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Mainsail   Listen
noun
Mainsail  n.  (Naut.) The principal sail in a ship or other vessel. "(They) hoised up the mainsail to the wind." Note: The mainsail of a ship is extended upon a yard attached to the mainmast, and that of a sloop or schooner upon the boom.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Mainsail" Quotes from Famous Books



... once to unfurl the jib. With a little canvas on her I believed the sloop could be wore 'round and headed into the wind before the waves sprang up. Perhaps it would have been wiser to have given her a hand's breath of the mainsail. However, before the bit of canvas bellied out and I had dashed back to the helm, the first wave broke over the ...
— Swept Out to Sea - Clint Webb Among the Whalers • W. Bertram Foster

... when about thirty leagues west of North Cape, and about the same latitude as the Bay of Islands, no land in sight, the wind rose so that they had to bring to, under the mainsail, but moderated a little the next day so that they could run in towards the land. Again it freshened up and blew a perfect hurricane, accompanied by heavy rain, and a "prodidgeous high sea," which caused the ship to go greatly ...
— The Life of Captain James Cook • Arthur Kitson

... a passenger, and ten men. At 11 A.M. we "sheeted home," and stood out of the harbor with a fair breeze, and all canvass spread: but, within an hour, the wind freshened to a gale, and compelled us to take in everything but a close reefed mainsail. The sea being rough, and the weather squally, our boat took in more water than was either agreeable or safe, until we somewhat improved matters by constructing a temporary forecastle of tarpaulins. Finding it impossible, however, to contend against wind and current, we bore ...
— Journal of an African Cruiser • Horatio Bridge

... they finally succeeded in stopping the leak, this was not accomplished until the mainsail had been carried away by the heavy sea, and other injuries sustained. It was a terrible time for all, and the crew, exhausted and overworked on insufficient food, were only held to their tasks by the captain and mates standing over ...
— All Aboard - A Story for Girls • Fannie E. Newberry

... separated. I put the Reindeer about on the other tack, ran up under the lee of a junk, shivered the mainsail into the wind and lost headway, and forged past the stern of the junk so slowly and so near that one of the patrolmen stepped lightly aboard. Then I kept off, filled the mainsail, and bore away for ...
— Tales of the Fish Patrol • Jack London

... flying jib: take the bonnet off the jib, and put a reef in her," came the strong swift sentences. "Brail up the foresail, and double reef the mainsail." ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 15, - No. 87, March, 1875 • Various

... her headsails ran down, she turned short on her heel, and her anchor bit into the sandy bottom on the edge of the outer reef; for it was too dangerous then to attempt entering the little bay full of shoals. After the last solemn flutter of the mainsail the murmuring voices of the Moorsom party lingered, very frail, in the ...
— Within the Tides • Joseph Conrad

... our topmast, but let all stand, because she scudded before the sea very well, and we knew that the topmast being aloft, the ship was the wholesomer, and made better way through the sea, seeing we had sea-room. When the storm was over, we set foresail and mainsail, and brought the ship to. Then we set the mizzen, maintopsail, and the foretopsail. Our course was east- northeast, the wind was at southwest. We got the starboard tacks aboard, we cast off our weather braces and lifts; we set in the lee braces, and hauled forward ...
— The Junior Classics, V5 • Edited by William Patten

... a danger to the ship. The jibs I speedily doused and brought tumbling to the deck; but the mainsail was a harder matter. Of course, when the schooner canted over, the boom had swung out-board, and the cap of it and a foot or two of sail hung even under water. I thought this made it still more dangerous; ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 6 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... man weighs anchor in a little ship or a large one he does a jolly thing! He cuts himself off and he starts for freedom and for the chance of things. He pulls the jib a-weather, he leans to her slowly pulling round, he sees the wind getting into the mainsail, and he feels that she feels the helm. He has her on a slant of the wind, and he makes out between the harbour piers. I am supposing, for the sake of good luck, that it is not blowing bang down the harbour mouth, ...
— First and Last • H. Belloc

... He stepped aft to take the wheel himself. The mainsail was going up smartly. The old boatswain and the Portygees swung upon the lines with vehemence. There was not more than a capful of wind; but once let the canvas fill, and ...
— Sheila of Big Wreck Cove - A Story of Cape Cod • James A. Cooper

... Jib. c. Foresail. d. Foretopsail. e. Foretopgallantsail. f. Foreroyal. g. Mainsail. h. Maintopsail. ...
— Two Years Before the Mast • Richard Henry Dana

... a mile from the shore a small brigantine, stripped to a lower topsail, storm-jib, and balance-reefed mainsail, was trying to claw off shore. She had small chance, unless the gale shifted or moderated, for she evidently could not carry enough sail to make any way against the huge sea, and to heave to would be sure destruction ...
— Whosoever Shall Offend • F. Marion Crawford

... George kept after the big warship like a sword-fish chasing a whale. She drew so close that some burning wads from the Spanish guns set fire to her mainsail. Continually hoping that the Prince Frederick would come up, the gallant Walker hammered away at the Glorioso with furious precision, and drove her so near the rocks off Cape Vincent that the castle guns began to play upon the two grappling warriors of the sea. The British sea-captain ...
— Famous Privateersmen and Adventurers of the Sea • Charles H. L. Johnston

... dear friend, buy a boat of from four to six tons burthen, properly rigged and ballasted; also buy a red shirt, a small low-crowned straw hat, some tar to smear over your hands, and learn the first stanza of 'The sea! the sea!' to make every thing seem more nautical and ship-shape. Hoist jib and mainsail, and venture out. After you have drifted a mile or two, it will fall a dead calm, and the boat (Gazelle? Wave? Gull?) will float two or three hours, the sun flashing back from the glassy surface of the ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, January 1844 - Volume 23, Number 1 • Various

... strange object in the clouds, coming from the north." She called the attention of Mrs. L. Lowell to it, and they were both somewhat alarmed. However, they continued to watch the object steadily for some time. It drew nearer. It was of triangular shape, and seemed to be about the size of a pilot-boat mainsail, with chains attached to the bottom of it. While crossing the land it had appeared to descend, but, as it went out to sea, it ascended, and continued to ascend, until it was lost to ...
— The Book of the Damned • Charles Fort

... a few words and many dramatic gestures, he made known how the trader, roused from a two-day stupor by the pitching of the vessel and the banging of the boom sticks, had staggered up out of the cabin, and been struck by the heavily swinging boom of the mainsail. ...
— Where the Sun Swings North • Barrett Willoughby

... let raise the mast and hoist the mainsail, and the wind filled the sail, and they made taut the ropes all round. But anon strange matters appeared to them: first there flowed through all the swift black ship a sweet and fragrant wine, and the ambrosial ...
— The Homeric Hymns - A New Prose Translation; and Essays, Literary and Mythological • Andrew Lang

... for Anne to go to Boston, and to tell Anne that her Aunt Martha knows the truth. You just run up and tell Mrs. Stoddard all about it, Amanda," he answered; and, having sent his boat into deep water, the captain drew in his oars and began hoisting the big mainsail. ...
— A Little Maid of Massachusetts Colony • Alice Turner Curtis

... island lies some seventeen miles from the coast We started on our homeward sail with a fresh westerly wind. Shortly after midday it backed round to the north and grew lighter. At five o'clock we were stealing along very gently through calm water with our mainsail boom out against the shroud. The jib and foresail were drooping in limp folds. An hour later the mainsheet was hanging in the water and the boat drifted with the tide. Peter, crouching in the fore part of the cockpit, hissed through his clenched teeth, which is the way in which ...
— Our Casualty And Other Stories - 1918 • James Owen Hannay, AKA George A. Birmingham

