Square-Rigged Vessels With Two Masts

By H. H. Brindley and Alan Moore, published July 1921


In the early18c, highly developed square-rigged two-masters needed little more than the trysail to make them typical snows. Such two-masters developed either from an earlier two or three-masted ship or the herring buss. Using a diagram, the possible lineage leading to the modern brig and brigantine is demonstrated.  Using numerous period illustrations of two-masted ships Brindley and Moore describe the lines of descent of brigantines and brigs and, although two-masters were known prior to 1600, they elect to concentrate on the years after 1700. During the intervening period the majority of ships carried three masts but by the start of the eighteenth century most would be two-masted. The natural progression from the single-masted medieval ship was not via the two-master to the three-master but the other way around. This maintained the centrally mounted main mast, with the second and third fore and aft of it.

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Filed under: Other (Early Modern) | Other (Nineteenth C) | Other (Eighteenth C)
Subjects include: Art & Music | Merchant Marines | Navies | Shipbuilding & Design

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