from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun nautical any of the short ropes under the tops at the lower end of the futtock shrouds of a square-rigged vessel used to secure other ropes in place


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  • "He took two or three turns, looking up at the yards: they were braced as sharp as the main and foremast shrouds would allow, but they were not as sharp as they might have been in an ideal world, and he made a mental note to tell the bosun to set up cross catharpings – they might gain three or four degrees."

    Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian, p 74 of the Norton paperback edition

    July 8, 2019