Belaying pins are used for securing ships rigging. To this day you can use wooden pins like these in fife racks on sail boats but they go back well beyond galleons and frigates to the beginning of the age of sail. Press gangs were thought to roam the night roads in ports. The belaying pin, shoved down their belts could be used to whack a potential recruit on the head. The one in the picture is brown sycamore but I use whatever period wood I can find. No sailor or pirate is complete without a belaying pin. just over 17″ long and 2″ at the widest they really do feel like truncheons but it is a very practical item on a sail boat too.