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A mainsail hoisted to the masthead and having a pointed top, with no additional spars near the head.

Related Terms

JACKSTAY

An iron rod bolted clear of the mainmast, to which the luff of the mainsail is laced.

GUNTER RIG

A vessel with a gunter-rigged mainsail.

NOCK

The throat of the mainsail.

FISHERMAN'S REEF

A sailing tactic for handling winds too strong for the sail area hoisted when reefing the sails is not feasible or possible. The headsail is set normally while the mainsail is let out till it is constantly luffing. This creates loss of force on the main and also reduces the efficiency of the headsail while still retaining sailing control of the vessel.

MIDDLES

The middle brails on the mainsail, higher than the lowers, and lower than the mains.

PEAK

The uppermost brail on the mainsail. Upper and lower peaks are normal, but a barge may carry a third set too.

LOOSE FOOTED

A mainsail that is not connected to a boom along its foot.

LOWERS

The lower brails on the mainsail.

MAINSHEET

A rope by which mainsail is trimmed and secured

SPINNAKER

A large triangular sail opposite the mainsail
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