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(sko͞o`nər), sailing vessel, rigged fore-and-aft, with from two to seven masts. Schooners can lie closer to the wind than square-rigged sailing ships, need a smaller crew, and are very fast. They were first constructed in colonial America and because of their speed became one of the favorite craft of the United States and Canada in the latter half of the 18th cent. and the first half of the 19th cent. Schooners were widely used in the North Atlantic fisheries and the North American coastal trade until World War I, when they were replaced by power-driven craft.


See H. I. Chapelle, The History of American Sailing Ships (1935); J. F. Leavitt, Wake of the Coasters (1970); N. Haley, The Schooner Era (1972).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a fore-and-aft rigged vessel with at least two masts. With displacements of 100 to 5,000 tons, schooners are used as cargo, fishing, sport, and training vessels. Most modern schooners are equipped with internal-combustion engines, which enable them to travel during calm weather and in narrow fairways. The barkentine and the brigantine are special types of schooners.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(naval architecture)
A sailing vessel with two or more masts rigged fore and aft.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


a sailing vessel with at least two masts, with all lower sails rigged fore-and-aft, and with the main mast stepped aft
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The rest of the year, it offers occasional voyages for all society members on its two vessels: the 111-foot replica topsail schooner Pacific Swift and the historic 130-foot Grand Banks fishing schooner Robertson II.
All are two-masted; their rigging distinguishes topsail schooners (square topsails) from gaff-rigged schooners (no square sails) from brigantines (foremast entirely square-rigged).
It's Britain's last three-masted topsail schooner and was re-named Charlotte Rhodes for BBC show The Onedin Line.
Owner Steve e Clarke, k of Bidefor f d, r Devo e n,has put this only surviving wooden mainmast topsail schooner,r built at Connah's' Quaya in 1900, on sale for PS2m.
Also taking part is the last UK topsail schooner, Kathleen & May, built at Connah's Quay, Flintshire, in 1900, which starred as Charlotte Rhodes in BBC TV's Onedin Line.
WHAT a shame one of Britain's most historic sailing ships, the topsail schooner Kathleen & May, will be sold may leave her Liverpool Canning Dock home by the Maritime Museum.
But Don Baird and his cousin Pamela Martin experienced such an emotional reunion on visiting Britain's last wooden topsail schooner in Liverpool.
TERRIFIC to see the UK's last operational topsail schooner, the Kathleen & May, back in Canning Dock, after drydocking and repainting generously undertaken by Cammell Laird.
TERRIFIC to see the UK's last operational topsail schooner the Kathleen & May back in Canning Dock after drydocking and repainting generously undertaken by Cammell Laird.
"A topsail schooner features on the left and on the right is a paddle tug on the look-out for custom.
Described as one of the prettiest 'small Tall Ships' operating in the Caribbean, she was built in 1911 in Germany as a topsail schooner freighter, and was relaunched in the UK in 1974 after extensive rebuilding.
The Kathleen & May was built on Deeside in 1900 and is the last UK wooden topsail schooner. The Pelican competed in last year's Tall Ships race and runs a programme for youngsters to experience life at sea.