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Terry K BS: Slightly odd request: Nautical Info??? (35) RE: BS: Slightly odd request: Nautical Info??? 16 Oct 05

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A staysail is a fore-and-aft rigged sail whose luff is affixed to a stay running forward (and most often but not always downwards) from a mast to the deck, the bowsprit or to another mast.

Most staysails are triangular, however some are four-cornered, notably some fishermans staysails.

Any triangular staysail set forward of the foremost mast is called a jib. Confusingly, the innermost jib on a cutter, schooner and many other rigs having two or more jibs is referred to simply as the staysail, and another of the jibs on such a rig is referred to simply as the jib, see jib.

On large rigs, staysails other than jibs are named according to the mast and mast section on which they are hoisted. Thus, the staysail hoisted on a stay that runs forward and downwards from the top of the mizzen topgallant mast is the mizzen topgallant staysail. If two staysails are hoisted to different points on this mast, they would be the mizzen upper topgallant staysail and the mizzen lower topgallant staysail.

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