from The Century Dictionary.
- noun A strong strip of canvas extending across a sail, in a direction parallel to its head or foot, to strengthen it.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- noun (Naut.) A piece of canvas sewed across a sail to strengthen it in the part where the eyelet holes for reefing are made.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun nautical A piece of
canvas sewnacross a sailto strengthen it in the part where the eyeletholes for reefingare made.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Instantly I had a small but exquisitely clear picture of the three masts of the distant barque, from the level of the second reef-band of her main topsail upward, with every rope and piece of rigging and gear, even to the reef-points of the topsail, rising and falling upon the horizon line with the lift of the ship upon the swell.
As for the spray, it flew over us in clouds, coming right aft, and wetting our mainsail as high up as the second reef-band.
We got it wrapped round the yard, and passed gaskets over it as snugly as possible, and were just on deck again, when with another loud rent, which was heard throughout the ship, the foretopsail, which had been double-reefed, split in two athwartships, just below the reef-band, from earing to earing.
Be this as it may, the yards come sliding down the well-greased masts; the men lie out to the right and left, grasp the tumultuous canvas, drag out the earings, and tie the points, with as perfect deliberation as if it were a calm, only taking double pains to see that all is right and tight, and the reef-band straight along the yard.
The sheets went, however, about two in the morning, and the sail flew from the reef-band like a bit of muslin torn by a shop-boy.
Then, with her lee rail awash -- and, in fact, dipping deeply sometimes, on a lee roll -- and the lee scuppers breast-deep in water, the _Dolphin_ began to show us what she really could do in the matter of sailing when called upon; reeling off a steady eleven knots, hour after hour, upon a taut bowline; the smother of froth under her bows boiling up at times to the level of her lee cat-head, and her foresail wet with spray to the height of its reef-band.
All! "that reached your ear from the yards as the men struggled with the wet, swollen, thrashing canvas, mastering it with mighty pull, and" lighting to windward "the reef-band which was to be the new head of the sail, ready to the hand of the man at the post of honor, the weather caring!