Sailboats

These vessels are partly or entirely set in motion by the wind. There are a large variety of sailboats, which are distinguished by size, hull configuration, keel type, amount of sails and purpose. A sailboat or sailing boat is a boat propelled partly or entirely by sails smaller than a sailing ship.

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Distinctions in what constitutes a sailing boat and ship vary by region and maritime culture. Although sailboat terminology has varied across history, many terms have specific meanings in the context of modern yachting.

A great number of sailboat-types may be distinguished by size, hull configuration, keel type, purpose, number and configuration of masts, and sail plan. The cutter is similar to a sloop with a single mast and mainsail, but generally carries the mast further aft to allow for a jib and staysail to be attached to the head stay and inner forestay, respectively.

Once a common racing configuration, today it gives versatility to cruising boats, especially in allowing a small staysail to be flown from the inner stay in high winds. A catboat has a single mast mounted far forward and does not carry a jib.

Most modern designs have only one sail, the mainsail; however the traditional catboat could carry multiple sails from the gaff rig. A dinghy is a type of small open sailboat commonly used for recreation, sail training, and tending a larger vessel.

They are popular in youth sailing programs for their short LOA, simple operation and minimal maintenance. They have three (or fewer) sails: the mainsail, jib, and spinnaker. The cutter is similar to a sloop with a single mast and mainsail, but generally carries the mast further aft to allow for a jib and staysail to be attached to the head stay and inner forestay, respectively.

Once a common racing configuration, today it gives versatility to cruising boats, especially in allowing a small staysail to be flown from the inner stay in high winds. A catboat has a single mast mounted far forward and does not carry a jib.

Most modern designs have only one sail, the mainsail; however the traditional catboat could carry multiple sails from the gaff rig. A dinghy is a type of small open sailboat commonly used for recreation, sail training, and tending a larger vessel.

They are popular in youth sailing programs for their short LOA, simple operation and minimal maintenance. They have three (or fewer) sails: the mainsail, jib, and spinnaker.

Ketches are similar to a sloop, but there is a second shorter mast astern of the mainmast, but forward of the rudder post. The second mast is called the mizzen mast and the sail is called the mizzen sail. A ketch can also be Cutter-rigged with two head sails.

The most common modern sailboat is the sloop, which features one mast and two sails, typically a Bermuda rigged main, and a headsail. This simple configuration is very efficient for sailing into the wind.

A fractional rigged sloop has its forestay attached at a point below the top of the mast, allowing the mainsail to be flattened to improve performance by raking the upper part of the mast aft by tensioning the backstay. A smaller headsail is easier for a short-handed crew to manage.