Marlinspike Seamanship

During the 19th century two art forms, which belonged to the sailor developed: scrimshaw, which was the carving and engraving of whalebone and ivory was peculiar to the whaling fleet, and marlinspike seamanship, which belonged to all deep water sailors including whalers.

The latter is a knowledge of rope and canvas for either fancy or functional uses. It can be anything from tying a square knot to making a sea chest becket. Or it can be anything from sewing a patch on a sail to making a wall bag. All my work is done by hand the same way with the same basic tools as it would have been done aboard any ship in the 19th century.

James F. Keating
The Marlinspike Sailor of Marblehead

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