That’s So Ketch: Breaking Down the Basic Boats You’ll See on the Water

Itching to get out on the water? You’ll need a boat first! If you’re new to sailing, you may not know that there are actually a range of types of sailboats. In this blog post, we’re breaking down the basics of a few of the most common sailboats you’ll see out there in the waves.


Sloop sailboat

Let’s start with the most simple sailboat. First, we’ve got the sloop. A sloop has one mast, with a headsail to the front and a mainsail to the back. This is the most basic type of sailboat—one you’re likely to encounter often. 


cutter rig sail boat

Add a sail and you’ve got a cutter. Cutters are usually small to medium-sized, and they were historically used by the military and by harbor pilots. Today, though, cutters are more often seen as private yachts. 


ketch rig sailboat

Time to add a mast. A ketch is a vessel with a mainmast in the front and a smaller mast in the back, known as the mizzen mast. Ketches are usually on the larger side, at least 40 feet.  


yawl rig sailboat

Y’all know the difference between a ketch and a yawl? Both are two-masted vessels. What sets a yawl apart is the position of the mizzen maft after the rudder. Yawls were first introduced as fishing boats, but became popular choices for yacht racing in the 1950s. 


schooner sailboat

Last but not least, we’ll hit on schooners. Schooners have two or more masts, and the aft mast is taller than the foremast. Although we don’t see them as often today, schooners were incredibly prevalent in the 19th and 20th centuries. They became popular ships for fishing and coastal trade due to their size, efficiency, and speed. 

Whatever boat you choose, we’ve got the perfect accessory to match! Each of our bracelets is inspired by one or more elements of life on the water. Take our winch-inspired Voyager Bracelet and Fid-inspired cuff for example! You’ll find your perfect match at Sailormade.


Article written by Lexi DeConti. Find more of Lexi's work HERE.

Photo sources: 
Header Image: Kristel Hayes on Unsplash
Sloop Image: Epoxy Works 
Cutter Image: Sailboat Cruising 
Ketch Image: Here 
Yawl Image: Sailboat Cruising
Schooner Image: SY Creole

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