Talk:Square rig

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"Square rig was the main design in the age of sail, (1571—1863)." I removed this line because I cannot understand what it means. The largest vessels were all square-rigged during the period, but I'd be surprised to hear that even the majority of vessels of any time were square-rigged.Czrisher 15:42, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

The square rig is atleast as good as the gaff rig even when sailing windward, but require more experienced crew for the same perfomance then other rigs. I'm however not experienced with sailing other rigs then these two...(not realy experienced with these either, only sailed a few months in square a riged sailing ship and only training sailing in gaff riged sailing ship) Anyways, I say this because I know that a ship from the sailing school I was on not to long ago fosen folkehøyskole have outsailed gaff riged ships on several ocations. The square rig don't have a mast infront of the sail that cause turbulence in the wind like the gaff sail. I don't want to edit the article without better proves then my own(rather limited) experiance. I hope atleast someone here is willing to consider either editing or atlest finding more information on the subject. If I'm wrong, me being only a student in sailing and stuff, I'd like to know, and I'd like more information about why you people belive I'm wrong. Luredreier 23:23, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

You're right. The square rig of traditional Norwegian boats, such as the Nordlandsboat and the Åfjordsboat, is superior windwards to gaff rigged boats and most bermuda rigged boats, when sailed by an experienced crew. They are however inferior when it comes to tacking on narrow waters. I don't know if this applies to deep-keeled square-rigged sailing ships, so I won't edit the article. Devanatha (talk) 17:57, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
A single square sail can be set so as to be very efficient upwind. But a square rigger with multiple masts and yards will be markedly inferior in upwind performance. This is a result of the rigging, as much as sail shape, since the heavy gear requires a lot of support. The shrouds and backstays prevent the sail from being set at the optimum angle for upwind sailing. (talk) 00:42, 5 June 2015 (UTC)


As I could not manage on Old revision of User_talk:Facius maybe someone can help me here: Facius updated "Square Rig" with the definition A ship at least partially so rigged is called a square rigger. In the german wiki we have a discussion about this, maybe somebody has source. O has it just been the resume of the article? --CeGe (talk) 07:39, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Well, the "at least partially so rigged" definition can be immediately falsified with the definition of a schooner, which includes the requirement that it be fore-and-aft rigged. A topsail schooner uses a square rigged topsail on the foremast, so a single square sail is not sufficient to make a ship square rigged. Similarly, many "square rigged" ships used a fore-and-aft sail on the rearmost mast, often a lateen or "spanker" gaff rig. Based on that, you'd look at the overall rig to determine which type is dominant, and classify based on that (ignoring staysails and headsails, which aren't usually considered "fore and aft"). A sail plan that's split roughly 50/50 is considered a "hermaphrodite" rig, such as the hermaphrodite brig which had a primarily fore-and-aft rig on the mainmast, and a square rig on the foremast. scot (talk) 21:08, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
I think I see the source of confusion. According to this museum source, to be considered a "square rig", an entire mast must be rigged with square sails; any less than that it's fore-and-aft, any more and it's square rigged. They do not list a "hermaphrodite" type, calling the brig with square foremast and fore-and-aft mainmast a brigantine. scot (talk) 22:02, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
At least the last definition at least one mast full-rigged is, what the discussion is about. And you source sounds not too bad. Brigantine in the english Wiki is not clear defined, because I think it must not be brigantine is a vessel with two masts, at least one of which is square rigged, but in the german it is the same (according to my sources quite right). On the other hand there is this example [1], but this belongs more to the brigantine-topic --CeGe (talk) 07:20, 7 October 2008 (UTC)


"Principally square rigged types A barque ... A brig ... A full rigged ship ... A sloop has only one mast."

Oh, really? A sloop is a "principally square rigged type"? No. A sloop is, by definition, fore-and-aft rigged. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:31, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Easy there, bucko. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt. A sloop is indeed a single master, as is stated, and has a fore & aft rig, which is also stated in the article. There are indeed variations that have a square rig, and it's possible that there was a period before the dominance of the Bermuda rig on small vessels that sloops were predominantly square-rigged. Questionable, but certainly possible.
I don't have the information to prove or disprove that; if you do I'd be happy to see the issue settled with sources. Till then let's keep our tone civil, aye? The Cap'n (talk) 19:09, 17 February 2011 (UTC)