What is a Tall Ship?
A tall ship is not a strictly defined type of sailing vessel. Most of us use the term to mean a large traditionally rigged sailing vessel, whether or not it is technically a “ship”. The United States Coast Guard’s training ship Eagle, for example, is technically a “barque”. A tall ship can also be a schooner, brigantine, barquentine, brig, ketch, sloop, or a full-rigged ship depending on the number of masts and the cut of the sails.
For the purposes of classification and race rating, Tall Ships America adheres to the descriptions found in the Racing and Sailing Rules and Special Regulations established by Sail Training International.
All square-rigged vessels and all other vessels over 40m (131 feet) length overall (LOA)
Traditional-rigged vessels with a LOA of less than 40m (131 feet) and with a waterline length (LWL) of at least 9.14m (30 feet).
Modern-rigged vessels with a LOA of less than 40m (131 feet) and with a LWL of at least 9.14m (30 feet), not carrying spinnaker-like sails.
Modern-rigged vessels with a LOA of less than 40m (131 feet) and with a LWL of at least 9.14m (30 feet), carrying spinnaker-like sails.