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1 A part of the standing rigging of a sailing vessel which supports a mast in the fore-and-aft line, forestays supporting it from forward and backstays from aft. In vessels with more than one mast, they take their names from the one they support.

2 A term used in connection with a ship's anchor cable in relation to the ship. A cable is said to be at short stay when it is taut and leads down to the anchor at a steep angle; it is at long stay when it is taut and leads out to the anchor well away from the ship's bows, entering the water at a less acute angle.

See catenary.

See catenary.

3 As a verb, it is the operation of bringing the head of a sailing vessel up to the wind in order to tack. See also in stays. A mast is also stayed forward when it is inclined forward from the perpendicular.

Subjects: Maritime History — Warfare and Defence.

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