A platform formed on a ship's side either by an outboard bulge of the hull or by an indentation of the ship's side to form a flat surface on the deck level below. Sponsons were mainly associated with larger warships and were most often used to provide mountings for the secondary armament. Without a sponson the barrels of guns ranged along the ship's side would project beyond the line of the vessel's hull; when mounted in a ship with sponsons the barrels, when trained fore and aft, remained within the line of the hull. Modern warships, with the exception of aircraft carriers, are no longer built with sponsons.
Subjects: Warfare and Defence — Maritime History.