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Dead-eyes

A sailing vessel is made up of a series of jointed structures many of which are fastened together by rope. The masts of Hamilton for instance are stepped in place which is to say that they are inserted through the deck and attached to the lower (and stronger) structure of the vessel. As the name suggests dead-eyes look rather like eyes of something that is dead staring out of somber round faces. In reality they are blocks of wood perforated in three places and grooved around the outside edge. The perforations allow for the attachment of rope bracing to the mast. The grooves allow for the attachment of the dead-eyes to the chain plate which, in turn, is secured to the side of the ship.