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What exactly is a "sloop"


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#1 Chasbo

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 12:09 PM

While researching my family history I have found that in the early 1800s my ancestor owned three boats that traded coal between Newport and Bristol.
One is described as

“the Sloop NEPTUNE, 51 tons register, carries 90 tons.”

I know this is not exactly a canal related question, but could anyone tell me exactly what a “sloop” is, and are there any still in existence, similar to Neptune, that I could look at?

As I understand it, the coal was brought down from the Tredegar area by boat along the Crumlin canal and later by tramway. Were the boats loaded and unloaded by hand? Shovelling 90 tons of coal does not sound like fun!

CB
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#2 bizzard

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 12:17 PM

While researching my family history I have found that in the early 1800s my ancestor owned three boats that traded coal between Newport and Bristol.
One is described as

“the Sloop NEPTUNE, 51 tons register, carries 90 tons.”

I know this is not exactly a canal related question, but could anyone tell me exactly what a “sloop” is, and are there any still in existence, similar to Neptune, that I could look at?

As I understand it, the coal was brought down from the Tredegar area by boat along the Crumlin canal and later by tramway. Were the boats loaded and unloaded by hand? Shovelling 90 tons of coal does not sound like fun!

CB

A sloop is a single masted sailing vessel with mainsail and single foresail ''jib'' and no bowsprit.The Bowsprit is the pole you sometimes see sticking out from the bow with the foot of the foresail clewed off to its end.
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#3 David Schweizer

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 12:22 PM

While researching my family history I have found that in the early 1800s my ancestor owned three boats that traded coal between Newport and Bristol.
One is described as

“the Sloop NEPTUNE, 51 tons register, carries 90 tons.”

I know this is not exactly a canal related question, but could anyone tell me exactly what a “sloop” is, and are there any still in existence, similar to Neptune, that I could look at?

As I understand it, the coal was brought down from the Tredegar area by boat along the Crumlin canal and later by tramway. Were the boats loaded and unloaded by hand? Shovelling 90 tons of coal does not sound like fun!

CB

AFAIK a Sloop is basicly a sailing ship or boat that has a triangular sail at both ends but with the front sail being smaller than the height of the masts. A Sloop can have one or more masts between the two traingular sails, but ocean going ones usually had three.

Edited by David Schweizer, 10 December 2011 - 12:23 PM.

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#4 bizzard

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 12:34 PM

AFAIK a Sloop is basicly a sailing ship or boat that has a triangular sail at both ends but with the front sail being smaller than the height of the masts. A Sloop can have one or more masts between the two traingular sails, but ocean going ones usually had three.

Sorry. A sloop is single mast vessel only and on some fast racing sloops the jib or foresail is taken to the masthead to match the mainsail they then become a masthead sloops.
When two masts are used the vessel becomes a a Schooner,ketch or yawl.
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#5 Pluto

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 12:37 PM

While researching my family history I have found that in the early 1800s my ancestor owned three boats that traded coal between Newport and Bristol.
One is described as

“the Sloop NEPTUNE, 51 tons register, carries 90 tons.”

I know this is not exactly a canal related question, but could anyone tell me exactly what a “sloop” is, and are there any still in existence, similar to Neptune, that I could look at?

As I understand it, the coal was brought down from the Tredegar area by boat along the Crumlin canal and later by tramway. Were the boats loaded and unloaded by hand? Shovelling 90 tons of coal does not sound like fun!

CB

The Amy Howson, worked by the Humber Keel & Sloop Society, is a good example of an east coast sloop. The hull is more bluff than those found on the west coast, but the sail plan would be very similar. Carrying capacity is much the same as the Neptune, perhaps slightly greater.
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#6 Timleech

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 12:42 PM

Sorry. A sloop is single mast vessel only and on some fast racing sloops the jib or foresail is taken to the masthead to match the mainsail they then become a masthead sloops.
When two masts are used the vessel becomes a a Schooner,ketch or yawl.


Not always true historically.

Tim
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#7 bizzard

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 12:44 PM

A single masted vessel with a bowsprit allowing extra room for two ''headsails or forsails jibs''making that vessel a ''Cutter''.
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#8 jonk

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 12:56 PM

'A brig sloop had two masts and a ship sloop had three, ... A sloop-of-war was quite different from a civilian sloop, which was a general term for a single masted vessel.'

So it looks like the navy had sloops of various sorts, with one or more masts, whereas civilians had sloops with only one mast? Is this correct?

John
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#9 Matthew Dowson

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 01:05 PM

Hornblower commanded 2 Sloops of war, Atropos and Hotspur, both had two masts.
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#10 bizzard

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 01:11 PM

'A brig sloop had two masts and a ship sloop had three, ... A sloop-of-war was quite different from a civilian sloop, which was a general term for a single masted vessel.'

So it looks like the navy had sloops of various sorts, with one or more masts, whereas civilians had sloops with only one mast? Is this correct?

