- the upper masts, spars, and rigging of a sailing ship, usually kept aloft
- rigging, spars, etc. not needed immediately and an encumbrance aloft or on deck
See top-hamper in American Heritage Dictionary 4
also top ham·per noun
- Nautical Weight or materials, such as rigging, cables, and spars, stored either aloft or on the upper decks.
- Cumbersome, unnecessary matter.