Highfield lever

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A form of hand-operated lever used aboard early Bermudan-rigged yachts as a rapid method of setting up or tautening running backstays or forestays. The end of the backstay wire was led to a block which slid along a lever pivoted above deck so that the lever worked in a fore-and-aft direction. When the lever was turned aft and its end pressed down onto the deck, the block holding the backstay wire came below the line of the pivot bolt, thus holding the stay taught. To slacken the stay, the end of the lever merely had to be tripped up, and the stay was immediately released. Forestays could also be set up and released in the same manner.

Highfield lever

Subjects: Maritime History.

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