hull was completely rebuilt along with the rigging and an engine overhaul. She has only had one owner since and a crew who has always maintained it to an incredibly high standard. DALLINGHOO’s exterior has benefited considerably with the refit, with stunning large areas on the expansive teak deck, allowing for the most comfortable locales to soak up the sun, feel the refreshing wind and enjoy the lull of the waves.




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