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Naval term to describe large sails extended across the topmasts

The topsails were large sails extended across the topmasts. They were supported from above by the topsail yard above, and from below by a yard attached to the lower mast.

A topsail was fastened to the topsail yard by small ropes called robands, or rope-bands, attached to the upper edges of the topsail. The lower corners of the topsail were inserted into two large blocks, and then pulled through two further blocks on the inner part of the yard close by the mast. The ends of the sail were then pulled down to the deck. This allowed the topsail to be easily slackened, or extended, as required by the strength and direction of the wind.


Prepared by: Turnbull, P
Created: 10 October 2001
Modified: 12 October 2001

Published by South Seas, 1 February 2004
Comments, questions, corrections and additions: Paul.Turnbull@jcu.edu.au
Prepared by: Paul Turnbull
Updated: 28 June 2004
To cite this page use: http://nla.gov.au/nla.cs-ss-biogs-P000069

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