Terminology from the Age of Sail

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Search result for definition: mast
Mast: A large vertical spar set in a vessel used to attach further yards and spars to carry sails. A mast is taken through a hole in the deck(s) and fitted into a step in the keelson. A mast made from a single tree trunk was called a pole-mast. When there were no suitable tall trees available, masts were constructed of several pieces of timber, scarfed, glued and banded together. Until the 19th century ships carried one, two, three or a maximum of four masts: a foremast at the front; a mainmast in the center; and a mizzenmast nearest the stern. A tall mast could consist of a lowermast, a topmast and a topgallant mast. In some larger late sailing vessels you may even have a royalmast above the topgallant mast. Masts and yards were made of softwoods such as fir, spruce and pine.

Mast making and lifting tools from the Age of Sail.
Mast and yard dimensions for a 19th century ship of 600 tons.
Mast and yard dimensions for a 19th century bark of 623 tons.
Mast and yard dimensions for a 19th century ship of 500 tons.

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Mast Cheek: One of a pair of support brackets directly below the trestle trees at the masthead, normally made from oak.
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