Talk:Mast (sailing)

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Ships had three masts, built in three parts?[edit]

It is my belief that , technically, only a sailing vessel with 3 masts can be called a "ship". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Deant (talkcontribs)

Questionining the statement that "Until the 20th century, a ship's masts would be wooden spars, originally constructed from a single straight tree trunk." While I have limited knowledge of this, I regularly see the USS constitution, built in 1797. Her masts are not a single spar, but 3. She was a large frigate for her time, but I am not sure that the construction was unusual.--Scrod98 16:42, 20 May 2007 (UTC)
It's my understanding that a ship-rigged sailing vessel is one with three or more masts, all carrying square sails. A three (or more) masted vessel carrying square sails on all but the aftmost mast would be a barque. A three-masted vessel carrying square sails only on its foremast would be a barquentine. Alan Villiers said (I think), that the naming of the masts on vessels with five masts tended to be unstandardised. One naming scheme he gave consisted of fore, main, mizzen, [edited: ZScarpia (talk)] middle, mizzen and jigger masts. For an example of a ship where the masts were made from steel, see the Preussen (completed in 1902). -- ZScarpia (talk) 17:35, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
From Austin M Knight, "Modern Seamanship", 8th edition, United States Navy, 1921 (which may be downloaded as a PDF file:
p.765: A ship may have more than three masts. Four-masted ships are common, and five-masters are occasionally seen. In a fourmaster the after-mast is called the jigger-mast. In a five-master, the masts are usually called "fore," "main," "middle," "mizzen," and "jigger."
p.769: Lower masts in modern ships are usually built up of steel plates stiffened in various ways by steel shapes. Built-up masts of wood are no longer used, although lower masts made of single pine sticks are not uncommon in sailing ships of moderate size. Topmasts and topgallant-masts are still made of wood, usually of pine. The mast rests on a step, placed as low as possible ; usually on the keelson. At the lower end is a tenon fitting into a mortise at the step. Where the mast passes through the successive decks, timbers are built in from beam to beam, forming partners; the space between these and the mast being filled by tightly fitting wedges. The masthead is smaller than the body of the mast, and at the shoulder, called the hounds, where the reduction in size is made, heavy knees or bibbs, are bolted on, widening the shoulder and forming a secure support for the trestle-trees; stout fore-and-aft pieces which, in their turn, support the cross-trees, the top, the topmast, and the eyes of the lower rigging. The cross-trees are athwartship pieces crossing the trestle-trees forward and abaft the masthead, and forming the principal part of the framing of the top. They are jogged down into the trestle-trees, and with the latter form a skeleton to which the comparatively light planking of the top is secured. The lower masthead terminates in a square tenon, to which the cap is fitted. This may be of wood, iron-bound, or built up of steel. The topmast passes through a round hole in the forward part of the cap, which thus binds the two masts together. In the heel of the mast is a thwartship hole, square in section, through which is placed an iron fid, with its ends projecting and resting on the trestle-trees on either side. Two sheaves placed diagonally in the heel of the topmast furnish a lead for the top pendants, by which the mast is sent up and down. The over-lapping parts of the lower masts and topmasts are the doublings. The topmast head is fitted in practically the same way as the lower masthead, and the heel of the topgallant-mast "doubles" upon it similarly. Cross-trees are used here as spreaders for the. topgallant rigging, but without a top.
Topgallant and royal masts are in one, but the diameter is reduced at the topgallant masthead forming hounds, upon which rests the topgallant funnel; a composition cylinder, with two thwartship arms forming the "Jack." At the royal masthead is a similar shoulder, with an iron band for the rigging, and above this is the pole terminating in a tenon to which the truck is fitted. The truck usually carries the point of a lightning conductor, the lower end of which makes contact with the hull, or, in the case of a wooden ship, with the copper well below the water-line. Trysail masts are fitted up and down abaft the lower masts, being stepped on deck and secured at the head by bands connecting by a key to corresponding bands on the lower mast.
-- ZScarpia (talk) 16:31, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
From Naval warfare: an international encyclopedia, editor Spencer C. Tucker , ISBN 1-57607-219-3 (hardcover), ABC-CLIO, Inc., Santa Barbara, California, 2002:
Barque (Ship Type) (entry written by Walter W. Jaffee):
British spelling of "bark." A sailing vessel of three or more masts, all of which are square-rigged except the after mast, which is fore- and aft-rigged. The earlier strict definition of a bark referred only to a three-masted sailing vessel. However, modern usage encompasses all vessels of such rig, regardless of the number of masts. The masts, from forward to aft, are the foremast, mainmast, mizzenmast, and, if a fourth is carried, jigger mast. On five-masted barks the center mast becomes the middle mast, the fourth mast is termed the mizzenmast, and the after mast is referred to as the jigger mast. A variation of the type was the jackass bark in which a fore-and-aft sail was rigged on the lower mainmast and square sails were rigged on the top and topgallant masts. Three-masted barks were the most common vessels in northern European merchant fleets at the end of the nineteenth century. To become competitive with steam, the type evolved into the barkentine, which carried fewer square sails and more fore-and-aft sails and consequently was less costly to operate due to the smaller crews needed with fore-and-aft rigs. The word "bark" comes from the French barque and before that the Portuguese and Latin barica.
       ZScarpia   16:43, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

The definition has varied over time, and also depending on who is speaking. In the early 19th Century, for instance, to a sailor, a ship was a three-masted vessel, whose masts were all in threes (lower, topmast, and topgallant), though royals might also appear. But at the time, carrying more than three masts was uncommon. This gets further complicated by the fact that sailors also spoke of "ship-rigged" vessels, which were not ships but carried a similar sail plan. To a landsman, though, such niceties would have been lost - if it was a larger sailing vessel it risked being called a ship. Two hundred years later, we still have the USS Constitution and HMS Victory, but we also have (or had) the RMS Titanic, HMS Hood, (letters unknown to me)Andrea Dorea, and RMS (?)Queen Mary, none of which carried any sail, but all of which are/were ships. (My references are in boxes at the moment (I'm moving) but I'll be back next week with them) --Badger151 (talk) 17:59, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Seven-masted ship[edit]

Fore, main, mizzen, jigger, then kicker, spanker and pusher. Okay, there weren't a lot of 7-masted ships! Suggest the section on masts be merged from Full rigged ship.Student7 (talk) 20:05, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Globalize tag[edit]

Contact me if you have problems with the addition of the tag, or, even better, you should add information about masts and sailing from other cultures apart from Europe. The mayor of Yurp (talk) 15:34, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

waR[edit]

referencing pirate ships in this day and age is a debatable subject, perhaps 15 minutes of your time is useful in discerning succesful pirate ships

waR[edit]

referencing pirate ships in this day and age is a debatable subject, perhaps 15 minutes of your time is useful in discerning succesful pirate ships — Preceding unsigned comment added by 50.72.239.247 (talk) 12:04, 21 December 2013 (UTC)