Now that the puppies have had a few days to get settled into being "on the outside", we are ready to announce this litter's theme and names! We went with a nautical theme again, this time with ships and sail plans rather than winds. Not all these ships are still in use in the modern day, but you will probably recognize a few of them.
Gunter (M) - Orange Collar
The Gunter rig involves a component called a gaff, which is similar to a boom in that it controls the main sail, but unlike a boom, a gaff does so from the top of the sail rather than the bottom. A ship with its main sail raised with the aid of a gaff is called a Gunter rig. This rigging style means you can raise the top of the sail even higher than the mast. While less significant for boats made of modern materials, this was critical when you had to find a tree tall enough to serve as a mast. Even in the modern day, the shorter mast means that with a quick drop of your mainsail, Gunter ships can pass beneath lower bridges than other ships with the same sail height.
Sloop (M) - Black Collar
The sloop is probably what you think of when you picture a sailboat. With a single mast, a loose-footed jib for the foresail, and broad mainsail supported by a boom, these boats are just about as simple as it gets when it comes to managing sails. This sail plan has occurred throughout history, but was usually limited to smaller boats. This is because the sails on a sloop are very large, which creates two challenges. The larger the sail, the larger the fabric pieces used to make it. This can be overcome by connecting many long sheets of fabric, but each seam is an opportunity for a tear. That leads us to the second challenge; the fabric must be strong enough to withstand the force of the wind. Modern materials can help address these challenges, but for the most part it is most efficient to simply stick to smaller, recreational ship designs.
Ketch (M) - White Collar
Unlike some of the other names we have used for this litter, the Ketch is actually defined by its masts rather than by its sail plan. A Ketch has two masts, and is unique from other dual masted ships in that its foremost mast is taller than its mizzen mast. In its early years, the ketch was often used as a fishing or freight vessel, but also saw use as warships until it was relegated to carrying mortars by Brigs. Modern Ketch ships, like most modern sailing vessels, are typically yachts or pleasure craft.
Polacca (M) - Dark Blue Collar
The Polacce was a transitional ship design that eventually became the Xebec. These three-masted ships uniquely featured a tilted forward mast and lanteen foresail. Maneuverable under oar and able to gain speed in low winds, these ships were opular in the Italian Navy durign the 18th century. This speed and maneuverability were carried onward to the Xebec design, and made it very popular among pirates.
Brigantine (M) - Forest Green Collar
Originally used to mean any vessel driven by both sails and oars, by the 17th century a Bringantine ship came to be defined as a two-masted ship rigged with square sails on its forward mast and a gaff sail aft off its main mast. Second in popularity only to the Sloop rig, Barquentine ships were a staple of the British colonies circa 1775. It was faster and more maneuverable than its contemporaries, and was popular for both piracy and espionage, as well as an agile go-between ship for larger fleets. There is one true Brigantine ship still on the water, called the Eye of the Wind.
Proa (M) - Red Collar
A Proa is a type of dual-hulled boat that originates in the Pacific Islands. It is sailed with the main hull, the vaka, on the leeward side of the sail, and the thinner hull, the ama, on the windward side. This incredibly fast boat is best sailed with an agile crew, as they serve as the ballast when the wind picks up. Disney's film Moana features boat designs which I suspect were inspired by this iconic, dynamic boat type.
Barque (F) - Yellow Collar
The Barque sail plan is probably what you think of when you envision an old-timey sailboat. Defined as a ship with three or more masts rigged with square sails on all but the mizzen mast, which is rigged fore-and-aft, these ships were the star workhorse circa 1850, the Golden Age of Sail. Its combination of square sails, ideal for sailing with the wind, and fore-and-aft rigged sails, ideal for sailing against the wind, the Barque was often faster and more flexible than contemporary Schooner or Barquentine-rigged ships. Nowadays, the Barque design is often used for sailing schools, as its rigging is easier to handle with by a crew with a large expert/novice ratio.
Bilander (F) - Light Blue Collar
The Bilander was a popular design in the Meditterranean and North seas in the 1800s. Sporting two masts, it combined square rigged supplemental sails with a lanteen main sail, a design commonly seen on arabian boats (including the Felucca!). The design proved to be less efficient, and was eventually developed into the Smack and Brig sail plans, but was an important transitional design during its heyday.
Cutter (F) - Grey Collar
The cutter is a traditional European ship that sets itself apart from its contemporaries in that it is designed for speed rather than its ability to haul cargo. Unlike most other ships, which were built for trade and transporting cargo, Cutter ships were, and still are, quick and maneuverable boats. Because of its relatively smaller sails, these single-masted ships could be managed with a much smaller crew, making them very popular for scouting, and customs and coast guard duties.
Felucca (F) - Raspberry Collar
The Felucca originates in the Red Sea and Mediterranean. It uses lanteen sails, which are large triangles of canvas, hung from a suspended boom. Typically made of wood, even in the modern day, these sailboats are great for gentle breezes and quiet water, perfect for novices and people who just want to relax.