A chain or heavy wire rigging running from the end of the bowsprit to the ship's stem or cutwater. Particularly heavy rigging was required in this position since the fore-topmast in sailing vessels was stayed to the bowsprit, exerting a strong upward pull when the sails were full of wind. The bowsprit was also secured by shrouds from either bow of the ship. Very few sailing vessels are fitted with bowsprits today and in consequence the bobstay is rarely seen as a piece of rigging; generally, the only sailing vessels still using it are the various sail training ships and some classic yachts.
Subjects: Maritime History — Warfare and Defence.