1 The generic, and older, name for ships of all types engaged in the whaling industry.
2 A warship's boat, usually fitted with oars and sails and taking its design from the original whaleboats used for whaling. In the British Navy a whaler pulls five oars and is yawl rigged with jib and mizzen and a gunter mainsail. It was in a whaler that Shackleton sailed nearly 500 kilometres (300 mls.) in 1916 to fetch help for his stranded Antarctic party.