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scuttle


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A cask lashed in a convenient part of the ship to hold water for daily use before the days when ships were fitted with fresh water tanks. All water in those days had to be carried on board in large casks and, on a long voyage, had to be used very sparingly to make it last until the next opportunity to land and refill the casks. To prevent more than half a butt full of water being available daily, the butt was, in effect, ‘scuttled’ by having a square piece sawn out of the widest part of its side, or bilge. The grog-butt from which grog was dispensed was a scuttle butt.

Subjects: Maritime History.


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