A sailboat or sailing boat is a boat propelled partly or entirely by sails smaller than a sailing ship. Distinctions in what constitutes a sailing boat and ship vary by region and maritime culture.
A sloop (from Dutch sloep, in turn from French chaloupe) is a sailing boat with a single mast and a fore-and-aft rig. A sloop has only one head-sail: if a vessel has two or more head-sails, the term 'cutter' is used, and its mast may be set further aft than on a sloop. In contrast, in the US a sloop may have one, two or three head-sails forward of the mast—the term cutter not generally being used for sailboats.
The most common rig of modern sailboats is the Bermuda-rigged sloop. Typically, a modern sloop carries a mainsail on a boom aft of the mast, with a single loose-footed head-sail (a jib or a genoa jib) forward of the mast.
Sloops are either masthead-rigged or fractional-rigged. On a masthead-rigged sloop, the forestay (on which the headsail is carried) attaches at the top of the mast. The mainsail may be smaller than the headsail, which is then called a genoa jib. On a fractional-rigged sloop, the forestay attaches to the mast at a point below the top, typically 3/4 of the way to top, or perhaps 7/8 or some other fraction. The mast of a fractional-rigged sloop may be placed farther forward; compared to a masthead-rigged sloop, this results in a rather smaller jib relative to the size of the mainsail.
Source: Sloop from Wikipedia
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