Lines, Cables and Spars, oh my…
Lines, Spars & Cables – Rigging
Mast – the main and highest spar in the center of the boat. The mainsail and jib are attached to this.
Boom – the horizontal pole or spar that extends back, or aft off the bottom of the mast, where the foot of the mainsail is hooked.
Standing rigging – supports the mast.
A. forestay – line or cable that supports the mast from the bow of the boat.
B. backstay – line or cable that supports the mast from the stern of the boat.
C. sidestay or shroud – line or cable that supports the mast giving lateral stability. There are usually at least 2, one on either side of boat.
D. spreaders – horizontal spars which spread the shrouds from the mast.
E. boom topping lift – a line that extends from the boom to the mast. Supports the boom when the mailsail is taken down.
Running rigging – lines that control, raise, lower and adjust the sails.
A. halyard – line used to raise the sail and control luff tension. main halyard & jib halyard.
B. sheet – main line that is used to adjust the sail against the force of the wind. The mainsail has one sheet. The jib has two sheets; a working or leeward sheet and a lazy or windward sheet. Angle of attack with respect to the apparent wind and/or the amount of leech “twist” near the head of the sail.
C. boom vang – line that places leech or downward tension on the boom.
D. outhaul – puts backward tension on the clew of the mainsail. When tightened it flattens the lower one-third of the mainsail.
E. reefing line – a line used to shorten the sail.
F. cunninghams – tighten the luff of a boom-footed sail by pulling downward at the point on the boom closest to the mast.
G. guys – control spar angle with respect to the apparent wind.
Winch – device used to tighten a line.
Chain plate – metal plate that a shroud is attached to.
Cleat – metal or plastic device used to secure a line. There are many types: cam, horn and clam cleats.