Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Sail (derived from Latin sagulum, "a cloak "), a device used on board a boat or ship for catching the wind and so propelling the vessel. It general1y consists of several breadths of canvas, served with a double seam at the corners, and edged by cords called bolt-ropes. Sails used on square-rigged vessels and fixed on yards are called square-sails; those fixed on a gaff, boom, or stay, are called fore- and- aft sails. The top of a square sail is the head, the bottom the foot, the weather- or windward-side is called the luff, the other side the after-leech. The two lower corners are called clues, the weather clue being the tack. The sails take their prefix from the masts, and consist of courses, topsails, and topgallant-sails. Other varieties are lug-sails, which are extended on a yard hauled nearly to the top of a mast, spritsails, the outer upper corner of which is extended by a sprit or boom going from the bottom of the mast, and lateen sails, which are much used in the East and have a long yard or boom affixed to a short mast. Many other sails are also in use, and on some yachts silk is employed as a materia1. Sails are also used on windmills to catch the wind.

“God has no better way to make us value his love, than by withdrawing it awhile. If the sun shone but once a year, how it would be prized!”
–Thomas Watson, A Divine Cordial