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What are the main types of sail rigs for sailboats

Aug 24, 2022

less than a min

  • What are the main types of sail rigs for sailboats

    There are many sail rig types that can leave you amazed when looking at a boat, whether you are a guest or an owner. But before diving into the details of each one, let’s first define what a sail rig is for everyone that is new to boating.

    A sail rig refers to the way the sails are placed on the mast. They define the configuration of the boat and include both the soft sail fabric and the mast hardware. The sail right type is often used to define what type of boat you are looking at.

    It is important to know all the different sail rig types in order to enjoy sailing to the maximum.

    Different sail rig types

    Boats usually have one main big sail and one headsail. The main sail usually has a triangular shape and is fore-and-aft rigged. Their main purpose is to direct the boat and help you sail upwind or downwind. They place such a crucial role that for many boat lovers, a boat is only as good as its sails.

    In addition, knowing when to trim the sails will improve the performance and efficiency of your boat and allow you to have a nicer voyage.

    Here are the different types of sails: Jib (it has a triangular shape), Spinnaker (it has a balloon shape), Genoa (it overlaps the mainsail), Gennaker (a spinnaker and genoa combo), Code zero (like genoa for light air), Windseeker (it has a tall and narrow shape), Drifter (like genoa but made with lightweight fabric), Storm jib (a small jib), Trysail (small shape for bad weather).

    And next, here is a list of the different sail rig types. The two main ones are the fore-and-aft rig and the square rigg.

    The Fore-and-Aft Rig

    The Fore-and-aft rig is divided into three types, the Bermuda rig, Gaff rig, and Lateen rig. They all define sailing rigs that go along the lines of the keel.

    Bermuda Rig

    This is a sail rig type that is most common for modern sailboats. In this case, the rig revolves around a triangular sail aft in the mast.

    Gaff Rig

    This sail rig type is mostly used on schooners and barquentines. The sail is four-cornered, therefore the head of the mainsail is directed by a gaff.

    Lateen Rig

    In this rig, a large triangular sail is placed on the yard. These boats are mostly used in the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean sea.

    Square Rigged

    In a square rigged boat, the mainsails are placed on a horizontal spar and they are vertical to the mast and the keel of the boat, all in all creating a squared shape. 

    Learn more interesting boat facts at TheBoatDB, the most comprehensive boat database in the world.

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