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Small cranes from which a ship's boats are slung. The old-fashioned radial davits were manoeuvrable by twisting in their base sockets so that, when the boats were hoisted with blocks and tackles, they could be swung inboard so that they did not project beyond the side of the ship. Luffing davits have a geared quadrant fitted to their inboard end. This allows the boats to hang at the davits inboard of a ship's side though still suspended to seaward of the davits, a great saving of time and labour if the boats have to be used in an emergency. Gravity-type davits consist of two parts, the upper, which holds the lifeboat on its falls, being mounted on rollers on the lower part. When the boat is stowed the upper part of the davit is hauled up by a wire so that the boat lies inboard. When it is being launched, the wire is released and the upper part slides down the lower part. This brings the boat level with the deck and ready for lowering directly into the sea after its complement of passengers have climbed into it.

See also lifesaving.

See also lifesaving.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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