Here we see Actress in Great Cove last week. She’s a 75-foot Brigantine out of Belfast, Maine, that was designed by the legendary Murray Peterson. Originally launched in 1937, Actress apparently is the only Brigantine in the Maine coastal cruiser fleet.
A Brigantine is a two-masted vessel carrying rectangular sails on the foremast and gaff-rigged, triangulated sails on the second mast. (Actress often travels without raising its rectangular sails.) Brigantines were developed as more maneuverable hybrids of vessels known as Brigs. A Brig also is two-masted, but both of its masts carry rectangular sails.
In fact, Brigantines were once called “Hermaphrodite Brigs.” Apparently, however, that nickname was discontinued after the definition of a “hermaphrodite” became generally known. The root names of both types of vessels are derived from “Brigand,” because fast Brigs were favored by pirates.