Terms & Glossaries of Shipping and Trading
Brail is to furl or truss a sail by pulling it in towards the mast, or the ropes used to do so.
Brails, in a sailing ship, are small lines used to haul in or up the edges (leeches) or corners of sails, before furling. On a ship rig, these brails are most often found on the mizzen sail. The command is, hale up the brails, or, brail up the sails. The word brail comes from Middle English brayle, from Anglo-French braiel belt, strap, brail, alteration of Old French braiuel belt, probably ultimately from Latin braca pant.
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