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bight

Overview page. Subjects: Maritime History.

1 The name by which the loop of a rope is known when it is folded, or any part of a rope between its two ends when it lies or hangs in a curve or loop. For illus. see bend.

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bitts

Overview page. Subjects: Maritime History.

In the days of sail, a frame composed of two strong pillars of straight oak timber, fixed upright in the fore part of the ship and bolted to the deck beams. To them were secured the cables...

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clove hitch

Overview page. Subjects: Warfare and Defence.

A bend formed by two half hitches, the second reversed so that the standing part is between the hitches. It is used at sea for making a line fast to a spar and is also used when securing...

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cow-hitch

Overview page. Subjects: Maritime History.

Any bend or hitch which slips as a result of being improperly tied; or a ‘home-made’ knot which is not a recognized maritime knot as used at sea.

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gantline

Overview page. Subjects: Maritime History.

The modern corruption of girtline. It was a single whip originally used to hoist to the masthead, or to the hounds, the standing rigging which was to be secured there while the ship was...

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half hitch

Overview page. Subjects: Warfare and Defence — Maritime History.

A single turn of a rope around a spar or other object with the end of the rope being led back through the bight. It is the basis on which many knots used at sea are constructed. For illus....

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hank

Overview page. Subjects: Maritime History.

1 A small ring or hoop of metal used to bend the luff of a headsail to the forestay of a sailing vessel. Modern hanks are spring-loaded so that they can easily be slipped on or...

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knot

Overview page. Subjects: Science and Mathematics.

A speed of one international nautical mile per hour, precisely equivalent to 1.852 km h−1 or approximately 0.514 m s−1. A unit used for reporting and forecasting wind speed.

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rolling hitch

Overview page. Subjects: Maritime History.

A hitch used on board ship for bending a rope to a spar. The end of the rope is passed around the spar and then passed a second time round so that it rides over the standing part; it is...

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sail burton

Overview page. Subjects: Maritime History.

The purchase which extends from the heads of the topmast to the deck in square-rigged ships and is used for hoisting sails aloft when it is required to bend them onto the yards.

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