CANVAS is made of hemp, flax and cotton.

All canvas used in the navy for sails is flaxen, made in cloths of eighty yards in length, and in breadth of twenty inches. These cloths are rolled up in separate packages, called bolts. The stoutest canvas is No. 1; from this number it increases in fineness, and diminishes in strength, to No. 9 (see table in Appendix E).

In selecting canvas for sails, considerable practice and close observation are required. Besides the method detailed in the table of canvas, above mentioned, a good test is to bore a fid through the canvas, when, if bad, the threads are easily broken.

It is of importance that canvas should have a good and even selvage, and be free from tightness.

There is a great deal of difference in the stretching of canvas-that which is badly struck stretching most.

The principal sails of a ship are-the courses, or sails on the lower yards; the topsails, which are next in order above the courses, and the top-gallant sails, which are extended above the topsails.

For sails, see Plate 3, and corresponding reference numbers.

In all quadrilateral sails, the upper edge is called the head; the sides are called the leeches; and the bottom, or lower edge, is termed the foot. If the head is parallel to the foot, the lower corners are denominated clews, and the upper corners head-earing cringles.

In all triangular sails, and 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 clew; the forward corner of the head the nock, the after corner the peak, or head. The foremost edge (or side) is called the fore-leech, or luff, and the aftermost edge the after-leech.

Stay Sails. These are extended upon stays between the masts, taking their names from the stay on which they set. Those used in the navy are the fore-top-mast staysail, main-topmast and main-topgallant staysail and mizzen topmast staysail.

Studding Sails are set out beyond the leeches of


the foresail, topsail and topgallant sail, also beyond the main-topsail and topgallant sail, being known as the lower, topmast and topgallant studding-sails. Their upper edges are extended by studding-sail yards, the lower edges by booms rigged out beyond the extremities of the ship’s yards. These sails are used only in favorable winds and moderate weather.Additional Sails. Above the royals may be set sails called moonsails, sky-scrapers, &c. In the navy nothing is set above royals. In the merchant service rarely anything above a skysail. The sails usually set forward of the foremast are the fore-topmast staysail, jib and flying-jib. Some vessels carry outer-jibs, jib-of-jibs, or jib-topsails.

Storm-Sails are made of the strongest canvas, and are used, as the name indicates, only in the heaviest weather.

These consist of the fore, main and mizzen storm stay-sails and the “storm-mizzen.” The storm-staysails set on the respective lower-stays, or better, on a temporary storm-stay, toggled in the collar of the lower stay.

The storm mizzen is a triangular sail set abaft the mizzen-mast on a vertical “stay,” hooked under the after trestle-tree, and set up on deck.

The fore and main trysails are also used in bad weather and frequently take the place of the main and mizzen storm-staysails.

The term light sails is generally understood in the service to apply to the topgallant sails, royals, flying-jib, and studding-sails.

Jibs are of great command with any side wind, but especially when the ship is close-hauled, or has the wind abeam; and their effect in casting the ship, or turning her head to leeward, is very powerful, and of great utility.

Although the yards on the foremast are termed head-yards, yet the fore-topmast-staysail and the jibs alone are known as the head-sails.

The after-sails, which are those that belong to the mainmast and mizzenmast, keep the ship to the wind; on which account ships sailing on a wind require a head-sail and an after-sail-one to counteract the other, so that the spanker being at one end of the lever, as it were, and the jibs at the other, they are of great assistance in steering and working a ship.

When a ship sails with a side wind, the clews of the fore and main courses are fastened by a tack and sheet, the tack being to windward and the sheet to leeward. The tack is, however, not in use with the wind aft, whereas the sail is never spread without the assistance of one or both of the sheets.

When on a wind, ships are said to have their starboard


(or port) tacks aboard, according to the side presented to the wind.On the other hand, schooners have their port (or starboard) sheets aft.

When speaking of topsails, or such sails as are set by halliards, the altitude is termed the hoist, thus one topsail is said to have “more or less hoist” than another.

When speaking of courses the same idea is conveyed by the word drop, as one mainsail has “more or less drop” than another.

It is under the topsails that many important evolutions are made, and they are justly accounted the principal sails in a ship.

The draft of the ship and spars, Fig. 284, Plate 43, is of great service to the sail-maker, as well as to the boatswain, for by it he can measure for and cut out a suit of sails.

The sailmaker generally makes his own draft to work by.

