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William Falconer's Dictionary of the MarineReference Works
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Table of Contents

S

SADDLE to 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
STRAND
STRETCHER
STRETCHING
To STRIKE
STRING in ship-building
To STRIP the masts
STROKE
STROKESMAN
STROP
STUDDING-SAILS

STUFF to SWEEPER of the sky

SWEEPING to To SWING


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STUDDING-SAILS

STUDDING-SAILS, (bonettes en etui, Fr.) certain light sails extended, in moderate and steady breezes, beyond the skirts of the principal sails, where they appear as wings upon the yard-arms.

The word may be traced from several derivations; as from scud, stead, or steady. The small sails used by sloops, schooners, and tartanes, when scudding, are nearly of the same size or figure with the lower studding-sails; and the accidental application of the former, to the usual design of the latter, throws a probability on the derivation from scud; especially as being used in the small vessels of our ancestors, who were unacquainted with topmasts; and, of course, had no conception of topmast-studding-sails. An ingenious friend of the author, seems, with great propriety, to derive it from steady; because, when the wind is extremely feeble, the fluctuation of the sea although almost imperceptible, is communicated to the ship, and thence to the principal sails; which, being shaken and flapped against the masts, will, by their weight, prevent, or at least considerably diminish, the operation of the wind. The studding-sails, on the contrary, being of a much lighter and thinner texture, more readily feel the effort of the breeze, and continue inflated, so as to push the ship forward, and give her head-way. By this circumstance, she becomes susceptible of the power of the helm, and is accordingly retained in a steady course; and hence those sails may originally have been called steadying-sails, afterwards corrupted into studding-sails. The last conjecture, which seems equally favourable, is drawn from the Saxon word sted, to help or assist; in which sense, those sails may be considered as auxiliar, being set occasionally to help the others, or assist the ship's course; and thence called steading, or steding-sails. But the expression of steering-sails, however adopted by many officers, is a most contemptible conceit, without either authority or reason to support it. The others are implicitly submitted to the reader's decision.

The topmast studding-sails, or those which are set on the out side of the top-sails, are spread below by a boom, which, sliding out from the extremities of the main and fore-yards, as explained in the article SADDLE, pushes out their lower corners: and their upper edges, which are attached to a light pole, are hoisted up to the topsail-yard-arms. See also BOOM. IRON, in the article IRON-WORK.

The lower studding-sails, which are spread beyond the skirts or leech of the main-sail and fore-sail, are fixed nearly in the same manner; only that the boom, which extends their bottoms, is generally hooked to the chains by means of a goose-neck; or else swings off along with the sail to which it is suspended; being kept steady behind by a rope called the guy.


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© Derived from Thomas Cadell's new corrected edition, London: 1780, page 283, 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-1310