The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #77777   Message #3549626
Posted By: Dave Hunt
15-Aug-13 - 07:48 PM
Thread Name: Origins: The Cruel Ship's Captain (Broadside?)
Subject: RE: Origins: The Cruel Ship's Captain (Broadside?)
A gasket is the rope that one wraps around a furled sail to hold it to the yard - on board sailing vessels often tarred to waterproof them

In sailing, gaskets are lengths of rope or fabric used to hold a stowed sail in place. In modern use, the term is usually restricted to square-rigged ships, the equivalent items on yachts being referred to by the more prosaic "sail ties".

On most ships, gaskets are made of rope. They are attached to the top of the yard and, left loose, would hang behind the sail. Gaskets should never be left dangling, however, so when the sail is set they are brought around underneath the yard and up the back of it and then tied to the jackstay (metal rod) where they originated. When the sail is to be stowed it is first folded and bagged neatly within itself, pulled onto the top of the yard, and then the gaskets are brought round over it and secured to the jackstay to hold it in place. Gaskets should be tied with a slippery hitch to enable them to be let off quickly, though if the yard is large there may only be enough rope to form a clove hitch when the gasket is brought round it