Backstay: an adjustable line that runs from
the mast head to the stern of the boat. Used to tension the mast and shape the
main sail when sailing to windward.
Batten: thin plastic strips attached to the trailing edge of the sail.
Battens impart stiffness and flatten the aft half of the sail.
front of boat.
Bowsie: thin strips of metal or plastic used
to adjust the length of a line, sheet, or stay.
Chainplate: steel or brass deck fittings to
which the mast shrouds are attached.
Clew: the aft bottom triangular corner of a
sail to which the clew outhaul is attached.
Clew outhaul: a bowsie-adjusted line running
from a fixed point on the main or jib boom through an eye at the aft end of the
boom to the sail clew. Used to adjust tension at the foot of the sail.
Fairlead: an exit point through the deck
that is faired or rounded so as not to abrade the jib or main sheet running
through the fairlead.
Fin: also known as a keel fin, the typical
fin has a long narrow tapered outline with a symmetrical airfoil cross-section.
A faired lead bulb is attached to the bottom of the fin.
Foot: the bottom edge of the sail.
Forestay: a bowsie-adjustable line running
from the bow or bowsprit to the top of the mast. Seldom if ever used on racing
hulls. The jib stay subs as a forestay.
Gooseneck: hinged fitting that attaches the
main boom to the mast.
Halyard: lines used to raise, lower and
tension the sails.
Head: the top corner of the sail.
Jib rack: deck fitting to which the jib boom
or club is attached.
Jib stay: an adjustable line running from
the fore end of the jib boom through the luff (leading edge) of the jib sail to
a point high up on the mast or the mast head itself. It functions in lieu of a
Keelson: laminated strips of spruce or pine
that run the centerline length of the boat. The keel fin attaches through the
Leech: an imaginary straight line drawn from
the head of the sail to its clew. The sail area aft of the leech line is termed
the leading edge of a jib or main sail. The jib luff attaches to the jib stay.
The main luff attaches to the aft side of the mast.
Luff curve: an almost imperceptible curve or
arc sewn into the luff of a main sail to impart fullness to the sail. Backstay
tension is set to match this curve.
Mast step: a deck fitting that allows the
mast to be placed or stepped at one of several fore and aft positions.
Port: the left side of the boat when facing
Roach: sail area aft of the leech line.
Class rules define roach area for each sailboat class.
Shadows: temporary frames arranged
upside-down on a building board. Shadows are used during hull planking and are
Sheet: lines running from the sail servo
through the hull fairleads and up to the main and jib booms. Sheets control sail
Starboard: the right side of the boat when
Topping lift: an adjustable line that runs
from the aft end of the jib club to the masthead crane. Itís used to control the
shape of the jib sail.
Vang: an adjustable steel and wire fitting
that runs from the mast foot to a point on the underside of the main boom
several inches aft of the mast. The vang controls the main boom and prevents it
from lifting excessively and ballooning the main sail.