Were a sail to be exactly square, there would be little art in cutting, but as a ship’s sails are, mostly, anything but square, there is much skill required in the arrangement of every cloth. In cutting out and making them up, it is a primary object to adapt and cut the numerous gores* which, when brought together, will produce the ultimate form required, with the least possible waste of canvas. This is effected by casting the number of inches contained in each gore, so that when they are brought together they shall be equal to the number contained in the after leech-cloth. This is in reference to fore-and-aft sails, but the same theory applies in the parts of square sails.

Sails should set as nearly flat as possible.

The American schooner is an illustration, where even the jib is frequently laced down to a yard or boom, fitted for the purpose, in the desire to have everything set flat.

In pilot boats and yachts the sails are set as taut and as flat as the sacking-bottom of a bed. The utility of this plan was exemplified in the race between the yacht “America” and the English yacht squadron. Going free, there was not much difference; but on hauling up to make a stretch to windward the flat canvas of the “America” enabled her to distance her competitors.

The efficiency of the “America’s” sails, as well as those of all of our small craft, is due to theirgoreless shape, the canvas being cut as much as possible on the thread or woof, and also to the practice of lacing sails down taut to spars or booms. In Fig. 359, Plate 68, the foot of the sail is gored, and as it cannot be laced down, it bellies out to leeward, on a wind, and consequently much of the effect of the wind is. lost.

* In all sails those cloths which are cut in any direction except straight across with the thread or woof are said to be gored.

Plate 68, Fig 359-362. Schooners and sail hanks.


In Fig. 360, Plate 68, on the contrary, the only gore is at the mast to which the sail is attached; each cloth is pulled downwards bodily, and every single thread is stretched. There is, with this sail, but little concave surface, and therefore but little of the effective pressure of the wind is lost. The same principle applies to all sails.Cutting out Sails. Sails are cut out cloth by cloth, the width being governed by the length of the yard, gaff, boom, or stay; the depth by the height of the mast. The width and depth being given, find the number of cloths the width requires, allowing for seams, tabling on leeches, and slack cloth; and in depth, allow for tabling on the head and foot. Sails cut square on the head and foot, with gores only on the leeches, as some topsails are, the cloths on the head between the leeches are cut square to the depth; and the gores on the leeches are found by dividing the depth of the sail by the number of cloths gored, which gives the length of each gore. The gore is set down from a square with the opposite selvage, and the canvas, being cut diagonally, the longest-gored side of one cloth makes the shortest side of the next; consequently, the first gore being known, the rest are cut by it.

In the leeches of topsails cut hollow, the upper gores are longer than the lower ones. By drawing on paper the gored side of the sail, and delineating the breadth of every cloth by a convenient scale of equal parts of an inch to a foot, the length of every gore may be found with precision.

The foot of square sails is roached so as not to be chafed by any boat, netting, or stay, that may stand in the line of their middle parts. Topsails are hollowed on their leeches, to avoid long yard-arms for the lower reef earings.

Sails are supplied to vessels complete, with points, earings, bowline-bridles, beckets, and robands. Their edges are tabled and stitched to the bolt-rope. The tabling of large sails is strengthened at the clews and foot by a third fold of canvas sewn in it. The tabling and clew-pieces are sewn on the after side of square, and on the port side of fore-and-aft sails.

Seams. Sails have a double flat seam, and should be sewed with the best American-made cotton twine of three to eight threads, and have from one hundred and eight to one hundred and sixteen stitches in every yard in length. It is the erroneous practice of some sailmakers not to sew the seams any farther than where the edge is creased down for the tabling; but all sails should be sewed quite home to the end, and, when finished, should be well rubbed down with a rubber. The twine for large sails used in the navy is waxed by hand, with genuine beeswax.

The seams of courses, topsails, lower staysails, trysails, and spanker, are 1 1/2 inches wide. After the larger sails have become somewhat worn, they are sometimes treble-seamed


down the middle of the seam, to strengthen them. Seams of other sails are 1 inch wide. One man can sew 100 yards in 9 1/2 hours, single seam.Tablings. The tablings of sails are of a proportionate breadth to the size of the sail, and sewed at the edge with sixty-eight to seventy-two stitches in a yard.

Holes. Holes are made by an instrument called a stabber, and are fenced round by stitching the edge to a small grommet, made with a log or other line. When finished, they should be well stretched or rounded-up by a pricker or a marling-spike.

Sails have two holes in each cloth at the heads and reefs of courses, top-sails, and other square sails; one hole in every yard in the luff of flying-jibs; and one in every three-quarters of a yard in the lulls of other staysails.

