AskDefine | Define headsail

Dictionary Definition

headsail n : any sail set forward of the foremast of a vessel

Extensive Definition

A headsail of a sailing vessel is any sail set forward of the foremost mast. The most common headsails are the jib and its larger cousin the genoa, but there are a large number of others, such as the staysail on a cutter.
Some headsails can only be flown on specific points of sailing, such as the spinnaker, which is only flown when sailing downwind, and the gennaker, used when sailing a course between downwind and close hauled.

See also

headsail in German: Vorsegel
headsail in Norwegian: Forseil
headsail in Swedish: Försegel
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