The bowsprit of a sailing vessel is a spar extending forward from the vessel's prow. The bowsprit is typically held down by a bobstay that counteracts the forces from the forestays. The word bowsprit is thought to originate from the Middle Low German word bōchsprētbōch meaning "bow" and sprēt meaning "pole".[1]

Bowsprit held down by a bobstay
Bowsprit with forestays and bobstays

It is sometimes used to hold up the figurehead.


  1. ^ "Bowsprit". Retrieved 15 November 2012.


  •   The dictionary definition of bowsprit at Wiktionary