Reef and head holes of sails have grommets of small line, worked round with stitches.

In order to strengthen sails, the boles in the heads and reefs should be placed thus: One hole to be made in the seam, another in the middle of the canvas, and so alternately; the holes in the seam to be half an inch lower than the hole in the middle of the canvas. By this, then strain would lie upon the holes in the seam, which are more capable of bearing it than the holes in the middle of the single canvas. It is likewise recommended to cut these holes with a hollow punch, instead of making them with a stabber or pricker.

Linings. Sails are strengthened with additional canvas at those places most exposed to strain and wear; in square sails, in the wake of cringles along the leeches on the foreside, called leech-lining, c, Figs. 363 and 364, in the wake of buntlines on the foreside, called buntline cloths, g; across the foreside, called reef and belly-bands, a and b; and in the case of topsails on the afterside, called the top-linings and mast-linings, e and f. Fore-and-aft sails are strengthened at the clews by pieces; and jibs sometimes with a strain-band. There is also the foot-lining d, reef-tackle-pieces h, and clew-pieces i.

The clews of courses and topsails are formed of iron. The cringles for earings, reef-tackles, bowlines, &c., are formed of bolt-rope strands, worked round the leech-rope, through eyelet-holes in the tabling. The rope should be new, and half-an-inch smaller than the rope of the sail.

The reef-easing and reef-tackle cringles have galvanized thimbles.

Topsails have two bowline-cringles and one bridle on each leech. Bowline-cringles have no thimbles.

The reef-tackle cringles should be double instead of single, and connected by a stout span into which the reef-tackle hooks, Fig. 374, Plate 71. This distributes the heavy strain of the reef-tackle, and is much better than the present plan.

Plate 69, Fig 363-364. Sail details.


Plate 69, Fig. 363, represents a topsail bent to the iron jackstay of a topsail yard; a’ a” are the first and second reef-bands, fitted to reef with beckets and toggles on the yard; a a the third and fourth reef-bands with reef-points; b b, belly-bands-frequently there is but one; c c, leech linings; d d, foot lining or band; e, top lining; f, mast lining; g, buntline cloths; h, reef-tackle pieces or bands; t t, head tabling and head holes through which the robands are passed; all these, with the exception of the top, foot, and mast lining, are on the forward side of the sail.The Gear. 1, the lift; 2, 3, reef-tackle; 4, head-earing; 5, 6, 7, 8, the first, second, third and fourth, or close-reef cringle-the earing is spliced into the eyelet-hole below the cringle, seized to it and bent to the cringle above; 9, reef-tackle cringle; 10, bowline cringles, bowline bridle and toggle for bowline; 11, iron clew or spectacle-to two of its eyes splice the leech and foot-rope, the eye and splice being leathered-to the third eye shackles the topsail sheet-block; 12, 12, buntline toggles, between which the foot-rope is usually leathered; 13, 14, 15, gluts, the upper two abaft the sail and the lower one forward of the sail as shown in the figure.

Fig. 364 represents a course, also viewed from forward. The lettering and numbers of the details are the same as those for the topsail.

The clew of the course (11), viewed from forward, is shown in an enlarged form, leathered on flap forward between eyes of spectacle.

Generally speaking, topsails have three gluts, two abaft and one forward of the sail; the upper one is for the bunt-jigger to be used when furling sails. The second is for the same purpose when furling with a single reef, and the third, forward of the sail, is for a midship buntline, used for hauling up the slack of the sail in taking in the close reef.

Courses, Fig. 364, have two reef bands on the foreside, each being one-sixth the depth of the sail in the middle from the head; with a belly-band half way between the lower reef and the foot.

Topsails have three or four reef-bands, on the foreside, the lower of which is at half the depth of the sail, nearly; the belly-band, also on the foreside, is halfway between the lower reef and the foot.

Top-gallant sails may have one reef-band, though not pointed, as it is rarely ever used. A topmast studding-sail has one reef-band for setting with single reefed topsails. A lower studding-sail has arolling-reef. None but the last are likely to be of much use.

Spankers have generally two reef-bands, one band running diagonally-termed a balance-reef.

Frequently the term balance-reef is applied to the close-reef


in fore and aft sails, particularly on board of “fore-and-afters.”The jib has a reef-band, and on fore-and-aft coasters a bonnet which is attached to the foot of the sail by means of a lacing. The lug-foresail of a schooner has a bonnet also.

