A cutter is typically a small, but in some cases a medium-sized, watercraft designed for speed rather than for capacity. Traditionally a cutter is a smaller sailing ship with a single mast. It is fore-and-aft rigged, with two or more headsails and often has a bowsprit. The cutter's mast may be set farther back than on a sloop.
In modern usage, a cutter can be either a small- or medium-sized ship whose occupants exercise official authority. Examples are harbor pilots' cutters and cutters of the U.S. Coast Guard or UK Border Force.
- Bennett, Jenny; Laszlo, Veres (2005). Sailing Rigs: An Illustrated Guide. Naval Institute Press. p. 55. ISBN 978-1-59114-813-5.
- "Cutter". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2014-12-13.
- Richard Jordan (January 13, 201). "Sailboat Rig Types: Sloop, Cutter, Ketch, Yawl, Schooner, Cat". Jordan Yacht and Ship Company. Retrieved December 25, 2016.
- Kemp, Peter, ed. (1976). The Oxford Companion to Ships & the Sea. London: Oxford University Press. pp. 221–222.
a small, decked ship with one mast and bowsprit, with a gaff mainsail on a boom, a square yard and topsail, and two jibs or a jib and a staysail.
- "U.S. Coast Guard History: Frequently Asked Questions: What is a Cutter?". U.S. Coast Guard. 2008-12-09. Retrieved 2009-04-10.