One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A strake of thick planks, placed as a reinforcement between the middle- and upper-deck ports in a sailing ship having three decks, and the gun- and upper-deck ports in one having two decks, into which the bolts for the chainplates and preventer plates are fixed.
Late 17th century. From channel + wale.
channel wale/ˈtʃanl weɪl/
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