Barque (ship type)

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The barque is a type of sailing ship with at least three masts, which carries square sails on the front masts , but only sling sails on the last mast . The barque was widely used as an ocean freight ship in the second half of the 19th century.

Compared to the full ships rigged with square sails on all masts, the barque has a significantly more favorable ratio between sail area and thus speed on the one hand and the size of the ship's crew necessary for safe operation on the other.


The term "barque" designates a three-master . A barque with a larger number of masts is called a four-masted barque or five-masted barque, depending on the number of masts . A two-masted variant, on the other hand, is called a schooner brig or brigantine . The barque should not be confused with the barque , especially since the plural of both words is identical.


In the three-masted barque, the masts from bow to stern are called : foremast , mainmast and finally mizzenmast . The four-masted barque has the cross mast in third position . There are different systems for the five-masted barque:

In the Potosi , a freight sailing ship of the F. Laeisz shipping company , the name Laeisz mast is also supposedly used for the fourth mast. There are no barges with more than five masts, but there are schooner barges .

Five-masted barque Potosi under full sail (before 1920)
Gorch Fock , around 1933–1940

Development of the four-masted barque

There were around 440 four-masted sailors in the world merchant fleet , of which around 130 were registered as full ships with Lloyds . A large part of it was run as a four-masted barque from the start, as Lloyds did not generally differentiate between the two four-masted sails until 1887. 40 to 50 four-masters drove until their end as four-masted full ships, the remaining 390 to 400 were four-masted barques, be it from the beginning or as converted full ships. Eight of them were made of wood and drove initially exclusively under American or British North American or Canadian flag .

The first ship with the rig of a four-masted barque was launched on 28 July 1824 at the shipyard of Charles Wood in Anse-du-Fort (Île d'Orléans) in the Canadian province of Quebec from the stack . The 3,690 gross registered tons (GRT) ship, baptized with the name Columbus , was a roughly timbered (log ship = "wooden ship" or "log ship"), not caulked wooden ship, which dismantled on arrival and like the cargo (6,300 tons) as Lumber should be sold. Contrary to original plans, it was ordered back to Canada and was lost.

In the meantime, the Baron of Renfrew was built another, significantly larger model (5,250 GRT) and sent to Europe in 1825. It ran aground in the English Channel and broke. The next example of a four-masted barque was the Great Republic , a clipper barque of 4,555 GRT, which had not been achieved before.

In addition to a small wooden four-masted barque from France , the only wooden ship of this type from Europe, some steamers were converted into four-masted barques up until the 1860s. It was not until 1874 that a new four-masted barque was rebuilt, the Ocean King . In the following years iron four-masted full ships were built , then in 1877 the first iron four-masted barque Tweedsdale . It was the smallest unit ever built with this rig (1,460 GRT). The first iron and steel ships initially came from British, mostly Scottish, shipyards without exception . The record holder is Russell & Co. in Port Glasgow and Greenock ( Scotland ).

In 1882 the first iron ships of this size were built in Germany . The ship size increased from initially under 2,000 GRT to over 3,000 GRT. All four-masted barques built for the F. Laeisz shipping company were over 3,000 GRT, with the exception of the first two of just under 3,000 GRT. The largest examples of the four-masted barque were Brilliant (3,765 GRT, 1901) and Daylight (3,756 GRT, 1902). The former also drove as Perkeo for F. Laeisz.

Well-known representatives of the ship type "Bark"



Four-masted barque


Five-masted bark

There were only six ships of this type:

Name of the rigging of a barque

1 Before-Royalstag
2 VorBramstag, outer jib head
3 Large jib head, Bütenklüverleiter
4 internal jib head
5 Vorstengestag
6 forestay
6 'Klüverwasserstag, bobstay
7 Stampfstockgeien
8 tamping Stock
9 Klüverstampfstag
10 Klüverdomper
11 jib horses
12 Bugsprietpardune
13 Außenklüverpardune
14 bowsprit
15 large Klüverbaum
16 outer jib boom
17 anchor Krahn
18 Capstan
19 fire tower for the lanterns
20 Ankerkatt
21 Geer of Krahnes
22 fairlead
23 the stem
24 of the bow
25 boat
26 logis , baked
27 Dompfer the Brass trees
28 afterguys dei Brass trees
29 Fockmast
30 Fockwant
31 turnbuckles
32 Pardun on the mast
33 Püttingswant
34 Before Mars
35 Hanger der Fockrah
36 Rack der Fockrah
37 Fockrah
38 Horses
39 Jumping Horses
40 Nock Horses
41 Foktoppenanten
42 Marsstenge
43 Stengepüttingswant
44 Püttingsband
45 Pre-Bramsahling
46 Outrigger
Donkey's Head 48 Stengewant
49 Pre-Bramstenge
50 Pre- Bramstenge 50 Pre- Bramstenge 50 Pre-Bramstenge
50 Lobster, Saddling
51 Vor-Oberbramstenge
52 Vor -Oberbramgut
52 Lobster, saddle
53 Topp
54 Flag button f
55 Pre-Lower Marsrah

