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pram, praam


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1 A small two- or three-masted ship used by the French for coast defence purposes during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (1793–1815). They were flat bottomed, drew very little water, and carried from ten to twenty guns, being used as floating batteries or gunboats as a defence against coastal raids or assaults. The majority were ketch rigged.

2 A lighter used in Holland and in the Baltic for loading and unloading merchant vessels lying at anchor in the ports. They were first mentioned in this role as far back as the 14th century.

3 A small ship's boat of the 16th–18th centuries.

4 A dinghy usually used as a small tender to a yacht, frequently with a truncated or sawn-off bow.

Subjects: Maritime History.


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