rigging, the wires, ropes, and chains employed to support and operate the masts, yards, booms, and sails of a vessel. Standing rigging is semipermanent, consisting mainly of mast supports, the fore-and-aft stays, and the stays running from the masthead to each side of the vessel. Running rigging includes the ropes, blocks, and other apparatus needed to brace the yards, make or take in sails, and hoist cargo.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.