Terminology from the Age of Sail

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Search result for definition: capstan
Capstan: A cylindrical barrel used for heavy lifting, also called Capstern. The capstan (sometimes two on larger ships) was located in the centre line of a ship, sometimes through several deck-levels. Wooden rods were inserted into receiving openings in the head of the capstan to rotate the barrel. A dog or pawl ratchet mechanism was located at or below the base to prevent the capstan from slipping back. External link to an excellent working model of a capstan from Texas A&M.

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19th century capstan patent

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18th century capstan on model
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