Many people know belaying pins from nautical books or pirate novels. Wooden belay pins are always at hand on sailing ships, so they are often misused as improvised weapons or as means of discipline, especially for the shanghaiing of additional crew members. Nowadays, belaying pins are mainly used on traditional sailing vessels and square-rigged tall ships. Onboard these ships, belaying pins are used for attaching the lines of the running rigging, such as halyards, stretchers and sheets. The upper part of the cylindrical pinstick is rounded at the head and ….
… slightly thicker than the lower part. The diameter of the lower part corresponds to the opening of the pinrail, in which the pin is inserted. Belaying pins were originally made of solid wood such as ash. Since the 1830s they have also been made of malleable cast iron, brass or bronze.