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1 A 3.8-centimetre (1.5-in.) or 5-centimetre (2-in.) rope with a cut splice in the centre, a thimble at one end, and tapered at the other. Its purpose was to lash together the ends of the capstan bars when weighing anchor by hand. The central cut splice was placed in the slot at the end of a capstan bar and the swifter passed from bar to bar, being secured to the end of each bar by means of two turns through the slot, the first inside and the second outside its standing part. Its purpose was to provide extra accommodation for the men weighing the anchor, as it could be manned as well as the bars.

2 The foremost shrouds of each lower mast were also known as swifters.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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