... took our mainsail, which was hard frozen, and carried it ashore to cover our house, first thawing it by a great fire; by night they had covered it, and had almost hedged it about, and our six builders desired they might travel up into the country to see ...
— Famous Islands and Memorable Voyages • Anonymous

... starboard bow, the officer then gave orders for our cable to be slipped, which was immediately put into execution. John Gardener, a seaman, wishing to go aloft, and not taking proper hold, was blown from the rigging, and never seen again. We set the fore-sail, which immediately split; the mainsail, met with the same fate; the gaskets of the topsails gave way, and the sails split. At half past eight we found we had sprung a leak, owing to the ship's labouring so much; in the course of ten minutes we sounded, and found three feet water in the hold. The pumps were choaked; by 9 A. M. they ...
— Narrative of a Voyage to India; of a Shipwreck on board the Lady Castlereagh; and a Description of New South Wales • W. B. Cramp

... time we crossed into frequent thunders. One evening just at dark we made out a heavy black squall. Not knowing exactly what weight lay behind it, I called up all hands. We ducked the staysail and foresail, lowered the peak of the mainsail, and waited to feel of it—a rough and ready seamanship often used in these little California windjammers. I was pretty busy, but I heard distinctly ...
— The Mystery • Stewart Edward White and Samuel Hopkins Adams

... of mile of the two ships—the NASSAU and the DAGGET—the newcomer backs her foreyard and hauls up her mainsail. A cheer rises from the ships. She wants to "gam," I.E. to gossip. With eager hands four boats are lowered from the two ships, and the captains and second mates of each are soon racing ...
— By Reef and Palm • Louis Becke

... time of it with Colonel Euan Smith and the Manchester Regiment, his only regret being that he had not killed a tiger. We waved adieux to the skipper, pointed the yacht's head to the southward, made sail, and, as soon as it was cool enough, lowered the funnel and set the mainsail. ...
— The Last Voyage - to India and Australia, in the 'Sunbeam' • Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey

... generwine crew, aint I? All right, my hearties, I'll set ye to work fast enough." And then followed a string of orders in true nautical style, and the Rover boys flew in one direction and another to execute them. Up went the mainsail and the jib, and the top-sail followed, and soon the Old Glory was standing off into Santa Barbara Channel, with Mrs. Stanhope in the carriage waving them an adieu, and the girls and the boys ...
— The Rover Boys on Land and Sea - The Crusoes of Seven Islands • Arthur M. Winfield

... one was sighted, bound from Antwerp to Cadiz. Cobham gave chase, easily captured her in the Bay of Biscay, and discovered there were forty Inquisition prisoners aboard. After rescuing the prisoners, the captain and crew of the Spanish vessel were then sewn up in their own mainsail and tossed into the sea, no doubt with such sententious expressions of godliness as was thought befitting to sacred occasions of that period. This ceremony having been performed, the vessel was scuttled, so that she might nevermore be used in trading with British sailors or ...
— Drake, Nelson and Napoleon • Walter Runciman

... no sooner reached the vessel than the latter began to drift, carrying the boat along with her. Instantly those on board endeavoured to hoist the mainsail of the Smeaton, with the view of working her up to the buoy from which she had parted; but it blew so hard, that by the time she was got round to make a tack towards the rock, she had drifted at least ...
— The Lighthouse • Robert Ballantyne

... obliged to stand a long way to the westward, and went to the northward of Juan Fernandez above a degree, before we had a wind that we could make any southing with. On the 25th, in the latitude of 46 degrees, we met with a violent hard gale at west, which obliged us to lie-to under a reefed mainsail for some days, and before we got round the cape, we had many very hard gales, with a prodigious sea and constant thick snow; and after being so long in so delightful a climate as Chili, the cold was ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 17 • Robert Kerr

... I noticed fetch up, head on and square on, with the starboard bitt. His head cracked like an egg. I saw what was coming, sprang on top of the cabin, and from there into the mainsail itself. Ah Choon and one of the Americans tried to follow me, but I was one jump ahead of them. The American was swept away and over the stern like a piece of chaff. Ah Choon caught a spoke of the wheel, and swung in behind it. But a strapping ...
— South Sea Tales • Jack London

... like very much to go there," said I, and the captain, without comment, changed his course a little more to the eastward and let the reef out of his mainsail. ...
— The Country of the Pointed Firs • Sarah Orne Jewett

... lying outside so much as the merry blue bay between me and those rocks and sand-hills. If I moved my head a little to the right, I saw, over the top of the low wall already mentioned, and apparently quite close to it the slender yellow masts of a schooner, her mainsail hanging loose from the gaff, whose peak was lowered. We must, I thought, be on the very harbour-quay. When I went out for my walk with Wynnie, I had turned from the bay, and gone to the brow of the cliffs overhanging the open sea on our own side ...
— The Seaboard Parish Volume 1 • George MacDonald

... Laird, who had sought Mannering for some time, and now joined him, "there they go—there go the free-traders—there go Captain Dirk Hatteraick, and the Yungfrauw Hagenslaapen, half Manks, half Dutchman, half devil! run out the bowsprit, up mainsail, top and top-gallant sails, royals, and sky-scrapers, and away,—follow who can! That fellow, Mr. Mannering, is the terror of all the excise and custom-house cruisers; they can make nothing of him; he drubs them, ...
— Guy Mannering • Sir Walter Scott

... Goshhawk, if the iron thrown had struck her at or near the water-line. None of it did so, but the next exclamation of Senor Zuroaga was one of utter dismay, for the foremast of the bark had been cut off at the cap and there was a vast rent in her mainsail. Down tumbled a mass of spars and rigging, forward, and the ship could no longer ...
— Ahead of the Army • W. O. Stoddard

... century and the waters of San Francisco Bay would permit. Spider had already agreed to sail with me as my crew of one, and, also, as cook while I did the deck work. We would outfit our grub and water in the morning, hoist the big mainsail (which was a bigger piece of canvas than any I had ever sailed under), and beat our way out the estuary on the first of the seabreeze and the last of the ebb. Then we would slack sheets, and on the first of the flood run down ...
— John Barleycorn • Jack London

... crew promptly obeyed the several orders, and the mainsail was hauled up in much less time than it ...
— Up The Baltic - Young America in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark • Oliver Optic

... going either way, up which the waggons had been a couple of hours ago scrambling over the shingle against time, to land one more load yet while the ebb allowed it. They could hear the yeo-yeo! of the sail-hoisters at work on the big mainsail abaft, and wondered how on earth she was going to be got clear with so little sea-way and the wind dead in shore. But they were reassured by the ancient mariner with the striped shirt, whose mission in life seemed to be to stand about and enlighten land-minds about sea-facts. The master of ...
— Somehow Good • William de Morgan

... variable. At 12h. 30m. P.M. up mainsail and in royals; at 2h. made the signal for the squadron to prepare for battle, and, anchoring, bent the sheet cable through the larboard gun-room port to the sheet anchor; at 4h. set steering-sails,—fresh ...
— Memoirs and Correspondence of Admiral Lord de Saumarez, Vol. I • Sir John Ross

... between squalls, and the dirty little English ten-gun brig which made him sheer off had the impudence to press another five of our men. That's how we reached to the chops of the Channel. Twelve good men pressed out of thirty-five; an eighteen-pound shot-hole close beside our rudder; our mainsail looking like spectacles where the Frenchman had hit us—and the Channel crawling with short-handed British cruisers. Put that in your pipe and smoke it next time you grumble at the ...
— Rewards and Fairies • Rudyard Kipling

