IS a vessel used by the Northern Nations of Europe, with three masts and a bowsprit, rigged similar to an English ship; having, however, pole-masts and no topgallant-sails. The mizen is with a gaff. These vessels are sometimes used in the English Coal-Trade.


Is a mediterranean-vessel, with three masts and no bowsprit; the foremast rakes much forward, and carries a latteen-sail; the main-mast is a pole-mast, and carries three square sails, like the polacre; the mizen-mast is small, and carries a mizen and a topsail.

Small English ships, having no mizen-topsail, are called barks.


Are mediterranean-vessels, and differ from the xebec only in being more lofty, and not sharp in the bottom, as they are vessels of burthen. They have long narrow sterns, and three masts, carrying latteen-sails.

English-vessels, with narrow sterns, are called pinks.


Are merchant-vessels used in the mediterranean. They have three pole-masts without tops, caps, or cross-trees, and a bowsprit of one piece. They have bolsters fixed, as a stop to the shrouds, &c. The mizen-mast is sometimes not in one piece. Their rigging is light, having no topmast-shrouds, &c. but a rope-ladder is fixed instead, from the mast-heads to the upper part of the lower rigging. They carry the same sails as a ship, and have square yards; all of which, except the lower yards, are without horses; for they stand upon the lower yards to loose or furl the topsails, and upon the topsail-yards to loose or furl the topgallant-sails, as the yards are easily lowered for that purpose.


Is a vessel with three masts, usually navigated in the levant or mediteranean. These vessels are generally rigged with square-sails upon the main and mizen mast, and a latteen-sail upon the foremast, like a xebec; and sometimes a latteen-sail upon the mizen-mast, and only square-sails on the main-mast. The main-mast ever keeps the rigging of the polacre.


Norwegian Cat, Bark
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Polacre, Pink
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Howker, Bomb Ketch, Xebec, Dogger
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A small vessel with three masts, navigated in the mediterranean. The fore and main-masts are called block-masts, being short, and formed square at the head, to receive sheaves, to reeve the jeers, &c. The mizen-mast is fitted with a topmast, &c. similar to a small English ship, and which has been lately added, to keep them better to the wind.

They have no bowsprit, but a sort of boomkin woolded and confined to the prow nearly horizontal, (see the galley,) to the outer end of which lead the bowlines. The fore-mast rakes much forward, has no stay, and the shrouds set up, similar to the runners in English-cutters or sloops, to toggles fixed in the sides. These shrouds are easily shifted when the vessels go about. The main-mast is nearly upright, and rigs as the fore-mast. Each mast carries a large latteen-sail, the longest side of which is bent to a yard, that hoists by a parral round the mast, at about one-third its length, the yards are worked at the lower end by bowlines, and the sail extended by a sheet at the clue. The upper lee-yard-arm is worked by a brace, and the strain supported by vangs nearer the mast. The mizen-mast carries a latteen-sail, similar to the main and fore-mast. When the wind is favourable, they carry square-sails, and smaller latteen-sails, when it blows hard.

Vessels with latteen-sails will lie one point nearer the wind than a square-rigged vessel.

Xebecs, particularly in France, have been rigged similar to polacres, but they never sail so well as they did in their primitive situation.


Are vessels with two masts, used by the French. The masts are placed, and rigged with sails, as the main and mizen masts of a ship. Upon the bowsprit, and between that and the main-masts, they have staysails, and a very large jib.

These vessels discharge their shells from forward; and, when the shell is to be thrown, have an iron chain, (instead of a main-stay,) preventer-shrouds, the backstays doubled, and the yards secured against the shock it receives.

English bomb-vessels were formerly rigged as ketches, but of late years like ships.


A vessel of burthen with two masts, (main and mizen,) used by the Dutch and Northern nations. The main-mast is one stick, on which are hoisted three square sails, as in a ship, or only a mainsail and topsail. The mizen-mast has a topmast and topsail; and, abaft the mast, a sail similar to a ship's driver. They have a long slender bowsprit, on which are set a spritsail and two or three jibs. The Danes have vessels of war, called howkers, which are a part of sloop-of-war with three masts.


