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An extra thickness of wood bolted to the sides of a ship in positions where protection is needed. Sailing men-of-war had a wale fixed between each row of gunports to prevent the port-lids being damaged when going alongside an enemy in order to board it. The wale below the lower gunports was the channel-wale, those between the upper rows of gunports were main-wales. Shorter wales, known as chain-wales, were bolted to the ship's sides opposite the masts to carry the ends of the shrouds, the object being to hold the shrouds clear of the gunwale to prevent them rubbing against the ship's side.

See also rubbing strake.

See also rubbing strake.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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