The terms, sailboat and schooner, are often used but rarely do people realize that there is a difference. One of the main ones being that sail boat is a general term. A sailboat is described as any boat that is powered by sails and wind. The thing is, there are several different types of sailboats and one of them is a schooner. Here is how you can tell the difference between schooner and sail boats, in general.
Sail Boat Types
Most sailboats are boats that have a monohull. This means that they rely on a ballast for stability and that most of their weight is located in that area. This is a little different from a schooner which is often Bermuda rigged.
A lot of sail boats are sloop rigs which mean that they have a single mast which holds the head sail and the main sail. The cutter is another type of sloop, but it will have a mast that is further aft as well as a staysail. If you have a two masted boat and the mizzen mast is located in front of the rudder post, you are looking at a ketch, which is similar to a Yawl, but has the mizzen aft of the rudder post. As you can see, when talking about a sailboat, there are a lot of different variations of the same type of boat. However, there is a sail boat that is barely a boat at all. The cutter rig is not an actual boat. Instead, it is a rig adapted to fit a single or a multiple-masted boat.
A schooner is a type of sail boat and the only one of its kind to have two or more masts with the one in front being the shortest of all. All other types of sailboats have larger masts up front and smaller ones toward the rear.
Racing Sail Boats or Recreational Sail Boats?
Most of the time, you will not see a schooner as a racing sailboat. They are multi-masted and most often, not designed to be fast boats. Even with the multiple sails that are sometimes attached to them. However, this does not mean that there are no schooners racing because most of the sail boats ability to race is dependent upon the sails that it holds high.
If you have a sailboat that you race, you will have a sail that when filled with air, billows out further. This also means that they have reinforcement around the Cunningham Grommet. It is necessary to have that extra support because of the extra air that is being held and propelling the boat at a faster speed. Smaller, recreational type sailboats do not need as much extra support or reinforcement.
With that being said, if you are looking for a racing sail boat, you will need to buy a higher priced racing sail. If you are not racing, you simply have to look for the size of sail that is right for your sailboat.
Sailing on a schooner is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors. By taking on the task of sailing, you will enjoy both the relaxation of sailing and the physical activity that many of us neglect when on the land. However, there are a few things you will definitely want to take along so that you can enjoy your adventure to the fullest. For instance, on a schooner is where the biggest debate of all may come into play. Which type of cooler makes our favorite schooner accessory? Is it a never ending battle between Pelican Coolers Vs Yeti.
What Makes Schooner Sailing Fun?
Sailing any type of sailboat is a unique sort of challenge and many people do not realize how exciting it can be, much less how relaxing. It is a great way to spend time in the great outdoors for many reasons. One of the most astounding is the way that you become connected to the boat and the water, as well as other aspects of the world around you. This is because each sailboat is slightly different. Some handle certain situations better than others and if you want to stay on course, you have to know what your boat is going to do, before it does it, based on the way the water is flowing around you and where the breeze is taking you. With a schooner this is even more evident, because there are two or more sails up.
Even with the work that is involved, though you also get to relax and simply go where the wind may take you. This is a rare experience for a lot of first time sailors. During the time when the schooner is sailing smoothly, you have time to enjoy a little time with your friends or family. You can relax and enjoy a picnic lunch and savor cold drinks out of your Coleman Thermoelectric cooler.
Our Favorite Schooner Accessories
Some of our personal favorite accessories include the obvious things such as, sunblock, sunglasses, and bug spray. These things are meant purely for our comfort while on board. We also tend to enjoy loose fitting clothes, especially during the summer months when a good breeze can cool us off. Other accessories we feel are a must include, the higher end coolers that have a very long ice retention rating and a high quality fish finder if we plan to go out fishing for the day or perhaps to catch our dinner. Within our cabin, we keep a lot of snacks on hand for times when we feel as though we are drained and need a quick bite to eat. We also make use of a GPS so that we can always find our way back to the coast, even when we are venturing out to see other areas of the world by traveling. We keep a radio on board so that we are aware of bad weather before we come into it and of course we keep the necessary tools on board to repair a torn sail if we run into a bad situation. In short, our favorite schooner accessories include anything that we can think of to make our time on the water most enjoyable.