The Schooner is a two-masted trade ship with a medium sized cargo hold.
Small, pokey, and relatively fragile, the Schooner is nonetheless the backbone of one-World trade. It is extremely cheap to build and run - a Clipper will get there faster, but for the same influence two Schooners will cost 145 less in maintenance.
Schooners are a poor choice for trans-Oceanic trade, due to their relatively slow speed and small hold size. However, even into the late game they remain by far the most economical choice for short-range trade. Swarms of schooners can keep cities fed--but keep them protected, as any kind of warship can wreak havoc on their fragile hulls.
The schooner originates from the Dutch, though it is most commonly associated with New England. Exactly where the name came from is unclear, but popular legend ties it to the word "scoon", describing how the ship skims along the water. Schooners are small, two-masted vessels with shallow drafts, perfect for coastal waters, and are favored for jobs that require speed such as offshore fishing--or blockade running. 
Game Update 5 (September 10, 2019):