/skooh"neuhr/, n.1. Naut. any of various types of sailing vessel having a foremast and mainmast, with or without other masts, and having fore-and-aft sails on all lower masts. Cf. ketch, topsail schooner, yawl (def. 2).2. a very tall glass, as for beer.3. See prairie schooner.
* * *Sailing ship rigged with fore-and-aft sails on its two or more masts.Though apparently developed from a 17th-century Dutch design, the first genuine schooner was built in the American colonies, probably at Gloucester, Mass., in 1713, by Andrew Robinson. Compared to square-rigged ships, they were ideal for coastal sailing; they handled better in the varying coastal winds, had shallower drafts for shallow waters, and required a smaller crew in proportion to their size. By the end of the century, they were the most important North American ship, used for the coastal trade and for fishing. After 1800 they became popular in Europe and around the world. Clipper ships married the schooner design to that of the old three-masted merchantman.
* * *▪ shipa sailing ship rigged with fore-and-aft sails on its two or more masts. To the foremast there may also be rigged one or more square topsails or, more commonly, one or more jib sails or Bermuda sails (triangular sails extending forward to the bowsprit or jibboom). Though probably developing out of a Dutch design of the 17th century, the first genuine schooner was developed in the British North American colonies, probably at Gloucester, Massachusetts, in 1713, by a shipbuilder named Andrew Robinson.Although ships with square-rigged sails are excellent for long voyages before trade winds, they are poor for coastal sailing, where all varieties of winds must be dealt with. Fore-and-afters, or schooners, handle better in coastal winds, have shallower drafts for shallow waters, and require a smaller crew in proportion to their size. By the end of the 18th century the schooner had become the most important North American ship, used for the coastal trade and for fishing, as on the Grand Banks, off Newfoundland; and soon after 1800 the schooner caught the attention of European shipwrights, who built versions of their own. The fore-and-after became popular all over the world. In the United States, where speed became a premium in the China trade and the California gold trade in the mid-19th century, the schooner design was married to that of the old full-rigged, three-masted merchantman, resulting in the famous clipper ships (clipper ship).
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