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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.


Bow: 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 forestay.


Keelson: laminated strips of spruce or pine that run the centerline length of the boat. The keel fin attaches through the keelson.


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 roach.


Luff: 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 forward.


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 later removed.


Sheet: lines running from the sail servo through the hull fairleads and up to the main and jib booms. Sheets control sail settings.


Starboard: the right side of the boat when facing forward.


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.

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