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Hey folks, I was watching one of the pirates of the carribbean films and my wife asked why do they always scrub the decks of the ship, I didnt have an answer, I've googled it and still no deffinate answer, i think they used to do it to get keep the rotten buggers busy.

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Keep the wood from warping from the sea water?

Keep the surface a little rough for traction (so they don't slip)?

Dunno, really.

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kronk wrote:Keep the wood from warping from the sea water?

Keep the surface a little rough for traction (so they don't slip)?

Dunno, really.


It has to do with saltpeter.

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Another possibility I came across:

Wooden ships do not use sealants between the boards on deck. Swabbing the deck with seawater keeps them swollen and pressed tight against each other, preventing waves from drenching the rooms below decks.

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Wait I thought old rope was pressed between the boards and then sealed with tar.

-"Wait a minute.....who is that Frazz is talking to in the gallery? Hmmm something is going on here.....Oh.... it seems there is some dispute over video taping of some sort......Frazz is really upset now..........wait a minute......whats he go there.......is it? Can it be?....Frazz has just unleashed his hidden weiner dog from his mini bag, while quoting shakespeares "Let slip the dogs the war!!" GG
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Frazzled wrote:Wait I thought old rope was pressed between the boards and then sealed with tar.


You say that about everything.

Healing surges are for fools. Fools and liberals.

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Frazzled wrote:Wait I thought old rope was pressed between the boards and then sealed with tar.


Source? I've never even heard of that.
   
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Ahtman wrote:Another possibility I came across:

Wooden ships do not use sealants between the boards on deck. Swabbing the deck with seawater keeps them swollen and pressed tight against each other, preventing waves from drenching the rooms below decks.

I've heard this as well. Not that that makes it true.

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corpsesarefun wrote:
Frazzled wrote:Wait I thought old rope was pressed between the boards and then sealed with tar.


Source? I've never even heard of that.
Some damn history channel type show.

-"Wait a minute.....who is that Frazz is talking to in the gallery? Hmmm something is going on here.....Oh.... it seems there is some dispute over video taping of some sort......Frazz is really upset now..........wait a minute......whats he go there.......is it? Can it be?....Frazz has just unleashed his hidden weiner dog from his mini bag, while quoting shakespeares "Let slip the dogs the war!!" GG
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Frazzled wrote:
corpsesarefun wrote:
Frazzled wrote:Wait I thought old rope was pressed between the boards and then sealed with tar.


Source? I've never even heard of that.
Some damn history channel type show.

So, it was aliens behind the rope+tar technology?

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Wait, you watched the history channel and you BELIEVED them XD. No Frazz don't do it! Don't drink the alien-aide!

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If ancient aliens didn't exist, how did decks get swabbed?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2012/03/07 21:30:31


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Frazzled wrote:
corpsesarefun wrote:
Frazzled wrote:Wait I thought old rope was pressed between the boards and then sealed with tar.


Source? I've never even heard of that.
Some damn history channel type show.


It's most certainly been used for thousands of years to waterproof a hull - don't know about decks though. It's called caulking:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caulking

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To keep it clean, and prevent said pirate to fall ass over head into the sea after the daily handout of grogg.

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Your reference says deck caulking too. Hah hah!

I bet it was just to keep the crew busy and keep down salt deposits.

-"Wait a minute.....who is that Frazz is talking to in the gallery? Hmmm something is going on here.....Oh.... it seems there is some dispute over video taping of some sort......Frazz is really upset now..........wait a minute......whats he go there.......is it? Can it be?....Frazz has just unleashed his hidden weiner dog from his mini bag, while quoting shakespeares "Let slip the dogs the war!!" GG
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Frazzled wrote:Your reference says deck caulking too. Hah hah!


The more you know, etc.

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Frazzled wrote:Wait I thought old rope was pressed between the boards and then sealed with tar.


Only place I've seen that is ancient triremes, not sure if I spelled that right.
And those things caught fire if you so much as say the word spark, or light, or match, or daffodil.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2012/03/07 21:40:40



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Somewhere in southern England.

See this picture of German soldiers scrubbing the decks on a battleship.



Observe their body posture.

Pirates. All male crew. Long periods at sea.

Draw your own conclusions.

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Kilkrazy wrote:See this picture of German soldiers scrubbing the decks on a battleship.
Spoiler:



Observe their body posture.

Pirates. All male crew. Long periods at sea.

Draw your own conclusions.


They were Yoga Enthusiasts?

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Kilkrazy wrote:See this picture of German soldiers scrubbing the decks on a battleship.



Observe their body posture.

Pirates. All male crew. Long periods at sea.

Draw your own conclusions.


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Kilkrazy wrote:See this picture of German soldiers scrubbing the decks on a battleship.



Observe their body posture.

Pirates. All male crew. Long periods at sea.

Draw your own conclusions.


Made me laugh. Good work Kilkrazy!

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I'm certainly drawing conclusions about the Germans, not so much sea men, given my family history.


