to point the yards

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Point \Point\ (point), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Pointed; p. pr. &
   vb. n. Pointing.] [Cf. F. pointer. See Point, n.]
   1. To give a point to; to sharpen; to cut, forge, grind, or
      file to an acute end; as, to point a dart, or a pencil.
      Used also figuratively; as, to point a moral.
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   2. To direct toward an abject; to aim; as, to point a gun at
      a wolf, or a cannon at a fort.
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   3. Hence, to direct the attention or notice of.
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            Whosoever should be guided through his battles by
            Minerva, and pointed to every scene of them. --Pope.
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   4. To supply with punctuation marks; to punctuate; as, to
      point a composition.
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   5. To mark (a text, as in Arabic or Hebrew) with {vowel
      points}; -- also called vocalize.

   Syn: vocalize. [1913 Webster + RP]

   6. To give particular prominence to; to designate in a
      special manner; to indicate, as if by pointing; as, the
      error was pointed out. --Pope.
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            He points it, however, by no deviation from his
            straightforward manner of speech.     --Dickens.
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   7. To indicate or discover by a fixed look, as game.
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   8. (Masonry) To fill up and finish the joints of (a wall), by
      introducing additional cement or mortar, and bringing it
      to a smooth surface.
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   9. (Stone Cutting) To cut, as a surface, with a pointed tool.
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   To point a rope (Naut.), to taper and neatly finish off the
      end by interweaving the nettles.

   To point a sail (Naut.), to affix points through the eyelet
      holes of the reefs.

   To point off, to divide into periods or groups, or to
      separate, by pointing, as figures.

   To point the yards (of a vessel) (Naut.), to brace them so
      that the wind shall strike the sails obliquely. --Totten.
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