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Longboat facts for kids

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Two longboats with crews

A longboat was a open boat used on-board ships during the age of the sailing ships. The original name was 'Shallop' but was changed to longboat in the 18th century. A ship or vessel would carry several ship's boats for various uses. The most important would be a longboat, an open boat to be rowed by up to eight or ten oarsmen. The longboat had rowing benches designed for up to two men to an oar. A longboat was designed for use in rough water and could be rigged for sails.

One of its main uses was as a pulling boat. Another was to weigh anchor. When a ship was at anchor, longboats carried people and supplies between ship and shore.

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