reef in the sail(s)

(redirected from reefs in the mainsail)

reef in the sail(s)

To reduce the area of one or more sails while they are being used by winding them over a roller or tying them up at particular points. There's too much wind to be at full sail—it's dragging the whole boat to one side. I'll keep a steady course while you go and reef in the mainsail. We should be fine if we just reef in the jib, I think. The captain ordered us to reef in the sails before the storm hit.
See also: reef
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The first day, the boat was sailed with two reefs in the mainsail to reduce the sail area and the power.
We kept the bow down on starboard tack, with two reefs in the mainsail and the number five up.