Terminology from the Age of Sail

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Search result for definition: reef
Reef: (verb) To take in or lessen the area of a sail without furling it. Depending on the location and size of the sail (and time-period), sails would have the option to be single reefed, double reefed, treble reefed or close reefed, the last indicating that all the reefs had been taken in and the minimum surface area was exposed. Between 0 and 4 reef bands were common, often 2 were present. Also (noun) the area between the reef bands and the nearest edge of a sail, either head or foot.
Reef Band: A strip of extra canvas attached across a sail to strengthen it where the reef points are located.
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Reef Points: Short tapered lengths of rope located across and reeved though the sail which can be tied together or hauled onto a yard to keep part of the sail out of use in strong winds. These reef points were reinforced with reef bands to prevent the sail from tearing.
Reef Tackle: A tackle for hauling up the reef bands onto a yard and thus lessening the effective sail area in strong winds.

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