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Unformatted text preview: American Studies Department RutgersThe State University Study Guide: The Clippers 1996 A clipper was a very fast sailing ship of the 19th century that had three or more masts and a square rig. They were generally narrow for their length, could carry limited bulk freight, small by later 19th century standards, and had a large total sail area. Forecastle refers to the upper deck of a sailing ship forward of the foremast, or the forward part of a ship with the sailors' living quarters. Related to the latter meaning is the phrase "before the mast" which denotes anything related to ordinary sailors, as opposed to a ship's officers. A capstan is a vertical-axled rotating machine developed for use on sailing ships to apply force to ropes, cables, and hawsers. The principle is similar to that of the windlass, which has a horizontal axle. A sextant is an instrument used to measure the angle between any two visible objects. Its primary use is to determine the angle between a celestial object and the horizon which is known as the altitude . Making this measurement is known as sighting the object, shooting the object, or taking a sight and it is an essential part of celestial navigation. A shanty (also spelled " chantey ," " chanty ") is a type of work song that was once commonly sung to accompany labor on board large merchant sailing vessels. 1. What was the typical length for an American clipper ship? Typical width? What was the top speed that could be achieved?...
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