Setting the Stays’l

Setting the Stays’l

In this #TallShipTuesay, Providence’s Boatswain taught us about our Stays’l and how to set it. The Stays’l is a Headsail (Heads’l). Providence has four of these sails. The Stays’l, Inner Jib, Outer Jib, and Flying Jib. Its name comes from the forestay that it is attached to. The headsails are our smallest and lightest sails, which makes them easy to perform maneuvers with.

Steps to take in the Tops’l

1. Tend the sheets

The sheets are the two lines at the end of the sail that control its direction. To tend the sheets, take a bite and pull it through the post. Let it in or out depending on which way the wind is pulling the sail. Then, tie off the sheet when the bosun or captain adjusts the position of the sail.

2. Cast the Downhaul

The downhaul is located all the way forward on the ship next to the sail. First, it must be cast off or taken off the cleat so the sail can freely run up the stay.

3. Haul the Halyard

The halyard is the line that hauls the sail up the stay. Once the line is all the way up, make it fast with a cleat hitch.

Now, the sail is set. Providence sails gently down the potomac until the time comes to douse the sail. Because we often use the Stays’l in combination with other sails, we often set our Tops’l together with the Stays’l.

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