to house

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In general terms a word meaning to secure or make secure. Thus a topmast or topgallant mast was housed by being lowered until its top was level with the top of the mast next below it. Topmasts and/or topgallant masts were normally housed when high winds were expected that might endanger them. In gales of exceptional severity, topmasts and topgallant masts were struck down to the deck. Guns of the old sailing men-of-war were housed when not in use by running them in from the gunports and securing them with tackles, muzzle lashings, and breechings to ensure they did not break free if the ship rolled in a seaway.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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