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William Falconer's Dictionary of the MarineReference Works
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S

SADDLE to To strike SAIL
SADDLE
SAGGING
SAIC
SAIL
To set SAIL
To make SAIL
To shorten SAIL
To strike SAIL

SAILING to SALUTE

SALUTE to SCHOONER

SCOOP to SEA-COAST

SEA-CLOTHS to SENDING

SENNIT to SHANK

SHANK-PAINTER to SHEET

SHEET-ANCHOR to SHIP

SHIP to SHIP-SHAPE

SHIPPING to SHOT

SHOT to SLAB-LINE

SLACK-WATER to SNATCH-BLOCK

SNOTTER to SPILL

SPILLING-LINES to SPRING A LEAK

SPRINGING THE LUFF to SQUALL

SQUARE to STANDING-WATER

STARBOARD to STEM

STEMSON to STEWARD

STIFF to STRAKES or STREAKS

STRAND to STUDDING-SAILS

STUFF to SWEEPER of the sky

SWEEPING to To SWING


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SAIL

SAIL, (voile, Fr. segl, Sax. seyhel, seyl, Dutch) an assemblage of several breadths of canvas, or other texture, sewed together, and extended on, or between the masts, to receive the wind, and carry the vessel along the water.

The edges of the cloths, or pieces, of which a sail is composed, are generally sewed together with a double seam: and the whole is skirted round at the edges with a cord, called the bolt-rope.

Although the form of sails is extremely different, they are all nevertheless triangular or quadrilateral figures; or, in other words, their surfaces are contained either between three or four sides.

The former of these are sometimes spread by a yard, as lateen-sails; and otherwise by a stay, as stay-sails; or by a mast, as shoulder-of-mutton sails: in all which cases the foremost leech or edge is attached to the said yard, mast, or stay, throughout its whole length. The latter, or those which are four-sided, are either extended by yards, as the principal sails of a ship; or by yards and booms, as the studding-sails, drivers, ring-tails, and all those sails which are set occasionally; or by gaffs and booms, as the main-sails of sloops and brigantines. The principal sails of a ship (fig. I. plate IX.) are the courses or lower sails a, the top-sails b, which are next in order above the courses; and the top-gallant-sails c, which are expanded above the top-sails.

Plate 9

Plate IX

The courses are the main-sail, fore-sail, and mizen, main-stay-sail, forestay-sail and mizen-stay-sail; but more particularly the three first.

N.B. The main-stay-sail is rarely used except in small vessels.

In all quadrangular sails the upper edge is called the head; the sides or skirts are called leeches; and the bottom or lower edge is termed the foot. If the head is parallel to the foot, the two lower corners are denominated clues, and the upper corners earings.

In all triangular sails, arid in those four-sided sails wherein the head is not parallel to the foot, the foremost corner at the foot is called the tack; and the after lower-corner the clue; the foremost perpendicular or sloping edge is called the fore leech, and the hindmost the after leech.

The heads of all four-sided sails, and the fore-leeches of lateen sails, are attached to their respective yard or gaff by a number of small cords called robands; and the extremities are tied to the yard-arms, or to the peek of the gaff, by earings. The stay-sails are extended upon stays between the masts, whereon they are drawn up or down occasionally, as a curtain slides upon its rod, and their lower parts are stretched out by a tack and sheet. The clues of a topsail are drawn out to the extremities of the lower yard, by two large ropes called the top-sail sheets; and the clues of the top-gallant-sails are in like manner extended upon the top-sail yard-arms, as exhibited by plate IX. fig. I.


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© Derived from Thomas Cadell's new corrected edition, London: 1780, page 250, 2004
Published by South Seas, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher
To cite this page use: http://nla.gov.au/nla.cs-ss-refs-falc-1115