Holes in the stern, maybe? (5)
I believe the answer is:
'holes' is the definition.
The definition and answer can be both natural objects as well as being plural nouns.
Maybe you can see a link between them that I don't see?
'stern maybe?' is the wordplay.
'maybe?' indicates anagramming the letters (I've seen 'maybe' mean this).
'stern' is an anagram of 'RENTS'.
'in the' acts as a link.
Can you help me to learn more?
(Other definitions for rents that I've seen before include "Leases" , "tears" , "Hires" .)