Hunier volant

English translation: upper topsail

10:18 Nov 11, 2009
French to English translations [PRO]
Ships, Sailing, Maritime / schooner rigging
French term or phrase: Hunier volant
I am translating a website on a early 20th century schooner. It includes a description of the sails. This follows from my previous question. The sail I cannot find a translation for is: hunier volant. I would be grateful for any suggestions. Many thanks.
Melanie Uniacke
Local time: 05:29
English translation:upper topsail
Explanation:
for the reasons I explained in your question for hunier "fixe"

please compare:

upper topsail
http://www.infovisual.info/05/065_en.html

hunier volant
http://www.mandragore2.net/dico/lexique2/navires2/trois-mats...
Selected response from:

Graham macLachlan
Local time: 06:29
Grading comment
Thank you for your help Graham. I seemed to have provoked quite a discussion!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
5 +4upper topsail
Graham macLachlan
3 +2flying topsail
Tony M
2 +2upper top sail
Jonathan MacKerron
Summary of reference entries provided
Wiki:
kashew

Discussion entries: 14





  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +2
upper top sail


Explanation:
according to several Internet references


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Note added at 7 mins (2009-11-11 10:25:31 GMT)
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load this pdf:
www.library.uu.nl/digiarchief/dip/diss/2002-0905-111545/c4....
then search "Hunier"

Jonathan MacKerron
Native speaker of: English

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  mimi 254
5 mins

agree  Pierre POUSSIN
45 mins
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13 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +4
upper topsail


Explanation:
for the reasons I explained in your question for hunier "fixe"

please compare:

upper topsail
http://www.infovisual.info/05/065_en.html

hunier volant
http://www.mandragore2.net/dico/lexique2/navires2/trois-mats...

Graham macLachlan
Local time: 06:29
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 352
Grading comment
Thank you for your help Graham. I seemed to have provoked quite a discussion!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Carol Gullidge: topsail (1 word) (not forgetting the "upper")
10 mins
  -> indeed, thanks Carol

agree  Michael GREEN: Yes - "topsail", not "top sail" :o) // "tops'l" indeed Graham ... but let us not be too picky about these things ;o)
36 mins
  -> hi Mike, a salty sea dog like you would say "tops'l" I'm sure!

agree  Clive Phillips: Kashew's very useful reference indicates that the flying topsail is always the upper (square) topsail, and the fixed topsail is always the lower (square) topsail.
5 hrs
  -> thanks

agree  Michel F. Morin
5 hrs
  -> thanks
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
hunier volant
flying topsail


Explanation:
In the light of your other question, I think that 'volant' does indeed need to be translated by 'flying' — the term is very common in rigging descriptions for EN ships, though can be applied to all sorts of different types of sail (e.g. flying jib, flying topgallant, etc.), depending on the exact coinfiguration of the rig in question.

I believe it specifically means that the sail does not have a 'fixed point' at even one of its corners.

There are some excellent resources abou sailing ships out there on the 'Net, in both FR and EN, so I suggest you do a bit of image searching, which should clear things up for you in your particular context.

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Note added at 3 hrs (2009-11-11 13:45:30 GMT)
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Note this definition of 'topsail' from (the admittedly non-expert!) NS OED:

Naut. In a square-rigged vessel, the sail, or (in larger ships) either of two sails, next above the lower sail. In a fore-and-aft rigged vessel, a square or triangular sail set above the gaff.

Hence the use of 'upper' topsail would imply that there are two of them, which might or might not be the case for a schooner, depending on its size and rig.

Interesting to note the alternative definition for fore-and-aft rigs, which might well apply to our schooner?

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Note added at 6 hrs (2009-11-11 16:52:36 GMT)
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Although this page refers to a magnificent square-rigger and so probably isn't quite applicable to our perhaps more modest schooner, I couldn't resist posting it for the beauty of the illustrations. As it comes from a FR source, I assume it ought o be possible to go back to the original language, but in the meantime, they do make it clear that flying = upper, at least as far as her topsails are concerned. Enjoy!

http://pamir.chez-alice.fr/Voiliers/Classe_A/Pamir/Planswe.h...

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Note added at 6 hrs (2009-11-11 16:53:32 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Clearly, my hypothesis about the reasons for referring to it as 'flying' were completely wrong!

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Note added at 6 hrs (2009-11-11 17:00:19 GMT)
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Pour la petite histoire, I was fortunate enough in my younger days to work with an old mariner (he disliked the term sailor!) who had actually been a young hand on tall ships in the early years of the 20th century. His tales of first-hand experiences were just wonderful!

Tony M
France
Local time: 06:29
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 150
Notes to answerer
Asker: Much as I prefer "flying topsail" as it is closer to the French, the website also refers to what I think is the "lower topsail" (see my other question which I was obliged to post separately "hunier fixe") - therefore for the sake of consistency I shall probably use "lower topsail" and "upper topsail". Though your wonderful link to The Pamir suggests I might be able to use "staying topsail" for the "hunier fixe" which would be even better. Still pondering!


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Michael GREEN: I'm no expert when it comes to square-riggers (or anything else, come to that) but not only does the esteemed macLachlan think it should be "upper topsail", but so does my Gourseau (Dic. des termes de marine).
9 mins
  -> Thanks, Michael! Since the term 'flying' is indeed used, it seems odd that it shouldn't apply to 'volant'; I suspect these are just variant terminologies.

agree  FrenchPhD: yep.
54 mins
  -> Thanks!

agree  kashew: It should be this logically - but it's a complex subject(for a landlubber like me!) Sail shape (square or triangular) probably comes into it.
1 hr
  -> Thanks, J! I believe 'flying' refers more to the position it is rigged in than its actual shape.

neutral  Graham macLachlan: nice to be esteemed, I presume the schooner in this case is a topsail schooner with split topsails (as opposed to a full or deep topsail)
5 hrs
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Reference comments


2 hrs
Reference: Wiki:

Reference information:
Le hunier est une voile carrée supérieure à la grand-voile qui se trouve sur le mât de hune. Elle est fixée en dessous du perroquet.

A l'origine, très grande voile, puissante et nécessitant beaucoup de gabiers pour la gréer, elle fut divisée en deux au XIXe siècle, devenant hunier "fixe" (inférieur) et hunier "volant" (supérieur). Les voiles étant nommées en fonction de leur position ou du mât sur lequel elles sont attachées, sur un trois-mâts barque, on a donc un petit hunier (dit de misaine), et un grand hunier.

Pour les voiliers carrés (avec des voiles carrées sur tous les mâts) le hunier d'artimon devient le perroquet fixe (ou volant) de fougue.

kashew
France
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 66
Note to reference poster
Asker: Thank you! Very useful. Confirms the previous suggestions.

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