One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A ring mounted on a boat or ship to guide a rope, keeping it clear of obstructions and preventing it from being cut or chafed.
- ‘As your boat veers, will your lines, bow-roller, cleats and fairleads stay in place under thousands of pounds of athwartship load?’
- ‘Towards the edge of the deck are a pair of mooring bollards and a fairlead.’
- ‘As you near the stern, a large iron cleat or fairlead lies diagonally across the wreck, followed by a pair of bollards slightly to the port side.’
- ‘For example, a hoop-shaped piece of metal fastened to the deck (picture an upside-down ‘U’) is a fairlead if you use it to guide a line running through it.’
- ‘Fairly soon I tire of standing, looking stupid, so using a drainage channel as a fairlead, I loop the rope round a tree and stick a couple of half hitches in it.’
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