4000 BCE: Phoenicians and Egyptians sail under cloth sails on single log and simple long narrow sailboats.
3000 BCE: 900: Square sails are common
2000 BCE: Extensive sailing trading networks starts at the Mediterranean Sea. Ice boats in Scandinavia.
1200 BCE: Greek and Phoenician big cargo ships along the Mediterranean
500 BCE: Phoenicians built ships with two big masts
100 BCE: The Roman Empire has largest cargo and passenger ships of 180 by 45 feet.
400s: First catamarans along the Southeast Asian coasts.
900: Lanteen and triangle sails are used.
1000-1200: The Vikings built 80 feet long and 17 feet wide sailboats for war, trading and colonising.
1000: Norse explorer Leif Eiriksson probably the first European to land in North America. The first of the great explorations in this sailboat history timeline.
1200: First Viking longboats and British merchant sailboats are made with small wholes from which bowmen could fire their guns.
15th century: The Barque or later Bark with sails running breadthways
1500-1650: Sailmakers start using flax fibre to create sails.
1660: King Charles II introduces sport sailing in England. Dutch shipyards give British King Charles a small sailboat, named the Royal Yacht Mary
1680: The Barca-longa two or three-masted lugger in Spain, Portugal and in the Mediterranean Sea.
17th century: The Bermuda rig or Marconi rig with mast and rigging is created in Bermuda.
1720: World’s first yachting club founded in Ireland, the Water Club of Cork.
1790: First iceboat at the Hudson River in New York.
1797: Edmund Hartt Shipyard launches the USS Constitution, a three-masted heavy wooden frigate of the US Navy.
1800: Barquentine vessels with three or more masts are built.
1863: The Star of India is built as a fully square-rigged ship.
1900: Sailing becomes an Olympic sport in Paris.
1920: First aerodynamics designs for increasing speed.
1949: The Optimist Dinghy is introduced by Clark Mills.
1960: German engineer Wilhelm Pröls invents the Dynaship or Dyna Rigg concept. The 12-foot Aqua Cats is created by Art Javes.
1976: The J-24 is presented by Rodney Johnstone and the Toulon dockyard in France constructs the Phocea, world’s largest sailing yacht till 2004.
1977: The Freedom 40 is launched by Gary Hoyt.
2000: The steel-hulled five-masted full-rigged tall cruise ship Royal Clipper is constructed by Zygmunt Choren. According to the Guinness World Records book the Preussen is the largest square rigged ship. The three mast full-rigged clipper Stad Amsterdam is built by Gerard Dijkstra in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
2004: Royal Huisman Shipyard the clipper-bowed three-masted gaff-rigged luxury sailing yacht Athena. The largest yacht in sailboat history.
— Compiled by The Surfer