The term lug-foresail is applied to that of the schooner, when the foresail hauls aft by a sheet, to distinguish it from a boom-foresail where the foot is laced down to a boom.

Roping. The bolt-rope sewed on the hollow or straight leeches of square sails, is put on with sufficiency of slack canvas to admit of that stretch of rope which arises from the constant strain upon the margin of such sails; and the necessary allowance for the stretch of the whole is made in the calculation of dimensions of such sails. But in the leeches of fore-and-aft-sails, as also in the round foot of spankers, jibs, &c., &c., a sufficient quantity of slack rope is introduced to keep the foot from curling up, to leave the after-leech of these sails free, and also to compensate for the amount of stretch which those parts of the sails above-named are constantly liable to.

Spankers are made with an allowance of stretch of 3 1/2 inches in each 3 feet of the foot, 1 1/2 in each 3 feet of the head, and 2 1/2 in each 3 feet of the length of the leech.

Sails are always bent to their yard or gaff with the roping next the spar, otherwise the stitches would be cut through by friction.

In square sails the rope is always sewn on the afterside; in fore-and-aft sails, generally on the port side. The roping of the foot is stoutest. tapering off to the leech-rope.

Courses are usually fitted with a double reef point forward of the sail, kept in place by a rope jackstay abaft, which is rove through the bights of the reef points, thrust through the eyelet-holes from forward aft.

Topsails are pointed by reeving one long point through the eyelet-hole, and stitching it in so that two-thirds will be abaft and one-third forward of the sail.

Topmast and Lower Studding-sails are reefed by passing temporary stops of spun-yarn through eyelet-holes.

Boom-mainsails and spanker are pointed by stitching the middle part of the points in holes “stabbed” in the seams of the sails. As in reefing, there is only slack sail to be tied up, heavy pointing is unnecessary.

French Reefs. The first and second reef bands of topsails in our service, and all reefs of square sails in the British and French navies, are now fitted with rope jack-stays instead of points, with reefing beckets, Fig. 367, secured on the yard.

The jackstays on the sails are differently fitted. Our practice is to use two lines, weaving them in opposite

Plate 70, Fig 365-371. Roping and other details of lines on sails.


directions right across, in and out of the holes in the sail, stitching or seizing the crossings together, Fig. 365. The ends of the lines go through the reef-cringle holes and around the leech-rope with an eye-splice.Sometimes the bights of the foremost line are shoved through the holes with a hard kink, the after line being rove through the kink, Fig. 366. Both plans are poor, and the same may be said of any arrangement involving an after jackstay for a topsail, as it is constantly liable to foul in hoisting.

The French plan dispenses with the rope jackstay abaft the sail. The eyelet-holes are placed in pairs, each eyelet of a pair being about two inches from the edge of a seam. The reef-line is secured by splice to the leech of the sail, passes forward of the sail to the first hole, reeves through that hole from forward aft, out through the second hole from aft forward, then in and out again as before, the two turns of the line being seized together abaft the sail with a fiat seizing. The line then passes twice through the next pair of eyelet-holes in the same way, Fig. 368. Another similar plan of fitting the reef-line, also French, is shown in Fig. 369. In this case the use of seizings is avoided, the bight of the reefing-line being shoved through the first hole, the end taken in the second hole through a kink in the bight and out again, and so on to the next pair of holes.


Prior to bending, the sails should be carefully examined, in order to supply any omissions, such as the points, bridles, thimbles, eyelets, and gluts. In addition to which, the fore and aft sails must be prepared with hanks, brail-blocks, lacings and lashings, and the square sails with earings and “rope-bands,” or robands.

Head-Earings. Small manilla rope, one end spliced into the head-earing cringle. the other end whipped. It is cut long enough for two turns from the staple to the head-earing cringle, with end enough for several turns through the backer.

Reef-Earings. Similar to the above, but of heavier stuff; one end spliced into the reef-cringle eyelet, just below their respective thimbles; the other end whipped. Length sufficient to haul out to and around the proper cleat on the yard, with end enough to expend around the yard and through the reef-cringle for three or more turns.

Bull-Earings. The simplest and best are of well-worn manilla, with one end spliced into the standing part, Fig. 370, forming a bight long enough to hitch around the


yard outside the proper cleat, and reeve through the reef-cringle and back to the yard.These are called bull-earings, and remain on the yard instead of in their cringles, that for the first reef being rove through its cringle and brought back to the yard ready for use.

