A sail hoisted from a gaff is called a gaff rigged sail.
Gaff rig remains the most popular rig for schooner and barquentine mainsails and other course sails, and spanker sails on a square rigged vessel are always gaff rigged. On other rigs, particularly the sloop, ketch and yawl, gaff rigged sails were once common but have now been largely replaced by the Bermuda rig sail.
On larger gaff rigged vessels the gaff is hoisted by two halyards:
Gunter-rigged boats are similar, smaller vessels on which the gaff is raised by a single halyard running on a wire gunter. On these rigs the gaff may be very nearly vertical and a topsail is never carried. Another variation on small vessels is a gaff with no halyard. One end of the spar is attached to the peak of the sail and the gaff is hoist until it tensions the head and leach and then the other end is secured to the mast near the tack.
SAIL BACK IN TIME ABOARD DOWNEAST ROVER THREE TIMES DAILY, THE 56-FOOT REPLICA OF A TOPSAIL-SCHOONER GLIDES INTO SHALLOWBAG BAY AND ROANOKE SOUND.(CAROLINA COAST)
Jun 02, 1996; Byline: PAUL SOUTH STAFF WRITER MANTEO -- EVEN ON A gunmetal gray day, the Downeast Rover cuts an elegant path in the dark waters...