Tall Ships Brockville

Information about the Brockville Tall Ships Festival that happens every 3 years, and the Big River Festival which is on every summer

What is a Tall Ship?

There is no doubt, staring up the mast of a “tall ship” can bring thoughts of pirates, long sea voyages, and amazement of their powerful beauty. You may also find yourself wondering what the term “tall ship” means.

While many tall ships are historical vessels, some are replicas. Each ship carries its own treasure in the form of stories. Stories of adventure and intrigue, stormy seas and calm waters. When these beauties are here, you will have the opportunity to wander around on the ship. You can listen as the crew share their stories, and learn about sailing and rigs while you ask all the questions that your imagination can create!

What is a tall ship?

The term “tall ship” is often used as general description of sailing vessels. It is a ship that simply has at least one tall mast. This mast is what holds up the sails that in turn use the wind power to move and direct the ship.

While the term “tall ship” is a general term, the number of rigs (or masts) determine the specific type ship that it is. In the descriptions below, you will see the terms “square rigged” and “fore-and-aft rigged”. In a nutshell, a square rig has a large wooden or steel beam that runs perpendicular to the mast, while the sails on a fore-and-aft rig run along the length of the ship.

  • Full-rigged ships: three or more masts, all are square rigged
  • Barquentines: three or more masts, the foremast is square-rigged and the others are fore-and-aft rigged
  • Brigs: two masts, both are square-rigged
  • Brigantines: two masts, the foremast is square rigged and the other is fore-and-aft rigged
  • Schooners: two or more masts, and are both square and fore-and-aft rigged