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What are the origins of the Word Windlass with regard to the sailing winch?

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2010-09-12 21:26:42

A windlass is a type of winch, fitted with a wildcat for hauling

chain, and/or a gypsy for rope. Windlasses have horizontal drums or

wheels for handling heavy anchor chains, hawsers, etc.

From what I can tell, it comes from the Old Norse for winding

things around a pole: Vin and ass.


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