A fishing vessel, mainly used in the herring fisheries, broad in the beam with two, and sometimes three, masts with a single square sail on each and usually of from 50 to 70 tons, though it could be larger. The term, though known throughout Europe, was mainly used to signify Dutch and English fishing vessels in the North Sea, and by the 15th century the Dutch had a fleet of 300. By some the origin of the term is thought to be the old French busse, a cask. The development of the ketch with its handier rig gradually superseded the older fishing busses.
Subjects: Maritime History.