Ship equipment

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bag, oil

Ship equipment

Object connections:

Collection Ship equipment
Gallery locationNot on display

Object details:

Object ID EQA0088
Description Oil bag. 'Mariner's Mirror' Feb, 2010, p.94. Captain J.W. Martin 'they were carried as part of the ship's lifeboat equipment and were primarily intended to be deployed in conjunction with a sea anchor to mitigate the effect of seas breaking inboard when hove-to or running before a swell. The lifeboat's sea anchor ( a canvas drogue, attached to a rope hauser and fitted with a light tripping line) would be deployed to windward. During deployment the oil bag would be atttached to a suitable point on the hawser by an endless whip, thus allowing recovery for replenishment. Prior to attachment the canvas bag would be pricked by a sailmaker's needle to allow adequate release of oil. In my experience the oil bags were usually filled with oakum (teased rope fibres), and /or cotton waste, and fish oil was indeed the preferred (and cheapest) medium used. Wave-quelling oil could also be used to advantage when launching or recovering ship's boats, embarking or disembarking a pilot or, in similar vessels, where lying to anchor in exposed anchorages.' Lifeboats were required to carry them until 1998.
Date made

Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials organic: canvas; organic: rope
Measurements Overall: 457 mm x 279 mm
  • bag, oil (EQA0088)
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