I had no idea.
Since I’m committed to making my stories historically accurate, I dove into all the ship terminology, pouring over my new 4-inch thick Sailor’s Word Book until late at night. But I realized just having the vocabulary was not enough. I wanted to be able to describe a storm at sea as huge waves crashed onto the deck and a battle that had shot bringing the sails down around the characters. And get all the ship parts right while doing it. So, I did gobs of research and studied diagrams of schooners and sail configurations until I was seeing them in my dreams.
But even that was not enough. I had to get the feel of the ship. I decided it was essential to take a ride on an actual schooner. See MORE.