A strong vessel with two masts, used by the Dutch, &c. for fishing in the German-Sea, and on the dogger-bank. On the main-mast are set two square-sails; on the mizen-mast a gaff-sail; and, above that, a topsail: also a bowsprit with a spritsail, and two or three jibs.




Are Dutch vessels of burthen, with a main and fore mast, and a large spritsail set abaft each. Thus they sail very close to the wind; but, when the wind is aft, they carry flying topsails, and a square sail upon the foremast, and upon the bowsprit two or three jibs.


Are vessels, navigated with sails and oars in the mediterranean; they have two masts, similar to the xebec, but more upright. Abaft the mast-heads is a sort of top like a case, made and surrounded by rails that cross at right angles. The main-mast is supported by ten pair of shrouds, and the foremast has five pair; they set up with laniards, reeved through long flat double-blocks one fixed in the end of the shroud, the other by a toggle to a timber-head in the side. The yards and sails are the same as the xebecs.

When the wind is moderate, a mainsail, with a much greater surface, called the large mainsail, is substituted: and, when the wind freshens, a small one, called the foul-weather-sail, is used. Similar changes take place in the sails forward. When the wind is right aft, one sail is set on the starboard-side, and its lower yard-arm and bowline on the larboard side; at the same time, the other sail is set on the larboard-side, and its lower yard-arm and bowline on the starboard-side: this is called setting the sails in the form of hares' ears. When the wind blows aft and very fresh, a square-sail, called a cross jack, is set on the foremast.

When rowing against the wind, the yards are lowered and stowed amidships.


Are rigged and navigated the same as galleys; and take this denomination from their being much shorter.


Are like the former, but smaller, and mostly, used by corsairs on the coast of barbary.


A vessel used in the mediterranean, rigged and navigated similar to xebecs or galleys, with settee-sails, instead of latteen-sails.


A small vessel used in the mediterranean, rigged and navigated similar to galleys; but seldom go out of sight of the coast.


Small vessels with two masts and a bowsprit, sometimes used as coasters or pleasure boats, in inlets and rivers of the mediterranean. Abaft the masts are set latteen-sails, with sliding-topmasts. The lower part of the sail is bent to hoops that encircle the lower or standing mast; and the upper part of the sail is laced to the topmast, which slides up and down the lower mast, by grommets or iron rings fastened to the heel of the topmast. The sail is fastened, at the lower part, with a tack to the mast, and, at the peek, with a small earing.

The sail is hoisted by a haliard, one end fastened to the heel of the topmast, and the other end reeved through a sheave-hole in the lower mast-head; it leads down towards the heel of the mast, and there belays. The sail is extended by a sheet, fastened to the clue, and led aft. To the heel of the topmast is sometimes fastened a down-haul-rope, that leads down towards the heel of the mast. These sails furl in a close manner to the lower-mast, by lowering the topmasts, and confining the sail in folds, by a furling-line. On the bowsprit is spread a jib, which assists the vessel in going about. These sails are called sliding-gunters, and used in the English navy's pinnaces and barges.


Bugalet, Felucca, Houario, Koff, Galley
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Dutch Hoy, Fishing Bark, Dutch Sloop, Herring Buss or Fly Boat, Galliot, Tartan, French Shallop
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Is a large Dutch vessel, of burthen, with one mast and a bowsprit. The mast is supported by 4 or 5 pair of shrouds, and a stay which sets up to the stem. Over this stay is another, that leads to the bowsprit-end. Abaft the mast they carry a large gaff or spritsail, and over it a flying topsail, a staysail upon the main-stay, and one or two jibs on the bowsprit, Sometimes a small mast is stepped quite aft, abaft which is set a gaff or spritsail, hauled out to a boom at the foot.


A large decked sloop, of burthen, used in Holland and Flanders, having one mast, carrying a gaff-mainsail. On the foreside of the mast, above the gaff; is a short spar projecting forwards; to which is bent a long narrow sail, the tack of which is made fast to the stem, and the sheet to the side near the shrouds. On the bowsprit are set two or three jibs; and a small mast is often fixed abaft, that carries a mizen.


