"The word is often used to mean simply 'cordage,' but this is a too-limited, and even an irrational, use of the term. A ship is not rigged until she is provided with all the spars, sails and cordage required to move and control the hull.
"Rigging also includes a ship's davits, the straight or curved pieces of wood or metal that hold boats carried along the bulwarks. All are fastened directly or indirectly to the hull, and all are required to complete her 'clothing.'...." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rigging
in Aqua Scripto • Link
From OED: amongst other meaning , Context be the thing. 1. Naut. The action of equipping a vessel with the necessary shrouds, stays, braces, etc.
1624 CAPT. SMITH Virginia VI. 209 The building and rigging of ships of any proportion
1626 CAPT. SMITH Accid. Yng. Seamen 3 All the Cordage,..and saile-cloth, and rigging of the shippe
b. fig. spec. in phr. to climb the rigging: to become angry, lose one's temper. Naval slang.
A Plain and Easie RULE TO RIGGE ANY SHIP BY The Length of his MASTS and YARDS. Without any further Trouble.
LONDON, Printed for William Fisher at the Postern-Gate neer Tower-Hill. 1664
Rigging, Masting, and Sailmaking
Sundry sources, most from the 18-18c
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.