... very anxious night indeed for me; by far the most anxious that I had thus far spent since the destruction of the Saturn, for the wind steadily increased, compelling me to haul down a first and then a second reef in the mainsail, while—the wind and sea being now square abeam—I was continually exposed to the danger of being swamped by a sea breaking aboard. By constant watchfulness, however, I contrived to escape this danger, and my ...
— The Strange Adventures of Eric Blackburn • Harry Collingwood

... of the blade to allow the blood of the victim to run off. Many a caravan leader has spent the greater part of his life in travelling to and fro between Tabriz and Trebizond. On every journey he has seen Ararat to the north of the road, like a perpetually anchored vessel with its mainsail up; and he knows that the mountain is a gigantic frontier beacon which marks the spot where Russia, Turkey, and ...
— From Pole to Pole - A Book for Young People • Sven Anders Hedin

... will have to tell me where to steer the sloop to," said Larry, after the mainsail had been run up. "I don't know where that ...
— The Rover Boys on the Farm - or Last Days at Putnam Hall • Arthur M. Winfield (AKA Edward Stratemeyer)

... the helm, so that his ship ran into the wind and her sails lay "a-back" as the mariners say. This gave us time to come up under the stern of his vessel, and firing continually into the vessel we killed as many as came to the helm, and cut in two his mainsail and brace. ...
— Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 8 • Charles H. Sylvester

... possessed a teak-built four-oared gig which, being heavy and strong, I rigged with a jib and mainsail, besides adding six inches to her keel, when she proved to be a handy and seaworthy little craft. An iron framework could be erected over the stern-sheets and covered with a canvas hood, thus forming quite a roomy and comfortable cabin, while ...
— Life and sport in China - Second Edition • Oliver G. Ready

... darting through the air or lighting on the hives, their thighs covered with the yellow forage. A solitary robin sings near. I sit in my shirt sleeves and gaze from an open bay-window on the indolent scene—the thin haze, the Fishkill hills in the distance—off on the river, a sloop with slanting mainsail, and two or three little shad-boats. Over on the railroad opposite, long freight trains, sometimes weighted by cylinder-tanks of petroleum, thirty, forty, fifty cars in a string, panting and rumbling along in full view, but the sound ...
— Complete Prose Works - Specimen Days and Collect, November Boughs and Goodbye My Fancy • Walt Whitman

... Pilgrim Monument at Plymouth should issue a pamphlet giving a picture of the "Landing of the Pilgrims, December 21, 1620," in which women are pictured, and in which the shallop is shown with a large fore-and-aft mainsail, while on the same page is another picture entitled, "The Shallop of the MAY-FLOWER," having a large yard and square-sail, and a "Cuddy" (which last the MAY-FLOWER'S shallop we know did not have). The printed description of the picture, however, says: "The cut is copied from a picture by Van der ...
— The Mayflower and Her Log, Complete • Azel Ames

... hills of Rum, striking away the tops of the long ridgy billows that had risen in the calm to indicate its approach, and then carrying them in sheets of spray aslant the furrowed surface, like snow-drift hurried across a frozen field. But the Betsey, with her storm-jib set, and her mainsail reefed to the cross, kept her weather bow bravely to the blast, and gained on it with every tack. She had been the pleasure yacht, in her day, of a man of fortune, who had used, in running south with her at times as far as Lisbon, to encounter, on not worse terms ...
— The Cruise of the Betsey • Hugh Miller

... us now! Awake! [Shouting in Dimsdell's ear. My friend, awake! Dost thou not hear the storm? Oh! how it shrieks and whistles through the shrouds! The awful guns of heaven boom in our ears— Nay, that was the mainsail gone by the board, Flapping with cannon roar. You do not follow me. O, come, I say! This is no sermon. You cannot be asleep, Yet feign you are to cheat me of my story. Wake up, my friend. You carry the ...
— The Scarlet Stigma - A Drama in Four Acts • James Edgar Smith

... out. You could rock in the hair-cloth chair by the water door, and join in conversation with more active persons mending seines upon the wharf; or you could dangle your heels from the work-bench, and listen to stories and debates inside, and look on Captain Philo sewing upon a mainsail. ...
— Five Hundred Dollars - First published in the "Century Magazine" • Heman White Chaplin

... out perfectly round, like a big, pale balloon, this did, and for a second something was bounding through it—without a sound, you understand—something a shade solider than the smoke and big as a cow, it looked to me. It passed from the weather side to the lee and ducked behind the sweep of the mainsail like that—" McCord snapped his thumb and ...
— Masterpieces of Mystery, Vol. 1 (of 4) - Ghost Stories • Various

... inevitable end. It was long, however, and to us it seemed like ages, ere the schooner suddenly appeared for one brief instant, relieved against a tower of glimmering foam. I still see her reefed mainsail flapping loose, as the boom fell heavily across the deck; I still see the black outline of the hull, and still think I can distinguish the figure of a man stretched upon the tiller. Yet the whole sight we had of her passed ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volume XXI • Robert Louis Stevenson

... its laborious fishing, the red-backed sea-eagle is sometimes deprived of its spoil by a bird much inferior in size and weight and which has not the slightest pretensions to the art. An eagle had captured a "mainsail" fish (banded dory) which loomed black against its snowy breast as in strenuous spirals it sought to gain sufficient height whence to soar over the spur of the hill to its eyrie. The fish, though not weighty, was awkward to carry, and the presence of the ...
— My Tropic Isle • E J Banfield

... fog lay along the sea, in-shore of us, which all believed to be the sweat of the land, and thought no more of; though none wished to enter it, for that is a coast where foul airs rise, and through which the gulls and land-birds refuse to fly. Well, here we lay, the mainsail in the brails, the top-sails beating the mast-heads, like a maiden fanning herself when she sees her lover, and nothing full but the upper duck, with the sun fairly below the water in the western board. I was then young, and quick of eye, as of foot, and therefore ...
— The Water-Witch or, The Skimmer of the Seas • James Fenimore Cooper

... and means to fight us," cried another. "See, he is hauling up the foot of his mainsail; but he wants to ...
— The Junior Classics • Various

... the stern of the small boat, her hand on the filler. Lufrath lay at her feet, his nose between the long and shaggy paws. Duncan, grave and watchful as to the wind and the points of the coast, sat amidships, with the sheets of the mainsail held fast, and superintended the seamanship of his young mistress with a respectful but most evident pride. And as Ingram had gone off with Mackenzie to walk over to the White Water before going down to Borvabost, Frank Lavender was Sheila's ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - April, 1873, Vol. XI, No. 25. • Various

... tremendous lurch; and sometimes an avalanche of books descended upon me from the shelf overhead. Yet I slept pretty soundly. Once I was awakened by a tremendous noise outside—something like a gun going off. I afterwards found it had been occasioned by the mainsail being blown away to sea, right out of the bolt-ropes, the fastenings of which were immediately outside my ...
— A Boy's Voyage Round the World • The Son of Samuel Smiles

... and the lad steered their boats towards the shore side by side, the former hauling in his mainsail somewhat to lessen the speed of his boat. They parted to the northward of the promontory described, Dermot steering for the little cove in which stood the solitary hut already spoken of, while his uncle continued along the shore a little ...
— The Heir of Kilfinnan - A Tale of the Shore and Ocean • W.H.G. Kingston

... mariners, in wary sort, Haul down the mainsail, and attempt to wear; And would put back in panic to the port, Whence, in ill hour, they loosed with little care. — "Not so," exclaims the wind, and stops them short, "So poor a penance will not pay the dare." And when they fain would veer, with fiercer roar Pelts back their reeling ...
— Orlando Furioso • Lodovico Ariosto

