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Barquentine: Wikis


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Belgian Barquentine Mercator. Port of Spain, Trinidad, c. 1960

A barquentine (also spelled barkentine) is a sailing vessel with three or more masts; with a square rigged foremast and fore-and-aft rigged main, mizzen and any other masts. See also sail-plan. Barquentines emerged as very popular rigs at the end of the 19th Century as they could carry almost as much cargo as barques or full rigged ships but needed much smaller crews. An example of a barquentine is the Gazela Primeiro, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Related rigs are brigantine (2 masts), barque (square-rigged on all but the mizzen mast), and the Olympia. The Olympia is the sole instance of a vessel with 2 fore-and-aft rigged masts and 2 square-rigged masts. Earlier and very controversial examples of this class of vessel were the Transits of 1800 and her successors. Their inventor, Richard Hall Gower, claimed that they could be worked entirely from the deck.

Painting of the Mercator

Today barquentines are popular with modern tall ship and sail training operators as their suit of mainly fore and aft sails can be operated with ease and efficiency but the single mast of square sails offers long distance speed and dramatic appearance in port.





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