Originally a short boom projecting forward one either side of the bows of a square-rigged sailing ship, used to extend the clew of the foresail to windward. It had a block fixed to the outer end through which the tack was rove and hauled aboard. Similarly, it was the name of a short boom which extended from each quarter of a sailing vessel to carry the main brace blocks. In its modern meaning it is a short spar extending directly over the stern of a sailing vessel to which the mizzen sheet is rove in cases where the mizzen-mast is stepped so far aft that there is not enough room inboard to trim the sheet. The name is also used to describe a short spar extending from the stem of a yacht in place of a bowsprit.
Subjects: Maritime History.