Glossary of Spar Terms
Gooseneck: Fitting that attaches the boom to the mast, enabling the boom to pivot freely in all directions.
Outhaul Cap: Fitting located at the end of a boom which facilitates tensioning the foot of the mainsail.
Sliding Gooseneck: A gooseneck that slides in a track on the mast, enabling the height of the boom to be adjusted relative to the deck.
Vang Plate: Fitting used to connect a boom vang to a boom or mast.
Bail: Hardware generally used to attach a block to a mast or boom.
Chainplate: Strap used to attach standing rigging to the boat.
Deck Plate: Fitting used to attach standing rigging to the boat.
Eyestrap: Fitting used to attach blocks or rope to a mast or boom.
Gudgeon: Fitting attached to the stern of a boat, typically in pairs, used to mount the rudder to the boat.
Pintle: Fitting attached to the rudder, typically in pairs, used to mount the rudder to the boat.
Stemhead Fitting: Special chainplate used to attach a headstay or forestay to the boat.
Downhaul Cleat: Cleat fastened to a mast which facilitates adjusting the height of a sliding boom relative to the deck.
Hinged Step: A step mounted to hinge plates, which facilitates raising and lowering a mast.
Hound Assembly: Fitting used to connect a forestay and shrouds to a mast.
Mast Eye: Fitting attached to the forward edge of a mast, generally used to connect a spinnaker pole to a mast.
Masthead: Fitting located at the top of a mast having sheaves for halyards. On larger boats the masthead includes connectors for standing rigging.
Piggyback Step: A hinged step with castings on top and bottom hinge plates.
Sailfeed: Opening in the sail groove in a mast or boom used to feed sail rope or slides.
Sailfeed Gate / Stop: Fitting used to keep sail slides captive in a sail groove.
Spreaders: Struts attached to a mast and the shrouds that add support to the mast.
Step: Fitting used to secure a mast to the deck.
Step with Tenon: A step with a protrusion on the underside, which facilitates positioning on a deck.
Tabernacle: A deck-mounted fitting which facilitates convenient raising and lowering of a mast.
Tang: Fitting used to connect standing rigging to a mast.
Boom Vang: Block and tackle system used to prevent the boom from lifting under pressure from wind in the mainsail.
Cunningham: Simple system incorporating rope and a cleat used to adjust the tension in the luff of a mainsail.
Halyard: The rope or wire used to hoist a sail.
Jib Sheets: The ropes used to adjust the jib.
Jiffy Reefing: Simple system incorporating rope, blocks and cleats, used to shorten a mainsail.
Mainsheet: The rope running through blocks (pulleys) that are attached to the boom and the boat and used to adjust the mainsail.
Shackle: Fitting used to connect a halyard or sheet to a sail.
Backstay: Wire that extends from the top of the mast to the stern of the boat.
Forestay: Wire that extends from a point below the top of the mast to the bow of the boat.
Fractional Rig: Rigging configuration typified by forestay and shroud attachment at a point below the top of the mast.
Headstay: Wire that extends from the top of the mast to the bow of the boat.
Masthead Rig: Rigging configuration typified by forestay and shroud attachment at the top of the mast.
Shroud Adjuster: Rigging fitting used to tension a shroud or stay by means of a series of holes and clevis pins.
Shrouds: Wires on port and starboard sides that support the mast.
Standing Rigging: System of wires that supports the mast in the upright position.
Turnbuckle: Rigging fitting used to tension a shroud or stay by means of threaded stud(s).