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is small triangular or square fore-and-aft rigged sail
A sail is any type of surface intended to move a vessel, vehicle or rotor by being placed in a wind—in essence a propulsion wing. Sails are used in sailing.-History of sails:...
hoisted in place of a larger sail when winds are very high.
The trysail provides enough thrust to maintain control of the ship (eg to avoid ship damage, and to keep the bow to the wind). It is hoisted abaft (i.e., directly behind) the mainmast (taking the place of the much larger mainsail
A mainsail is a sail located behind the main mast of a sailing vessel.On a square rigged vessel, it is the lowest and largest sail on the main mast....
) or, on a brig
A brig is a sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts. During the Age of Sail, brigs were seen as fast and manoeuvrable and were used as both naval warships and merchant vessels. They were especially popular in the 18th and early 19th centuries...
, abaft the foremast.