... remonstrances, unheard because of the nonadjustment of the trumpet, she reached under the seat and brought out the pile of Blazeton weeklies. With her feet upon the pile to keep it from blowing away, she proceeded to unfold one of the papers. It crackled and snapped in the wind like a loose mainsail. ...
— Cy Whittaker's Place • Joseph C. Lincoln

... channels, the inward drawing of the tide marked long, curved lines and illusive circles on the oily sea. The Spindrift was poised motionless on the surface of the water, borne slowly, almost imperceptibly, forward by the sweep of the tide. Her mainsail, boomed out, hung in loose folds. The sheet, freed from all strain, was borne down by its own weight, until the slack of it dipped in the water. Terns and gulls, at lazy rest, floated close to the yacht's side. Long rows of dark cormorants, perched on rocky points, ...
— The Simpkins Plot • George A. Birmingham

... unconcern, as the "monarch of all he surveyed," casting his eye up now and then at the trim of his canvass, but more frequently keeping it on me. Dick began to open his budget of chat, and I found him as full of fun as his mainsail was ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction. - Volume 19, No. 535, Saturday, February 25, 1832. • Various

... gale caught the foresail and tore it to shreds; the mainsail was also destroyed, then the ...
— The Son of Monte-Cristo, Volume I (of 2) • Alexandre Dumas pere

... the lake of truth,— Mayest thou sail upon it with a fair wind; May thy mainsail not fly loose. May there not be lamentation in thy cabin; May not misfortune come after thee. May not thy mainstays be snapped; Mayest thou not run aground. May not the wave seize thee; Mayest thou not taste the impurities of the river; Mayest thou not see the face of fear. May the fish come to ...
— Egyptian Tales, First Series • ed. by W. M. Flinders Petrie

... just right," said Jack, as the mainsail was hoisted. This was true, and the run to the village took but a few minutes. While the boys went off to send their message to the Fords, Isaac Fasick hunted up the constable and related ...
— The Mystery at Putnam Hall - The School Chums' Strange Discovery • Arthur M. Winfield

... lagoon, using only our engine to escape the coral traps. Past the ever-present danger, with the wind now half a gale and the rain falling again in sheets—the intermittent deluge of the season—the Morning Star, under reefed foresail, mainsail and staysail, pointed her delicate nose toward the Dangerous Islands and ...
— White Shadows in the South Seas • Frederick O'Brien

... encreas'd, and dark Clouds intercepted the Day; so that we had little more Light, than what the terrifying flashes of Lightning afforded us. Our Captain, who was an able Seaman, at the first Signal of an approaching Storm, handed his Top-sails, took a Reef in his Foresail, and the Men were furling the Mainsail, when the Lightning shiver'd the Mast, which was cut away with the utmost Expedition. We lay some time under a Mizzen-balast, but were at last forc'd to put before the Wind, and, for Four Days, we scudded with the Goose-wings of our Foresail, in which Time we had not the least Glimpse of Sun ...
— A Voyage to Cacklogallinia - With a Description of the Religion, Policy, Customs and Manners of That Country • Captain Samuel Brunt

... land, now bent in the wildest agony, its leafy top resembling an umbrella turned inside out. I saw the Whim, greenish white in a greenish foam, heeled over till her masts were all but on the waves and her mainsail, half torn from its boom, snapping in the wind. In this fashion she was being driven at breakneck speed across the Gulf. I thought—I tried to think—that I had seen a small boat being dragged behind. Surely ...
— Wings of the Wind • Credo Harris

... as possible, in some well sheltered bay. Here soundings wouid be taken, and the vicinity thoroughly inspected. When the bay gave promise of shells and coral, a camp was made on the silver-like beach under the shade of the towering cocoanut trees. The mainsail was detached and carried ashore to serve as an awning. The large sheet-iron boilers were also landed. While two of the crew gathered wood and decayed vegetation for fuel, the others were busy erecting a crude fire- place with rocks, over which the boilers were set. The shore ...
— The Story of Paul Boyton - Voyages on All the Great Rivers of the World • Paul Boyton

... likewise adopted, in part, by Captain Price, of the Volcano; and in order to give to his ship a still greater resemblance than it already had to a merchantman, he displayed an old faded scarlet ensign, and drew up his fore and mainsail in what sailors ...
— The Campaigns of the British Army at Washington and New Orleans 1814-1815 • G. R. Gleig

... "Whin I was a yachtsman, all a man needed to race was a flat-bottomed boat, an umbrella, an' a long dhrink. In thim days 'twas 'Up with th' mainsail an' out with th' jib, an' Cap'n Jawn first to th' Lake View pumpin' station f'r th' see-gars.' Now 'tis 'Ho, f'r a yacht race. Lave us go an' see our lawyers.' 'Tis 'Haul away on th' writ iv ne exeat,' an' 'Let go th' peak capias.' 'Tis 'Pipe all hands to th' Supreme ...
— Mr. Dooley's Philosophy • Finley Peter Dunne

... was further intensified by the cold, grey fog. The wind was light, but a steady up-Channel draught. The lugger was creeping in under mainsail and jib, her other sails ...
— Adventures in Many Lands • Various

... gale in the highest degree violent, they clung so fast to the masts and rigging, that it was scarcely possible to get them either up or down; yet by the dexterous activity of our people, we got the mainsail up, clewed up the main top-sail, and got the ship's head round without receiving much damage. The violence of the wind continued several hours, but before morning it veered again to the N.W. and continued in that quarter till the afternoon of the 29th, when it died away, and we had a dead calm for ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. 12 • Robert Kerr

... starboard bulwarks were gone, and what added to my astonishment and filled me with fears and doubts was, that in spite of the pace at which she was approaching us and the dead calmness of the air, she had no other sails than her foresail and mainsail, and flying-jib. ...
— Byways of Ghost-Land • Elliott O'Donnell

... the tiller and the mainsail sheets into his care, and, with another glance ahead, pulled ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XII. No. 30. September, 1873 • Various

... third reef was taken in the mainsail, and Johnson filled the cabin with a storm-sail of No. 1 duck, and sat cross-legged on the streaming floor, vigorously putting it to rights with a couple of the hands. By dinner I had fled the deck, and sat in the bench corner, giddy, dumb, and stupefied with terror. The frightened leaps ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 13 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... channel through which we could make but slow progress. The wind increased and blew terrifically all night, forcing the vessels to beat back and forth in the mouth of the straits, and we had a similar experience on the night of the 22d, running the gauntlet under reefed mainsail and jib through loose ice and in imminent danger of shipwreck. Next day the ice appeared somewhat open, and Captain Barry concluded to venture into the pack. When we got into clear water we worked up to the bulkhead of ice and passed Resolution Island. We were ...
— Schwatka's Search • William H. Gilder

... reply, and the other busied himself in attempting to unlock a large and much-dented cash-box. From on deck came falsetto cries and the creak and rattle of blocks as the black crew swung up mainsail and driver. Grief watched a large cockroach crawling over the greasy paintwork. Griffiths, with an oath of irritation, carried the cash-box to the companion-steps for better light. Here, on his feet, and bending over the box, his back ...
— A Son Of The Sun • Jack London

... others along the hammock railings on the lee-gangway. The whole ship's company and officers were assembled, some on the booms, others in the boats; while the main-rigging was crowded half way up to the cat-harpings. Over-head, the mainsail, illuminated as high as the yard by the lamps, was bulging forwards under the gale, which was rising every minute, and straining so violently at the main-sheet, that there was some doubt whether it might not be necessary to interrupt the funeral in order to take sail off the ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 17, No. - 488, May 7, 1831 • Various

