One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A rope used to hold down the bowsprit of a ship against the upward pull of the forestay.
- ‘The bowsprit is set up with double chain bobstays and double chain bowsprit shrouds.’
- ‘One aspect of fitting a bobstay is that instead of the rear end of the bowsprit pressing down into its mounting on the mast step, it is now pushed backwards towards the mast.’
- ‘Brace the halyards and strap down the bobstays!’
- ‘The bobstay, forestay and one running backstay were made up by my local chandler from the drawings below.’
- ‘It is so strong that a mooring pennant can be shackled through a special fitting so the entire boat can swing off the bobstay fitting, without any concern about chafing.’
- ‘I hung over the side of the pulpit and saw that the bobstay chain was shackled to the end cap on the bowsprit, so I hunted up a wrench and another shackle.’
- ‘As with the bobstay chains were used for the bowsprit shrouds from about 1850, which were set up with hearts or rigging screws.’
- ‘Below is a close-up of the stem fitting for the bobstay on this Vagabond pictured above.’
- ‘I secured the bobstay to the rode and cut the snubber.’
- ‘Straps and rings for bobstay plates are extant in the lower stempost, with mortises into the wood to admit the bobstay chains.’
- ‘For the bobstays there should be ten or twelve links to the inch, and for the others considerably more.’
- ‘Mr. Burtsall alone was preserved, as in falling he caught hold of one of the bobstays, and reached the bowsprit.’
- ‘We designed a new attachment point for the bobstay at the stem and incorporated an additional hole for a heavy shackle.’
- ‘Manufacturers produced copper or bronze hull fittings, solid bronze bars for the bobstays on the bowsprit, phosphor-bronze wire for the headstays, and bronze blocks for the running gear.’
- ‘Rising and falling with the sea, the man watched his opportunity and grabbed the bobstays.’
- ‘The longitudinal pressure is counteracted by the bobstays, stays and backstays.’
- ‘The man, swimming for dear life in the water, grabbed the bobstays as the vessel pitched downward and climbed on deck.’
- ‘Gordon Bok, an instrument maker and boat builder from Camden, carved a loose rendering of a man climbing in the bobstays of his sailboat.’
- ‘I'm standing on the bobstay trying to get a decent picture of the bow, and not doing a very good job.’
- ‘A replacement bobstay is available of Sailbryte wire with new fittings swaged on both ends.’
Mid 18th century: probably from bob + stay.
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