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Short Version
Tradition goes back to the early days; A normal sailor's duty every day was to 'scrub the deck', first by scraping every foot of the deck with a hollystone, essentially sanding it, it also removed tar that seeped from in between the planks. Then the deck was mopped down with saltwater to remove the dust, tar, and splinters, on some occasions, blood, if it was a fighting ship.
Most sailors couldn't afford proper shoes, many went barefoot, scrubbing the deck would ensure the sailor was able to do their job without getting splinters in his feet


Longer version
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holystone

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Because the deck is dirty.

/end thread

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Ahtman wrote:
Frazzled wrote:Wait I thought old rope was pressed between the boards and then sealed with tar.


You say that about everything.

He does, doesn't he?

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Having enjoyed reading all of the Jack Aubrey series of novels by Patrick O'Brian I would say that the deck is scrubbed to clean & smooth it. You have to remember that back in the tall ship days the ropes of the rigging were treated with tar. Which in hot weather would tend to drip on the deck. So with that and other deck use it would need to be cleaned from time to time, especially before special occasions. The stones used to do the scrubbing where called Holystones,

Holystone is a soft and brittle sandstone that was formerly used for scouring and whitening the wooden decks of ships. It was used in the British and American Navy for scrubbing the decks of sailing ships. The term may have come from the fact that 'holystoning the deck' was originally done on one's knees, as in prayer.[1] [2] In realistic reference to their size, smaller holystones were called "prayer books" and larger ones "Bibles"; also, a widely quoted legend attributes the name "holystone" to the story that such pieces of stone were taken for use from St. Nicholas Church in Great Yarmouth.[3] More plausible is the use of stones taken from the ruined church of St Helens, Isle of Wight; tall ships would often anchor in St Helens Roads (the strip of water immediately adjacent to St Helens) and take provisions and fresh water from St Helens before setting off on their journeys.

According to one source holystoning was banned in the US Navy by General Order Number 215 of 5 March 1931, as it wore down the decks too rapidly and caused excessive expense to replace the deck.[1] However, a photo on the US Navy's Navsource photo archive of the USS Missouri) purports to show Navy Midshipmen holystoning the deck of the USS Missouri in 1951 (albeit in a standing position)[4] A Time Magazine article (June 8, 1931) discusses the end of holystoning (archive article (fee) ) in the US Navy.

A 1952 graduate of the Naval Academy (Val Smith)states that he holystoned the deck of the Missouri on his Youngster (sophomore) cruise to England in the summer of 1949. It was with a stick in the depression of what we were told was brick normally used as insulation in the boilers. A group of 30-40 would stand behind an estimated 4-5" board and would move the brick back and forth in coordination with the others while the person in charge would establish the cadence, and then command 'shift' when we would all back up one board and repeat the process. As I recall sea water and sand were used to aid the effort.

The result, once finnished with a sea water rinse and a sun bleach, was a clean white deck, just in time for our arrival in Portsmouth England.

John Huston's 1956 film Moby Dick,[5] and most recently Peter Weir's 2003 film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World,[6] shows sailors scrubbing the deck with holystones. Holystoning is referenced in Richard Henry Dana, Jr.'s diary, the 1840 classic Two Years Before the Mast in what he calls the "Philadelphia Catechism":[7]

“Six days shalt thou labor and do all thou art able,
And on the seventh—holystone the decks and scrape the cable.”

The Iowa class battleships (New Jersey, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Iowa) all had wooden decks (over the steel decks) and were holystoned regularly until they variously came out of commission during the 1990s.

The Baltimore class of heavy cruisers all had wooden decking in the area around and near the quarterdeck, and extending fore and aft along the sides of the ship. The USS_Saint_Paul_(CA-73) was the last of this class left in commission, serving in the Vietnam War as Seventh Fleet flagship. It was decommissioned in 1971. Her "cruise books" have many photographs of the deck divisions holystoning the wooden decks.

Holystoning in the modern navy was not generally done on the knees but with a stick resting in a depression in the flat side of the stone and held under the arm and in the hands and moved back and forth with grain on each plank while standing - or sort of leaning over to put pressure on the stick driven stone.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2012/03/07 23:01:37



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Kilkrazy wrote:See this picture of German soldiers scrubbing the decks on a battleship.

Observe their body posture.

Pirates. All male crew. Long periods at sea.

Draw your own conclusions.


The crews were not entirely male on pirate ships and some even had women as captains.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2012/03/08 11:46:14


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Kilkrazy wrote:See this picture of German soldiers scrubbing the decks on a battleship.



Observe their body posture.

Pirates. All male crew. Long periods at sea.

Draw your own conclusions.


The German's have often been wwaayy ahead when it came to taking care of their soldiers



accompanying quote : Evil: These SS officers at the Belzec death camp in Poland in 1942 could have done with some relaxing yoga after the horror they inflicted on their innocent victims


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Frazzled wrote:Wait I thought old rope was pressed between the boards and then sealed with tar.



AFAIK they did/do that for the hull... Dunno if they would do the same for the individual decks though.

 
   
 
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