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Anyone know of anything?
It took me absolutely ages to work out that when the sails were furled, they were mostly pulled up from below by ropes attached to the corners and not entirely hand-over-hand from above by the topmen.
Can anyone explain reefing? I know it is designed to decrease the amount of sail exposed to the wind and presumably it was also done by hauling from below and then securing from the top? Were there ... I dunno... ropes or canvas strips or something so they could secure the sail a quarter or a third up?
Many thanks again
I think it was basically the same idea as on modern sailing yachts, only much bigger and the other way up: there would be a number of lines of reefing points (reinforced patches in the sail) that could be attached to the yard. Some pictures I've seen show reefing points that look exactly like those on yachts, with short lines attached to them that could be secured to the yard; others seem to show rings that could be hooked onto something on the yard. I would guess that you get the rings on sails big enough to have buntlines, and that these would run through the rings (like a zig-zag window blind).
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