How does a gaff rig work?

A gaff rig employs a spar on the top of the sail and typically other sails can be set in conjunction with that mainsail with the gaff. Often, on the smaller, non tall ship, gaff rigs, there will be a small triangular sail that fits between the main and the mast like a puzzle piece – this is the topsail.

What is the advantage of a gaff rig?

What are the advantages of a gaff rig? Gaff rigs typically provide more sail area for the same mast length, which results in less stress on the mast and rigging. This allows for a shorter (and therefore stronger) mast and softer and simpler rigging.

What is a staysail on a sailboat?

A staysail (“stays’l”) is a fore-and-aft rigged sail whose luff can be affixed to a stay running forward (and most often but not always downwards) from a mast to the deck, the bowsprit, or to another mast (the mast is item 13 in the illustration right).

Where does gaff slang come from?

The term “Gaff” originated in Ireland and the usage spread to England and Scotland, to mean one’s house or home. Not to be confused with the term “Gaffer”.

What does gaff mean in Irish?

Gaff. In Ireland, the word ‘gaff’ means ‘house’. The term ‘free gaff’ is often used by teenagers to describe the situation when their parents go away for a night, usually meaning there will be a party. Using ‘gaff’ to mean house is apparently also common in Scotland, parts of England and Wales.

How fast is a pilot cutter?

When in windy conditions, cutters would regularly win these open races against professional racing crews, when with full sails on they would reach speeds in excess of 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph).

What’s the difference between a ketch and a yawl?

A ketch has two masts with the mizzen mast stepped before the rudder head. Yawl rig tends to be used on smaller boats, ketch rig is often used on larger vessels, notably the Brixham trawlers and trading ketches of the last century. The mizzen sail in a ketch is a driving sail, in a yawl it is more of a balancing sail.

What is a gaff rigged schooner?

Gaff rig is a sailing rig (configuration of sails, mast and stays) in which the sail is four-cornered, fore-and-aft rigged, controlled at its peak and, usually, its entire head by a spar (pole) called the gaff. A sail hoisted from a gaff is called a gaff-rigged (or, less commonly, gaff rigged or gaffrigged) sail.

What is a battened sail?

On sailboats, a sail batten is a flexible insert in a sail, parallel to the direction of wind flow, that helps shape its qualities as an airfoil. Battens are long, thin strips of material, historically wooden but today usually fiberglass, vinyl, or carbon fiber, used to support the roach of a sail.