56 pre-Obermarsrah
57 pre-Mars topping transformants
58 pre-Bramrah
59 pre-Bramtoppenanten
60 pre-Oberbramrah
61 Before Oberbramtoppenanten
62 support prior Untermarsrah
63 pre-Oberbrambrassen
64 pre-Brambrassenschenklen
65 pre-Brambrassen
66 recuperator pre-Obermarsberg bream
67 Before Obermarsbrassenschenklen
68 Klapläufer the pre-Obermarsberg bream
69 recuperator of the pre-sub Mars bream
70 forward sub Mars brassenschenklen
71 Klapläufer the pre-sub Mars bream
72 Fockbrassenschenklen
73 bottom Fockbrassenschenklen
74 Fockbrassen
75 pre-Stengepardunen
76 pre-Brampardunen
77 pre-Oberbram backstays
78 Spreizlatte, spreader bar
79 United Want
80 mainmast
81 Großrack
82 Hanger for the Großrah
83 Groß Püttingswant
84 Großmars
85 Screws on the Stengewant
86 Bracket in front of Groß Untermarsrah
87 Topp from Großmast
88 Groß-Stengewant
89 Groß- Unterermarsrack
90 Groß-Marsstenge
91 Püttingsband
92 Stenge-Püttingswant
93 Brass blocks
94 Groß-Bramsahling
95 Stenge - Donkey head
96 Groß-Bramstenge
97 Groß-Bramgut and lobster, saddling
98 Groß- Oberbramstenge
99 Groß-Oberbramstenge and lobster, saddling
100 Topp der Oberbramstenge
101 Groß-Flagknopf
102 Groß-Oberbramtoppenanten
103 Groß-Oberbramrah
104 Groß-Bramtoppenanten
105 Groß-Bramrah
106 Groß-Obermarstoppenanten
107 Groß-Obermarsrah
108 Groß-Untermarsrah
109 Groß-Toppenanten
110 mainyard
111 Großstag
112 wholesale Stengestag

113 Groß-Bramstag
114 Groß-Oberbramstag
115 Groß-Toppardun
116 Groß-Stengepardunen
117 Groß-Brampardun
118 Groß-Obermarsbrasschenklen
119 Groß- Obermarsbrassen
120 Groß-Brambrassenschenklen
121 Groß-Brambrassen
122 paddling on Groß-Obermarsbrassen
123 Groß-
125 Outback of the Groß-Untermarsbrassen
126 Groß-Untermarsbrassen-schenklen
127 Groß-Untermarsbrassen-Schenklen
128 Groß-Brassen Schenklen
129 Lowest Groß-Brassenschenkle
130 Groß -Bream
133 Besan-Bramstag
134 Besan- stick
135 Besan- mast
136 Püttingsband
137 Besan-Püttingswant
138 Besan -Mars, Besan-Sahling
139 Besan-Eselskopf
140 Besan-Marsstenge
141 Besan-Stengewant
142 Brassblocks
143 Stengegut and lobster, saddling
144 Besan-Bramstenge
145 Bramgut and lobster, saddling
146 Flag top
147 Besan-flag button
148 Besan-Brampardune
149 Besan-Stengepardun
150 Piekfall
151 Hahnepoot des Piekfall
152 Flag leash
153 Geeren-Schenklen
154 Geeren
155 Besangaffel
156 Bes anklau
157 Besan Baumdirk
158 Besan tree
159 Gooseneck of the besan tree
160 Besan bulkhead
161 Mizzen bumpers
162 Railings
163 Boat davits
164 Boat cleats
165 Lifeboat
166 Boat buoys
167 Davits intermediate haulers
168 Davits stern haulers
169 Davits outhauls


  • Jens Kusk Jensen: Handbook of practical seamanship on traditional sailing ships. Licensed edition, reprint. Heel, Königswinter 1998, ISBN 3-89365-722-3 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Bark  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Bark (ship type)  - collection of images