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Sailing Equipment and History

   

Equipment

   

History

 

 
Ballast

Extra weight carried for stability, usually lodged in the keel.

Boom

A horizontal pole or spar to which the bottom of a sail is attached.

 
Catamaran

A boat with parallel twin hulls.

Centreboard

A movable, fin-shaped protrusion under the hull that prevents a boat from sliding sideways and is used to right capsized dinghies.

 
Dinghy

A small sailing boat or rowing boat.

 
Elliott 6m

A three person keelboat used for women's match racing at the Olympic Games and making its debut in 2012.

Finn

A one person centreboard dinghy class used for open competition in the Olympic Games. It was first used at the Olympic Games in 1952 and has been part of every Olympic Games since.

 
Forestay

The rigging that secures the mast forward.

49er

A two person, high-performance dinghy class with a low hull and wings, used for open competition in the Olympic Games.

470

A two person dinghy class used for men's and women's competition in the Olympic Games. It was the equipment for the first women’s sailing event in the 1988 Olympic Games.

Genoa

The larger triangular forward sail in a sloop-rigged boat.

 
Headsail

The sail in front of the mast.

Hull

The main body of a vessel.

Jib

The smaller triangular forward sail in a sloop-rigged boat.

 
Keel

A fixed, fin-shaped protrusion on the bottom of the hull that prevents a boat from sliding sideways.

Keelboat

A sailing boat with a fixed keel.

Kite

Colloquial for "spinnaker", a large, billowing, often colourful sail used to obtain greater boat speed during downwind sailing, usually set in front of or instead of the jib and carried by the 470, 49er and Elliott 6m Olympic classes.

Laser

A one person centreboard dinghy class, the most popular one-design class in the world, used for men-only competition in the Olympic Games.

 
Laser radial

A one person centreboard dinghy class, with a slightly smaller rig and sails than the “Laser”, used for women-only competition in the Olympic Games. The Laser Radial made its Olympic debut in 2008.

Mainsail

The larger sail behind the mast.

Mainsheet

The rope which controls the movement of a mainsail.

 
Mast

A vertical spar or pole to which a sail or sails attach.

 
Rig

Term used to collectively refer to the mast, sails and supporting wires.

 
RS:X

A windsurfer class used for men's and women's competition in the Olympic Games. The RS:X made its Olympic debut in 2008.

 
Rudder

A vertical board hinged to the back of a boat that turns the craft.

 
Sailboard

A lightweight, surfboard-like craft with a mast, boom and sail, on which the rider stands; also known as a "windsurfer".

 
Sheet

A rope used to control and tension the sail.

 
Skiff

A lightweight, high performance dinghy used for men's competition in the Olympic Games

 
Skud18

A two person keelboat used for open competition at the Paralympic Games.

 
Sloop rig

A sail plan composed of two sails - a mainsail and a jib, or genoa.

 
Sonar

A three-person keelboat used for open competition in the Paralympic Games.

Spar

A general term referring to a boat's mast, boom and spinnaker pole, usually of an aluminium or carbon-fibre composition.

 
Spinnaker

A large, billowing, often colourful sail used to obtain greater boat speed during downwind sailing, usually set in front of or instead of the jib and carried by the 470, 49er and Elliott 6m Olympic classes; also known as a "kite".

Star

A two-person keelboat used for men's competition in the Olympic Games. The oldest Olympic Class, having made its debut at the 1932 Games.

Stay

A strong rope, commonly made of wire, used to support a mast.

Tiller

A handle attached to the rudder and used by the skipper to control steering.

Tornado

A two-person catamaran class was used in open competition in the Olympic Games from 1976 to 2008.

Trapeze

Gear fitted to enable crew to put all of their weight outboard. The crew wears a harness which attaches to a wire attached to the mast.Used by the 470 and 49er Olympic classes.

 
2.4MR

A one person, displacement keelboat class used for open competition in the Paralympic Games.

 
Windsurfer

A lightweight, surfboard-like craft with a mast, boom and sail, on which the rider stands; also known as a "sailboard".

 
Yngling

A three person keelboat used for women-only competition at the Olympic Games in 2004 and 2008.