Sailing Brigantines: Famous Mediterranean Pirate Vessels

In the open sea, the white-snow sail brigantine ploughing the blue waves was a bewitching-fatalistic sight for captains of traders. The word “Brigantine” became almost synonymous with “pirates” in the Mediterranean area in the 17th century. Mediterranean gentlemen of fortune preferred this small, quick-moving kind of vessel to others. Brigantines could easily overhaul their prizes and could skip away from patrolling warships as well. The term a brigantine comes from the Italian word “brigantino” that meant a brigand’s ship. The first Mediterranean brigantines had 2 masts and oars. The modern definition of a brigantine (coming from the 19th century) is a principally fore-and-aft rig with a square rigged foremast. That type of rigging allows this type of ships to sail in every possible wind condition at a fast speed. When a brigantine is at sea there is always a thrilling adventure to be had.

The Brigantine

Brig-schooners or so called hermaphrodite brigs are sisters of brigantines.

A hermaphrodite brig or a brig-schooner is a 2-masted high-speed vessel, square-rigged on the foremast and fore-and-aft rigged on the mainmast. This type of ship sometime known as a brigantine today, but actually, the “true” brigantine ships have square topsails on the main topmast. Hermaphrodite brigs were often used as “pearl schooners” between numerous islands in the South Seas in the second part of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Many intrepid adventurers of the glorious past sailed on brig-schooners. So, why not follow their example and travel on an impetuous brig-schooner for the sea treasure of your dreams.

Soren Larsen, a brig-schooner