- any of the small ropes or lines that traverse the shrouds horizontally and serve as steps for going aloft.
- Also ratline stuff. three-stranded, right-laid, tarred hemp stuff of from 6 to 24 threads, used for ratlines, lashings, etc.
Origin of ratline
Examples from the Web for ratline
Historical Examples of ratline
It was above the second ratline in the fore-shrouds, and fully six feet over the rail.Farthest North
In walking along her gun-deck, he accidentally ran against a ratline, by which one of her starboard guns was discharged.The Naval History of the United States
Willis J. Abbot.
Collins, bring your party into this room; and do not forget to bring along that length of ratline that I told you to have ready.A Middy of the Slave Squadron
Sakr-el-Bahr drank slowly, his eyes never leaving the vessel, whose every ratline was clearly defined by now in the pellucid air.The Sea-Hawk
A musket-ball carried away a ratline above his head, just as he reached forward.Yankee Ships and Yankee Sailors: Tales of 1812
- nautical any of a series of light lines tied across the shrouds of a sailing vessel for climbing aloft
Word Origin for ratline
"thin rope," especially as used on sailing ships, late 15c., originally ratling, of unknown origin; spelling ratline attested from 1773, by influence of line (n.).