A schooner is a type of sailing ship, as defined by its rig configuration. Typically it has two or more masts with the foremast being slightly shorter than the mainmast.

Pronounced /ˈskuːnər/, the term appeared in North America in the early 1700s. The name may be related to a Scots language word meaning to skip over water, or to skip stones.

Schooners were built primarily for cargo, passengers, and fishing.

Schooners were popular on both sides of the Atlantic in the late 1800s and early 1900s, but gradually giving way in Europe to the cutter. By 1910, 45 five-masted and 10 six-masted schooners had been built in Bath, Maine and other Penobscot Bay towns. The Thomas W. Lawson was the only seven-masted schooner built.

Although highly popular in their time, schooners were replaced by more efficient sloops, yawls and ketches as sailboats, and in the freight business they were replaced by steamships, barges, and railroads.

More Info: en.wikipedia.org