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- Noun

A rail of wood or iron stretching along a yard of a vessel, to which the sails are fastened.

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    Running backstays support the headstay in a fractionally rigged boat. A masthead rig has the advantage of not needing them. A running backstay runs from each lateral corner of the stern to the mast at the level where the forestay begins in the fractional rig. Together with other rigging, it supports the mast. Because they are attached low on mast, they can present a significant problem in an accidental gybe, as the boom hits the stay, with the possibility of breaking the boom, mast, or both.

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    A jack staff (also spelled as jackstaff) is a small vertical spar (pole) on the bow of a ship or smaller vessel on which a particular type of flag, known as a jack, is flown. The jack staff was introduced in the 18th century. The jack is typically flown from military vessels, including submarines, while at anchor or moored pierside, but not while underway. Civilian vessels such as private yachts have also been known to fly the jack of the nation of their homeport, also from a jackstaff, while moored or at anchor.

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