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The first plank on the outer hull of a wooden vessel next to the keel, into which it is rabbeted. It runs from the stem to the sternpost, and is similarly rabbeted into those timbers. The term was also used in wooden ships to describe the first seam nearest the keel, the most difficult of all to caulk. Similarly, in steel shipbuilding the plates next to the keel are known as the garboard plates. It seems to have been a garbled version of ‘gathering-board’ and came into the English language from the Dutch gaarboord, itself derived from gadaren, to gather, and boord, board.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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