... face only saved from oily smoothness by half-hearted flutterings of a westerly breeze. Those faint airs blowing up along the Vancouver Island shore made tentative efforts to fill and belly out strongly the mainsail and jib of a small half-decked sloop working out from the weather side of Sangster Island and laying her snub nose straight for the mouth of the Fraser River, some sixty sea-miles east ...
— Poor Man's Rock • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... 138) is similar to a cutter rig, but has a small sail set up on another mast abaft the mainsail. The sheet is led aft to a spar that projects beyond the counter. The mast upon which the smaller sail is set is known as the mizzenmast. In this rig it will be seen that the main boom must be made considerably shorter than was the case in the cutter rig. This is done so that it will not ...
— Boys' Book of Model Boats • Raymond Francis Yates

... about the decks and came suddenly on a man whom I had last seen at the tiller of a small boat in Clew Bay. I was beating windward across the steep waves of a tideway. His boat was running free with her mainsail boomed out; and he waved a hand to me as he passed. Once again we met at sea; but we were much less cheerful. He was returning to France after leave, to spend the remainder of a second winter in ...
— A Padre in France • George A. Birmingham

... the Nancy Jane now," called the boy from the dooryard, pointing to a sloop on the other side of the wide estuary, bowling in with topsail and jib furled, and her rusty mainsail bellying under pressure of a ...
— Duffels • Edward Eggleston

... spaces and rich woods on the lower slopes; a little white town was opening up in one place, and scattered farms dotted the prospect. The other shore, which I could just see, framed between the gunwale and the mainsail, as I sat leaning against the hatchway, and sadly missing a deck-chair, was lower and lonelier, though prosperous and pleasing to the eye. Spacious pastures led up by slow degrees to ordered clusters of wood, which hinted at ...
— Riddle of the Sands • Erskine Childers

... boats, except one, had been swept from the davits, and the wheel houses had been stove in. As there was no further necessity to strain the hull and engines, the little craft was brought near the wind under low steam, and close-reefed mainsail; riding the long rolling seas like a sea-gull. To windward the sky-soon became clear, but we took care not to get far away from the dense fog to leeward of us. We did not see a cruiser, while we lay for many hours anxiously waiting for night. ...
— The Narrative of a Blockade-Runner • John Wilkinson

... fitted him magnificently at the shoulders. He and the suit began to leave each other from that point down. At the waist it looked like a deflated balloon. The top of the trousers fitted him about as snugly as a round manhole in the street. The legs flapped like the mainsail of a catboat that's coming about. They ended some time before his own legs did and there was quite a little stretch of yarn sock visible before the big tan shoes began. Ole had two acres of feet and he polished his shoes himself, with great ...
— At Good Old Siwash • George Fitch

... forming a kind of bridges or causeways, on one of which we crossed without difficulty. The men had hoisted one sail upon the cart at first setting off; but the wind being now, as they expressed it, "on the larboard quarter," a second blanket was rigged as a mainsail, to their great amusement as ...
— Three Voyages for the Discovery of a Northwest Passage from the • Sir William Edward Parry

... steep, narrow steps leading from the bank to the Cove below. How they scamper along, eager to walk the deck of that trim little craft, the Falcon, anchored in the stream, and sitting like a bird on the bosom of the famed river. Wait a minute and you will see the mainsail flutter in the breeze. Now our rollicking young friends have marched past ruins of "chapel, convent, hospital," &c., on the beach; you surely did not expect them to look glum and melancholy. Of ...
— Picturesque Quebec • James MacPherson Le Moine

... discern the remains of my precious system lying high and dry among the rocks of that winter's experience. Yet I tried all ways to make it go. I was like a boy with a new boat, who increases or lessens his ballast, now tries her with mainsail, foresail, topsail, jib, flying jib, and jibber jib, and now with bare poles,—anything to make her float. Each night I took my poor system home for repairs, and each morning, full of hope, tried to launch it anew in my school-room. ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 13, No. 78, April, 1864 • Various

... half-a-mile of the rocks. Then, while I waited to see the end of her, she suddenly wore round, and after staggering a moment while the sea broke over her, hauled up to the wind, and careening over, with her mainsail sweeping the water, started gaily on ...
— Kilgorman - A Story of Ireland in 1798 • Talbot Baines Reed

... Pomery found plenty of Water in the winding channel, every curve of which he knew to a hair, and steered for at its due moment, winking cheerfully at Billy and me, who stood ready to correct his pilotage. He had taken in his mainsail, and carried steerage way with mizzen and jib only; and thus, for close upon a mile, we rode up on the tide, scaring the herons and curlews before us, until drawing within sight of a grass-grown quay he let run down his remaining canvas and laid ...
— Sir John Constantine • Prosper Paleologus Constantine

... his heart stood still as she seemed on the point of descending the companion. But she had another purpose in mind. Throwing aside the gaskets, she stripped the sail covers off the mainsail and began, with practiced hands, to reef down to the third reef. Then she went forward and did the same to the forestaysail. A minute later, hardly knowing why or how, except that he was helping Madge, Gregory, like a man in a dream, was pulling with ...
— Wild Justice: Stories of the South Seas • Lloyd Osbourne

... off to a big, half-decked boat beautifully built and fitted in Toronto. Stirling, who admitted that he knew nothing about such matters, sat down aft and lighted a cigar, while Weston proceeded to get the tall gall mainsail and big single headsail up. He was conscious that his companion was watching him closely, and when he let go the moorings and seated himself at the tiller the ...
— The Gold Trail • Harold Bindloss

... interested: "An' did they say he was as big as a cabin an' a ruff on him like the mainsail ...
— Connie Morgan in the Fur Country • James B. Hendryx

... and enthusiastic reception instituted in the smoking room, and everybody flocked thither to shake hands with the conqueror. The wheelman said afterward, that the Admiral stood up behind the pilot house and "ripped and cursed all to himself" till he loosened the smokestack guys and becalmed the mainsail. ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... the lee of Comfort Island!" sputtered Andy through the spray, as he and Jamie sprang for the mainsail ...
— Troop One of the Labrador • Dillon Wallace

... but their eyes met and Philippa looked hurriedly away. There was a moment's queer, strained silence. Before them loomed up the outline of Mainsail Haul. ...
— The Zeppelin's Passenger • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... drifting down the river. A quiet, smoky October day; the distant hills all softened in the haze; the near shores green with the fresh-springing aftermath. Reuben lounged upon the sunny side of the mainsail, thinking, with respectful pity, of the poor fagged fellows in roundabouts who were seated at that hour before the red desks in Parson Brummem's school-room. At length he was enjoying a taste of that outside life of which he ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 93, July, 1865 • Various

... at a motion of the chief's hand, the peak of our mainsail was dropped, and the boat swung up into the wind, laying "hove to," almost stationary. The centre-board was lowered to stop her drifting to leeward, although I cannot say it made much difference that ever I saw. NOW what's the matter, I thought, when ...
— The Cruise of the Cachalot - Round the World After Sperm Whales • Frank T. Bullen

... situation, and directed the other five seamen to respect and obey the man he had selected as captain. Then he directed French to cast off the stops from the foresail and mainsail, and have the jib and flying-jib ready to set at ...
— A Victorious Union - SERIES: The Blue and the Gray—Afloat • Oliver Optic

... grassy lanes, one after one, 60 Lift light the nodding foxglove's purple bell. Thence, to the distant sea, and where the flag Hangs idly down, without a wavy curl, Thou hoverest o'er the topmast, or dost raise The full and flowing mainsail: Steadily, The helmsman cries, as now thy breath is heard Among the stirring cordage o'er his head; So, steadily, he cries, as right he steers, Speeds our proud ship along the world of waves. Sylph, may thy favouring breath more gently ...
— The Poetical Works of William Lisle Bowles, Vol. 1 • William Lisle Bowles

