Cargo battens or sparring. In older style general cargo vessels, cargo battens are fitted fore and aft horizontally inside the ship’s frames in the holds and tweendecks at a regular distance of approximately 30 centimeters to prevent contact between the cargo and the frames or shell plating. The wooden planks are fitted to the frames by means of hooks, so that they can be removed. The cargo battens keep the cargo free from moisture or sweat, which may condense on the ship’s sides.
The cargo battens are not sufficient as dunnage and in many cases extra dunnage is required.