One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The flooring planks in a boat's after section, or the seating in this section of an open boat.
- ‘Speaking of three people aboard, the dory rowed and handled surprisingly well with two at the oars and one on the sternsheets steering.’
- ‘Captain Ahab, with his leg miraculously intact for this voyage, was standing imperiously by the sternsheets barking out orders to his crew.’
- ‘The small boy in the sternsheets of the boat being rowed by the white-bearded man in the peaked cap seems singularly unimpressed by photography, unlike the youth in the stern of the rowboat and the man in the ketch.’
- ‘However, coming to himself after a while, and seeing that there was no one on whom to flesh his maiden steel, he sits down panting in the sternsheets, and begins stripping off his hose.’
- ‘He proved to be the man who had been in the sternsheets and had cast the rope off the bollard just before the wave caught the boat.’
- ‘Slowly he raised himself from the deep cushion into which he had fallen, and found himself seated most comfortably in the sternsheets of his good friend Ratty's little skiff.’
- ‘The officer in the sternsheets shouts up to the quarterdeck the news that Arnold is expecting.’
- ‘I established that the rudder issue has been resolved, it was simply a question of taking the ‘rudder down’ rope to the rudder head rather than the across the sternsheets.’
- ‘Silver was in the sternsheets in command; and every man of them was now provided with a musket from some secret magazine of their own.’
- ‘But who is this lying in the sternsheets?’
- ‘At the last moment Captain Kellar had caught Michael up, tucked him under an arm, and with him dropped into the sternsheets of his whaleboat.’
- ‘Note the notches in the sternhook to receive the inwales, and that the sternsheets are notched over the ribs.’
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