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A means of leading a rope in the most convenient direction for working, perhaps with a leading block to alter its direction or with eyes or cringles to keep it clear of obstructions.

In the old sailing ships, a board with holes in it, through which various parts of the running rigging were rove, was used to provide fairleads. Similarly in these ships, the chesstrees were fairleads for the bowlines with which the main tacks were hauled down.

Subjects: Warfare and Defence — Maritime History.

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