Types of old sailing ships

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types of old sailing ships

Ocean Life in the Old Sailing Ship Days by John D. Whidden

John D. Whidden started out at sea in 1834, at the age of twelve, and did not retire until 1870.

This is his account of over a quarter-century spent on the high seas.


Orphaned at five, nothing held Whidden back from embarking on sea life seven years later. Serving as an apprentice, he quickly proved his worth, and earned himself a mate’s position by his early twenties. Graduating to third, second and first office, he ended his career in command of, and having part-ownership of his own vessel.

This memoir, Ocean Life in the Old Sailing Ship Days, records a series of real events, from his childhood impressions of rough and ready seamen, to his thrilling and brutal experiences of war.

His travels saw him spanning the world, with stops at major ports such as Honolulu, Buenos Aires, Calcutta, and Liverpool.

His life spans the changes in the shipping industry over the 19th and into the 20th century.

During the Civil War, Whidden was heavily involved in profitable island trading in the Bahamas to elude Confederate sailors. However, shortly after the close of the war, in 1870, Whidden left sailing as he found it being overtaken by foreign interests.

John D. Whidden (1832-1911) wrote Ocean Life in the Old Sailing Days in 1908, partly as a memoir, but also to offer a snippet of the “old sailing ship days” before major changes occurred to its business environment, fundamentally changing its nature. It is a classic account of a different way of life, which will appeal to both sailing enthusiasts and historians alike.
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Published 29.12.2018

Top 10 Famous Military Ships

This is a list of historical ship types, which includes any classification of ship that has ever been Drekar: A Viking longship with sails and oars; Dromons: Ancient precursors to galleys; East Indiaman: An armed Mistico: Small, fast two or three -masted Mediterranean sailing vessel; Monitor: A small, very heavily gunned.
John D. Whidden

Early Sailing Ships

A sailing ship uses sails , mounted on two or more masts , to harness the power of wind and propel the vessel. There is a variety of sail plans that propel sailing ships , employing square-rigged or fore-and-aft sails. Some ships carry square sails on each mast—the brig and full-rigged ship , said to be "ship-rigged" when there are three or more masts. Still others employ a combination of square and fore-and aft sails, including the barque , barquentine , and brigantine. Sailing ships with predominantly square rigs became prevalent during the Age of Discovery , when they crossed oceans between continents and around the world. Most sailing ships were merchantmen , but the Age of Sail also saw the development of large fleets of well-armed warships. The Age of Sail waned with the advent of steam-powered ships , which permitted more reliable water transport.

A sailing ship with from three to five masts, all of them square-rigged except the after mast, which is fore-and-aft rigged; a small vessel that is propelled by oars or sails.
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No two tall ships were the same, with each individual ship being designed for a specific purpose. Some ships were specifically designed to sail long distances in the quickest amount of time, whilst other ships were designed to sail along the coast. This week, we take a look at the eight different types of tall ships and which category the Star Clipper fleet falls into. The names of the ship categories have changed over the course of time, but the categories provided in this blog are the most common. Clipper ships were all built with three masts and each mast carried square sails. The original clipper ships scaled the globe to bring products such as gold from California and tea from China to the shores of Great Britain. They were built with a protruding stem and the length of each ship was always at least five times the size of the width.

From June 17 — 22, dozens of Tall Ships from all over the world will sail into Boston Harbor for a 5-day maritime festival. Modern tall ship rigs include topsail schooners, brigantines, brigs and barques. Full-Rigged Ship: This type of vessel has at least three masts which are all square rigged. Full-rigged ships were commonly seen during deep-water cargo carrying trips in the 19th century. Barquentine: This type vessel has three masts, all are fore-and-aft rigged except for the square mast.

2 thoughts on “Ocean Life in the Old Sailing Ship Days by John D. Whidden

  1. In the last quarter of the 18th century, large European vessels were being classified into types based on their hull configuration, e.

  2. A sailing ship uses sails, mounted on two or more masts, to harness the power of wind and . This type of sail propagated to the west and influenced Arab lateen designs and the east to influence the Polynesian crab The compass was an addition to the ancient method of navigation based on sightings of the sun and stars.

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