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The Schnau rigging in a representation from 1768. Typical are the Schnau mast directly behind the main mast and the lack of a tree on the gaff sail.
An unarmed British Navy Schnau (presumably a transport ship). Painting by Charles Brooking, 1759.

The Schnau is a two-masted square sail. The main difference to the very similar Briggtakelage is that the gaffsail the main mast in the Schnau has -Takelage no tree and that is not directly the luff of the gaff sail on the mast but is fixed to a thinner at the same fixed spar, the Schnaumast . On warships, the luff of the gaff sail was attached to a rope jack instead of to the Schnaumast with a rope. Another distinguishing feature of the brig rigging is that the Schnau, in contrast to the brig, has a sail on the main yard (the lower yard of the rear mast). The criterion does not always apply, however, as many briggs also had a sail there.

The advantage of the Schnaumast was that the row line could slide up and down on the Schnaumast with its small diameter better than on the actual mast.

The Schnau rigging is mainly documented for the 18th century. By the middle of the century, Schnauen were considered the largest two-masted ships. Later the brig rig apparently gained increasing popularity. In the course of the 19th century the actual Schnau rigging went out of use, the Schnau mast and the Schnau sail, however, were also still used in other rigging: In the period from around 1820, when many full ships were now fitted with gaff sails instead of the old staysails Also equipped on the main and foremast, these were then used as a Schnausegel, ie on the foremast and main mast there was a Schnaumast. While Schnauen had no gaff tree in the 18th century, there was in the 19th century Besane with Schnaumast and tree.

In the Kurbrandenburg Navy in the second half of the seventeenth century, small, armed full ships, comparable to the later developed sailing corvettes or sloops , were also referred to as Schnauen.


  • Karl Heinz Marquardt: Masting and rigging of ships of the 18th century . Weltbild Verlag, Augsburg 1994.
  • Gunter Schmidt: Ships under the Red Eagle . Hinstorff Verlag, Rostock 1986, ISBN 3-356-00045-4 .