AskDefine | Define windjammer

The Collaborative Dictionary

Windjammer \Wind"jam`mer\, n.
(Naut.) A sailing vessel or one of its crew; -- orig. so called contemptuously by sailors on steam vessels. [Colloq.] [Webster 1913 Suppl.]
An army bugler or trumpeter; any performer on a wind instrument. [Slang] [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

Word Net

windjammer n : a large sailing ship

Moby Thesaurus

AB, Ancient Mariner, Argonaut, Captain Bobadil, Dylan, Flying Dutchman, Gascon, Neptune, OD, Poseidon, Texan, Varuna, able seaman, able-bodied seaman, agreeable rattle, babbler, big mouth, big talker, blab, blabberer, blatherer, blower, blowhard, bluejacket, blusterer, boaster, brag, braggadocio, braggart, buccaneer, chatterbox, chatterer, deep-sea man, fair-weather sailor, fanfaron, fisherman, gabber, gabbler, galley, gasbag, gasconader, gibble-gabbler, great talker, hearty, hector, hot-air artist, idle chatterer, jabberer, jack, jack afloat, jack-tar, jacky, jay, limey, lobsterman, magpie, mariner, matelot, miles gloriosus, moulin a paroles, navigator, patterer, pirate, prater, prattler, privateer, rattle, sail, sailboat, sailing boat, sailing cruiser, sailing ship, sailing vessel, sailor, salt, sea dog, sea rover, seafarer, seafaring man, seaman, shipman, tall ship, tar, viking, water dog, whaler, windbag, windboat, windsailor, windship, windy, word-slinger



  1. a large iron-hulled square-rigged sailing ship with three or more masts
This article is about a historical type of sailing ship. For information on the cruise lines, see Windjammer Barefoot Cruises
A windjammer was a type of sailing ship with a large iron or steel hull, built to carry cargo in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century centuries. They were the grandest of cargo sailing ships, with between three and five large masts and square sails, giving them a characteristic profile. They frequently displaced several thousand tonnes, and were cheaper than their wooden hulled counterparts for three main reasons: iron was stronger, and thus could enable larger ship sizes and considerable economies of scale, iron hulls took up less space and allowed for more cargo to be carried, and iron hulls were cheaper to maintain than an equivalent wooden hull. The most common windjammer rig was four-masted barque, which was the ultimate result of science of aerodynamics and thousands of years of seamanship. The barque rig can outperform the schooner rig , can sail upwind better than full-riggers, and is easier to handle than full square rig. The usual cargo capacity was 2,000 to 5,000 tonnes. Usual windjammer cargo was bulk, such as lumber, coal, guano or grain. The largest windammer ever built was five-masted full-rigged ship Preussen, which had displacement of 11,600 tonnes. She was also one of the fastest, regularly logging 16 kn average speed on transatlantic voyages.
Windjammers are often confused with clippers, but they are two different breeds. A clipper is a sailing vessel optimized for speed; windjammers are optimized for cargo and handling. Most clippers were of composite construction, full rigged and had cargo capability less than 1000 tonnes; windjammers are of steel construction, usually barques and have far greater cargo capacity. The clippers had already begun to disappear when windjammers emerged.
Windjammers were mainly produced from the 1870s to the 1890s, when the steamships began to outpace them economically, due to their ability to keep a schedule regardless of the wind. Steel hulls also replaced iron hulls at around the same time. The windjammers usually had semi-mechanized rigging, steel profile masts and yards and steel cables as running rigging where plausible. Since the windjammer hull is hydrodynamically optimized for good hydrodynamics because of sail handling, they were (and are still) capable of attaining great speeds; most four-masted barques were able to cruise at 15 kn on plausible winds, some logged 18 kn regularly and Herzogin Cecilie is known to have logged 21 kn. Their speed made them able to compete with steamers, which usually could barely do 8 kn, on ultra-long voyages. The crew of a windjammer was surprisingly small; they could be operated at as small crew as 10, and a typical crew could be master, boatswain, 15 seamen and 15 apprentices. The surviving crew list of Moshulu while under Finnish flag contains master and 32 hands.
From 1916 to 1917, Imperial Germany operated the SMS Seeadler windjammer as one of the last sailing ships used in war.
Windjammers were used commercially (though recognised as a dying breed) until the 1950s. They occupied something of a niche in the transport of goods from remote ports where coal and water were not available, such as parts of Australia (carrying wool or grain) and remote islands (harvesting guano). Windjammers were also used particularly for the transport of South American nitrates.
The largest windjammer in existence is four-masted barque Moshulu, which is today a luxury restaurant ship in Philadelphia, PA, US. The largest windjammer in still sailing service is Russian school ship, four-masted barque Sedov.
Windjammers can still be seen at international naval events like SAIL Amsterdam and the Kiel Week in Kiel, Germany.
windjammer in German: Windjammer
windjammer in Dutch: Windjammer
windjammer in Japanese: ウィンドジャマー
windjammer in Polish: Windjammer
windjammer in Chinese: 大型鐵身帆船
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