Luff

The weather-gauge. The part of a vessel towards the wind. A sailing close to the wind. (Dutch, loef, a weather-gauge.)

To luff
is to turn the head of a ship towards the wind. Luff!- i.e. Put the tiller on the leeside. This is done to make the ship sail nearer the wind. Luff round! Throw the ship's head right into the wind.

Luff a-lee!
Same as luff round.

A ship is said to spring her luff when she yields to the helm by sailing nearer the wind.

Keep the luff.
The wind side.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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