double-clewed jib

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A headsail which was also known as a quadrilateral jib. It was introduced aboard the J-class Endeavour by her owner Mr (later Sir) Thomas Sopwith prior to the 1934 challenge for the America's Cup. It was really an extra-large jib with the clew cut off to form a four-sided sail sheeted with two sheets, with the new fourth side corresponding to the leech of a normal four-sided mainsail on a gaff rig. It was almost certainly the invention of John Nicholson, the son of yacht designer Charles E. Nicholson, who designed Endeavour and whose firm, Camper & Nicholsons, built her. It was believed by the British to be more efficient than the normal triangular jib. It was known to the Americans, who quickly adopted it, as a ‘Greta Garbo’, but it never caught on as a racing sail.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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