... disappointed at the result of the conference, for I was interested in the chase. I ordered the jib and mainsail to be taken in, and the helm to be put down. The fog had lifted to the northward and westward of us, so that I could see St. Augustine light and the pilot-boat. We took up one of the pilots, and in less than half an hour we were anchored under the lee of the town, where the water was as smooth ...
— Up the River - or, Yachting on the Mississippi • Oliver Optic

... Norman's Woe as we went by; and the reef where the schooner Hesperus struck I passed close aboard. The "bones" of a wreck tossed up lay bleaching on the shore abreast. The wind still freshening, I settled the throat of the mainsail to ease the sloop's helm, for I could hardly hold her before it with the whole mainsail set. A schooner ahead of me lowered all sail and ran into port under bare poles, the wind being fair. As the Spray brushed by the stranger, I saw that some of his sails were ...
— Sailing Alone Around The World • Joshua Slocum

... could not be done by simple rowing, we ventured to hoist a small sail, which we had scarcely done when the foremast of the boat I commanded suddenly broke in two places, and I found myself obliged, in order to keep up with the shallop, to raise the mainsail, which, however, I had to lower again immediately, or my boat would have ...
— Hair Breadth Escapes - Perilous incidents in the lives of sailors and travelers - in Japan, Cuba, East Indies, etc., etc. • T. S. Arthur

... so arranged that it could be lowered when the wind was too strong. The dimensions of the sail as we made it are given in the drawing (Fig. 15). The top of the sail was lashed to a spar, which was connected by a short stick to another spar tied to the mainsail about eighteen inches lower down. The sail was strengthened with an extra strip of cloth along the lower spar, and the tie strings were applied in the usual way. The connecting stick, or topmast we may call it, was hinged to the lower spar by means of a ...
— The Scientific American Boy - The Camp at Willow Clump Island • A. Russell Bond

... hardly keep her delight within the bounds of so called propriety. It was all she could do to restrain herself from dancing on the little deck half swept by the tiller. The boat of a schooner which lay at the quay towed them out of the harbour. Then the creature spread her wings like a bird —mainsail and gaff topsail, staysail and jib—leaped away to leeward, and seemed actually to bound over the waves. Malcolm sat at the tiller, and Blue Peter watched ...
— Malcolm • George MacDonald

... hours, the wind had gradually increased until it blew a gale: the foresail was taken in, the mainsail close-reefed, and the saucy boat flew along before it like a gull, the following seas just kissing the edge of her taffrail, as ...
— Impressions of America - During The Years 1833, 1834, and 1835. In Two Volumes, Volume II. • Tyrone Power

... frequently broke over their decks. On Wednesday morning, the wind slackened a little, and they were able to shew a small bit of canvas; but towards night the storm again arose, and the waves ran so high that the ships were hardly able to live. The admiral endeavoured to carry a close-reefed mainsail, to bear his ship over the surges; but was at length forced to lay to, and to suffer his ship to drive astern before the wind. On Thursday the 14th February, the storm increased so that every one expected to perish, and it was ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. III. • Robert Kerr

... lee side of the forecastle, and the mainsail, which was still drawing, concealed from me a certain portion of the after-deck. Not a soul was to be seen. The planks, which had not been swabbed since the mutiny, bore the print of many feet, and an ...
— Treasure Island • Robert Louis Stevenson

... cleared, and order reigned on board, though the mainsail could not be set until the ...
— The Slave Of The Lamp • Henry Seton Merriman

... ten, the lookout in the crow's nest sang out: "Smoke—oh!" sounding upon his fish horn. The boatkeeper ran aft and lit a huge calcium flare, holding it so as to illuminate the big number on the mainsail. Suddenly, about a quarter of a mile off their weather-bow, a couple of rockets left a long trail of yellow against the night. It was the Cape Horner, and presently Vandover made out her lights, two glowing spots moving upon the darkness, ...
— Vandover and the Brute • Frank Norris

... the Straits of Gibraltar I verily thought she'd have sunk, For the wind began so for to alter, She yaw'd just as tho' she was drunk. The squall tore the mainsail to shivers, Helm a-weather, the hoarse boatswain cries; Brace the foresail athwart, see she quivers, As through the rough tempest she flies. But sailors were born for all weathers, Great guns let it blow, high or low, Our duty keeps us to our tethers, ...
— The Children's Garland from the Best Poets • Various

... day passed without making ten miles; the boat was kept under the jib, as they dared not hoist the mainsail, and the wind was so variable that much time was lost in humouring ...
— CELEBRATED CRIMES, COMPLETE - MURAT—1815 • ALEXANDRE DUMAS, PERE

... t' the s'uth'ard," said the skipper, anxiously, while they put a double reef in the mainsail. "'Twill be a ...
— Doctor Luke of the Labrador • Norman Duncan

... same as before, or east by south. Latitude 42 deg. 68'. Distance reckoned to be 136 miles. The English ship which had remained in company until now, left us. It began to blow so hard in the evening that we had to reef the topsails and take in the mainsail, and proceed with ...
— Journal of Jasper Danckaerts, 1679-1680 • Jasper Danckaerts

... the choppy waves with vigorous strokes and shot her around at the last moment for a perfect landing. The mainsail and jib went up with rapid jerks while the rings rattled their protest. The strenuous physical exercise brought him temporary relief; but, when he had cast off, taken the tiller and after a few moments of idle jockeying back and forth in the ...
— 'Smiles' - A Rose of the Cumberlands • Eliot H. Robinson

... the sloop drew nearer. She was a fair-sized craft, and carried a crew of three. The men seemed to be nice fellows, and not at all of the Captain Langless class. Soon the sloop dropped anchor close in shore and the mainsail came down at the ...
— The Rover Boys on the Great Lakes • Arthur M. Winfield

... maindeck. The sails, in that light breeze, made but a faint fluttering noise. It ceased. The ship was coming round slowly; I held my breath in the renewed stillness of expectation; one wouldn't have thought that there was a single living soul on her decks. A sudden brisk shout, "Mainsail haul!" broke the spell, and in the noisy cries and rush overhead of the men running away with the main-brace we two, down in my cabin, came together in our usual position ...
— 'Twixt Land & Sea • Joseph Conrad

... got a pretty good offing, but the wind still increasing, I took in my main-top-sail, being able to carry no more sail than two courses and the mizen. At two in the morning, August 3rd, it blew very hard, and the sea was much raised, so that I furled all my sails but my mainsail, though the wind blew so hard, we had pretty clear weather till noon, but then the whole sky was blackened with thick clouds, and we had some rain, which would last a quarter of an hour at a time, and then it would blow very fierce while the squalls of rain were ...
— Early Australian Voyages • John Pinkerton

... scarcely was the order obeyed when the flash of artillery blazed out from among the mangroves on either hand, and a perfect hailstorm of grape and langridge struck us, riddling our bulwarks, and tearing the foot of the mainsail and foresail to shreds, but, luckily, not hitting a soul of us; though how Courtenay and I escaped—it not being etiquette for either of us to seek the shelter of the bulwarks—heaven only knows; but we did. The guns were pointed ...
— The Rover's Secret - A Tale of the Pirate Cays and Lagoons of Cuba • Harry Collingwood

... my soul!' said he, wiping his brow with a huge coloured handkerchief as big as a mainsail, 'one night in such a furnace as that would ...
— The Three Clerks • Anthony Trollope

... gone on deck. Billy could hear them throwing down the halyards, casting off gaskets, and heaving the anchor short on the tiny winch. In several minutes one called down that everything was ready, and all went on deck. Hoisting mainsail and jigger was a matter of minutes. Then the cook and cabin-boy broke out anchor, and, while one hove it up, the other hoisted the jib. Hastings, at the wheel, trimmed the sheet. The Roamer paid ...
— The Valley of the Moon • Jack London

