serve, orig. sarve, to

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Winding spunyarn close round a rope after the operation to worm and parcel it. This serving was wound on with a serving board or serving mallet to obtain maximum tension, with the turns made against the lay of the rope. The purpose of doing all this was, before the days of synthetic materials, to make the rope impervious to water and so preserve it against rot. The expression was also used in the case of sailing ships which, through age or weakness, had their hulls served round with cables to hold them together.

See also marl, to; point.

See also marl, to; point.

Worming, parcelling, and serving

Subjects: Maritime History.

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