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1 Before the introduction of the metric system in the UK and elsewhere, it was a length of 15 fathoms (90 ft/27.4 m) of chain, slightly heavier than the anchor cable, which in some ships used to be inserted in the cable between the anchor and first shackle. This was done to take the additional wear on the cable as it lay in the hawsepipe when the anchors were secured for sea.

2 In whaling, a short piece of rope connecting the line with the shank of the harpoon.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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