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gaff topsail

noun, Nautical.
Also called fore-and-aft topsail. a jib-headed fore-and-aft sail set above a gaff.
a quadrilateral fore-and-aft sail set above the spanker of a bark, between the gaff of the spanker and an upper gaff.
Origin of gaff topsail
First recorded in 1785-95 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Historical Examples
  • Used aboard yachts for bending on the gaff topsail halliards.

    Boy Scouts Handbook Boy Scouts of America
  • Papa, on this, ordered the gaff topsail to be taken in, and the jib shifted.

  • Peak—The upper outer corner of a triangular sail, also the upper corner of a jib or gaff topsail.

    On Yacht Sailing Thomas Fleming Day
  • The mainsail was cast loose, jib and staysail ready, and the gaff topsail would not take many minutes to run up in its place.

    In the King's Name George Manville Fenn

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