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I have noticed a lot of models with a curious little horseshoe shaped piece let into the keel by the forefoot. What is it's purpose? It seems to be to strengthen the connection down there but I would think a simple plate would be easier to fashion as well as stronger. Could anyone help me out. Never seen that before.

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'Fish' in the sense used here refers to joining together. An example is fishing a cracked yard with a reinforcement piece. In England, the pieces joining two lengths of railway line rail together were called fish plates. It's quite possible that the word was a corruption from French 'afficher', to stick or put together.

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