sail

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sail:

see sailingsailing,
as a sport, the art of navigating a sailboat for recreational or competitive purposes. Racing Classes

There is no single "yacht type" of boat, rather many types that include sloops, yawls, catamarans, and ketches.
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sail

 

(of a vessel), a flexible panel or sheet of canvas or some other material, used to convert wind energy into propulsion energy. The wind exerts direct pressure when it blows at right angles to the sail or creates aerodynamic lift when the airflow moves along the sail. Sails are distinguished according to shape as square sails, which may be rectangular or in the form of an equilateral trapezoid, and fore-and-aft sails, which may be three-or four-cornered. Canvas sailcloth, synthetic fabrics, stiff matting, and other materials are used to make sails. Fully battened panels are used for the sails on junks. Each sail has its own name according to its position on the vessel. Sails are also used on iceboats.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

sail

[sāl]
(naval architecture)
An article made of canvas and rope designed to be spread on spars in such a manner as to utilize the power of the wind in driving a vessel.

Sail

[sāl]
(astronomy)
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

sail

1. an area of fabric, usually Terylene or nylon (formerly canvas), with fittings for holding it in any suitable position to catch the wind, used for propelling certain kinds of vessels, esp over water
2. a voyage on such a vessel
3. a vessel with sails or such vessels collectively
4. a ship's sails collectively
5. the conning tower of a submarine
6. in sail having the sail set
7. make sail
a. to run up the sail or to run up more sail
b. to begin a voyage
8. set sail
a. to embark on a voyage by ship
b. to hoist sail
9. under sail
a. with sail hoisted
b. under way
www.sailing.org
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

SAIL

(body, education)

SAIL

(language)

SAIL

(language)
An early system on the Larc computer.

[Listed in CACM 2(5):16, May 1959].
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)
References in classic literature ?
He had our boat out of the water, cleaned and repainted its bottom, made a trifling alteration about the centre-board, overhauled the running gear, and sat up nearly all of Saturday night sewing on a new and much larger sail. So large did he make it, in fact, that additional ballast was imperative, and we stowed away nearly five hundred extra pounds of old railroad iron in the bottom of the boat.
Again we had the afternoon sea-breeze, and again Demetrios cut loose some forty or more feet of his rotten net, and got up sail and under way under our very noses.
Yet Charley was sailing our boat as finely and delicately as it was possible to sail it, and getting more out of it than he ever had before.
There was not a sheet which was not tightened not a sail which was not vigorously hoisted; not a lurch could be charged to the man at the helm.
He reefed all sail, the pole-masts were dispensed with; all hands went forward to the bows.
With but its bit of sail, the Tankadere was lifted like a feather by a wind, an idea of whose violence can scarcely be given.
Then, if I can't steer to any harbour with the wind that is, I shall cut down sails, and lie by, and signal for help.
Here and there a fishing boat, with a rag of sail, running madly for shelter before the blast, now and again the white wings of a storm-tossed seabird.
And then, mirabile dictu, between the piers, leaping from wave to wave as it rushed at headlong speed, swept the strange schooner before the blast, with all sail set, and gained the safety of the harbour.
So saying he commenced to scull the canoe's nose before the wind, while I made fast the primitive sheets that held our crude sail. We thought it time to be going.
He was much interested in the sail, and not a little awed, as I could tell by his shouted remarks and questions.
I think that he had never been entirely recon-ciled to the heathenish invention which I called a sail, and that down in the bottom of his heart he believed that the paddlers would eventually overhaul us; but now he couldn't praise it enough.