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1 A type of flat-bottomed vessel with little freeboard which was used as a gunboat by some of the countries bordering the Mediterranean during the 18th and 19th centuries.

2 The largest ship's boat of a 19th- and early 20th-century battleship and battlecruiser, developed from the longboat. They were 12 metres (39 ft) long, and pulled eighteen oars, nine each side. They also had one mast with a de Horsey rig, a gaff-rigged loose-footed mainsail, and a staysail, but were later fitted with a paraffin engine and a propeller.

3 Generic name for the small boat with an inboard engine carried as a tender by large yachts, or used for pleasure on rivers.

4 When used as a verb it is the act of putting a vessel into the water. See also launching.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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