Parts of a sailboat rig/rigging

Lesson 1.2 - How to sail

Parts of a Sailboat Rig

Next lesson -> Parts of a sailboat Sails Index: How to sail

Lesson 1.2 - How to sail

Parts of a Sailboat Rigging

Next lesson -> Parts of and types of sails Index: How to sail

  • Mast - An upright spar, that is typically the center of the rig and the tallest spar where the mainsail is set from and the boom is attached.
  • MainSail - The sail aft of the mast attached to the boom. 
  • Batten- Usually made from fiberglass or plastic a batten is a flexible strip that is placed in a pocket in the sail to give it shape or to help the sail hold it's shape. These are most commonly seen in the mainsail.
  • Telltales - Strips of material that are attached to the sails or rig to help with sail trim or determining wind direction. Old cassette tape (magnetic tape) works well for this.
  • BackStay - Typically made from braided wire attached from the transom to the top of the mast. Prevents the mast from bending forward. There are different types of backstays. Permanent or a running backstay. Backstays or not found on all vessels, some rigs have backward swept shrouds or a freestanding mast which prevent the mast from bending forwards thus eliminating the need for a backstay.
  • Forestay - Typically made from braided wire attached from the bow of the boat to the top or near the top of the mast. The forestay prevents the mast from bending backwards and is used to attach fore sails like jibs and genoas.
  • Spreader - Horizontal spar that holds the shrouds away from the mast. This allows support along the mast to keep it from bending.
  • Shrouds - Like the fore and backstay these keep the mast from bending. Shrouds proved lateral support to the mast.
  • Boom- A horizontal spar that serves to hold the mainsail and give it better shape.

Next lesson -> Parts and types of sails Index: How to sail