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1 The name given to that portion of the mast of a large sailing vessel where an upper mast overlaps the lower, as a topmast with a lower mast, or a topgallant mast with a topmast. It is a word more often used in the plural than in the singular, as in normal square-rigged sailing vessels each mast will have two doublings.

2 The operation of covering a ship with extra planking or plates when the original skin is weak or worn. In wooden ships the term was only used when the new planking was more than 5 centimetres (2 in.) thick.

3 Doubling a cape or other point of land means sailing a vessel round it so that on completion the land is between the ship and its original position. The verb, to double, can also be used for the last two definitions.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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