a spar used to support the top of a mainsail or a pole with a hook end used for hauling fish onboard a spar to support and spread the head of a sail of four generally unequal sides. A sail so rigged is gaff-headed.
1 ) The spar used to extend the head of a sail 2) Affectionate term for a long-time charter customer as in "he's kind of an old gaffer but he charters every; year from Newport, so I guess we should send him a Christmas card"
In fishing, a gaff is a pole with a sharp hook on the end that is used to stab a large fish and then lift the fish into the boat. Ideally, the hook is placed under the backbone. Gaffs are used when the weight of the fish exceeds the breaking point of the fishing line or the fishing pole, but cannot of course be used if it is intended to release the fish unharmed after capture.