Bull-earings have been made (of smaller stuff) to give more parts in the first turn by splicing on an additional length in the first bight, as in Fig. 371, but they twist up in wet weather, and are otherwise objectionable as compared to the simple form.

Robands, consisting of two-yarn foxes, are middled, and secured to the head rope, by thrustingone end through the bight, which is first passed through the eyelet from the fore side of the sail, and hauled taut.

Gaskets. These are classed as bunt, yard-arm, and sea-gaskets; the first two made of plaited yarns. Those for the bunt consist of two single legs-one on each side of the slings, varying from two to three inches in width, and fitted with a thimble in one end, by which it is secured to the bendingjack-stay with a permanent seizing-the other extremity having a laniard, which is hitched to the opposite quarter of the yard on top; the gaskets crossing each other on the bunt when the sail is furled. The yard-arm gaskets are made of sennit also, and fitted with a thimble, or eye, in one end, and the other tapering, and secured at equal distances (generally about every third seam) along the yard, underneath the jack-stay, by a cross-seizing just below the thimble. The gasket lies under the head of the sail. When furling it is taken up forward and over, and the end rove through the thimble, the sail tossed well up and the end expended around its own part.

In making harbor gaskets, the broad part should be long enough to. take the sail in when furled with two reefs; they should be carefully blacked, and to avoid staining the sail, should be lined.

The sea-gaskets, or more properly furling lines (of which there are two on each of the lower and topsail yardarms), may be either of sennit or small-sized rope, and of sufficient length to go around booms and all, when furling in heavy weather. These, however, are not necessarily permanent fixtures to the yard, although usually put round it at the outer and inner quarters with a running eye, and the surplus end bighted up with frapping turns, and thrown forward of the sail, at sea. They are removed in port.


The minutiae of bending sails “made up for stowage,” is given below. It must be borne in mind, however, that the


best authorities recommend that square sails should be made up “as furled” for bending.A description of the latter-mode of bending sail will be found under the head of PORT DRILLS.


Making-up for Bending. In making up a course for bending, stretch the head of the sail taut along the deck, having the roping on the under side, bring up to the head the belly-band, then the foot, leaving the clews out at each end, also the bowline-bridles, and roll taut up; pass the head-earing around the sail close inside the leech-rope, and put a stop of good spun-yarn to every seam. The reef-earings are made up in the sail. The head and foot are both left out for bending the gear.

To Bend. Toggle the buntlines to the foot-rope at each side of the midship-seam, and clinch the leech-lines to their cringles, stopping both to the head of the sail-the former to the eyelet of the middle roband. and the latter in the wake of their leading-blocks. Hook the yard-arm. jiggers (usually the clew-jiggers)* from straps around the pacific-iron to the first reef-cringles. Hook on the clew-garnet blocks to the after part, passing them under the sail.

Stop the head-earing along the head of the sail towards the bunt.

Send hands on the lower yards, trice up the booms, man the gear and sway aloft, merely gathering up the slack of the clew-garnets. When high enough (i.e., when the centre of the sail reaches the centre of the yard), “bring to,” cut the buntline and leech-line stops, and make fast the midship stop, together with three or four robands at each side of it, by passing the short ends under the jack-stay from forward aft, and the long ones over and under, from aft forward-thence back through the eyelets, and square knot them on top. Carry out the head-earings and haul the sail out until the head-rope is taut along the yard. Pass two turns of the head-earing through its eye-bolt, or thimble of a head-earing strap. Expend the end through the backer, from the head of the sail up forward into the thimble of the backer, down through the backer and up again through the cringle, hauling the cringle up snug at each turn. Hitch the end through the hauling-out parts. Fig. 372.

* Where reef-tackles are fitted to the courses the clew-jiggers may be dispensed with, and the sail hauled out to the yard-arms by the reef-tackles, the head-earing cringle stopped to the standing part. This plan, apart from the facility it affords in reefing, will be found serviceable in bending the sail.


In bending as above stated, if the course is a large one, time will be saved by sending it up loosed, or at least with the greater part of the sail hauled into the bunt. If made up, the weight on the yard-arms will be so great, when the sail is rolled up as described, that it will tend to hang below the yard and be troublesome to haul up.


The Leeches are handed in along the yard, then the sail rolled up snug, with the ends of the points passed in towards the bunt, to give the sail a gradual increase in that direction. Pass the gaskets square, lower the booms, and if required stop up the gear. The buntlines and leech-lines are stopped to the slings close down, and hauled taut on deck. The bowline-bridles of all sails in furling are laid with the toggle towards the bunt, and bridles taut along the yard.