Are small vessels with one mast, that carries a spritsail, a foresail set to the stem, and a jib upon a short bowsprit. Sometimes they have a short mast abaft, that carries a small spritsail.


Are small vessels used upon the Canals in Holland. They have one mast, on which are hoisted a spritsail and a foresail, set close to the stem. There are many fishing boats in Holland rigged the same way, with the addition of a bowsprit and jib, and they are then called pinks. Their sails are generally tanned.


A Dutch fishing-vessel with three short masts, each in one piece. On each is carried a square-sail, and sometimes a topsail above the mainsail. In fine weather they add a sort of studdingsail to the lower sails, and a driver. Occasionally they add a jib forward, upon a small bowsprit or spar.

To shoot their nets they lower the main and fore masts, which fold on deck by large hinges, and stow aft upon crotches.


A small vessel with two masts, used on the coast of Brittany. The foremast is very short; and on each mast is carried a square-sail, and sometimes a topsail over the mainsail. They have a bowsprit, and set one or two jibs.


Are small vessels with one mast, used for fishing, &c. by the Spaniards. On the mast: they carry a square mainsail, with a jib upon the bowsprit.


A small vessel navigated along the coast of the mediterranean. They have one mast and a bowsprit. A large latteen-sail is carried on the mast, similar to a xebec, and a large jib forwards. When the wind is aft, a square-sail is hoisted like a cross-jack.


A small fishing vessel or pilot boat, used by the Portuguese, and rigs with one mast, similar to the tartan.




Are large flat-bottomed vessels, from 100 to 500 tons burthen, used by the Chinese. They have three masts, and a short bowsprit placed on the starboard-bow. The masts are supported by two or three shrouds, which at times are all carried on the windward-side. On the fore and main mast is hoisted a sort of lug-sail, made of cane or bamboo. The sails are confined by iron travellers, that encircle the mast, and fix to bamboos at several divisions on the sail. The sail is kept to the wind by two ropes, fastened to wood stirrups, fixed to the foot of the sail, and lead to the mast-head. The lee part of the sail is hauled aft, by a rope that branches into short legs, that are made fast to each fold of the sail.

On the mizen-mast is a gaff-sail, made of coarse cotton, a topsail made of the same is carried on the main-mast; also a jib and spritsail, that are set on the bowsprit.


Vessels used in the Chinese seas, both for trade and war, not so large as junks, but similar, except that their sails are slackly laced by one side to the masts, instead of being suspended by a yard.


Are small flat-bottom vessels, used by the Chinese and Japanese. They have one mast, rigged the same as the main-mast of a junk, with a single sail made of cane. They seldom exceed 80 tons burthen; are constructed without iron or nail; and are unfit for rough weather.


Are vessels similar to junks, 80 or 90 feet long on one deck, but which have only one mast, that carries a square-sail, and forward one or two jibs made of cotton. They only use sails when the wind is large.


Are light vessels used by the natives of Borneo, and islands adjacent, and by the Dutch as guarda costas in those latitudes. They are high at each end, and chiefly navigated with paddles, to use which they set both within and without board, on narrow platforms of reeds, supported by bars rigged out across the vessel, and one at the outer end on each side, which serve as balances to prevent its being upset. By placing 3 or 4 ranks of rowers on the platform of reeds outside, and some within, they can multiply their number so as to produce a very great velocity. They have triple-sheers of bamboo for a mast supported by shrouds, on which is hoisted an oblong sail, bent to a sort of bamboo yard at the head, and a boom at the foot. The sail is hauled aft by a sheet, the yard has a bowline to keep to windward, and a brace or vang that leads aft. The sail rolls up or furls by a winch at the end of the boom.


Chinese Junk, Caracore
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Bark of Cracoloa & Straits of Sunda, Flying Prow
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A Single Periagua of Tongataboo Island
Prow of the Mulgrave Island
A Double Periagua of Tongataboo Island
A Periagua of Otaheite
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Are vessels with flush decks, high sheer, and sharp forward. They have one mast, and the sail is similar to the caracores, being long and narrow. These vessels are kept from upsetting by a sort of beams crossing the vessel and bending downwards at the ends, which fasten to a long round or flat piece of timber.


