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Sailboat rigging types vary and refers to the ropes or cables that support the masts and adjust the sails. The term may also refer to the formation of masts and sails on a ship.

We will describe the the five most common sailboat rigging types referred to as, the formation of the mast and sails, on a ship.

Sailboat Rigging Types - Sailboat Rigging Types - Sailboat Rigging Types

  • Fractional rig: A fractional rig on a sailing vessel consists of a foresail, such as a jib or Genoa sail, that does not reach all the way to the top of the mast.

  • Sloop rig: sloops are designed to optimize upwind sailing. However, sloops also offer an excellent overall compromise acceptable, if not optimal, to all points of sail.

  • Bermuda rig: The rig consists of a triangular sail set aft of the mast with its head raised to the top of the mast; its Luff runs down the mast and is normally attached to it for its entire length; its tack is attached at the base of the mast; its foot controlled by a boom; and its clew attached to the aft end of the boom, which is controlled by its sheet.

  • Gaff rig: Gaff rig is a sailing rig (configuration of sails) in which a sail is a four-cornered fore-and-aft rigged item controlled at its peak and, usually, its entire head by a spar (pole) called the gaff. The gaff enables a fore and aft sail to be four sided, rather than triangular, and as much as doubles the sail area that can be carried by that mast and boom, if a boom is used in the particular rig.

  • Mast aft rig: A mast aft rig is a sailboat sail-plan that uses a single mast set in the aft half of the hull to support a jib or multiple staysails, with either a small or completely absent mainsail. Mast aft rigs are uncommon, and found on few production sailboats.

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