studding sails

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(pron. stuns'ls),

additional sails set outside the main stacks of square-riggers to increase sail area in suitable conditions. First introduced in the 16th century, they are set from light spars called studding-sail booms which slide out from the yards through hoops on the yard and at the yardarm. The sail is hoisted by a halyard from the end of the boom attached to a light yard to which it is laced. The sheet is taken to a similar boom extending from a lower yard or from the deck. They are usually set between the topgallant yards and the topsail yards, and the topsail yards and the course yards. Lower studding sails also used to be set below the course yards but this is rarely seen these days. A common practice was to use a topmast studding sail on the weather side to help balance the helm. For illus.

see square rig.

see square rig.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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