When a sail is neatly furled, it appears neither above. nor below the yard-earings well slewed up-sail smooth under the gaskets, bunt square, and a taut skin. The heels of the booms should be square, and everything necessary completed, previous to squaring the yards.


Having prepared the sails for bending, and supplied deficiencies, get them on deck and roll up on the fore part,* as follows:

To make up a Topsail, stretch the head of the sail taut along, after side down; bring the second reef up to the head, and lay all the points and earings snugly along; then bring up the belly-band, and then the foot. The clews, bowline-bridles, and reef-tackle cringles, should be left out, so that when the sail is sent aloft for bending, the sheets, reef-tackles, and bowlines can be bent without loosing the sail, which will be found of great advantage when blowing fresh. Roll well up, stop with spun-yarn at each seam, and expend the head-earings round the ends of the sail.

To Bend. Hook the sail-tackle to a strap at the crotch of the topmast-stay, and to one bight of a stout pair of slings, passed around the centre of the sail. Seize the other bight to its own part around the standing part, as in Fig. 373. For exercising, a better form of strap is shown in Fig. 375. Hook yard-arm-jiggers, for hauling out the head

* The reason for making the sail up on the fore part is to cause it to fall forward, and clear of the top, when cast loose from the slings.

Plate 71, Fig 372. Details of preparing and bending sail.


of the sail, if the reef-tackles are inadequate.* Overhaul the sheets and reef-tackles, bringing the bending ends of both into the top, and have the bowlines, buntlines, and clewlines ready for toggling, and bending to the sail. Send hands aloft on the yards, man the tackle, trice up the booms, and “sway aloft.” When the sail rises above the top, cut the stops; hook or shackle the sheets and reef-tackles, passing the head earing aloft to the yard. Hook also the clewlines (or if double, hook their blocks) to the clews, and toggle the buntlines and bowlines to the foot-rope and bridles respectively. Now haul out on the yardarm-jiggers and lower on the sail-tackle until the head of the sail is stretched along the yard and its centre comes flush with the centre of the yard, then pass the midship stop, rouse out the head-earings, cutting the seizings of the slings around the sail; at the same time gathering up the slack of the buntlines and clewlines. Pass the earings, Fig. 372, and the remaining robands, as in the case previously stated. Then unhook the sail-tackle from the stay, overhaul the gear, sheet home, down booms, and hoist the sail up to a taut leech; after which, lower the topsail, clew up, and furl.It is better to toggle the buntlines before swaying the sail aloft.

When the sail is nearly rolled up, hook the bunt-jigger, bouse it well up, lower away roundly the buntlines, and shove the sail well into the skin, taking pains to keep the bunt square; pass and secure the gaskets, lower and square the studding-sail booms.

If the bunt-jigger is hooked into the upper glut and stopped to the second one, it will draw up a neat skin to cover the bunt.


These sails require some fittings not strictly within the sailmaker’s department, such as the bails for tack-lashings, the hanks, &c.

Hanks are stout thimbles, of the shape shown in Figs. 361 and 362, which traverse up and down the stay. The common plan is to attach them to the luff by foxes of spun-yarn rove through the eyes of the hank and the eyelet on the sail. A neater plan is suggested by Fig. 362, where a toggle is strapped into one eye of the hank, with a double strap of 6-thread stuff, and hooks into a single strap worked on the opposite eye, of 9-thread.

Fore-and-aft sails running upon hemp stays are bent with

* On board of the practice ships, in lieu of the reef-burtons and pendant which was the old plan, the sail is hauled out by the reef-tackles alone. And whenever the lead permits, reef-tackles are used as yard-arm-jiggers.


manilla bridles, the bridles being toggled to the sails. Those running on iron stays are fitted with hanks, Figs. 376 and 377. Bridles must be passed against the lay of the stay.To bend a Head Sail. Make it up on the foot, laying the sail down in bights; see the head, tack and clew-cringles clear. Pass a strap around the body of the sail, into which hook the halliards. The down-haul is rove and bent to the sail-strap. By means of the down-haul and halliards rouse the sail out on the boom and bend it to the hanks, hooking the halliards and down-haul to their places in the head and swaying up, when necessary. Begin bending to the upper hanks and work down toward the foot; hooking the tack to the bail, or strap (fore-topmast stay-sail). Shackle the sheets, take off the sail-strap when of no further use.

