Friday, April 18, 2008

Sailboat Rigging - Lines and Spars

Mast - The main and highest spar in the center of the boat to which the jib and mainsail are attached.

Boom - The horizontal spar which extends aft (backwards) from the mast to which the foot of the mainsail sits.

Standing Rigging - Supports the mast and includes the Backstay,

Headstay, Shrouds - Shroud Lines or cables which give lateral stability to the mast.

Spreaders - Horizontal spars which spread the shrouds from the mast.

Headstay - A line or cable which supports the mast from the bow of the boat. If the line does not reach the top of the mast then it is also called a forstay.

Backstay - A line or cable which supports the mast from the stern of the boat.

Boom Topping Lift - A line which extends from the boom to the mast. Supports the boom when the mainsail is taken down.

Running Rigging - Lines which control and adjust the sails.

Halyard - A line used to raise a sail.

Sheet - The line which is used to adjust a sail against the force of the wind. The mainsail has one sheet. The jib has two, a working (leeward) sheet and a lazy (windward) sheet.

Boom Vang - A line which places downward tension on the boom.

Outhaul - Places backward tension on the clew of the mainsail. When tightened it will flatten the lower one-third of the mainsail.

Reefing Line - A line used to shorten the sail.

Winch - A device used to tighten a line.

Cleat - A metal or plastic device used to secure a line.

Mizzen - The smaller aft mast on a yawl or a ketch.

Chain Plate - A metal plate that a shroud is attached Block A device used to change a line's direction.