The ship's tools

Keeping a vessel shipshape involved a number of essential tasks, such as checking the state of the hull, shoring up seals, repairing the pumps, mending blocks and patching torn sails. Most often, a sailor owned only a knife and a marlin spike, but woodworkers aboard had a much more complete set of tools, including implements for sawing, drilling, planning and sculpting. The ship-owner would entrust these tools to the master artisans who accompanied the ship.
A large number of tools were discovered on both wrecks, including such items as a frame saw, adze, axe, plane, trying-plane, mace, mallet, auger, gimlet, gouge and marking gauge. Certain tools, such as a large carpenter's auger, a cooper's compass and caulk scrapers, were trade-specific, but others would have been for general use. A functional analysis of these tools based on their find-spots gives us a better understanding of the spatial organisation of the two ships. The data produced have helped us to identify the nature and exact use of tools that were previously only known from ships' inventories, but whose physical nature and use were mysteries.

Multimedia

Marie-Noëlle Baudrand (Adramar) © MCC / DRASSM
Augur from the Dauphine (1704). This augur, 75cm long, is fitted with a 2.7-cm-wide spoon bit (about an inch). (Ref. : Nat 1684)
Laurent Gubellini © MCC / DRASSM
Tar scraper as it was discovered, in 1999, inside a terracotta basin aboard the Dauphine (1704). (Ref. : Nat 0251)
Teddy Seguin © MCC / DRASSM
Underwater view of a pitch-mop from the Dauphine (1704). (Ref. : Nat 1653)
Frédéric Osada (Images Explorations) © MCC / DRASSM
Two cooper's compasses from the fore section of the Aimable Grenot (1749). (Ref. : Nat 0835 et 0915)
Teddy Seguin © MCC / DRASSM
Gimlet handle bearing the initials WD, no doubt the initials of its owner. The two wrecks contained no fewer than seven such handles, proof of how useful they were aboard ship. (Ref. : Nat 2214_4)
Marie-Noëlle Baudrand (Adramar) © MCC / DRASSM
Beech wood marlingspike from the Dauphine (1704). The discovery of several of these aboard ship, each with its own distinctive markings, shows that they were probably owned by individual crew members. (Ref. : Nat 0522)
Frédéric Osada (Images Explorations) © MCC / DRASSM
Beech wood marlingspike from the Dauphine (1704). The discovery of several of these aboard ship, each with its own distinctive markings, shows that they were probably owned by individual crew members. (Ref. : Nat 0522)
Teddy Seguin (Adramar) © MCC / DRASSM
Mentioned in various sources in rather cryptic fashion, plombs en table (rolls of lead) were identified thanks to the excavation. The Dauphine (1704) yielded two of them, both a pied in length, while a single, much larger one was found aboard the Aimable Grenot (1749). These strips of varying thicknesses were used by the ship's caulker for emergency repairs. (Nat 2447_1)
Teddy Seguin (Adramar) © MCC / DRASSM
Leather scrap from the fore end of the Dauphine (1704). (Nat 1398)
Teddy Seguin (Adramar) © MCC / DRASSM
Euphroe carved out of a piece of stave-wood, from the Dauphine (1704). (Nat 0635)

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