To stow a Head Sail. Haul it close down and pass the gaskets, have a clew-stop on the clew of the jib to hold the clew forward of the cap, and a similar one from the flying-jib clew to the. wythe. The cover is then placed over and the stops tied. Jib-sheets stopped down and the sheets and halliards hauled taut. The fore-topmast stay-sail stows in a netting or canvas bottom made for the purpose and placed on the bowsprit between the stays.

Furling lines or sea gaskets are used in stowing the jibs at sea; for port there is fitted on the boom acentipede, a piece of sennit running the length of the boom, with short pieces of the same material running athwartship at certain intervals. The sail stows on the centipede, and the short ends are brought over and tied on top, as gaskets. Jibs carefully stowed in their own cloths may be made to look as neat as with a regular cover on, but require more care in stowing than any other fore-and-aft sail.

The flying-jib should be sent out for bending on the starboard side, on account of the boom being on that side of the bowsprit.

Make up a head sail, for stowing away, on the after leech, doubling the tack and head clew in toward the sheet before commencing to roll up.

Royals and Top-gallant Sails. They should be always bent on deck, on account of the difficulty of hauling out by hand; the earings and rope-bands are passed like those for the courses and topsails; the buntlines, clewlines, and sheets, being bent after the yard is crossed. If, however, it should be necessary to bend the top-gallant sail aloft, it may be sent up by the royal yard-rope, and the head-cringles hauled out by means of the top-gallant studding-sail halliards.

NOTE. In furling either a royal or top-gallant sail, it should be rolled up with a long, taut bunt, and the clews “tucked in,” to avoid tearing the sail in its upward or downward passage.



The heads of the trysails and spanker are made to traverse on gaffs. To bend:

First Method. Lower the gaff, bight the sail down on the foot, keeping head and luff clear for bending. Reeve the brails (throat, middle and foot) through their blocks, passing the sail through their bights, which are seized to the leech of the sail at the proper eyelet-holes. Bend the head out-haul and secure the head to the hoops, beginning with the hoops nearest the peak. Rouse up and secure the nock or throat earing, which is passed around the gaff and through its cringle, or secure the cringle by an iron staple, both ends of which are then shoved up through holes in the jaws of the gaff and keyed on top. Bend the head down-haul and clew-rope. Sway up the gaff, seizing the luff of the sail to the travelers on the batten, or to the hoops on the trysail-mast, as the case may be; finally, pass the tack lashing. If the sail is a spanker, hook the out-haul block to the clew. Trysail sheets are not usually hooked until just before setting the sail.

Second Method. Keep fast the gaff. Send down a whip from under the top and bend it to a strap around the head of the sail. Trice up the head, stopping the luff to the hoops on the trysail-mast as the sail goes aloft. When high enough pass the throat lashing, bend the head out-haul and down-haul, haul out the head, bending it to the hoops on the gaff as it goes out.

Furling Fore and Aft Sails. They are furled best with a cover, but can be furled in the two after-cloths, though not usually looking so well. In furling with a cover, brail the sail close up and stop the cover around, commencing at the jaws and working down.


The routine, as stated in the preceding articles, will be found to answer for this sail, there being, however, necessarily some slight exceptions, viz.: the omission of brails; and in lieu of an out-haul the clew is shackled to a span on the boom. Another distinction is, that the foot of the sail is stopped down taut to the boom by means of points or stops fitted for the purpose.


In bending these sails, place the roping of the sail on the


after and under side of the yard, secured in such manner as to preclude the possibility of its bagging down.The outer earings, which are spliced into the cringles with a short eye, are passed through holes bored in the extremities of the yard, from the after side-thence back. through the cringle and over the yard, inside of the hole, until three or four turns are taken, when the end is hitched through the cringle and around the single part. The sail is then brought taut along the yard, the inner earing passed in the same manner, and the head-rope secured to the yard by neat sennit stops, which are fixtures in the eyelets. Lastly, the sheets and down-haul are bent as described in RUNNING RIGGING.

To Make up Topmast Studding-Sails when not Bent. Stretch the sail taut along, and overhaul the down-haul through the thimble and block, and bight it along the whole length of the leech. Then roll up toward the inner leech, lay the sheets along the whole length of the sail, roll up over all, and stop the sail well up with rope-yarn. The earings are expended round the head of the sail. The topgallant studding-sail is made up in the same manner.

