to draw

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1 When a sail is full of wind, it is said to be drawing. To let draw, to trim the jib of a small sailing vessel with the lee sheet after it has been held to windward by the weather sheet in order to assist in forcing the vessel's bows across the wind when tacking. In very light winds, where the vessel may not have sufficient way to make tacking easy, the jib is held out to windward when the vessel is head to wind to assist its bows across. As soon as this is achieved, the order to let draw ensures the jib being sheeted normally on the new tack. When a ship heaves to at sea, with the jib sheeted to windward, the order to let draw gets it sailing again.

2 Said of a ship to indicate its draught, e.g. ‘the ship draws, or is drawing, so much forward and so much aft’.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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