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traveller


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1 The ring of a lower sheet block. When shackled to a horse on the deck or counter of a sailing vessel—and thus free to travel from side to side according to the direction in which the sail is trimmed—it is usually known as a traveller.

2 A metal ring fitted to slide up and down a spar, or to run in and out on a boom or gaff to extend or draw in the tack or clew of a sail. Thus, a traveller was normally fitted to a long bowsprit so that the tack of the jib could be hauled out when being set.

3 A metal ring around a mast, with a hook welded onto it, which was used for hoisting a lugsail. A strop around the yard, to which the lugsail was laced, was hooked onto the traveller and the sail was then hoisted with a halyard.

4 Another name for a parrel, by which the yards in square-rigged ships were held close to the mast.

5 A rope about a metre (3 ft) in length with a thimble spliced in one end, used to control the swing of a topgallant yard during hoisting or lowering in a square-rigged ship. Two of these travellers were fixed on each backstay, the thimbles travelling up and down them. The rope tails were secured to the ends of the topgallant yard to stop it swinging backwards and forwards while being swayed up or struck down at sea.

Subjects: Maritime History.


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