Square rig

The square sail is a generally rectangular or trapezoidal sail, which is performed on a frame called roundwood. It serves the propulsion on ships sailing through wind resistance or wind flow (see also sailing).

At the bottom of Rahsegels the pods are fixed and the lower canopy (ie, the lowest square sail on the mast, just above the deck) and the necks, with which the windward Seitenliek is enforced.


The advantage of the Rahsegels is that it can be moved in almost any desired number on a ship because it can be repeatedly attached to each other on a mast, and in many poles in series. The reached maximum with a total of 30 square sails in six storeys is built so far, only one copy five- masted full-rigged ship Prussia ( 1902-1910 ), the famous Windjammer Reederei F. Laeisz, also known as a model of the luxury cruise ship Royal Clipper (since 2000 ) served with five masts and square sails 26. The area of ​​each sail is therefore limited and therefore manageable.

The main disadvantage of the square sails is that there are not so close to the wind ( depending on the design of the square-rigger 60 ° -80 ° ) can be sailed as with Schratsegeln (35 ° -50 °). With modern rigs, as for example Polish Riggdesigner Zygmunt choirs designed for the Russian training ship Mir, but as a yacht with only 45 ° can be sailed close to the wind, even the fast freighter as the Prussians or the Duchess Cecilie managed less than 60 °.

Designating different Rahsegel

Square sails are called after the mast and their position in it. It bears the lowermost sail ( lower sail ) on each mast the name of the mast ( foresail, mainsail, sail Cross ( Bagien ) ). The names of the other sails are, respectively, from top to bottom:

  • Moon sails (English moon sail or moonraker; exceedingly rare)
  • Skysegel ( " sky sails"; skysail engl. )
  • Royal sail ( sail german royal or royal)
  • Topgallants (English topgallant sail )
  • Topsail (English topsail )
  • Under sail (English course sail )

The Mars - and sometimes the topsails were lower and upper - divided into to facilitate handling. The European Windjammer of the late 19th and early 20th century went mainly divided Mars and topgallant plus royals ( Standardrigg ), rarely Skysegel as the five -masted auxiliary barque Maria Rickmers on the first three masts ( only five master with Skysegeln ) and the four-masted full-rigged ship Peter Rickmers on all four masts, the only one ever built vessel of this type with seven yards on all four masts. It was also the only one ever built for a German shipping company four-masted full-rigged ship.

In many Rahseglern the upper Mars and the Oberbramrah and the overlying yards are slidably mounted on the mast and lowered when not in use. The Obermarsrah and Oberbrahmrah come of it very close up to the respectively associated Unterrah. This moves the center of gravity of the ship salvaged at the top sailing much closer toward the hull, thus improving the behavior during a storm ( see picture). Pulled up ( brought ) the yards are lowered when setting the sail ( eased ) the mountains.

Thus, there were up to eight square sail above each other with split Mars and Bram; However, vessels with this rig ( rigging ) were extremely rare. Some clippers drove moon sails that played drivenly not matter, but it had mostly simple topsails, so that even seven sails were more common on the mast only during the Klipperära. Some clippers could extend some yards by sliding outward Leesegelspieren and strike there studding sails in order to better exploit weak winds. U.S. Rahschiffe preferred six yards on the mast with simple Bram and split topsails, to Royals and Skysegel ( "three- Skysegel - Rahschiffe ," engl. "Three- skysail yarder ").