A metal fitting on the inboard end of a boom of a sailing vessel by which it is connected to a metal ring round the base of the mast on which the sail is set. It has reference only to the fore-and-aft rig or to the spanker of a square-rigged ship. The fitting allows for the swing of the boom sideways and is also hinged to allow the boom upward movement. It is a device of some antiquity, being mentioned in the 1771 edition of William Falconer's An Universal Dictionary of the Marine, an accurate record of 18th-century seamanship practices.
Subjects: Maritime History — Warfare and Defence.