August  2009
Billie Silvey
Parts of a
Sailing Ship
A ship is a large seagoing vessel. Ships transport goods for trade,
armaments for war, and passengers to explore or trade or just visit
foreign lands.

Starting from the bottom of the diagram, the Keel keeps the ship
steady and prevents rolling over.  The Masts support the Sails,
which are used for propulsion. The Rudder is attached to the ship's
wheel, and is used to steer the ship.

Bulkheads separate the ship into compartments.  A Hatch is a door
on a ship; it can lead down into the hold or through bulkheads
between compartments.  The Hold provides cargo stowage and
sleeping space.  The Hull, or skin of the craft, keeps the water out.

The Captain's Cabin is at the rear or stern of the ship.  The roof of
the cabin is called the Quarterdeck and is where the wheel, which
operates the rudder, is located.  The main deck, where most of the
work is done, divides the captain's cabin from the forecastle or
fo'c'sle, where passengers or crew are quartered.  The roof of the
forecastle is called the Forecastle Deck.

The Bowsprit extends from the front of the ship.  The Flying Jib is a
sail outside the jib on an extension of the bowsprit known as a
jibboom.  A Jib is a triangular staysail from the bowsprit to the
masthead.  A Staysail is a rectangular fore-and-aft sail extended on
a stay or rope supporting a mast or spar.

The Main Mast is the tallest mast. The Fore Mast is nearer the front
or bow of the vessel than the Main Mast. Shrouds are the sets of
ropes that support the masts.  A Boom is a long spar used to extend
the foot of a sail.  A Gaff is the spar on which the head of a
fore-and-aft sail is extended.  The gaff doesn't turn, so the
fore-and-aft sail always takes the wind from the same side.  A Yard
is a horizontal spar attached to a mast in a way that alows it to turn.  

Sails and spars are named for the masts on which they're rigged.
Topsails are attached to topmasts or extensions of the regular masts.
History of Ships
Poetry of Sailing