The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #151478   Message #3535630
Posted By: Rumncoke
09-Jul-13 - 05:04 PM
Thread Name: Folklore: 'topsails all a quiver'
Subject: RE: Folklore: 'topsails all a quiver'
The quivering is caused by the wind flowing both in front and behind the canvas - so there is insufficient pressure behind it to keep is steady and drawing.

The luff of a triangular sail is the front edge, to luff up - as did the Yankee skipper, is to turn the bow into the wind.

The ship would be slowed down as it is losing the wind, but still have way on her.

Perhaps the fair maid is not only displaying her assets but slowing down to assess the possibilities of her audience.