Such vessels were first used by the Dutch in the 16th or 17th century. The development of the schooner is connected with that of the Bermuda sloop. In Bermuda, countless vessels of otherwise identical description were built with between one and three masts, carrying Gaff or Bermuda rig. Although Bermudians generally describe all as sloops, purists elsewhere limit that term to single-masted vessels, those with more than one mast being historically described as Ballyhoo schooners. Schooners were further developed in North America from the early 18th century, and were more widely used in the United States than in any other country.
Two-masted schooners were and are the most common. They were popular in trades that required speed and windward ability, such as slaving, privateering, and blockade running. They were also traditional fishing boats, used for offshore fishing. They were favoured as pilot vessels, both in North America and in Northern Europe.
The Schooner has anywhere from two to seven masts. Schooners with two masts were the most common. The ship is about 75 feet to 180 feet. Schooners were fast, and they were able to lie in the shallower areas of the water. They could not hold much treasue in them due to their small hull, but its speed and large crew accommodation made it a favorite among the criminals of the seas. (Pirates and smugglers)
Over time, some schooners came to also be known as recreational Yachts