A wooden or metal trunk fixed to the deck of a sailing vessel to support a mast which has its heel at deck level and is not stepped below decks. It is used when it is necessary occasionally to lower the mast to deck level, as in inland waters for passing under bridges etc. The mast is pivoted on a steel pin which passes through the top of the tabernacle, the forward side of the tabernacle being left open to allow the heel of the mast to swing forward as the mast is lowered aft. A slightly different fitting, known as a lutchet but serving the same purpose, is used in spritsail barges and wherries.
Subjects: Maritime History.