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oakum


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Tarred hemp or manila fibres made from old and condemned ropes which have been unpicked. It was used for caulking the seams of the decks and sides of a wooden ship in order to make them watertight. It was rammed down between the seams with a caulking iron and a heavy hammer, and then held in position with hot pitch poured along the seams.

Subjects: Maritime History.


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