In the maritime contexts in which the term originates, a bollard is either a wooden or iron post found as a deck-fitting on a ship or boat, and used to secure ropes for towing, mooring and other purposes; or its counterpart, a short wooden, iron or stone post on a quayside to which craft can be moored.
Mooring bollards are seldom exactly cylindrical, but typically have a larger diameter near the top to discourage mooring warps (dock lines) from coming loose. Single bollards sometimes include a cross rod to allow the mooring to be bent into a figure eight.
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