A Square Rig has four cornered sails
suspended from the horizontal yards.
The sail is not necessarily square in shape however, the yards
are by definition hung from the middle and at right angles to the
The yards can be ‘braced’ laterally around the mast.
However, most traditional square riggers can only sail six or
seven points from the wind, at best.
and stays would generally prevent the yard being braced up closer than
3 points from the fore and aft line and the wind would have to be at
least a further 3 points aft in order to fill the sail.
once the vessel began to move the apparent wind would begin to move
forward requiring the vessel to bear off by another point or
in use for hundreds of years by western seafarers these sailing rigs
would have to wait for favourable winds before setting off.
vessels with un-stayed masts could get closer to the wind by
effectively turning their ‘square’ sail into a fore and aft Lug Sail.
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