to furl

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To take in the sails of a vessel and secure them with gaskets. With square-rigged ships this means hauling in on the clew lines and buntlines and rolling them up to the yards. With the fore-and-aft rig, the sails are lowered and secured to the booms with gaskets, or the foresails are rolled up and secured to the stays on which they are set. To furl in a body, a method of furling sail in square-rigged ships occasionally practised when the ship is expected to remain in harbour for some time. It entails gathering the sail into the top of the heel of the topmast by releasing the earings at the yardarms, so that the sail can be drawn in towards the centre of the yard.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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