gaff-topsail

gaff-top·sail

(găf′tŏp′səl, -sāl′)
n. Nautical
A light triangular or quadrilateral sail set over a gaff.

gaff-topsail

n
(Nautical Terms) a sail set above a gaffsail
References in classic literature ?
In the light baffling airs the schooner had been tacking about a great deal, at which times the sails pass from one side to the other and a man is sent aloft to shift over the fore- gaff-topsail. In some way, when Harrison was aloft, the sheet jammed in the block through which it runs at the end of the gaff.
Let me pause for a minute to look out over the sea sparkling in the sun, or to gaze at a sailor going aloft to the gaff-topsails, or running out the bowsprit, and I am sure to hear the hateful voice, "'Ere, you, 'Ump, no sodgerin'.
A gaff-topsail, in sailing terminology, refers to an arrangement of sails in which a triangular top sheet flies above the pole, or gaff, at the top of a four-cornered main sail--but we digress.
The ship boasts three masts over 35 metres tall; 1000 squared metres of sail plan, with 15 sails of various types (square sails, mainsails, gaff-topsail, staysails, jibs), which span three decks.
Other visitors for the festival include Bessie Ellen, one of the last West Country trading ketches, the luxurious gaff-topsail schooner JR Tolkien, plus Mercedes, Phoenix and Ruth.
The impressive ship has three masts over 35 metres tall; 1000 sq metres of sail plan, with 15 sails of various types (square sails, mainsails, gaff-topsail, staysails, jibs), spanning three decks.