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The name given to two large timbers, one on each side of the stem of a wooden ship, that rose above the deck and supported the heel of the bowsprit between them. In older wooden merchant ships, the name was also frequently given to the two timber frames abaft the foremast which supported the ends of the windlasses. In some smaller vessels the knightheads of the bowsprit were also called bitts, as with no space for separate bitts to be fixed to the deck, the anchor cable was brought to the knightheads for securing.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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