IPA: gˈæftɑpsˈeɪɫ


  • (nautical) A small triangular sail having its foot extended upon the gaff and its luff upon the topmast.

gaff topsail

IPA: gˈæftɑpseɪɫ

Root Word: Gaff Topsail


  • An abandoned railway settlement in central Newfoundland, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The entire railway on Newfoundland was closed down in 1988.

Examples of "gaff-topsail" in Sentences

  • Within a minute the mainsail and gaff-topsail were hauled down, so that the ship might fall off, and the jib hauled down.
  • When we drew further from the shore, the wind increased, and the gaff-topsail was unbent, and a reef taken in the mainsail.
  • But while we were looking, down came the gaff of her mainsail, and the gaff-topsail fell all adrift; a lucky shot had cut her peak halyards.
  • I got hold of the gaff-topsail yard and run it under his arms, and threw a rope over him, and sung out 'Hold on, Greenleaf! hold on, and we'll save you yet.'
  • In a few seconds we slipped our moorings, and jib, foresail, and gaff-topsail were hauled out to the wind, and the main tack dropped, sooner than I have written it.
  • It is true, there was the old gaff-topsail still in the fore-peak, as well as a spare jib; but they had nothing to spread them out to the wind with, or affix them to.
  • "Blow, sweet breeze," said D----, half to himself, half aloud; and casting his eyes, alternately from the flying jib and foresail to the swelling gaff-topsail, stooped down and looked under the boom at the land.
  • However, I plucked up courage, and remained on deck until half-past six, when the gaff-topsail was unbent and the top-mast struck; D----, the sailing-master, anticipating no good from the calm, and the dense fog, which had succeeded a fine wind and cheerful sunshine.
  • The two then crept in under the half-deck; and, covering themselves up with the cutter's gaff-topsail, which had been placed within the cabin along with some spare canvas, dropped off into a sound slumber, forgetting their sad plight and their hunger alike, in sleep, the yacht meanwhile still floating along, down Channel, in a west-by-north direction with the ebb.
  • The cutter lay like a log on the water, the reef-points rattling on the main-sail like a shower of small shot; and, every time he heard the sound, the man at the helm would raise his eyes aloft, and, fixing them steadily on the gaff-topsail for a minute or two, turn round and scan the horizon; and then, walking to the quarter, moisten his forefinger in his mouth, and hold it above his head.

Related Links

syllables in gaff-topsailsynonyms for gaff-topsailunscramble gaff-topsail



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