Traditional rigging may include square rigs and gaff rigs, with separate topmasts and topsails. It is generally more complex than modern rigging, which utilizes newer materials such as aluminum and steel to construct taller, lightweight masts with fewer, more versatile sails. Most smaller, modern vessels use Bermuda rig. Though it did not become popular elsewhere until the twentieth century, this rig was developed in Bermuda in the seventeenth century, and had historically been used on its small ships, the Bermuda sloops.
The term tall ship came into widespread use in the mid-20th century with the advent of The Tall Ships' Races, and was not generally used in the era when such ships were the norm. The term's popularity may have stemmed from its use in a well-known nautical poem by English Poet Laureate John Masefield entitled Sea Fever, first published in 1900.
While Sail Training International (STI) has extended the definition of tall ship for the purpose of its races to embrace any sailing vessel with more than 30 ft. (9.14 m) waterline length and on which at least half the people on board are aged 15 to 25, this definition can include many modern sailing yachts, so for the purposes of this article, tall ship will refer to those vessels rated as class "A" only.
International Sail Training Association, Class A Tall Ships
In alphabetical order (sortable). International Sail Training Association classifies its A Class as "all square-rigged vessels and all other vessels over 40 metres (131 ft) length overall (LOA)". By LOA they mean length excluding bowsprit and aft spar. 
Earlier description of classes
An older definition of class "A" by International Sail Training Association was "all square-rigged vessels over 120' (36.6m) length overall (LOA). Fore and aft rigged vessels of 160' (48.8m) (LOA) and over". By LOA they meant length excluding bowsprit and aft spar.
Class "B" or above was Fore and aft rigged vessels between 100 to 160 feet in length, and all square rigged vessels.
Tall Ship Cuauhtémoc
See also a list of class "A" ships with lengths including bowsprit.
The defining feature of square rigged tall ships - going aloft to set and stow sails.
- 040731 061 earl.jpg
The Earl of Pembroke
More than 36 tall ships participated in the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar in Portsmouth, part of the fleet of 167 naval, merchant and tall ships from 36 countries
The masts and yards of a brig, a typical tall ship.
- GQ - Kramfors, Sweden.jpg
The eerie sight of SV Golden Quest bark emerging from the mist in Sweden.
Cisne Branco. Class A Tall Ship, Brazil.
Waiting for the wind at the start of the Bergen to Den Helder Tall Ships Race 2008.
| Tall ships]]
- American Sail Training Association
- Cutty Sark Tall Ships' Race
- Jubilee Sailing Trust
- List of tall ships
- List of large sailing vessels
- Sail training
- Tall Ships Challenge
- Tall Ship Chronicles
- The Tall Ships' Races
- Tall Ships Youth Trust
- Operation Sail
- American Sail Training Association; Sail Tall Ships! (American Sail Training Association; 16th edition, 2005 ISBN 0-9636483-9-X)
- Thad Koza; Tall Ships: A Fleet for the 21st Century (Tide-Mark Press; 3rd edition, 2002; ISBN 1-55949-739-4)
- Tall Ships' Regatta 2008
- American Sail Training Association
- Tall Ships Today! no longer active.
- Sail Training International
- Tallships Australia, site providing information on tallships principally based in Australian and New Zealand waters.
- Bermuda Sloop Foundation
- Tall ship pictures published on USENET stored with a search function.
- Tall-ship pictures for personal/commercial use.
- Maritime Heritage Network, an online directory of maritime history resources in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.
- University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections – Transportation Photographs An ongoing digital collection of photographs depicting various modes of transportation in the Pacific Northwest region and Western United States during the first half of the 20th century.
- Tall ship photo gallery
- Tall Ships Gallery - Photographs of Tall Ships by photographer Richard Sibley.
- Tall Ship Training in Spain
- Tall Ships DelfSail 09 - Tall Ships Delfsail 09 by photographer David Dekel.
- Tall Ships Den Helder 08 - Tall Ships Den Helder 08 by photographer David Dekel.
- Endeavour Tall Ships Project - Tall Ships on Endeavour Tall Ships Project.