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1 In a fore-and-aft rig, the lower aftermost corner of the sail; in a square-rigged ship, the two lower corners of the square sail. In cases where sails on a fore-and-aft rig are not normally laced to a boom, such as jibs, staysails, etc., it is the corner of the sail to which the sheet is secured; with sails on a rig which normally are laced to a boom, the clew is usually fitted with an outhaul so that the foot of the sail can be stretched tautly along the boom. For illus. see fore-and-aft rig.

2 The lanyards and nettles by which a naval hammock was slung from hooks in a deck beam. The hammock clews, one at each end of the hammock, consisted of a rope lanyard with a ring spliced into the end from which originally 22 nettles were secured into the same number of eyelet holes in each end of the hammock. Later the number of nettles was reduced to eight, though they were doubled through the ring, providing in effect sixteen nettles which were secured to sixteen eyelet holes in the two ends of the hammocks. See also double clews.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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