Cadets man the headsail sheets on the USCGC Eagle

The downhaul is a line which is part of the rigging on a sailboat; it applies downward force on a spar or sail. The most common downhaul on a modern sailboat is attached to the spinnaker pole, though this may be referred to as the foreguy in some rigging nomenclature. The term is also commonly applied to the cunningham on the mainsail.

In a windsurfing rig, the downhaul is the primary load-bearing line which controls the sail's shape. Modern windsurfing sails incorporate a sleeve for the mast, and therefore do not have a halyard which tensions the top of the sail. The downhaul is tensioned early in the rigging process and is generally not adjustable on the water, and is therefore rather different in use than the downhaul on a sailboat.


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Downhaul — Down haul (doun h[add]l ), n. (Naut.) A rope to haul down, or to assist in hauling down, a sail; as, a staysail downhaul; a trysail downhaul. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • downhaul — [doun′hôl΄] n. a rope, wire, or tackle for hauling something down, as a sail …   English World dictionary

  • downhaul — ˈ ̷ ̷ˌ ̷ ̷ noun Etymology: down (II) + haul, v. : a rope or line for hauling down or holding down a sail or spar a staysail downhaul …   Useful english dictionary

  • downhaul — noun Date: 1669 a rope or line for hauling down or holding down a sail or spar …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • downhaul — /down hawl /, n. Naut. any of various lines for pulling down a sail or a yard, as for securing in a lowered position when not in use. [1660 70; DOWN1 + HAUL] * * * …   Universalium

  • downhaul — noun Any rope used to haul down a sail or spar …   Wiktionary

  • downhaul — rope for holding down or hauling down a sail or spar Nautical Terms …   Phrontistery dictionary

  • downhaul — down•haul [[t]ˈdaʊnˌhɔl[/t]] n. naut. navig. any of various lines for pulling or holding down a sail or a yard • Etymology: 1660–70 …   From formal English to slang

  • downhaul — /ˈdaʊnhɔl/ (say downhawl) noun a rope for hauling down a sail, flag, etc …   Australian-English dictionary

  • Windsurfing — A windsurfer tilts the rig and carves the board to perform a planing jibe (downwind turn) close to shore at Maui, Hawaii …   Wikipedia

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