Schooners are two-masted vessels with both masts having loose footed sails rigged on gaff and two or more headsails (staysails rigged in front of the fore mast). They were not designed for combat, being built mainly for cargo, passenger and fishing purposes.
During the Napoleonic era, Schooners were used to communicate dispatches, rather than divert more important warships for this purpose. In fact their size and swiftness made them ideal for this purpose. Such vessels sometimes received criticism from the Admiralty for their sailing durability and inherent weakness, without understanding their exact purpose.
That is not to say that schooners did not actively engage in combat. Their speed made them ideal to intercept Slaver ships for example.
Schooners count as small vessels in Black Seas, operating only a single broadside light cannon. Despite this, schooners make the ideal basis of a Privateer fleet.
—description from publisher