Design and components of sailing ships
Design and components of sailing ships

Design and components of sailing ships

The mast – it could be responsible for holding up to three sails at a time thus requires to be very strong and flexible. This is the component of the vessel that powers it, so it is very important that the mast be strong to avoid breakage. If the mast was weak and was to break in the open sea the sailors would most certainly be stranded until a rescue team found them.

Sails – the winds exert force against the sails and, as such, produce the main source for propulsion. For this reason, the best quality material is used to make a good sail. Both the Main sail and the Jib sail are very important as a form of propulsion. Beside the sail material there are the rope fastening hooks and rings that need to be strongly stitched to avoid inconvenience that may occur.

Center board – plays an important part to counter the force of the sail from turning over the boat. It is an important part of smaller sail ships and most of them will have it. It can be found as permanent or temporary fixtures that can be adjusted to suite the wind pressure. The center board is an important part of smaller and lighter vessels since it help counter the wind force on the sails to stop the vessel from turning over and sinking.

Rudder– with the wind force pushing continually a sail boat must have a form of steering. Older vessels did not have this component but modern vessels have added this feature. Without the rudder the ship would just drift with the wind, rudders help control the vessel as it moves. Rudders also have extensions that can be added reaching near the mast. They are known as tiller extension. It is useful when the sailor is doing something near the sail and he can maintain control of the ship.

Body material – unlike the past when sailboats where made using wood, today many artificial materials can be used to make stronger hulls. Light weight and strength are the two most important factors in today’s hull construction. People want to move faster without damaging there vessel. Fiberglass has replaced steel which is rarely used to construct leisure craft today.


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