Originally Posted by PCP
I hope you start reading more recent books, you need it. XXI century sailboats boats have little in common with XIX century boats
In a "more recent' book, I read that fore and aft rigs were preferred for coastal sailing because they were more weatherly. But I was surprised to read that square sails were actually preferred for offshore work - faster and far more comfortable on long fair wind passages, without the danger of a gybe. Further, in light winds with large seas the fore and aft sails tended to slam from side to side. The schooner Kineo used up 14 sails on one long passage in 1905.
I hadn't realized that square sails were ever preferred, I thought fore and aft were far superior in all ways. That helps explain the mystery (to me) of ships with fore and aft mainsails and square topsails.