John

Not sure about the Royal navy but a Brig was a two mast square rigger,with fore and aft staysails,jibs and spanker.Also the Brigantine,a two master,foremast square rigged and the mainmast fore and aft rigged.
There is an incredible amount of different configurations of masts and sail rigs the full description of which would fill many books Also there can be many different names relating to the same thing ie Mast ''stays''or shrouds or standing rigging. Head sail,fore sail,jib.
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#11 bizzard

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 01:35 PM

Not always true historically.

Tim

Yes i think this is the Royal navy thing bringing into it length of vessel too. Like the Brig and Brigantine, if they had a different sail plan on each mast they may have called them a Sloop. I've not read Capt Hornblower.
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#12 Chris Pink

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 02:05 PM

AFAIK a Sloop is basicly a sailing ship or boat that has a triangular sail at both ends but with the front sail being smaller than the height of the masts. A Sloop can have one or more masts between the two traingular sails, but ocean going ones usually had three.


Historically a lot of sloops were gaff rigged, the term for what you are describing is a bermudan rig, different from the mast plan.

A famous sloop is the tjalk, traditionally gaffers.

Edited by Chris Pink, 10 December 2011 - 02:08 PM.

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#13 ChrisPy

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 02:11 PM

the word seems to derive from chaloupe, or shaloup, meaning a small boat.
a bermudan sloop is a single masted sailing vessel with a fore and aft rig and no gaff.
confusingly the Royal navy had a class of vessel called a bermuda sloop which had 3 masts.
there are other types of sloop which may be gaff-rigged.
and as noted, a sloop-of-war can be any of a variety of small warships.
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#14 Roger Gunkel

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 02:25 PM

There are two distinct catagories to the word sloop, one of which is a naval designation and the other a modern civilian term.

As Bizz has already said, a modern civilian sloop is always a single masted sailing vessel with one triangular headsail. A sloop type of yacht with two trangular headsails would be a cutter. A Triangular mainsail designates the boat as Bermudan Rigged and a square cut or 4 sided mainsail with an upper boom or gaff, would be a Gaff rig, or if the upper boom was vertical a Gunter rig.

Yachts with two masts would be a Ketch if the mainmast was highest and the mizzen or stern mast is forward of the rudder post, or a Yawl if the nizzen mast is aft of the rudder post. If both masts are the same height or the aft mast is taller, then we start getting into the Schooner rig, of which there are many variations.

Naval schooners on the other hand are a completely different type of vessel, with even non sailed boats having the clasification of sloop if they are between a Frigate and Corvette in size. Older naval sailing vessels were also classified frequently as Sloops or Sloops of War and could have the triangular Bermudan rig on one or several masts. They weren't neccessarily all Bermuda rigged, but as that rig could enable the ship to sail closer to the wind than a Square rigger, they were faster and often used for communication vessels.

Other Navies also had various classifications for sloop, sometimes being applied to a vessel wich was fairly lightly gunned.

I think that's all about right, but please correct if I am wrong anywhere :)

Roger

(Edited for numerous typos)

Edited by Roger Gunkel, 10 December 2011 - 02:27 PM.

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#15 nipper

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 02:30 PM

I've not read Capt Hornblower.


Shame on you sir!
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#16 bizzard

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 02:33 PM

The Bermudan,Burmudian or Bermuda sail rig is a fairly recent rig. Before that most vessels were Square, gaff or Gunter in small boats,lug,balanced lug,Spritsail,Latteen an Eastern rig,junk rig the list goes on. On large sailing ships especially square riggers extra sails could be hanked on virtually anywhere amongst its standard sail plan to take advantage of certain different wind condition,speed and direction. Water sails boomed out just above the water line to try and catch any surface breeze in a calm,sky sails hauled up the masts,and all manner of fore and aft sails added on between the masts some of these set ups technically could alter the type name of the ship too.
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#17 David Schweizer

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 02:42 PM

I wonder if the OP would have got all this information if I had been judged to have given a correct answer.
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#18 Roger Gunkel

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 02:55 PM

I wonder if the OP would have got all this information if I had been judged to have given a correct answer.


Ah David, when it comes to boat rigs, the discussion could go on for days and the OP is probably already bored!

Bizz has added a lot more rigs, but we still haven't covered Yankees, Genoas, Genikkers, Parasails, Spinnakers, Flying Jibs, Inner staysail rigs, Flying topsails etc. etc. :P

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#19 Chris Pink

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 03:04 PM

I wonder if the OP would have got all this information if I had been judged to have given a correct answer.


Well no one has answered the intent of his question, but especially you as you are the only one in this thread who was actually 'wrong' (sorry)

Neptune would have been a single masted vessel almost certainly gaff rigged as a gaff rig traditionally needs only ' a master, a dog and and a boy' to run. Almost other other rig requires more crew to run and so is less economic.

Edited by Chris Pink, 10 December 2011 - 03:05 PM.

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#20 Chasbo

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 03:05 PM

Thanks for all your detailed replies.

The hull is more bluff than those found on the west coast, but the sail plan would be very similar.


I am not sure what you mean by “bluff”?
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