try·sail (trì¹sel, -sâl´) noun A small sail used to hold a vessel on
course in rough weather.
Trysail, Inc. takes its name from a small but strong sail designed to help
ships navigate in heavy weather. We can do the same for you as your company
weathers the stormy seas of technological change. The storm trysail evolved
in the days of square-rigged ships, brigantines, barquentines and
schooners. Ships' masters, seeking ways to reduce canvas in heavy seas,
split the gaff-rigged "spanker" sail that flew from the mizzen mast near
the vessel's stern. The small, triangular sail that remained attached to
the mast and boom was called a "trysail" because it could be used to "try"
or head into the wind in heavy weather. Trysails are still used on
off-shore sailing vessels and racing yachts that must brave even the most
The Trysail, Inc. logo was derived by designer Clare Wilson of WilsonWorks
from a sailplan for a trysail ketch, which was a popular
turn-of-the-century yacht design.
The images and descriptions of trysails are taken from:
The Art and Science of Sails, by Tom Whidden and Michael Levitt;
Masting and Rigging: The Clipper Ship & Ocean Carrier, by Harold A. Underhill, and
Yacht Sails: Their Care and Handling, by Ernest A. Ratsey and W.H. de Fontaine