fife rails

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1 The rails erected on the bulwarks which bounded the poop and quarterdeck of old sailing warships, East Indiamen, and the larger merchant vessels. As well as being decorative, they were useful in providing a convenient means of securing the clew lines of the sail when under sail.

2 The circular or semicircular rails around the base of masts of sailing vessels which hold the belaying pins to which the halyards are belayed. They could also be positioned by the chain-plates.

See also pinrails.

See also pinrails.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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