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The term sloop in the Royal Navy described a ship based not on the rigging of the vessel nor on its size but rather by the rank of the officer who commanded her. When a vessel is commanded by a Commander, she is rated as a sloop. If the same vessel where commanded by a Captain she would be rated as a ship.[1] There are numerous examples of this in the Canon when various sailors attempt to explain to Stephen why a particular ship is or is not rated as a sloop.

In modern usage the term sloop refers to a sailing vessel with a single mast, foresail and jib.[2]


  1. Smyth, W. H. (William Henry), 1788-1865 Admiral. The Sailor's Word~Book. Blackie and Son, Paternoster Row, 1867 Reprinted by Algrove Publishing Limited Almonte, ON Canada 2004. ISBN 1-897030-05-3
  2. retrieved on January 3, 2009.
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