... unvarying persistence as Ranji's. Whether half a gale is blowing on the Hove ground, or there is not enough wind to move the flag at Lord's, the Indian prince's cricket shirt always presents the appearance of the mainsail of a six-tonner on a breezy day in the Solent. Anyone can satisfy himself as to the truth of this assertion by glancing at the first illustration on page 213. The batsman's face is concealed by his arm, and his attitude ...
— The Harmsworth Magazine, v. 1, 1898-1899, No. 2 • Various

... orchard-plot and grassy mead With pavement of the murmuring way. Cast, with full hands the harvest cast, For the brave men that climb the mast, When to the billow and the blast It swings and stoops, with fearful strain, And bind the fluttering mainsail fast, Till the tossed bark shall sit, again, Safe as ...
— Poetical Works of William Cullen Bryant - Household Edition • William Cullen Bryant

... on deck to make sail. Out wi' you, you blasted lubber, and lay aloft. Up wi' you, and loose that mainsail, and, when you've got it loose, furl it. I'll show you how I earned that money. Up wi' you, 'fore I ...
— The Grain Ship • Morgan Robertson

... had now become beautifully fine, I thought I might attempt to get out some spare sails. I obtained what I wanted from the fo'c'sle, and after a good deal of work managed to "bend" a mainsail and staysail. Being without compass or chart, however, I knew not where I was, nor could I decide what course to take in order to reach land. I had a vague idea that the seas in those regions were studded with innumerable ...
— The Adventures of Louis de Rougemont - as told by Himself • Louis de Rougemont

... to hasten to his dear relations and country; yet the present haste he feared might hinder the seeing of them at all. Upon a strange earnestness in his own mind and judgement, he gave a positive command to the captain to cause all the sails to be taken down except the mainsail only, and that to be half-furled. Upon the captain's dispute, Whitelocke with quickness told him that if he did not presently see it done he would cause another to do it, whereupon the captain obeyed; and it was a great mercy that the same ...
— A Journal of the Swedish Embassy in the Years 1653 and 1654, Vol II. • Bulstrode Whitelocke

... her masts over the side and herself out of water. We were then carrying the double reefed topsails, reefed courses, inner jib, fore and main topmast staysail, but the gale had so increased I gave orders to close-reef the topsails and furl the mainsail. I thought it better to run no further risk of dismasting her, as there was always a chance so long as they were kept standing. All hands were up reefing the main topsail and I had the wheel. I saw the black shadow of the mountains ...
— The Shellback's Progress - In the Nineteenth Century • Walter Runciman

... the arm still further into the hollow behind our seat, it will grasp the storm mizen, a strongly made triangular sail, to be used only in untoward hours, and for which we must prepare by lowering the lug mizen, and shifting the halyard, tack, and sheet. Then the Rob Roy, with her mainsail and jib reefed, will be under snug canvas, ...
— The Voyage Alone in the Yawl "Rob Roy" • John MacGregor

... double reefed the cutter's mainsail and told Welch to keep as close to the ship's quarter as he dare. Wylie instinctively did the same, and the three craft crawled on in solemn and deadly silence, ...
— Foul Play • Charles Reade

... of the smugglers was to escape, and this they hoped to do if they could bring down the cutter's mainsail. The king's officer knew that he should have the smugglers safe enough if he could but make them strike; this, however, knowing that they all fought with ropes round their necks, they ...
— Michael Penguyne - Fisher Life on the Cornish Coast • William H. G. Kingston

... one bell in the first dog-watch; the weather was fine, the water smooth, the breeze light; and the brig, with little more than bare steerage-way upon her, was laying her course, with squared yards, both clews of her mainsail hauled up, and studding-sails set on both sides, her topsails occasionally collapsing and flapping to the masts for lack of wind to keep them "asleep." Miss Trevor was, as usual, on deck, seated in a deck-chair, with a book on her lap and ...
— Dick Leslie's Luck - A Story of Shipwreck and Adventure • Harry Collingwood

... rig had been evolved to meet local conditions. Imagine a cutter with one single long spar in the place of a mast and topmast; this spar is stepped rather farther aft than it would be in an ordinary cutter, and there is one huge mainsail, "leg-of-mutton" shaped, with a boom but no gaff, and a very large jib. Owing to their big head-sails, and to their heavy keels, these Bermudian craft fore-reach like a steamer, and hardly ever miss ...
— Here, There And Everywhere • Lord Frederic Hamilton

... the order to shove clear of the dock the mainsail was hoisted. Then each crew captain kept one eye on the watch for the signals of the instructor, who was aboard a boat designated ...
— Dave Darrin's First Year at Annapolis • H. Irving Hancock

... royal top-gallantsail, topsail and mainsail disappear from the main mast, upon which appears a regular fore and aft suit of canvass, consisting of mainsail, gaff topsail, and gaff top-gallantsail, reducing the vessel to a square rig forward, and a plain fore and aft rig aft. A few minutes more, and the foremast passed ...
— The Sea-Witch - or, The African Quadroon A Story of the Slave Coast • Maturin Murray

... is most obvious in the smallest vessels, as cutters: and of those kept for pleasure, and therefore built for the purpose of sailing as fast as possible, without reference to freight or load, there are many the hull of which might be entirely wrapt up in the mainsail. It is of course very rarely, if ever, that a vessel carries at one time all the sail she is capable of; the different sails being usually employed according to the circumstances of direction of wind and course. The sails of a ship, ...
— The Illustrated London Reading Book • Various

... and the golden tips of the mountains turning purple and then grey, the first order was given, a couple of staysails ran with jigging motion up to their full length, and a chirruping, creaking sound was heard as the men began to haul upon the yard of the mainsail. ...
— Fitz the Filibuster • George Manville Fenn

... fisheries, and visits it now upon an income of $2000 a year, derived from boiling down fish into phosphates for the midland markets. He preserves, however, the habit and appearance of old days: that is to say, his chin is folded away under his lip like a reef in a mainsail; his cheek-bones hide his ears, so tusky and prominent are the former, and tipped with a varnish of red, like corns on old folks' feet; he has a nose which is so long and bony that it seems to have been constructed in sections, like a tubular ...
— Tales of the Chesapeake • George Alfred Townsend

... the well, and finding the ship had sprung a leak, and now had five feet water in the hold, the people clewed up the main-topsail, hauled up the mainsail, and immediately endeavored to furl both, but could not effect it. On discovering the leak all the ...
— Thrilling Narratives of Mutiny, Murder and Piracy • Anonymous

... hand the three topsails and to stow the jib. We are in no hurry; for the plain reason, that Guinea will be to-morrow just where Guinea is to-night. As for keeping the ship steady in these matters of squalls, we have the mainsail on her—'" ...
— The Red Rover • James Fenimore Cooper

... of gridiron on which, like the natives, they cooked their meat, hence, bou-canier. The word filibuster comes from the Spanish "fee-lee-bote," English "fly-boat," a small, swift sailing-vessel with a large mainsail, which enabled the buccaneers to pursue merchantmen in the open sea and escape among the shoals and shallows of the archipelago when pursued ...
— The History of Puerto Rico - From the Spanish Discovery to the American Occupation • R.A. Van Middeldyk

... shore the two commanders sat together in the sheets, a strange contrast to one another, while under the feet of the rowers was a litter of huge stones which Sir Nigel had ordered to be carried to the cog. These once aboard, the ship set her broad mainsail, purple in color, and with a golden St. Christopher bearing Christ upon his shoulder in the centre of it. The breeze blew, the sail bellied, over heeled the portly vessel, and away she plunged through the smooth blue rollers, amid the ...
— The White Company • Arthur Conan Doyle

