What are the Names for the Different Parts of a Sailing Ship

Interested in sailing the high seas and becoming a sailor for the rest of your life? Then you need to know about ships first, being knowledgeable about ships will surely come in handy if you want to be in the seas for months on end. It can be considered essential knowledge for every sailor and every seafarer there is. For those who are not, and those who are planning to turn to the sea for their living in the future, it would also be helpful if they know a little about ships. It would definitely prove more than useful for some in the long run.

Of particular interest to many are sailing ships. Actually, whenever we hear the word ship or think of any seagoing vessel, it is the image of a sailing ship that we have in our minds. Defined properly, a sailing ship is said to be any large, wind powered vessel. More accurately, it is a sailing vessel that has a specific rig of at least three masts, and square rigged on all of them. By contrast, large sailing vessels that are not ship rigged should not be called ships, but boats. The distinction should be clear enough, but those who are not well versed with the proper terms will understandably be confused about the difference of the two terms. Many have thought it to be interchangeable, when it shouldn’t be so.

What Makes Up a Sailing Ship

So what makes up a sailing ship? Those who are interested in a life on the seas better brush up on the many names for the different parts of a sailing ship if they are really serious about it. There’s no better way to start than by becoming aware of every part, every corner of a sailing ship that you might be a riding one day. So here’s the list:

• Main Mast – The principal mast of a sailing ship
• Foremast – The mast that is closest to the bow of a ship
• Hull – Watertight body of the ship
• Jibboom – Spar that forms an extension of the bowsprit
• Bowsprit – The spar that extends at bows of the ship
• Forecastle – The short raised deck at the ship’s fore
• Figurehead – The usually female bust or ornament that’s attached to the bow
• Keel – The ship’s principal structural member
• Rudder – the device that’s used for steering the ship
• Quarterdeck – Area of the ship’s deck that the captain sets aside for special ceremonies
• Mizzen – Aft sail of the ship
• Gunwale – The upper edge of the ship’s side
• Gunnage – Is the number of guns carried on a warship
• Escutcheon – The part of the ship’s stern where the name is placed
• Royal – The small sail on the royal mast that is right above the top sail
• Spanker – The sail on the mast that is located nearest the stern
• Yardarm – Either end of a yard on a square rigged ship