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The Schooner Rig
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Sailing holidays on a schooner in Europe - 2012 Tall Ship Sailing holidays

A list of great books about schooners

Learn to sail a schooner by John, the skipper of our schooner Trinovante

The schooner rig designed for Trinovante (bottom photo on this page) is very similar to that used by the American 'Tern' Schooners but is most strongly inspired by the Portuguese fishing Schooners.
The Tern schooners are three masted schooners which were being built in the early 1800’s on the East Coast of the United States. By the end of the century they were trading in large numbers in both Canada and the US.'These three masters were more easily handled and economical to run than two masters of an equivalent size and it was soon found that they sailed very well too. The ‘Tern Schooner’ rig had three masts all the same height and didn't carry square topsails.
The Portuguese three and four masted fishing schooners were sailing commercially up until the 1970’s making voyages every year across the Atlantic to the Grand Banks cod fishing grounds off Newfoundland.
The fishermans staysail was a feature of these schooners. It’s a big powerful sail that is set flying and does not require working aloft. Trinovante had one made for her in 2005. The basic shape was taken from photos of the Portuguese schooner Creoula and it has been a great success.There is a link to a 15 min film of the Portuguese schooner Santa Maria Manuela fishing off Newfoundland in the 1950's on our Tall Ships Films page
The smallest three masted schooner we have come across is the North American Schooner ‘Souvenir’. Built in 1903.and only 61 feet long, Basil Greenhill mentions her in his book ‘Schooners’ and notes that she was ‘reported to have been a lovely vessel to handle’.
If you fancy reading more about schooners there are lots of interesting books out there, a few are listed below.

Also below are links to the series of articles Trinovante's skipper John has been writing for SchoonerSail's newsletters about 'Learning To Sail a Schooner'.

The schooner wylde swan, tall ships race Hartlepool 2010.

The four masted schooner Santa Maria Manuela sailing in the tall ships race

Schooner Trinovante

Learn To Sail a Schooner and other Articles

Learn To Sail a Schooner No.7spacer gifTacking
Learn To Sail a Schooner No.6 spacer gifShort turning away from a quay
Learn To Sail a Schooner No.5spacer gifSailing Away From A Quay with the Wind Aft
Learn To Sail a Schooner No.4spacer gifSailing Away From A Quay
Learn To Sail A Schooner No.3 spacer gifDocking And Undocking Using A Spring
Learn To Sail A Schooner No.2spacer gif Anchoring Under Sail on the Run
Learn To Sail A Schooner No.1 spacer gifGetting Under Way From Anchor Under Sail
How To Tell A Ketch From A Schooner


Books About Schooners

Schooners in four centuries   Lots of photos and drawings and a
photo of the Thomas W Lawson, the only seven masted schooner ever built the.  She was actually bigger that the largest full rigged ship ever built!
Schooners by Basil Greenhill      Lots and lots of really good photos.
The Quest of the Schooner Argus by Alan Villiers  1950.  First hand account of sailing with the Portuguese Schooners to the cod fishing grounds of the Grand Banks and then to Greenland.  These schooners carried stacks of small 16ft dories on deck and the fish were caught by individual fishermen long lineing from these tiny boats and then bringing the catch back to the main vessel. A tough life belonging to another era and a good read. You can find a link to a 1950' Canadian
The Argus has now been bought by the same people who own the four masted schooner Santa Maria Manuela (pictured above) and is due to be refitted.

Hard on the wind  by Russ Hofvendahl,

Schooner Captain   by Captain Hugh Shaw5
Two first hand schooner sailing stories
Skiff and Schooners by R D Culler. A bit of old time 'how to build wooden boats' with lots of different sized schooners from dinghies up to 60 ft or so. Very readable.

The Merchant Schooners by Basil Greenhill.  The story of British merchant schooners between 1870 and 1940.with some interesting first hand accounts and lots of illustrations