It serves as a kind of 'lynchpin', but another word for that.

You can also take it out and use it as a bat, to bash Pirate's heads in.

I think there are a bunch of them all around the bottom of the mainmast, or maybe they are along the sides.

  • 1
    Did you mean Bludgeon? “I'll bludgeon you.” Though Josh is correct with the description you gave. – Christopher May 30 '15 at 23:15
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    @Christopher - Nope, but thank you ..for taking a swing! – ipso May 30 '15 at 23:24
  • then your going to have to give us a few more clues. – Christopher May 30 '15 at 23:26
  • Clubs baton jumps out, as does cudgel and cosh – Christopher May 30 '15 at 23:34
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    A different sort of nautical pin, beginning with 't' is a thole – rojomoke May 31 '15 at 5:24

Belaying pin:

  • A belaying pin is a solid metal or wooden device used on traditionally rigged sailing vessels to secure lines of running rigging. Largely replaced on most modern vessels by cleats, they are still used, particularly on square rigged ships.(Wikipedia)

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Belaying pin:

  • 1) A stout bar of metal or wood shaped so that the bottom half slips through a hole in a rail at the mast partners or between the shrouds, to which halyards may be secured. (The pin is removable so that a hitch that binds can be easily freed.)

  • 2) The pin can be used as a club, which gives the term a secondary ironic meaning: one can “stop” someone by hitting him with a belaying pin.

(The Dictionary of English Nautical Language Database)

  • … That is exactly what I asked for. But it's a different word. Maybe there is a hierarchy of different types of belaying pins? Or an older term? Drats. – ipso May 30 '15 at 23:03
  • Also - I may have gotten the question entirely wrong, but I think the word I'm looking for has come to mean more of a menacing and violent object, if perhaps tongue-in-cheek. “I'll belaying-pin you.” doesn't work. – ipso May 30 '15 at 23:10
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    @ipso Do you mean a marlinspike? – Dan Bron May 30 '15 at 23:41
  • @Dan – great call - as is the related Fid - but not what I was thinking of. At considerable risk of being wrong, I think my mystery word might begin with a “T” - or at least all the not-quite words running through my head start with T. – ipso May 31 '15 at 0:13
  • @ipso Well, a T-word for something you beat someone with is a truncheon. But that doesn't have nautical origins. – Dan Bron May 31 '15 at 1:08

Option: archaic Anglo-Saxon. Trumper -- a small handled tool used by sailers to secure knots in loops or running ropes and strands.

Lino-type operators used a Trumper, an oblong piece of loose lead shaped like a gullet to mark the break in a sentence or phrase that they knew would ultimately need attention by an editor.

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