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What are "limber holes and limber chains"?

Thanks Frank for your great answer (below).

The only thing that I would change, is that the limber holes would be through the frames along both sides of the keel (the lowest point where the water would lay) as opposed to the area between the garboard and the start of the turn of the bilge that I would describe as the chine.

I will accept your explanation of the light. It makes good sense.

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These are holes or holes with chains running through them. They are located in the bottoms of the frames close to the lower outer hull (usually between the garboard and the start of the turn of the bilge).<br /><br />This allows water to flow to...

These are holes or holes with chains running through them. They are located in the bottoms of the frames close to the lower outer hull (usually between the garboard and the start of the turn of the bilge).<br /><br />This allows water to flow to the lowest point in the bilge for pumping without being inhibited by the frames.<br /><br />The chains are there to pull back and forth like a saw to keep the holes clear of debris.

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Sorry, forgot to add that I believe "limber" is distorted old French for light (lumiere). So limber hole would mean light hole.<br /><br />It is possible that since the holes were drilled in a straight line after the hull was planked, they used a...

Sorry, forgot to add that I believe "limber" is distorted old French for light (lumiere). So limber hole would mean light hole.<br /><br />It is possible that since the holes were drilled in a straight line after the hull was planked, they used a candle at one end and the driller would use it as a sighting point to drill the next hole. The light would shine through the previous hole(s) to light a mark on the next timber. <br /><br />Just guessing though.

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