topgallant mast

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A mast raised above the topmast in square-rigged ships or the equivalent length of mast in a modern vessel with one-piece masts. It is raised through a cap and supported by trestle-trees. The origin of the name is thought to come from the use of the word gallant to indicate being grand or showing off. Topgallant royal masts were originally a further mast raised above the topgallant, but they later became a pole extension of the topgallant mast itself. For illus. see square rig.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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