One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A stay on a sailing ship leading downwards and aft from the top or upper part of a mast.
- ‘The 7.5 m long anchor span consists of a 10 m wide, 9 m deep posttensioned central box girder that houses anchorages for the backstays.’
- ‘The rig is a simple deck-stepped mast-head sloop with single upper shrouds and spreaders, double lower shrouds and split backstay.’
- ‘I was looking closely at the rigging last week and noticed the backstay was very loose (not under sail, just dockside).’
- ‘The only real noise was the sheets screeching through the blocks and the deafening creak when one running backstay was let off and the other was ground on hard.’
- ‘My backstay was attached to a U-bolt which used a piece of oak for the backing plate.’
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