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Many different types of sailing vessels can be classified as tall ships. Tall ships are typically broken down into three major categories or classes. In accordance with the Racing and Sailing Rules and Special Regulations established by Sail Training International, the American Sail Training Association defines these classes as follows:
All square-rigged vessels and all other vessels over 40m (131 feet) in overall length (LOA).
Traditional-rigged vessels with an LOA of less than 40m (131 feet) and with a waterline length (LWL) of at least 9.14m (30 feet).
Modern-rigged vessels with an LOA of less than 40m (131 feet) and with a LWL of at least 9.14m (30 feet), not carrying spinnaker-like sails.