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the mast next above a lower mast on a sailing vessel
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a ship’s spar serving as a continuation of the upper part of a mast. Radio antennas, yards with signals, gaffs, lanterns, and certain of the ship’s lights can be mounted on the topmast. Sails can also be attached. The topmast, which can have a one-piece or sectional design, is surmounted by the topgallant mast, which in turn gives way to the royal mast. Topmasts are made of wood or metal pipe.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
At the extremity of the view from the topmast there was mountainous country at both ends of the coast (perhaps Cape Range to the south and Stewart Peak to the north).
All quarantined ships were required to hoist a yellow flag in the daytime and show a light on the main topmast at night.
On October 2, at 19.58 (GMT) the Belle Isle wireless station received a message from the Millpool in position 53' 30N 37' 10W (674 nautical miles east of Newfoundland): "Aft hatch stoved in, main topmast gone, three men injured, drifting helplessly before gale, using temporary aerial."
It takes the reader through the alphabet using shipping analogies such as T is for Topmast which is fixed on the mast".
Twenty-five minutes after she had struck the rocks, only the topmast and top-sailwere visible above the water.
Even if you stood on the purchase mid-way along the foredeck, it only sagged a couple of centimetres, And then the real power went in, when skipper Roy Heiner cranking on the hydraulic topmast backstay while the crew stood back.
However, due to the enormous roach the topmast back stay must be running (i.e., there are two) so we have taken the opportunity to add a set of check-stays.