... languour of the preceding days this was dizzy speed. Two ridges of foam streamed from the ship's bows; the wind sang in a strenuous note which under other circumstances would have expressed to me all the joy of life. Whenever the hauled-up mainsail started trying to slat and bang itself to pieces in its gear, Mr. Burns ...
— The Shadow-Line - A Confession • Joseph Conrad

... next would clear—when the first shot struck her, cutting a hole through her jib, and I expected the wind to rip the sail up immediately; yet it stood. The breeze being dead on-shore, the little boat heeled towards us, her mainsail hiding ...
— Old Fires and Profitable Ghosts • A. T. Quiller-Couch

... that he saw land, he would give a silk doublet, besides the other rewards promised by the Sovereigns, which were 10,000 maravedis to him who should first see it.[109-4] At two hours after midnight the land was sighted at a distance of two leagues. They shortened sail, and lay by under the mainsail without the bonnets. ...
— The Northmen, Columbus and Cabot, 985-1503 • Various

... into the shadow of the fishing-boat. There were two rapid pistol-shots, a scream, and then another pistol-shot, followed by silence. The clustering fishermen had disappeared. And then, suddenly, as the first puffs of a land-breeze came out from the Sussex shore, the boom swung out, the mainsail filled, and the little craft crept out with her ...
— The Green Flag • Arthur Conan Doyle

... which the three passengers of El Nacional set themselves with famished delight. About sunset, as was its custom, the breeze veered and swept back from the mountains, cool and steady, bringing a taste of the stagnant lagoons and mangrove swamps that guttered the lowlands. The mainsail of the sloop was hoisted and swelled to it, and at that moment they heard shouts and a waxing clamour from the bosky profundities ...
— Cabbages and Kings • O. Henry

... breath to my heart bring healing! Let Death now follow, his booty seeking: The moves are many before the checkmate! Awhile I'll harass thy love of plunder, As on I scud 'neath thy angry eyebrows; Thou only fillest my swelling mainsail, Though Death ride fast on thy howling tempest; Thy billows raging shall bear the faster My little vessel ...
— Poems and Songs • Bjornstjerne Bjornson

... us a little, and Tom hurried us off to get ashore again by daylight, before the weather became worse. It was a very pleasant twenty minutes' sail to the shore, racing along before the wind, with two reefs in the mainsail—quite a different thing from beating out. The tide was high, and the captain therefore steered for the pier, where he hoped to land us. Unfortunately, however, he missed it; and as it was impossible ...
— A Voyage in the 'Sunbeam' • Annie Allnut Brassey

... be in the stream waiting for a fair breeze-then the Maggy 'll play her part. Bless yer soul! the little craft and me's coasted down the coast nobody knows how many years; and she knows every nook, creek, reef, and point, just as well as I does. Just give her a double-reefed mainsail, and the lug of a standing jib, and in my soul I believe she'd make the passage without compass, chart, or a hand aboard. By the word of an old sailor, such a craft is the Maggy Bell. And when the Spanish and English and French all got ...
— Our World, or, The Slaveholders Daughter • F. Colburn Adams

... formed of a great steep of ice jutting a long way slantingly into the sea, the width between the point and the main being about a third of a mile. I seized the helm, and shouted to the men to hoist the head of the mainsail that she might round to when I put the helm down. But the fellows were in a panic terror and stood gaping at what they regarded as their doom, calling upon the Virgin and all the saints for help and mercy. Into this bay did we rush on top of a huge sea, Trentanove ...
— The Frozen Pirate • W. Clark Russell

... and their child. About eight A.M., in the midst of the lagoon, their cutter had capsized in jibbing. They got her righted, and though she was still full of water put the child on board. The mainsail had been carried away, but the jib still drew her sluggishly along, and Francois and the woman swam astern and worked the rudder with their hands. The cold was cruel; the fatigue, as time went on, became excessive; and in that preserve of sharks, fear haunted them. Again and ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 18 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... hold her up to the wind at all, we couldn't run out of the storm. The gale drove us in and in to the centre of the hurricane. Somewhere around dawn on Sunday mornin' the wind decided to show us what it really could do. We were runnin' before the wind with a triple-reefed mainsail and not another stitch. "Why weren't we under bare poles," you asks? Because there was a sea chasin' after us with every wave looking like a whale out of water. We weren't lookin' to get pooped, any more than we had to. The mainmast ...
— The Boy with the U. S. Weather Men • Francis William Rolt-Wheeler

... not at her moorings, and he concluded that his cousin was away in her on some excursion. When he reached the boundary line of the estate, he discovered the sailboat with her bow on the beach, though her mainsail was still set. A gentle breeze was blowing, with which the Florence could make good headway; but there seemed to be no one on board of her. Corny watched her for some time, waiting for the appearance of ...
— Within The Enemy's Lines - SERIES: The Blue and the Gray—Afloat • Oliver Optic

... worry mother. She's at the window by this time, looking out for the boat. Do you think there is any fun in making her uneasy? Besides, I don't think it is safe to stay here any longer. There comes the Flyaway under jib and mainsail." ...
— Little By Little - or, The Cruise of the Flyaway • William Taylor Adams

... a boat came and hailed the chief's vessel; he immediately hoisted his mainsail, and the fleet weighed apparently in great confusion. They worked to windward all night and part of the next day, and anchored about one o'clock in a bay under the island of Lantow, where the head admiral ...
— Great Pirate Stories • Various

... in his socks, an' drinks like a fish, if he don't do nothin' wuss. Good-night Capp'n. Baby'll ketch cold if I keep on jawin' here. Mind your weather eye, and port your helm when you reach the landin'. If you'll take the advice of a young salt, you'll clew up your mainsail an' dowse some of your top-hamper—ah! I ...
— Rivers of Ice • R.M. Ballantyne

... the captain hauling at the halliards of the after-mainsail and went to his assistance, while Coristine, doffing his coat, lent a hand to The Crew, when, by their combined efforts, the sails were all hoisted and the schooner floated away from the pier. The lawyer walked over the deck with a nautical air, picking up all loose ends of rope ...
— Two Knapsacks - A Novel of Canadian Summer Life • John Campbell

... used to present, he has of late become as shrivelled and shrunk as a frost-bitten apple. His scarlet gold-laced waistcoat, which bellied out so bravely in those prosperous days when he sailed before the wind, now hangs loosely about him like a mainsail in a calm. His leather breeches are all in folds and wrinkles, and apparently have much ado to hold up the boots that yawn on both sides of ...
— The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. • Washington Irving

... up a fresh gale in the evening at S.W. by W., which, being fair for the Portugal fleet, and the weather pleasant and agreeable, we heard the signal given to unmoor, and running in under the island of Si—-, we hauled our mainsail and foresail up in the brails, lowered the topsails upon the cap, and clewed them up, that we might lie as snug as we could, expecting their coming out, and the next morning saw the whole fleet come out accordingly, but ...
— The Life, Adventures & Piracies of the Famous Captain Singleton • Daniel Defoe

... a new hole in the old boiler, to steam out of hospitable Sinfir at 6:30 a.m. on the auspicious Wednesday, February 13. The appearance of the Mukhbir must have been originale enough: her canvas had been fished out of the hold, but in the place of a mainsail she had hoisted a topsail. We passed as close as possible to the islet-line of Secondary formation, beginning with Shu'shu', the wedge bluff-faced to south: the Palinurus anchored here in a small bight ...
— The Land of Midian, Vol. 1 • Richard Burton



Words linked to "Mainsail" :   sheet, canvas, sail, main course, canvass



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