Downhaul

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Cadets man the headsail sheets on the USCGC Eagle

The downhaul is a line which is part of the rigging on a sailboat; it applies downward force on a spar or sail. The most common downhaul on a modern sailboat is attached to the spinnaker pole, though this may be referred to as the foreguy in some rigging nomenclature; the term is also commonly applied to the cunningham on the mainsail.

In a windsurfing rig, the downhaul is the primary load-bearing line which controls the sail's shape. Modern windsurfing sails incorporate a sleeve for the mast, and therefore do not have a halyard which tensions the top of the sail; the downhaul is tensioned early in the rigging process and is generally not adjustable on the water, and is therefore rather different in use than the downhaul on a sailboat.

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