Orlop deck

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18th century warship cross section, the orlop deck highlighted in red
The orlop of the Swedish 17th century warship Vasa looking toward the bow.

The orlop is the lowest deck in a ship (except for very old ships). It is the deck or part of a deck where the cables are stowed, usually below the water line.[1]

It has been suggested the name originates from "overlooping" of the cables, or alternatively, that the name is a corruption of "overlap", referring to an overlapping, balcony-like half deck occupying a portion of the ship's lowest deck space. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word descends from Dutch overloop from the verb overlopen, "to run (over); extend".[2]


  1. ^ Keegan, John (1989). The Price of Admiralty. New York: Viking. p. 279. ISBN 0-670-81416-4.
  2. ^ "Orlop" from Shorter Oxford English Dictionary
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