Ship Model, Ketch

In 17th-century New England, the ketch (or “catch”) was a small, two-masted craft with a square stern. Ketches had small crews of around four men, and they are believed to have had fore-and-aft rigs, rather than square sails, for ease and simplicity of handling. They were used mainly for local coastal trade and for fishing on the shallow sand banks off the New England coast.
In the early 18th century, this boat type disappeared from contemporary records and descriptions. It was replaced by the “scooner” or schooner, a similar boat type with a fore-and-aft rig that was easy and economical to sail. In fact, some scholars think that only the name changed, and that the two boat types were almost identical in rig and construction.
Object Name
ketch, rigged model
Date made
original ship built
ca 1600
Hoff, Jr., William Bruce
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metals (overall material)
textile (overall material)
overall: 21 1/2 in x 19 in x 8 1/2 in; 54.61 cm x 48.26 cm x 21.59 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
related event
Colonization and Settlement
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
On the Water
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Related Publication
On the Water online exhibition
Publication URL
Additional Media

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