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The standing rigging of a sailing vessel which gives a mast its lateral support, in the same way as stays give it fore-and-aft support. In larger ships they were usually divided into pairs, or doubles, with an eye spliced at the halfway point that slipped over the masthead and was supported by the hounds. The ends were brought down to deck level and secured to the chain-plates on each side of the vessel abreast the mast, either through pairs of deadeyes or with a bottlescrew, enabling them to be set up taut. Each mast had its shrouds, and in the larger sailing ships many pairs were used for each mast. Topmasts and topgallant masts had their shrouds running to the edges of the tops.

Originally shroud-laid rope was used for shrouds, but it was later replaced by wire rope, and in some yachts by solid stainless steel wire in rods, the greater strength of which allows for a thinner shroud and consequently less windage when sailing.

See also bentinck.

See also bentinck.


Subjects: Maritime History — Warfare and Defence.

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