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pinnace


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1 A small vessel, usually square sterned, of about 20–30 tons which dates from the 16th century. It had two masts, normally square rigged on both, but occasionally with a lugsail on the main. Later, the square rig was abandoned for a schooner rig. They carried oars as well as sails and were used frequently as advice boats. The first vessel to be built in America, the 30-ton Virginia, was described as a pinnace, though she had a sprit rig on her single mast. About 50 metres (160 ft) long, she was built by English settlers on the mouth of the Kennebec River, Maine, in 1607–8 so that they could return to Britain. A replica ship is planned for 2007 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of English settlement in America.

2 A ship's boat which, in the days of sailing ships, was rowed with eight oars but later was increased in length to accommodate sixteen oars. The larger variety were able to step a mast when required and set a sloop rig.

Subjects: Maritime History.


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