from The Century Dictionary.
- noun A large square sail bent and set to the lower yard on the mizzenmast.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- noun (Naut.) The lowest square sail, or the lower yard of the mizzenmast.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun nautical On a
mizzenmast, the lowest sail
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- noun the lowermost sail on a mizzenmast
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The crossjack, of course, had been furled some time, with the wind being plumb aft.
The blaze raced through the hold faster than the men could jump to orders; when it hit the kerosene and candles, flames shot through the hatch to the crossjack sail, ten to twenty feet overhead.
"There's that bloomin 'compreesant come again!" exclaimed a hoarse voice; and, sure enough, a light similar to the one that had hung at the crossjack yard-arm now floated upon the end of the upper maintopsail-yard.
The sails on the lower yards are the foresail, mainsail and crossjack, or, as they are often called, fore-course, main-course and mizzen-course -- the course being the sail, just as a sheet is a rope and not a piece of canvas.
I looked, and saw a corposant, as it is called at sea, -- a St. Elmo's fire, -- burning at the end of the crossjack-yard.
Basseterre, and another French seaman, who was with him in the crossjack yard, having come down from aloft to our assistance.
This enabled the commander to press on with the work of rigging the ship, the crossjack, or "crochet" yard being sent up by the aid of the mizzen burton hooked on in front of the top; after which the jack was slung and the trusses fixed on, the spar brought home to the mast, the lifts and braces having been fitted before swaying, as is the case with all the lower yards in men-of-war.
When this jigger was abolished the sail retained its lateen shape, got on to the mainmast, and became what we may call a main crossjack, thereby rendering a square mainsail impossible.
Meanwhile, the commander had stationed lookout men on the crossjack yard and mizzen top, as well as in the weather rigging, to seek for any trace of the poor fellow.
When the crossjack was replaced by a gaff, the larger vessels started the square mainsail, and became "brigs," while the smaller kept the spanker as their mainsail, and became "brigantines," so that a genuine old brigantine is a brig without a square mainsail.