A sort of narrow canoe, about 2 feet broad and 36 long, used about the Ladrone islands. Their lee side is flat, and the weather side round. A mast is stept in the weather gunwale; and to the same side is fixed a frame composed of bamboo, projecting out about 11 feet; under the extremity of which, and parallel to the vessel, is suspended an oblong block of wood, formed and hollowed like a canoe, and thus a balance is produced, which prevents the prow's upsetting; for the weight of the frame (which may be and is sometimes increased by men running out upon it, according to the exigency) prevents its falling over to lee-ward; and the floating properties of the hollowed block of wood at the extremity of the frame, resist the tendency of rolling over to windward. This construction is so extremely light, that she seems to feel no resistance in her passage through the water.

Their rigging consists of two stays, that set up at the ends of the prow, and four shrouds that set up at the four corners of the frame. The mast-yard, and boom, are of bamboo. The sail is made of mat, shaped like a settee-sail: the lower end of the yard is confined forward in a shoe. In going about, they keep her way so, that the stem becomes the head; and, to shift the sail, the yard is raised, and the lower end taken along the gunwale, and fixed in a shoe as before; the boom is shifted at the same time, by slackening the sheet, and peeking the boom up a long the mast, then by hauling upon another sheet, the end of the boom is brought to where the lower yard-arm was before, and is hauled aft at the other end. They are steered by paddles at each end.




Differ little from the former, as may be best seen by a reference to the plates.


Are double and single canoes, used by the natives of several islands in the south seas. Their masts and sails having so much the resemblance of prows and other vessels already described, that a reference to the plates is more elucidating than any description.


Are vessels used at Bombay and places adjacent; and are navigated sometimes by rowing with paddles. They have one mast, one-third the length from the stem, which rakes much forward. On the mast is hoisted a sail, bent to a long yard, resembling a settee-sail. The tack is made fast to the head of the stem, and the sheet to the heel of the mast. These vessels never tack, but wear, in doing which they peek the yard against the mast to shift the sail; at the same time they pass the sheet before the mast. Their rigging consists of a pair of haliards, a bowline, and brace. Their keels are very much hollowed upwards, to avoid wholly grounding on sand banks.


A mast made of the trunks of the balsa, an extremely light wood, lashed together, and used by the Indians and Spaniards in South America. The largest have 9 trunks of 70 or 80 feet in length, are from 20 to 24 feet wide, and from 20 to 25 tons burthen. There is always an odd log, longer than the rest, placed in the middle projecting aft. They have but one mast, in form of sheers, whose heels rest on each side the raft; on which is hoisted a large square-sail. When a fore-staysail is set, a pair of sheers is rigged forward. These masts run with foul winds, and steer, as well as any other kind of vessel, by means of an invention similar to, and perhaps the original of, that which is called "A SLIDING KEEL." They have for this purpose planks about 10 feet long, and 15 or 18 inches wide, which slide vertically in the spaces between the trunks which form the mast. It is only necessary to immerge them more or less, and place a greater or less number at the head or stern of the raft, to make them either luff to, or keep from the wind, tack, wear, lie-to, and perform every necessary manoeuvre. If one of these planks be drawn up forward, the raft will keep away; and, if one is raised abaft, she will come to the wind. The number of these planks is five or six; and their use is so easy, that, being once underway, they work but one of them, drawing it up, and immerging it one or two feet as may be necessary. The demonstration of the theory of working of ships, (given hereafter) will confirm the effects of this construction; which might perhaps be well adapted to many cases of emergency, after shipwreck upon coasts, destitute of all other materials for ship-building.

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Double Periagua, Double Periagua of Otaheite
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A bombay Bark Called a Dinga, Balsa or Catamaran
Gun Vessels
Built in the year 1794 for service in Shoal Water
250 Tons, 2 guns, 50 Man, flat bottom
400 Tons, 16 Guns, 80 Man, flat bottom
146 Tons, 14 Guns, hollow floored, 29 Man
A stationary floating battery 700 tons, 24 guns, 2 Mortars flat bottom.
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