Maritime bollards

Maritime Bollards

The maritime era brought bollards into the forefront of sailing life and proved to be an absolutely essential mechanism to allow sailors to keep control of their ships when they were both sailing and stationary.
Made from either wood or iron, bollards would be used both aboard vessels and on any quayside at which boats were likely to lay down their anchor. Because the system of ropes and pulleys which sailors used to control the ship was highly intricate and not very intuitive it became essential to find a way which the ropes could be controlled and employed in order to tow, moor and even hunt. A book from 1867 detailing the esoteric language of sailors and maritime masters described a bollard as “a thick piece of wood” around which a harpooner would turn his line. This elegant yet simple trick allowed the hunter to check his prey’s velocity by veering the line more steadily.
As cannons proved to make such excellent mooring bollards back in the 17th and 18th centuries, bollards continued to be produced with a diameter which increased in size towards the top. This decreased the chances of mooring warps and dock-lines coming loose and proved indispensable in times of wicked weather or turbulent tides. A further refinement of the maritime bollard saw the inclusion of a cross rod. This would allow mooring lines to be tied to the bollard in a figure eight, a method which proved to be more convenient, secure and prettier.

Nowadays the range of modern bollards is extensive with bespoke designs available to suit any maritime requirement. Single and double bit bollards, T-head bollards, kidney bollards and staghorn bollards have taken the world of maritime bollards into a new realm.