The true topmast, in the form of a separate spar which could be ‘sent up’ to extend the height of the lower mast, and struck and ‘Housed’ on the foreside of the lower when its weight and windage aloft would be an encumbrance, is now rare. There are still a good many gaffers around with longish pole masts, approximating to the total length of former mast-plus-topmast assemblies, and the upper part of such a long mast may by convention be called the ‘topmast’.