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Regatta on Narragansett Bay c. 1910


A regatta, or sporting boat race, was a common occurrence on Narragansett Bay at the turn of the century. The craft in this photograph include catboats - those with one sail and a single mast far forward (examples can be seen to the right and immediately behind the tugboats). Schooners (boats with two or more masts) are interspersed in the regatta.

All the sail configurations are gaff-rigs with four-cornered sails controlled at the top side (peak) by a pole (spar). This pole is called the “gaff”.

The term “regatta” is currently little-used for sail racing. Today the word more often describes “a parade of sails” or a group of boats that are not in competition.

Gaff-rigged schooners are equally rare. Nearly all contemporary racing boats use the triangular sails of Bermuda, or Marconi rigs.

This photograph was taken from the beach at Fort Adams in Newport, looking toward Jamestown.

 This Panorama print is only available in one size: 25" x 11". If interested in larger sizes, please contact the Museum of Newport History and Shop.

An archival photograph printed on 100% cotton rag paper using the carbon-based Piezograph process.