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A square framework of timber or steel built up and fixed to the keelson of a ship to take the heel of a mast. So to step a mast is to fit its heel into the mast step. Masts are normally squared off at the heel, to fit securely into the square step to prevent them twisting or revolving. When a mast is stepped on the deck the deck is strengthened to provide extra support. But see also tabernacle.

Subjects: Maritime History — Warfare and Defence.


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