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Barquito 05-02-2013 10:16 AM

Terminology: spar vs. mast
 
Are the terms spar and mast interchangeable? If not, how so?

Rhys05 05-02-2013 10:21 AM

Re: Terminology: spar vs. mast
 
I think (and I could be wrong), all masts are spars, but not all spars are masts. The boom is also a spar, and if you have a self tacking jib, that also has a spar. Again, could be wrong, but that is my understanding...

svHyLyte 05-02-2013 10:22 AM

Re: Terminology: spar vs. mast
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Barquito (Post 1024401)
Are the terms spar and mast interchangeable? If not, how so?

All masts are spars but not all spars are masts. Some spars are booms, some are yards, some are struts, etc.

Jeff_H 05-02-2013 10:30 AM

Re: Terminology: spar vs. mast
 
The term 'spar' is a generic term which refers to any pole that is part of a rig (even when they are high tech carbon or alum. poles). A mast is a type of spar. Other spars are booms, bowsprits, boomkins, spinnaker poles, clubs, reaching struts, yards and I am sure a bunch more that do not to mind.

Jeff

krisscross 05-02-2013 11:10 AM

Re: Terminology: spar vs. mast
 
A pole is a spar when not actually mounted on a ship. Once mounted it becomes a mast, or a boom, gaff, or some other part of rigging. Word originated from 'spare' parts (spars) carried on the ships in the past.

flyingwelshman 05-02-2013 04:24 PM

Re: Terminology: spar vs. mast
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by krisscross (Post 1024440)
A pole is a spar when not actually mounted on a ship. Once mounted it becomes a mast, or a boom, gaff, or some other part of rigging. Word originated from 'spare' parts (spars) carried on the ships in the past.

Not true. From Online Etymology Dictionary:

spar (n.1) "stout pole," c.1300, "rafter," from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch sparre, from Proto-Germanic *sparron (cf. Old English *spere "spear, lance," Old Norse sperra "rafter, beam"), from PIE root *sper- "spear, pole" (see spear). Nautical use dates from 1640. Also borrowed in Old French as esparre, which may have been the direct source of the English word.

From Nautical Dictionary:

spar (n) - The general term for any of the abovedeck timbers to which sails are bent, such as the masts, booms, gaffs yards and sprits.

krisscross 05-02-2013 10:25 PM

Re: Terminology: spar vs. mast
 
I stand corrected. Apparently not all the stories you hear from old timers are true.

SlowButSteady 05-02-2013 11:02 PM

Re: Terminology: spar vs. mast
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by krisscross (Post 1024838)
... Apparently not all the stories you hear from old timers are true.

:eek:

No?!?!?:eek::eek::eek::eek:

(Please. No one tell my daughter, or my nephew, or any of my students.)

Barquito 05-03-2013 10:04 AM

Re: Terminology: spar vs. mast
 
Quote:

I stand corrected. Apparently not all the stories you hear from old timers are true.
If old timers learned the term that way from even older timers, then that is what the term means. At some point the dictionaries will catch up. Makes sense to me. The guys in my yard work on the spar while is is on saw horses, and the mast when it is on the boat. Although I think they assume I know they are talking about the mast, and not the boom.

krisscross 05-03-2013 10:15 AM

Re: Terminology: spar vs. mast
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Barquito (Post 1025037)
The guys in my yard work on the spar while is is on saw horses, and the mast when it is on the boat.

Yes, that has been my experience as well. Language changes with time and words often take on new meaning. Sometimes it is fun reading old books you get for next to nothing at yard sales just to see what the language used to be 100 or 150 years ago. I love reading that stuff, especially when on my boat at night. :)


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