If the wind is fresh, it would make it difficult to clew up the sails.
“Clear the anchor, and clew up the main-topsail,” shouted the mate.
We hadn't strength to clew up, so her sails were blown away, and she went flying before the mad tempest under bare poles.
Let go the topgallant and topsail halliards, and clew up and furl the sails.
Stand boldly in until abreast of the big rock at the mouth of the bight, when clew up and furl everything.
“clew up the courses,” was the next command; followed by an order to brace round the yards.
The first thing we did was to clew up the three top-gallant-sails.
Raise main tack and sheet; man the main clew-garnets, buntlines, and leech-lines; clew up cheerily, lads!
The order was given to clew up the courses and take a reef in the topsails.
Stand boldly in until ye come abreast of the big rock at the mouth of the bight, when clew up and furl everything.
"ball of thread or yarn," northern English and Scottish relic of Old English cliewen "sphere, ball, skein, ball of thread or yarn," probably from West Germanic *kleuwin (cf. Old Saxon cleuwin, Dutch kluwen), from Proto-Germanic *kliwjo-, from PIE *gleu- "gather into a mass, conglomerate" (see clay).