Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Bowsprit, a large boom or inclined mast projecting over the stem of a ship, to carry sail forward, and to support the foremast by confining the stays wherewith it is secured. The bowsprit is rounded, except at the outer end, and, in large vessels, is generally placed at an angle of about thirty-six degrees with the horizon. It should be two-thirds the length of the mainmast, and in thickness equal to the mizenmast. It carries the spritsail yard, and, at its outer end, the flying jib-boom. It also carries the jack-staff. The standing-rigging attached to it includes the fore-topgallant stay, the fore-topmast stay, the fore-topmast preventer stay, the forestay, the fore preventer stay, the martingale stay, the bobstays, the bowsprit shrouds, and the bowsprit horse.