from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Nautical An iron plate attached horizontally to the top of the lower mast to secure the topmast rigging and the upper ends of the futtock shrouds.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A plate (usually metal) attached horizontally near the top of the lower mast of a square rigged ship in order to secure the topmast. Rigging runs both upwards (topmast rigging) and downwards (futtock shrouds) to maintain stability.


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