1 A rope used for hoisting a topmast or topgallant mast in a square-rigged ship. It was rove from the cap of the lower mast, through a sheave in the heel of the topmast, and then back through a block on the lower masthead, with the hauling part led to the deck. When a topmast was hoisted, a pull on the hauling part of the bull rope sent the topmast up to the height where the fid, which held it securely in place, could be inserted. The reverse operation lowered the topmast. But see also tripping line.
2 A line rove temporarily through a bullseye on the end of a yacht's bowsprit and secured to a mooring buoy. It was designed to hold the buoy well clear of the yacht's bows and prevent it striking or rubbing against the hull.