Francis Liardet: Professional Recollections on Points of Seamanship, Discipline, &c., 1849.

Page 257:

How to kill the Auger-Worm.

This worm continually infests the bottom of boats, I believe, in almost all tropical climates; and so active are these worms, that they have been known to destroy boats in a few months. Hoisting in and up boats every night has no effect on them, for during the night in a tropical climate, the wood rather inclines to keep damp than otherwise; and, as usual in vessels of war, the boats are hoisted up at night, and lowered down early in the morning, when the worms descend to their native element, and in the afternoon they ascend with sufficient salt-water in their holes to keep them alive until the morning, when they take another lease of their lives, and so on they continue working by day, and managing to exist at night, until they get their bath of life in the morning. To prevent this, I should recommend using the boats by turns as much as possible, so as to keep each boat two or three days out of the water, to let her bottom get perfectly dry: thus of course, in drying the wood, you would kill the worms at the same time. When this is perfectly effected, then give the boat's bottom a good coat of coal-tar, or paint, which will perfectly destroy any worms that may have the least signs of life in them. I have tried this plan frequently, and never once found it to fail.
Francis Liardet: Professional Recollections on Points of Seamanship, Discipline, &c.
William Woodward, Portsea, 1849. 8vo, frontisp., (6), x, 319 pp, 1 col. plate of signals.

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

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Copyright © 1998 Lars Bruzelius.