This article is an excerpt from NauticEd’s online Skipper Course, a comprehensive online sailing course for beginner to intermediate sailors to learn how to sail large sailboats 26 ft (8m) and above. Or upgrade to the Skipper Course Bundle to also master maneuvering under power and docking!
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At boat shows, we see folks huddled down in the vessel’s salon oohing and aahing at the leather cushions to sit on, and at the electronic gadgets for navigation and entertainment. But the real sailing excitement takes place when the wind streaks across sails and transmits its energy through the vessel’s powerful rigging and onto the hull.
Rigging is commonly divided into two categories
- Standing Rigging
- Running Rigging
Standing and Running Rigging
Standing rigging is just that; it does not move and is a generic name for masts, spreaders, and stays, many of which are now made from exotic materials. It was only a few years ago that trees provided the primary source for these stationary objects.
Running rigging is rigging that moves, including “ropes” with crazy names. The halyards, sheets, cunninghams, reefing lines, blocks, fairleads, winches, and miscellaneous hardware all make up the running rigging. These items work in conjunction with the standing rigging. Some are flexible and can be adjusted to meet a variety of conditions.
The image below shows most of the nomenclature of the rigging on a modern sailboat. This will surely overwhelm you.
Sailboat Names of Thingies
We repeat the interactive image below so that you can match a few things up and start to memorize them. No worries if you can’t always remember. Sometimes, “thingy” will have to suffice.
You can learn more in the Skipper Course....
Knowledge and theory for longer distances and overnight sailing in diverse conditions. The Skipper Course is a comprehensive sailing course for beginner to intermediate sailors wanting to learn how to sail larger sailboats 26ft to 56ft. Or upgrade to the Skipper Course Bundle to also master maneuvering under power and docking!