When Bent. In making up a topmast studding-sail, when bent, overhaul the down-haul the length of the lull or outer leech; then take the foot up to the yard, and place the tack-cringle out. Bight the down-haul along the yard, also the sheets; roll the sail snugly up and stop it with sennit-tails. These are clove-hitched around the studdingsail-yard, and remain there. When the sail is being prepared for going aloft the sennit stops are cast adrift from around the sail, and the latter held together by a rope strap and toggle, as will be described hereafter under MAKING SAIL.

Lower Studding-Sails are bent and made up in the same manner as topmast studding-sails, with the sheet in.

When ready for sea, topgallant studding-sails are kept in the tops with covers on.

The other studding sails are rolled up in their covers and stowed on the booms.

It is the practice to keep, while at sea, the topmast studding-sail up and down the fore rigging, the topgallant studding-sail in the topmast rigging, and the lower studding-sails triced up and down the fore-mast. This is a very good plan when circumstances render a frequent use of these sails liable.

All spare sails should be tallied before being stowed in the sail-room, as it will prevent mistakes; and if a sail is properly stowed, and the sail-maker takes a list when they are stowing, there can never be any difficulty in finding what may be wanted.


Sail-Covers. for fore-and-aft sails, and for square-sails of steamers, very frequently have imitation gaskets, stitched or painted on the outside, which adds much to their appearance.In addition to the cover for the main-sail and main-topsail, steamers have a “jacket” which laces around the main-mast to protect it from the smoke of the funnel.

Back-Cloths. These are for stowing the bunt of the topsails in. They are made of stout canvas, roped around, and are attached to the after part of the yard close up to the topmast. When arranged for furling, one corner is stopped out to the forward swifter of the topmast rigging, to the topsail-lift, or wherever convenient. They add very much to the neat appearance of the sail when furled.

They should be sent down when the sails are unbent.

An examination of this partial table of allowance of sails for vessels of the “Trenton” class, will give a good idea of the different numbers of canvas used and the various sizes of roping. All the sails allowed are not included in this table:


Sails No. of
No. of
Size of Rope
Head Foot Leech Hoist
Fore-sails* 2 2 2 1/2 5 3/4 5 3/4
Fore-topsails 2 2 2 1/2 5 3/4 4 1/2
Fore-topgallant-sails 2 4 2 3 1/4 2 3/4
Fore-royals 2 8 1 3/4 2 1/2 2 1/2
Main-sails 2 2 2 1/2 5 1/2 5 1/2
Main-topsails 2 2 2 1/2 5 3/4 4 3/4
Main-topgallant-sails 2 4 2 3 1/4 2 3/4
Main-royals 2 8 1 3/4 2 1/2 2 1/2
Mizzen-topsails 2 3 2 1/4 4 1/2 3 1/4
Mizzen-topgallant-sails 2 6 1 3/4 3 2 1/2
Mizzen-royals 2 9 1 1/2 2 1/4 2 1/4
Flying-jibs 2 5 2 3/4 2 3/4 2 3/4
Jibs 2 2 3 1/2 3 1/2 3 1/2
Fore-trysails 1 1 2 1/2 3 3 3/4 3
Main-trysails 2 1 2 1/2 3 3 3/4 3
Storm-mizzens 1 1 3 1/4 3 1/4 3 1/4
Spankers 2 2 2 1/2 3 3 3/4 3
Fore storm-staysails 1 1 3 1/4 3 1/4 3 1/4
Fore-topmast staysails 2 2 3 1/4 3 1/4 3 1/4
Mizzen storm-staysails 1 1 3 1/4 3 1/4 3 1/4

* One fore-sail, one fore and one main-topsail to be of No. 1 canvas.


All sails are made of flax canvas; cotton canvas is used for the following purposes:No. 1 is principally for the construction of water-tanks for boats.

No. 2 for mess-cloths.

No. 3 for making tarpaulins and head-cloths.

No. 4 for deck awnings, boom-covers, hammock-cloths, &c.

Nos. 5 and 6 for wind-sails, sail-covers and boat-covers. Nos. 7 and 8 for boat awnings, awning curtains, wheel-covers, &c.

Nos. 9 and 10 for binnacle-covers, side-screens, &c. Hammock stuff for making hammocks.

Bag-stuff for clothes-bags, hatch-hoods, &c.

Cot stuff for cots.

NOTE. All fore and aft sails, as well as courses, topsails and topgallant sails, are finished with iron clews.

See also Appendix E.