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The 'hounds' are the part of a mast located just below the beginning of its upper segment, for example below the top for a lower mast or crosstrees of a topmast. They are a wider portion of the mast on which the top or crosstrees rest. Thus, Biddlecombe writes, "The hounds, whose upper parts are also called cheeks, are used as shoulders on to support the frame of the top and trestle-trees...."[1]


  1. Biddlecomb, Capt. George, RN.Art of Rigging, The, containing an Explanation of Terms and Phrases and the Progressive Method of Rigging, Expressly Adapted for Sailing Ships. Dover edition of 1990, Dover Publications, Inc., 31 East 2nd Street, Mineola, NY 11501: p. 17

External Links

A drawing of the hounds of a topmast and lowermast may be seen here. An image of a topmast's hounds may be seen here

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